Note: this post is a continuation of my previous post.
So I joined the boy for lunch at school one day when I had been volunteering. Look what the “side dish” was!
At first blush, you might think, well, great, baked is better than fried. But then I took a look at the nutritional panel. Oh, it still has MSG, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, yellow 6 and yellow 5. [UPDATE: Frito Lay has recently eliminated trans fats from their products! yay!] I know the cheetos are not a big deal, but if this passes school nutrition standards, then, what are the school nutrition standards?
Actually, the only information I was able to find were ratios of calories to fat. Okay, fine, so that leaves a lot of leeway in which its perfectly okay in the school cafeteria to feed children:
high fructose corn syrup
Our household underwent a major nutritional overhaul 5 years ago when I was diagnosed with a serious chronic illness, so I admit I am more sensitive than most folks about these things. Besides some specific dietary changes I’ve implemented personally, I used my illness as an excuse to justify our household going all organic (I would say we are about 80% successful.) I also got more vigilant about keeping those above items from entering our home.
Last year, in the interest of simplifying my life, I started letting the boy eat school lunch every day. While I did not expect him to get organic food there, I naively thought there were strict nutrition standards and he’d be getting whole foods. While I do applaud their effort at limiting fat and sugar to a point, that’s a narrow way of looking at nutrition.
So, I know what you’re thinking. I should start packing the boy’s lunch again now, if this is really bothering me. The convenience of not stressing about lunch packing (the child will not eat sandwiches! WTF?) has outweighed my concerns. It’s been worth letting it slide for now, I know school food is halfway decent, and he’s getting good stuff at home.
BUT…now I’m starting to rethink that position because of something much more horrifying than Trix.
To be continued…