Friday, May 27, 2011

What's for Lunch: Cheese Quesadilla

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

Kids like Mexican food at school. Even my daughter, who normally turns up her nose at the food served at school, will eagerly get in line for a cheese quesadilla. You could probably serve a version of quesadilla every day and get no complaints from the kids.

The side dishes, however, are another matter. This is what most of the trays looked like at the end of the lunch period. The "Santa Fe brown rice with black beans," as Chartwells called it on its menu website, went entirely untouched. Ditto for the salad of romaine lettuce.

That pool of red stuff you see there is what Chartwells calls a "salsa cup." Some of the kids did dip into that with their quesadilla, but not so much. In other words, except for the quessadilla, most of the food on this menu was wasted.


  1. Just curious - are the trays all styrofoam?

  2. As I've noted here before, our school has a dishwasher and reusable trays. However, for some food items the kitchen opts for Styrofoam because the reusable trays tend to stain, and then the kids won't eat off them. In this instance, I'm just guessing they were concerned about possible stains from the salsa.

  3. Yes, the trays are always styrofoam. In addition to that, the "dinner"/afterschool meals always come in clear plastic boxes. Environmentally a waste. Imagine 80 of those things piled up. Couldn't something else be used?

  4. They are the most unappealing meals. There are certainly better ways to present healthy food to children, that are more pleasing to their eyes and point of view. Also, talk about wasting food-how about serving whole chicken breasts to kindergarteners?