The School Lunch Issue (Mrs. Q)

So, the mysterious school lunch blogger has revealed her identity.

From the article:

“Sarah Wu does not look like a troublemaker. The slight, blond mom comes off, by her own admission, as “a super nice person … without a bad word to say.”

That may be why the speech pathologist was able to crank out an incisive daily blog scrutinizing school meals for an entire year without anyone suspecting her. Writing as “Mrs. Q,” she bought lunch each school day of 2010, photographed it, ate it and wrote about it that night under the title Fed Up With Lunch.”

One year of eating school lunches. Good for her. I give her credit for looking into the issue and reporting on what she found.

That being said, two things.

1) Is anyone really surprised by this? Think back to your school experience. The times I ate ‘hot lunch’ were never marked by nutritional wonderment. They cranked out whatever they could and we ate it. It was what it was…which was probably nothing good for me. I didn’t expect it to be, though.

2) Why aren’t people packing a lunch for their kids? Growing up, I almost always had a lunch packed for me (thanks Mom) and with two kids of my own now, I do the same for them.

Sure, you have to get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning. Sure, it requires a bit of effort…but that’s sort of what comes along with parenting, no?

(Before I continue, this isn’t just some rambling indictment of parents who don’t pack a lunch for their kids. Different people have different situations. I understand.)

I just think the bigger issue behind this blogger’s yearlong expose´ of cafeteria lunches is this: Instead of complaining about the quality of lunch that is being served, parents who are concerned about their kids’ nutrition should make more of an effort to put together healthy lunches for them.

It’s really not that hard, it’s not expensive, and it’s a way to have a real say in the situation.

Make a sandwich using high-fiber, whole grain bread. Look for bread without the ‘bad stuff’ in it. I’ll leave that part to your interpretation to avoid another debate 🙂

Put some fresh fruit or fresh vegetables in their lunch bag. For a snack, there are baked crackers and plenty more at least quasi-healthy options to choose from.

Give them a 100% juice box or at least one with low sugar content and you should be good to go.

None of those options involve greasy or fried foods. None of those options are terribly expensive. None of this requires a culinary degree.

Folks I’m not a nutritional expert. I’m sure you can do much better than what I’ve mentioned here. It’s just some thoughts to get you started.

Furthermore as I’ve stated on here before, my personal diet leaves more than just a little to be desired. But when I’m around my kids I eat as healthy as possible and when it comes to what I serve them, it’s going to be something that (for the most part – I’m not claiming anything close to perfection here) will be good for them.

The point of all of this is, take some initiative and do something about it if you don’t like the school lunch options for your kids!

I appreciate the mystery blogger’s efforts. I just hope those efforts will lead to more parents stepping up and more kids getting better food as a result of their parents packing their lunches, instead of more able-bodied people simply complaining and hoping someone else will take care of it.

You can do it, fellow parents. I know you can. Here’s to a healthier future for all of our kids.

Image via Wikipedia


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