Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hot Lunch

On Monday I went to the bread store in Kennewick to stock up the freezer. I’d made the mistake of running out of bread and Kenny had to have hot lunch. It’s a mistake I’m usually better at avoiding. Kenny really hates hot lunch.

Not that I blame him or anything. I’ve never seen much that looked particularly appetizing when I visit during lunch. The Richland School District has its “World Famous” chili and cinnamon rolls and I hear the turkey and gravy has a following but generally speaking, it’s nothing to write home about.

I guess the goal is to make food that’s healthy and food that kids will eat. And if possible have that be the same food. It’s tough though; kids can be picky and when Mom isn’t there supervising they’re likely to high-grade, eating only what they like best. It’s the same story with packed lunches unless the child is reasonably sure Mom, Jesus, and a host of angels are somewhere taking notes. It’s practically criminal the amount of food I’ve seen hit the trash. I’ve always thought it was a shame to not have a few pigs out back. Or at least a compost bucket. Something. Anything to ease my Southern Ohio sensibilities. Ah, the waste of it all.

I remember one lunch visit in particular. The children with hot lunch each had a half orange on their tray. This should be interesting. I mean how were they going to eat it? Peel it? That would probably have been the best method though it would have been a little messy. I didn’t see anyone try that. They just squeezed them into their mouths and left the majority of the fruit still in the peel.

A few days ago I was talking to Mette and she was completely exasperated about lunch. Her son takes a medication with an appetite-killing side effect and though she’d love for him to eat well, she’s plenty happy for him to eat at all. She sends foods he may eat and hopes for the best. Recently she found out he wasn’t eating at all because another adult at school was telling him he couldn’t have his fruit snack until he ate the other items first. Oh my. Sometimes you want folks to help when you can’t be there but other times, it’s easier if they stayed out of it entirely.

I wonder how the lunches stack up, nutritionally speaking. Assuming a child ate them in their entirety? I’m sure a properly fed child does better in school, academically and behaviorally speaking. I know that when our older two went to Oasis School there were guidelines about how much protein ought to be in snacks, etc. It was a little annoying but it made sense. Protein is probably absent or at least noticeably lacking in what the kids actually eat.

A few days ago Teresa mentioned the blog Fed Up with School Lunch. This is written by a teacher who’s decided to eat hot lunch each day during 2010 and the pictures alone are enough to explain Kenny’s interest in packed lunches. What a brave soul this teacher is!

P.S. I found this recipe online; could it be from Lori’s dad?? What do you cook this in? A bathtub?

Bomber Chili
Serves 300

54 pounds of ground beef
20 Number 10 cans of Pinto Beans
3 Number 10 cans of Tomato Paste
4 ½ gallons of water
5 cups chili powder
½ cup cumin
1 cup garlic powder
1 cup sugar
¼ cup black pepper
1 cup salt
1 quart dried onion flakes

Brown ground beef
Combine ingredients
Heat to temperature

John Adkins '62


  1. I can't imagine eating a school lunch everyday. You should see what our students have to eat!! I am going to send you a pic!! Look for it tomorrow!!


  2. I wonder if they still have Cheese Zombies. It was the only hot lunch that I ever ate growing up and when my kids where in Richland public schools, I would visit them for lunch on Cheese Zombie day - oh, those were the days!


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