las

Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”
~ Charles Darwin (it's evolutionary baybeee!)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

School Lunch (and food) Survey!

More trippin' down memory lane, this one for all ages!  Some questions -- feel free to answer as few or as many as you want to or can!  Please distinguish grade school from middle and/or high school where appropriate.  
  • How often did you eat lunch at school?  
  • Did you bring lunch, buy lunch or have lunch provided by the school?
  • If lunch was provided by the school, was this for everyone or a need-based program?
  • What was a typical lunch for you (younger and older if applicable)?
  • Looking at tables if need be, how many calories did you eat at lunch (again, specify for age ranges as needed)?
Other foods
  • Did you eat other meals or snacks at school?
  • If so, were these brought from home, purchased (vending or cafeteria) or provided?
  • What did you drink at school?
Thanks in advance!!


12 comments:

OnePointFive said...

You set me off on some interesting searches!First, I was a faddy eater so probably left more than I ate on most days. There was rarely any choice. I didn't really know how to estimate the calories so I looked it up.
Nursery don't really remember much except for refusing to eat tripe and that we had jam sandwiches for tea most days.
School dinners UK from 1956-1970. Varied a bit between schools but basically meat/potato/veg followed by a pudding.
First course:
Meat (roast once a week, stews, hot pots, minced meat in gravy, meat pies, shepherds pie, stuffed heart, braised liver, sausages)
Fish, battered or steamed in parsley sauce on Friday.
Potato roast with roast dinner, mashed most days, chips with fish on Fridays.
Vegetables, peas, carrots, sprouts, cabbage (usually boiled to death)
Occasional pilchard salads (ie lettuce, tomato and cucumber)
Pudding: rice or semolina with jam, steamed suet puddings,(spotted dick, jam rolly polly, treacle) sponge puddings,jam tart with coconut on top. Most served with a ladle of custard (made from powder, not eggs ,sometimes coloured pink or chocolate flavour)
How many calories I don't know but have found the nutritional standards for 1966 (The UK abandoned them when Mrs Thathcher was in power but now has new guidelines)
"On average the meal should contain 29 g total
protein (including approximately 18 5 g animal
protein), 880 kcal energy and 32 g fat. These average amounts apply to 12-year-old children, lower amounts are assumed for younger and higher for older children"
All children at the time also received a 1/3 of pint of free milk which they normally drank at morning break. Dinners were subsidised and and children from families on low incomes got free meals.
This was the main meal of the day for many children who would have tea, not dinner in the evenings.
Actually the study I found the guidelines in makes interesting reading.
Many of the meals studied(1968-70) were lower in calories but higher in sugar at 25g(should have been 19g) and fat was also higher at 36g.
But there was no evidence that those taking school meals were more likely to be obese than those eating at home.. they were more worried about tooth decay.
http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC478912/pdf/brjprevsmed00019-0052.pdf

Gabriella Kadar said...

In Canada: father made school lunches: sandwich: buttered rye or french style bread never anything like WonderBread or whole wheat or whatever, ham or salami or liverwurst, slices of cubanelle pepper. Fruit: apple or orange. Milk. Occasional sprinkling of tobacco ash: he smoked while he was making the lunches. Yuk. Sometimes skin left on ham......choking hazard, disgusting.

Managed to nag and nag until he gave in and let me eat one hot school lunch on Wednesdays. Score! Tough overcooked Liver, boiled potatoes and canned creamed corn. Everyone else hated this but for me it was nirvana. Tasted way, way better than tobacco ash spiked sandwiches. Still love liver.

Had to nag forever to finally get tuna sandwiches which in those days were looked down upon as poor people food but which intrigued me because to me they smelled wonderful. Not so much salmon and never nagged for that.

Only got into egg salad sandwiches after volunteering at a daycare centre where the kids were given little egg salad sandwiches which I thought were delicious. Made them myself.

My parents are not into new or different. They eat to live and neither of them have ever had weight issues. My mother didn't know how to cook when my parents got married and my paternal grandmother did the cooking, noodle making, everything until I was 10 years old.

In England: hot school lunches: Oh joyful bliss. Cooked 'greens' (whatever they are, thick dark green leaves cut in pieces), green peas, sausages or lamb chops or meatloaf or fish, (I especially remember the lamb because my mother never made lamb and I absolutely loved it!), various potatoes: mashed or pieces, white cake with hot or cold custard, milk. I LOVED school lunches! English food was a huge change.

