The menu reads as follows: Roast turkey w/Gravy, Mashed potato, Green beans, applesauce
What they got: Roast turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, canned green beans, applesauce and milk.
A very bland and unexciting meal. The turkey seems somewhat real and one of the teachers commented that the mashed potatoes where actually good this time!
The lack of a fresh fruit or vegetable is unsettling and the need to establish and really strong Farm to School program in our district becomes very apparent. I know it can be done because A. it's been done before and B. we have access to many local farmers here in New Jersey. In fact, there should be no excuse for the lack of fresh produce! One argument that has come up is that even if the kids were given fresh vegetables and fruit daily it would all land up in the trash, just as all the canned stuff does. My initial instinct is: I think kids are more apt to TRY fresh produce that looks appealing as opposed to the dreary looking canned vegetables. Also, if we do not present them with the fresh options then how on earth will they even develop a taste for them. An even more compelling argument for me is that I'd much rather support local farmers than huge food corporations that have caused more damage to our health and our earth than they care to admit!
One way to encourage kids to eat vegetables and such is to establish a school garden. There are school gardens popping up everywhere from NY to D.C to Texas to California, why not Hoboken NJ? In fact I think kids in urban areas need these types of initiatives even more than kids from rural areas. Kids here are even further detached from the living world and school gardens can offer them the opportunity to connect with the food they eat and learn valuable lessons. School gardens are also ideal vehicles for teaching across the curriculum, enlivening learning, and helping young people develop lifelong social skills. I believe that the possibilities are endless. Check out what one elementary school in Brooklyn is doing: School Adds Weeding to Reading and Writing- New York Times
On a different note: Don't forget to vote today for BoE. You can find your polling station on the City of Hoboken website. Let's see what the changing of the guard brings this time....if there is a change that is!
Have a wonderful spring day all!