Monday, March 14, 2011

What's for Lunch: Pizza!

By Ed Bruske

aka The Slow Cook

Pizza is still kids' favorite food at school. Our daughter, seen here, doesn't care for most of the cafeteria fare at her elementary school. But her eyes lit up when we checked the Chartwells menu site and learned that lunch would be pizza!


It was an extra long slice. I took a couple of bites and found it to be pretty gummy. What do you expect from a frozen pizza re-heated for a couple of hundred kids? It didn't taste terrible. It was just very bready.

But my daughter loved it. She's had so many great pizzas in her life--many of them we made ourselves--I wonder if she isn't tasting the memory of pizza more than what was actually served.

This is what the complete meal looked like. As if there wasn't enough starch already in the pizza, they added more with the potato wedges. The USDA has proposed that kids get a maximum two servings per week--or one cup total--of starchy vegetables like potatoes in the federally-subsidized school meals program.

Potatoes happen to be kids' second-favorite food at school--right after pizza. So this meal was guaranteed to hit them right where it counts. But enjoy those potatoes while you can. They'll soon be replaced with sweet potatoes or other orange vegetables--or dark green vegetables.

My daughter begged me to get another tray of food so she could have more potato wedges. Fat chance.

The kids also dove into the pineapple cup. They like fruit--the sweeter the better. But not so much the green beans. These were advertised as "seasoned green beans," which translated as canned green beans tossed with "butter substitute" and garlic. Needless to say, the kids didn't touch them.

Here was the alternate cold meal: salad with chicken. A few of the kids chose this. One fifth-grade girl told me she just likes salad.

Good for her.


  1. Looks like mismatched food from the buffet line. Pizza and potatoes? Thank you for the pictures. It is helpful to see (and read) what we are up against.

  2. Was there really even a need for the potatoes? Not only does add in an extra (uneeded) starch, from what I've read/heard/know, most lunch periods aren't really long enough to eat that much food. Seems like an odd pairing to me.