Back in Canada: usual sandwiches sans cigarette ash (my father quit smoking).

rodeo said...

How often did you eat lunch at school?
Every day

Did you bring lunch, buy lunch or have lunch provided by the school?
Provided by school

If lunch was provided by the school, was this for everyone or a need-based program?
Everyone. Born and raised in socialist Sweden :)

What was a typical lunch for you (younger and older if applicable)?
Probably close to the food pyramid recommendations. Milk was free as well. No dessert.

Looking at tables if need be, how many calories did you eat at lunch (again, specify for age ranges as needed)?
No idea. 500 kcal perhaps? It was buffé style and you could go back for more if you were extra hungry.

Other foods
Did you eat other meals or snacks at school?
Rarely

If so, were these brought from home, purchased (vending or cafeteria) or provided?
Purchased.

What did you drink at school?
Full fat milk or water.

OnePointFive said...

Have you seen this blog, pictures of school lunches in many countries.
http://whatsforschoollunch.blogspot.fr/
(I assume the fr on my link will change for those not in France, it's not a French blog!)

Sherry said...

Oh, how interesting and fun!

How often did you eat lunch at school? Every day.

Did you bring lunch, buy lunch or have lunch provided by the school? In Texas, in the 1960's, I don't remember anything being free. I rarely brought a sack lunch. My mom always gave me lunch money, or she made arrangements to buy me a meal ticket for the cafeteria. On rare occasions, she or I would forget, and I borrowed money from a friend.

If lunch was provided by the school, was this for everyone or a need-based program? Not applicable, really. It is possible that the federal free lunch program existed at that time, but if it did, I didn't know any students who were signed up for it.

What was a typical lunch for you (younger and older if applicable)? It's hard to remember exactly, but I was presented with a lot of spinach, corn, fish sticks, meatloaf, cornbread (not particularly well-prepared, by the way), stewed tomatoes, and simple desserts. I seem to remember that the school got government surplus food, so we saw a lot of peanut butter, sometimes made into rice krispie treats. The food was pretty decent in our cafeteria. I remember my best friend went home and commented to her mom that "Sherry is such a good eater. She eats everything on her plate at school." Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I was not a "picky" eater. I liked 98% of what you could offer me (except liver).

Looking at tables if need be, how many calories did you eat at lunch (again, specify for age ranges as needed)? I don't know the answer to this!

Did you eat other meals or snacks at school? Yes, in elementary school, we actually had a candy store that was staffed by responsible, honest fellow students. I remember buying a lot of "PayDay" candy bars. I also bought pints of regular or chocolate milk at the store. I would like to think that I had the money for this in my penny loafers (which I wore every day), but it is more likely that the pint of milk cost 5 cents.

If so, were these brought from home, purchased (vending or cafeteria) or provided? Purchased at the candy store, or later in junior high or high school, bought out of a vending machine. Never brought much from home.

What did you drink at school? Milk in elementary school, soda in middle and high school. Tab, Grapette grape soda, Fresca, Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb, and Coca Cola. Stuff that I wouldn't touch now. Most of it contained pure cane sugar (this was before high-fructose corn syrup). In high school, there was an artificial sweetener that was put in many foods and sodas, but by the time I graduated, the FDA decided it was unhealthy, and it was taken out of our food supply. I can't remember the name of the sweetener that was banned!





oboereedgal said...

How often did you eat lunch at school? Everyday

Did you bring lunch, buy lunch or have lunch provided by the school? I would either bring a sack lunch from home or buy a school lunch. I would say it was probably close to a 50-50 split between the two in elementary and in junior high and high school I would bring my lunch most of the time.

If lunch was provided by the school, was this for everyone or a need-based program? There was a need-based free or reduced lunch (and breakfast) program for students who qualified.

