It baffles me that this school year is almost complete and soon my little R will be a rising 1st grader. In our school system, kindergarten is still half-day, so next year will be a new transition for R and our family: full day school, getting ready earlier in the day and eating lunch at
school every day.
There have been instances during his kindergarten year of R eating at school. Whenever the school has an early release day, R goes to school during lunch and his kindergarten class eats their packed lunch in the classroom. He has also packed his lunch for special days such as field trips, when the trip extends into the lunch time. But daily lunch eating at school will be a new adventure for R.
In an effort to familiarize the kindergarteners with the idea of eating in the school cafeteria, a note came home last week with R. It read, “Eat Lunch at School Day” and told of how the kindergarteners would experience the process of school lunch by eating in the cafeteria and having the option to buy their lunch at school that day. The flier said that the children could pack their lunch or have “lots of fun” and buy pizza!
And so it begins…
I was a huge fan of the recent Jamie Oliver show, Food Revolution. If you missed the show, British chef Jamie Oliver, who is credited with overhauling and improving the school lunch program in the UK, came to Huntington, WV in an effort to revolutionize how the town eats. He focuses on the school lunch program, and how much processed, unhealthy foods there are in schools. I loved the show and was cheering him along.
While I plan to pack the large majority of R’s lunches next year, I started looking into our school system’s school lunch program. I hate to say it, but I was not impressed. Lots of typical cafeteria fare and junk, a healthy eating mom’s nightmare.
I am trying to figure out what my role is in all of this. First, I intend to let R buy a pizza lunch this week as it seems this is all about the experience and I don’t him to miss out on the milestone. But where do we go from here? I’m already trying to brainstorm about healthy, appealing lunch options to pack for R, but what about the lunch program in general? Is it my calling to help bring a mini-revolution to our school system?
For now, I’ve started to talk to some like-minded moms and gather information. I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew, but I feel like in R’s school, which actually bills itself as “Progressive,” there needs to be change in the food they serve. And so it begins…