Recently, I have avoided the whole school lunch issue – both in social media and in news stories. It's a hot button issue that obviously needs attention, but sometimes a single person has to choose their battles and this wasn't one for me.
My kids eat school lunch every day. Every year, I reluctantly offer to pack lunches, or help them by at least being well stocked in lunch-ready packable items. Every year, thankfully, my kids tell me no.
But I accidentally read an article the other day about school lunches that sparked my curiosity. So the other night at supper, I talked to my kids about school lunches beyond our normal supper routine of "What did you have for lunch today?"
My question: "How do you really feel about school lunches? Do you feel like you get enough to eat and enough protein to get you through the day?"
According to my 14-year-old, Emi Lou: "Mom, prison meals have more protein than a school lunch!"
My 18-year-old daughter Casey chimed in. "She's right Mom! That's a fact, I've never been to prison but I'm pretty sure that is a fact. And they took all the salt away so kids are now packing salt shakers for lunch!"
Cole Campbell, age 11 but going on 68, explains it this way: "Well, Mom, I think they are focusing on an important issue, childhood obesity, but going at it all wrong. The kids who have this problem are bringing their own lunch of a dozen twinkles anyway and the rest of us are paying the price."
I honestly had no idea they felt this way! Mom of the Year, right here!
My kids are always hungry, or as they say "sstttaarrrvvviiiinnnngggg" after school, but I was too at that age, so I just assumed it was a kid thing. Of course, back in the day at Triton West in Boggstown, Indiana, our cooks couldn't be beat. We had home-cooked meals every day, yet I was still hungry after school.
So maybe I have opened a can of worms for myself. But I have kids and I am part of agriculture, so maybe it is a battle I need to choose. What's your opinion?
The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.