Happy Monday! It’s Week 2 of my food service rotation with a summer feeding program in a school district outside Seattle. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that things aren’t always what they seem. As a big fan of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, I admit I kind of jumped onto the “school lunches suck” bandwagon. While it’s true that there’s a lot that wasn’t optimal with school lunch programs (things are changing with the new national school meal rules), I was effectively judging someone without having walked in their shoes.
Here are three things I now know/believe to be true:
- Just because you offer kids fruits and veggies doesn’t mean they will take them, or eat them if they do take them (especially the veggies). Appreciation for colorful produce must also be cultivated at home.
- Applying the new nutrition rules is freakishly complicated and involves a lot of math. (Doesn’t help that they are written in a way that makes them even more confusing.) It brings to mind a complicated jigsaw puzzle.
- Don’t ever start a sentence with “Well, schools just need to start doing… .” There’s no armchair quarterbacking this. My head was spinning at times with all the rules and regulations for school lunch and breakfast programs. They fill multiple thick binders.
I don’t plan to work in food service, but this rotation is quite interesting in that it is letting me observe and participate in an area of food and nutrition that I had the most nebulous of notions about previously. I’m also getting quite good at making dozens of sandwiches at a time.