Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday 3/30: Chicken Nuggets

The menu reads as follows: Chicken Nuggets, Mashed Potato, Seasoned Veggie, Wheat Bread, Banana

What they got: Chicken nuggets, mashed potato, seasoned veggie, wheat bread and a banana.

Consistency. The lunch provided was as promised. I am very happy that they (Chartwells) are sticking to the menu, which makes me wonder when exactly they fell off the wagon to begin with!

Back to the lunch at hand. I have to say that I've eaten chicken nuggets and will probably eat them again sometime however, after seeing Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution I'll definitely think twice. As a test, JO made chicken nuggets from scratch for the kids. The object was to show them what they are really made of and as repulsive as it was they still insisted on eating them! In the words of my 5 y.o "Yuck! That's dizzgustin!"

If you and your kids haven't already seen it, you must check it. Be warned though- its gross!

Jamie Oliver shows kids what's in a chicken nugget 

It is apparent that these meals are not made from quality ingredients, the kids are eating only what appeals to them and this case the nuggets drenched in Red Gold ketchup.

This particular brand comes in a giant can. I managed to get a shot of the ingredients on this one and I definitely don't want my kid eating the ketchup at school.
Here are the ingredients as listed on the can: Tomato concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, vinegar, corn syrup, salt, onion powder, spice, natural flavors.

My main concern here is again the presence of HFCS AND corn syrup. Yes, yes, it's a controversial issue, the jury is still out on hfcs but when something attracts this much negative attention and medical studies, I usually just try to stay away, regardless of what the outcome may be. Besides, I like the idea of eating just plain old sugar versus a processed corn-based sweetener. I think I need a Nutritionist to weigh in on this though. Stay tuned.

The rest of meal was not that great. The medley of vegetables obviously came from can and honestly are not appealing-  a waste as was the mash potato. I watched them as one after the other, they threw away the food. Gone. Wasted.

How do we manage waste?  Well, give them fresh raw veggies, sprinkled with a little encouragement and I bet they would eat it! But basically its cheaper to just buy cheap food and have it thrown away. Crazy.

Things are hopeful though. Right now a bill is passing through Congress that would require national nutrition standards for foods sold in schools to improve and also expand the number of low-income students eligible for free and reduced-price lunches. The bill, named The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, also would provide funding to encourage schools to buy food from local farms and increase the amount of money schools receive per meal served. Today The New York Times put out a piece called "A TV Show and Congress Tackle School Lunches"  , and while all the national attention is awesome we as parents  also have to let our local school districts know that the food they are serving our children is unacceptable! So I urge you to write to our local Board of Ed members as well as Interim Superintendent Carter to pay attention to this issue and tell us how we are going to work together to offer better lunches for our kids!

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