School Lunches: I Can Dream, Can’t I?

by Red Pill Mama · 0 comments

in Education,Health+Wellness,Nutrition+Food

Funny: just the day after my sister sent me an article from Time about a writer whose son attends preschool in Paris, from which I got a glimpse into what could possibly be the shangri-la of school lunch situations, I happened to stop in my own kids’ public school cafeteria to sit with my son for a few minutes.  What was on his plate?  French toast sticks, maple syrup (not the real stuff, I’d wager), tater tots and a frozen juice bar.  Not the nutritious cornucopia of fresh, healthful and enticing choices I’d like (though granted, there were things on the menu that day that actually grow from the ground, yet none of them ended up on his tray: a separate issue, obviously).

Since we at RPP have been on a food kick recently, this article seemed intensely relevant and worthy of sharing — first, because the way these kids in Paris eat is not just impressive in its own right, but is impressive because the mere time spent on and reverence for the ritual of a school lunch is probably going to help these kids live longer; and second, Red Pill Parents will always relish and seize upon the opportunity to demonstrate that things don’t have to be done the way they’ve always been done.  After all, we are an evolving species, are we not?

Granted, five course meals, no repeats within a month, and suggestions for accompanying dinner menus might be a bit much for we independent-minded, on-the-go Americans.  But it is nonetheless fascinating to get a glimpse into a culture that we have so many similarities with, yet which, in the area of food, is French artisanal bread to our American Wonder.  So read it and weep (or laugh): “School Lunches in France: Nursery School Gourmets“.

And then what?  If you’re lucky, like Red Pill Papa, your kids’ school has a food committee (he’s on it; big surprise).  If you’re a public school schmuck like me, perhaps the best you can do is pack your kids’ lunches most of the time, exhort them to be sure to take that fruit or vegetable serving, and shrug your shoulders and be thankful that while they may be eating tater tots dipped in maple flavored corn syrup at lunch, at least they grind through that organic carrot at dinner like a Cuisinart lubricated with ranch dressing.

And maybe Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (and those who will undoubtedly follow his lead) will plant the seeds for some change at the highest levels: because while I hate to throw my hands up and say “there’s nothing I can do,” I know that all manner of bribes to the lunch ladies and even a concerted enlightenment campaign at the county level will not alter the same USDA guidelines that make that Huntington, W. Va. school feel justified in serving breakfast pizza.  Pervasive change is needed.  Seeds are being planted (by Michelle Obama, Jamie Oliver, Alice Waters and others).  Let’s continue to plant our own seeds and see what grows.  Who knows: maybe if we play our nutritional cards right with our kids, in a few years they’ll be demanding locally sourced salad greens, grass-fed beef, an extra 30 minutes and a cheese course.

Bon appetit (and take the poll sil vous plait!),

Red Pill Mama

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