What was a typical lunch for you (younger and older if applicable)? In elementary, if I brought my lunch, a typical lunch would be a sandwich usually with lunch meat and cheese or leftover meats or occasionally PB&J. I usually also had fruit, chips, and a dessert. Sometimes I would get various leftovers or soup. The Lunchables of crackers, ham and cheese were used on occasion. I mostly had water with lunch, sometimes brought a can of soda or fruit juice pouch. School lunch was whatever they were serving. I'm in my 20's so my school lunches weren't much different than what they are serving today (at least in my area). Part way through elementary, they started putting out a salad bar filled with a few choices of veggies and fruits so we could pick out our own. In junior high and high school, I would mostly eat sack lunches. I had basically the same type of sack lunch as I did in elementary except on occasion I would try to bring "healthier" options and included cut up veggies. When I bought my lunch at school, I would usually opt for a sub sandwich and chips (possibly from Subway, if I remember correctly, in high school) instead of the school lunch. It was more expensive than regular school lunch so I couldn't eat that too much or my parents would complain. A few times I would get the school lunch but that was only if I didn't have money or forgot my own lunch.

Looking at tables if need be, how many calories did you eat at lunch (again, specify for age ranges as needed)? Not sure....

Did you eat other meals or snacks at school? No other meals. I believe we had a snack time in kindergarten that consisted of a milk - white or chocolate and something like animal crackers. In elementary, we would sometimes have treats that students would bring for their birthdays. I remember my 6th grade teacher allowed us to bring snacks to eat during individual work time and some teachers allowed snacks in junior high and high school but most didn't.

If so, were these brought from home, purchased (vending or cafeteria) or provided? Any snacks were brought from home. The vending machines and pop machines were always locked during the day. They were only on after school.

What did you drink at school? I would drink chocolate milk and a little fruit juice cup if I bought a school lunch. I would bring mainly water and sometimes a soda pop can with my lunch from home.

Sandy Daigler said...

How often did you eat lunch at school? Every day.

Did you bring lunch, buy lunch or have lunch provided by the school?
In grade school, I brought my lunch. Too cool to do that in high school, so I bought lunch then.

If lunch was provided by the school, was this for everyone or a need-based program? It was for everyone. I had to buy it.

What was a typical lunch for you (younger and older if applicable)?
In grade school, a typical lunch I brought to school would be a bologna or egg salad sandwich with a piece of fruit, usually an apple. In high school, it was whatever the cafeteria was serving, which were generally things like meatloaf & mashed potatoes or mac & cheese.

Looking at tables if need be, how many calories did you eat at lunch (again, specify for age ranges as needed)? Younger I'd estimate 400 to 500 calories. Older, who knows? There was a lot of gravy involved...

Other foods
Did you eat other meals or snacks at school? Not that I recall.

If so, were these brought from home, purchased (vending or cafeteria) or provided? Don't recall.

What did you drink at school? Mostly milk. Full fat kind.

Josh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susanne said...

I was laughing at Gabriella's description of her parents, because they sound like mine. For me, school lunch was probably the dining highlight of my day, because my mother and father were reluctant cooks with a very limited repertoire, based largely on boiled potatoes, boiled frozen vegetables, and meat, unlivened by any spices more exotic than salt or pepper. At some point my mother discovered garlic salt which was used for limited items. Never any dessert, occasionally a salad consisting of iceberg lettuce and a tomato from the garden. Compared that that school lunch was pretty darn fabulous.

How often did you eat lunch at school?
every day: grade school 1976-1981, JHS and HS 1982-1986; suburban Minnesota

Did you bring lunch, buy lunch or have lunch provided by the school?
bought the school provided lunch, with only a few exceptions of brown-bagging.

If lunch was provided by the school, was this for everyone or a need-based program?
Lunch was available for everyone, it was probably subsidized because the cost was pretty low, I think about $1.25 or so. Some students may have received a need-based free lunch but this was disguised by using paper lunch tickets at the checkout.

What was a typical lunch for you (younger and older if applicable)?
School lunch would have followed USDA guidelines for the time (1/3 of RDA for calories etc) and probably exceeded the minimum; Minnesota was/is a relatively high-tax, high-services state. Entree with meat and a starch, two veg or a veg and a fruit, and a half pint of milk.
Entrees could include things like lasagna, meat patty or baked breaded chicken breast with parslied potatoes (oh, heaven, they must have been full of butter, and yes, that is how they spelled it on the menu published in the newspaper each week). Corn dogs, cheese pizza, spaghetti and noodles, franks and beans, tacos, hamburgers and french fries (food service type baked on large trays), "teriyaki stir fry". Some wonderful soft rolls. Veg was broccoli or peas/carrots, corn niblets, green beans (canned) usually plain and buttered. Sometimes raw like carrot/celery sticks or a quartered cored apple. There was always a sweet: apple crisp, rice crispie bars, a cookie, cinnamon rolls, jello with fruit floating in it, and a wonderful thing made of chocolate, raisins, peanuts and rice krispies which I wish I had the recipe for today.
Milk came in three color boxes, chocolate and two whites which were probably whole and reduced fat or skim. I always got the blue which would have been the reduced fat. In high school there was also a salad bar option, which I chose on taco salad day -- you got corn tortilla chips, spiced taco meat, kidney beans, and shredded cheese with your iceberg lettuce.
Quite a lot was cooked in-house or at least heated up/baked since the schools had substantial kitchens. Nothing ever was handed out pre-packed in wrappers; lunch ladies portioned things out onto your sturdy plastic tray. Metal tableware. At the end of lunch you scraped your tray and put tableware and tray separately on a conveyor belt where it disappeared somewhere to be washed.

