The Top 5 Worst School Lunches


Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program to fight childhood obesity wound up in my son’s backpack this week. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Time for Kids mini-magazine with an article on the five worst school lunches.

The best part is that my son wanted to share this with us. He had us guess the answers (we came up with two of the five) and then let us know what they were.

The food items were broken down into calories, fat grams, and sodium levels. A third grader is absorbing and incorporating all this information. How cool is that?

Here’s the list (counting down to the worst):

5. Pepperoni Pizza, 342 calories, 14.4 grams of fat, 799 milligrams of sodium
4. Cheese Sandwich, 320 calories, 14.2 grams of fat, 1000 milligrams of sodium
3. Cheeseburger, 401 calories, 19 grams of fat, 745 milligrams of sodium
2. Meatloaf and Potatoes, 472 calories, 26.4 grams of fat, 1180 milligrams of sodium
1. Beef and Cheese Nachos, 469 calories, 24 grams of fat, 1500 milligrams of sodium

I was a little appalled that a bar appetizer was number one; not exactly what I want the future of America to be noshing on regularly.  My family actually doesn’t participate in the local school lunch program because my son has allergies.  He’s been brown bagging it since day one.  He literally has never had the food, and I have to say the more I learn about the school lunch program, the more relieved I am he hasn’t!

Michelle Obama has a Chefs Move to Schools program with over 1,000 chefs working with their local schools to develop healthier menu choices that are flavorful and kid friendly.  If you know a local chef, maybe with a kid, please let them know about this great program.

If you’d like to get involved in another way, consider supporting the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, currently winding it’s way through Congress.  The bill calls for larger servings of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in school meals.  Write or call your elected officials to let them know you support the bill.

What do you think?  Do you monitor your kids’ school lunch program?  Do you check in with them on their food choices?  What’s going on in your local school system?  Do you feel the urge to help?

I’d love to hear what’s going on out there, please share.