mechanically freaked out.


A couple of days ago, I decided to join a school lunch contest created by Simple,Good, and Tasty. The rules are easy,  prizes are involved. Of course, I’m in.

All I have to do is:
1. Meet my child for lunch. Order the lunch.
        Done and done. I volunteer at my child’s school next week, super convenient!
2. Take a picture of the lunch.
        That can be arranged, my camera is awesome.
3. Eat the lunch.
4.  Submit my pictures and add any comments to Simple,Good, and Tasty.
         Pretty much the easiest contest ever. I can’t wait to win that lunchbox! Seriously…I was about to buy one and then I saw I could win one…or at least try 🙂

I do have a confession. Mesquite’s lunches aren’t exactly that bad. As a matter of fact, after reading what the kids at School Lunch Found Guilty are subjected to, I’m getting off really easy. All of sudden, I don’t feel like I’m playing very fair in this contest. Mesquite gives our kids a choice of three different entrees (including a vegetarian option). The lunches also come with side dishes that include a veggie and a fruit. They accommodate special diets and children are allowed to buy extras…like juice, a cookie, bottled water, and sometimes ice cream. The choices are there.
I frequently eat lunch with my kid at school. I usually just get the non-meatiest looking thing there is and eat that. Of course, like all school lunches across the country, there are some questionable items. Being as that many of our local schools fall into a high poverty level category, we still are not immune to the “nugget” and “nacho” type of fare.
In anticipation of the contest, I looked over next week’s choices. Some good, some not so good. Example… the “chicken rings.” I was curious as to which part of the chicken involved the ring. As it turns out, all of the parts are involved, well, the ones left over anyways.  Somewhere in America, chickens are being mechanically separated to make that ring I will be eating. I don’t mean to sound like a jerk, but I’m not sure if I feel sorrier for those chickens, our kids, or me right now.  
With that being said, I decided to give myself a few more guidelines to really get into this contest. I think this is a great opportunity for me to truly appreciate what the Child Nutrition Act and lack of regulation is all about.

Here’s what I’ve added..(and yes, I do realize just how strange it is to add new rules to a contest I did not create..just go with me on this one.)

Rule #1 1/3: I will order the lunch that a child on the reduced price plan will receive. I will not get to have my choice of juice, bottled water, or any sort of extra offered that day. Even if the kid in front of me and behind me gets to have a choice because their parents can afford the extra $.50 to $1.00, I will not.

Rule #1 2/3: I will order whatever looks to be the most fun with the most creative name (IE. “chicken rings” or “fish shapes”) being served that day. Isn’t that what law makers tell us the kids like these days?

Rule #3 1/3: I will eat my lunch silently. I will not talk to my neighbor. If I need anything, I will raise my hand.

Rule #3 2/3: I will eat as fast as I can, because after waiting in line and then having to line up after lunch…I  really only get about 20 minutes to get ‘er done.

Because I am at the school more than one day, I get to try all the options. Except for one day:

Rule #5
I will be like the kid who has forgotten their lunch money/ is waiting for their parent to send in an application for the reduced program/ has a family that is still waiting for their food stamp application to be approved etc. 

That is the day that I will eat a peanut butter sandwich and have a choice of milk. I will also have a stamp put on my hand to wear the rest of the day. When I get home, it will remind my parents that I need money for lunch.

I really want one of those lunchboxes.

I tried to recruit my husband for this challenge, he said he would go only if he could take his lunch. He offered to watch me eat the chicken rings. BTW, This is our child’s first year in public school. The private school he attended last year was only half-day, so we never had to worry about his lunch. When he began this year, he decided that buying his lunch was the coolest thing ever. So we let him do it. Back in November, I noticed that by every Wednesday or so, he would get some sort of tummy ache or a gastric-type situation that I don’t really feel I need to get into. (your welcome.)

So, a couple of months ago, my husband and I decided to start packing his lunch everyday and our son would have to live with the uncoolness factor.  While I don’t want to blame the school lunches for the toilet-stories-that-shall-not-be-mentioned, I can say that they haven’t occurred since.

I’ll keep you posted on how I end up.
Oh..and in case you’re wondering what that picture is at the top..that’s my soon-to-be-rung chicken ring. You can get the whole story about it here, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Posted via email from just a mom in mesquite


2 Comments to “mechanically freaked out.”

  1. re: the picture – I thought it was a “project” some kid did of an intestine! Eeew! Gross!

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