Susanne said...

Cont. because Google says too long for HTML or something.

Looking at tables if need be, how many calories did you eat at lunch (again, specify for age ranges as needed)?
I found these guidelines for 2000 or so which sound about right (maybe a little high? But then there was all the butter in there): minimum calories for K-6, 664, 7-12, 824. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12512&page=160
The concern then was still getting certain minimum nutrition requirements and calories into potentially underfed kids, not obesity. I only remember one or two "husky" boys, and one girl who in retrospect clearly had some sort of gland disorder/diabetes, not overweight in the standard way.

Other foods:
none, except for the occasional cheerleader fundraiser cookie -- there were no other options and we were not allowed to leave school grounds during the day. There were not any soda or other vending machines that i remember.

Did you eat other meals or snacks at school?
no, except for a few times in JHS when my bus arrived early and there was school-provided breakfast still in session -- they had lovely cinnamon rolls or cream of wheat that I am still trying to recreate (probably haven't added enough butter).

If so, were these brought from home, purchased (vending or cafeteria) or provided?
see above.

What did you drink at school?
Milk as provided by the school. Food or drink was not consumed outside the cafeteria and there was not yet the rage for carrying bottled water everywhere. There were also drinking fountains, and I suppose people could keep soda or other food things in their lockers. I didn't because we didn't have snacky things at home and for some reason it never occurred to me to do it.

MM said...

How often did you eat lunch at school?
Everyday

Did you bring lunch, buy lunch or have lunch provided by the school?
Elementary school: Hot lunch provided by school
Junior High/Highschool: Hot lunch was "like totally uncool" so I would buy something at the snack bar. I was never cool, but doing this was one way I avoided being ridiculed on a daily basis by the cool kids. I think these snack bar things in schools are a very bad idea.

If lunch was provided by the school, was this for everyone or a need-based program?
It was for everyone, but low-income kids could get a discount. I can't remember the details.

What was a typical lunch for you (younger and older if applicable)?
I remember a lot of spaghetti with meat sauce (elementary school), which I hated but ate anyway because I was ravenous. Some kind of vegetable side, and I also remember dessert being a peanut butter cookie more often than not, which I also hated but ate anyway.
The snack bar food was crap: mini-pizzas, doughnuts, milkshakes, fries and microwave burritos. I think my saving grace here was I never had enough money to buy much of it. I would go home after school and have a large glass of milk (or 2) and whole wheat toast. That probably sounds like a strange snack, but I loved it. On a maybe not entirely unrelated note, I never had any cavities as a kid. I never needed braces, and my wisdom teeth came in with no problems.

Looking at tables if need be, how many calories did you eat at lunch (again, specify for age ranges as needed)?
Geez, that's a hard one. I'm going to guess 500 calories. We were only allowed one trip through the lunch line in elementary school.

Did you eat other meals or snacks at school?
No.

What did you drink at school?
We always had 2% milk and were highly encouraged by the lunch staff to finish it. That was no problem for me. Once in a great while we would get chocolate milk, which was always a treat, but I don't think it was ever more than once a month.

Susanne said...

My brother informs me that thanks to the magic of the internet and Facebook, entrees like PIZZABURGERS!!! and FLYING SAUCERS!!! can now be made and devoured in the privacy of one's own home. Apparently our local school lunch menus had quite a fan club, which makes me feel like I am not a total dork.

Alas, the secret of the parslied potatoes has not yet surfaced, although others besides me are searching for it.

Post a Comment

Moderation is currently on. Thanks in advance for your patience.