My family does not participate in the school lunch program. This does not mean that the foods served at our school don’t matter much to me – they do. My children are members of a school community, the students in their school are their playmates and friends; at times their confidants and supporters. We care very much.

I believe the new federal guidelines have improved the quality and variety of foods served in our elementary school. My kids told me about the fruit and vegetable bar, and I was eager to see it for myself. On the day I visited, the fruit was canned and not optional, vegetables were available from the “bar”. While the container of chick peas appeared untouched, I was pleased to see the tossed lettuce salad was popular. Not surprising to me, the container of broccoli “trees” was nearly empty. Yay!

Yes, at James Monroe Elementary the new food is appreciated by parents and kids. I was interested to know how other communities feel about the changes and found that not everyone is as pleased as I am. Complaints include the meals are too small, and some entrees are not well liked. I think the upside is that kids have options; they can load-up on fruits and/or veggies from the self-serve bar.

So it seems I’m a defender. I hope everyone can keep in mind that the program is new. It is entirely possible that feedback – both positive and negative will be reflected in the 2013/2014 program.

Have you noticed changes in your school’s lunch program? Would you like to share your observations? Please leave a sentence or two in the comment space. I’m very interested in the opinions of other parents…and kids.

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