I'm reading on the CNN website (click here) about a lady who ate school lunches at an urban midwest school for a year and blogged about it. Since she works at the school, she has kept her identity a secret, but will reveal it later this year when she publishes a book about her project.
"She found the school food revolting, but her students hardly complained about the meals. For many of them, it's their favorite meal of the day -- especially hot dogs, chicken nuggets and pizza. Ninety five percent of the kids at her school receive free or reduced-price meals, Mrs. Q estimated."
I personally don't find it surprising that most kids liked the meals, because the people with whom I've rubbed shoulders serve the same kind of over-processed junk to their kids at home; Children like to eat the things they're used to.
Do you think I'm being critical of their parents? I'm not, because over-processed junk is usually what's most affordable; Aldi's, anyone? There's also the fact that in homes where both parents work, or where there is only one parent available, meal preparation time is limited. Let's face it, it takes a lot more time to cook meals from scratch than it does to stick a frozen pizza or chicken pot pie in the oven; Hamburger Helper is quick, and so easy to make that a ten-year-old can prepare supper. Kids love Ramen noodles, and who stops to analyze the nutrient content (what nutrients?) of these things when they're so cheap?
Oh, I have dozens of recipes that are frugal, nutritious, and quick to fix; but I don't expect busy parents to go searching for new things to prepare when the kids are happy with the status quo. Let's not rock the boat, shall we?
I'll shut up before I get started on soft drinks. I still haven't found any good reason why people would supply growing children with sweetened water when they say they can't afford to buy fresh fruit.
I leave you with the link to the blog, "Fed Up With Lunch".