Better Food Choices for U.S. School Kids

A few days ago, I did a check-up on my Tumblr. I was sad to see a post featuring school lunches from around the globe. This is only a sore subject for me because kids in the U.S. have one of the worst school lunches I’ve ever seen. Even when I was a kid in the 80s, it wasn’t awesome. Nowadays, as I watch my nieces and nephews go through school…often times they don’t eat the lunches the school serves. They eat before they leave for school and after they get home from school. Some days, they pack a few snacks to hold them over through classes.

It is a sad state…or…states, there are 50. Don’t believe me? Let’s go around the table and introduce who we have today.

FRANCE
Is this a school lunch for kids? Honestly? Wow. That looks like asparagus…kiwi…look at how nicely the apple is cut. Impressive…

tumblr_nhvsv8tAKI1qzprlbo1_1280What am I looking at? Let’s see…rice, chicken (I think), something is wrapped up. Hey! The fruit still has the leaves on it! Now “that” is fresh…

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This is how they throw-down in Brazil, huh? I wonder what type of bread that is exactly. Look at how “green” the lettuce is…

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It’s settled. I’m packing my bags and going to Italy right now. 🙂 Ready. Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie.

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Show-offs. Spain. Why must you brag? I do missed the days of being able to eat shrimp. Mmm. I’m not gonna cry.

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South Korea, I did not know you all were rolling like this. This will be my Sampler to-go. 🙂

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Okay, wait. Before I go to Italy, I have to make a stop at Finland. Look at the fruit. LOOK AT THE FRUIT! I bet whatever that is tastes awesome! 🙂

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What? Wait a minute. Hmm. I think this photo is broken. No…this looks about right. Well, at least the wooden table looks pretty much like everybody else’s. That’s good, right? What in the world happened to the lovely trend of fresh fruit we had going? What happened to the kiwi, the red grapes, the strawberry/blueberry combo of awesomeness?!

Is someone trying to be funny? Who put “USA” under this plate? What happened to the gourmet-styled food?!

It’s gone. We have what I like to call, “processed fruit.” Hundreds of thousands of these are sold in “plastic” cups, which isn’t spectacular for the environment, by the way (but that’s another issue for another day). The fruit has been drowned in high fructose corn syrup for God only knows how long. Yes, the same corn syrup health experts tell us all…”it’s bad for you.” BUT our kids in the U.S. can choose to eat it for lunch everyday. Said corn syrup is also in the…um…barbecue sauce next to the chicken nuggets.

Are those nuggets cooked all the way? They look a little “light” to me. Probably fried. The only fried food out of the eight plates shown. And yes, that’s supposed to be “real” chicken, but… From my experiences, I’ve learned there are two types of chicken…real chicken and meat that’s supposed to taste like chicken, but fails miserably. The latter is on display here.

Mashed potatoes…that look like they need more mashing (or somethin’)…and gravy. No gravy? Oh well. Peas. Kids don’t eat peas. Babies don’t eat peas. Who in the world eats peas when they really don’t have to? If you’re going to serve peas to kids, serve them in a way that they don’t look like…this.

A cookie. No choice bread. No nice soup. A freakin’ cookie! (that makes me wonder if someone just took it out of a package and sat it on the plate). Apparently, the other seven countries featured here lost the memo on including a chocolate chip cookie. Out of the eight countries featured here, why is it that the USA’s school lunch is the only one that looks like the food came straight out of a box?

You know what I find bizarre? The United States of America is made up of all the nations of the world. People from Greece, Brazil, Italy, Spain, South Korea, and Finland, just to name a few… They’re all here! But their FOOD…didn’t make it into America’s school system!

(breathe). So, kids of the United States of America, please, just fix your own lunch…healthy as can be. It can be great quality time with your parents while preparing your lunch for the next school day. And…I’m sorry. We failed you. 😦

Eric Christopher Jackson

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