part of my job as an instructional assistant is to sit at the table with the kids while they eat lunch. and my, what a spectacle lunch can be. all the kids at the school get free lunch and free breakfast, and this year they are only supposed to get "healthy" food, but apparently the only restriction is no refined sugars...
they have several choices for lunch- salad bar, sandwiches, cheeseburgers, pizza, and whatever the daily special is. pretty much all the kids get pizza every day.... and then they load up their tray with ranch. some of my kids probably squirt about 3/4 to 1 cup of ranch on their tray every day. and then they dip their pizza in it. but it doesn't stop there. they put it on their green beans, baked beans, and peas and carrots. now i like ranch as much as the next guy (actually probably more than the next guy), so i know this blog sounds kind of hypocritical, but i don't put it on my peas OR green beans. the school has about 700 students, so i'd estimate that they go through at least 10 gallons of ranch a day. not only is it unhealthy, but it's a waste of money! even if it was as cheap as $1/gallon, that's $10/day, and with 180 days of school it comes to $1800 per year, money paid for ranch which is making them fat! i think the reason that they have ranch is for the salad bar, but it would be much more beneficial to have a fat free vinaigrette or something that the kids wouldn't really want to eat.
another thing that pisses me off is that the food service company is supposed to focus on providing the children healthy food, but instead of really doing it they are busy creating "healthy and fit" cartoon characters to tack onto the walls. those stupid cartoons are such a waste of resources. i've never seen a kid even look at one of them, and even if they did, who wants to eat healthy because a starfish on rollerblades told you to?
oh, and every student gets a styrafoam tray each day at lunch, which they throw away. awesome.