What Was the Worst (or Best) School Lunch You or Your Student Has Ever Had?
What's tasty — or not — in the school cafeteria? What does your student like to bring to lunch? What was your most memorable school lunch?
School lunches sure ain't what they used to be. In fact, it would seem what's on the menu is a whole lot better than it used to be.
These days, students at Ridge High School, and even at William Annin Middle School, have multiple choices for lunch. My high school freshman gives especially high ratings to the Asian chicken wrap. Did you ever have anything like that in your school cafeteria?
Of course, such variety (and apparently improved quality) comes at a cost. Most days, if he buys lunch, (although he usually brown-bags it) he insists on at least $5 to fund a selection from the high school eatery. Of course, he'd prefer more.
NOTE HERE: The Bernards Township school system's lunch program is self-supporting. The cost goes up as the variety (and quantity) increases in the schools for older students.
Generally, we settle for a sandwich, accompanied by some kind of healthy side snack. What does your student bring to school? Or like in the school cafeteria? Were they pleased to get to the upper grades and have more of a choice for lunch?
Of course, things weren't always so good. When my older son was attending the lower elementary grades on Long Island, what showed up on the school lunch tray was sometimes a gamble — literally. For the last few days at the end of each school year, the school menu offered "cook's surprise" — I suppose whatever was left over in the lunchroom before summer.
Personally, I wouldn't dream of sending my son off with lunch money to order "cook's surprise" in a New York elementary school. However, he had at least one friend who decided to go for it.
For the record, one of the "cook's surprise" meals was "some kind of meat balls" with an unidentified sauce (not red.) According to Alex, the lunch was actually pretty good. We still decided to pass.
As for myself, I used to enjoy the vegetable beef soup served for lunch in a certain Morris County middle school. That was, until the day when the cooks apparently were short on beef and decided to substitute...Spam. (There was more in the bottom of the bowl, but I'm already pushing the boundaries of taste here.)
After that, my favorite treat became those prepackaged ice cream cones with a little bit of chocolate in the bottom of the cone. A much safer choice!
And, for some reason, every kid seems to love pizza, even in the school cafeteria!
So — what does your child like to order or bring to school for lunch? Can you help us out here with any suggestions to vary brown-bag (or lunchbox) selections?
Please add your comments at the bottom of the story. And for those who would like to join me, I'll be at the Starbucks at Riverwalk at 12:30 p.m. Bon appetit!