This school year has me scheduled for one site, so I get a chance to be really immersed in the school’s daily life and culture. On of my huge pet peeves is school lunch, and what can be done to make it more nutritious, flavorful. and well–fun.
The fare offered for today was a valiant attempt at expanding the students’ culinary education, but unfortunately it fell flat. My school is in an urban setting, where unfamiliar food, although it might be healthy, gets a rousing thumbs down.
The above image is a typical dish of fish tacos. But the kids at school did not have a serving that looked straight out of a glossy, foodie magazine. However, because they had no knowledge of fish that was not fried, or on a white-bread bun, they rejected it.
I questioned several of the primary graders, and most of them told me they didn’t like it because “it looks gross,” among other comments. Overwhelmingly, the fish got dumped in the trash [along with the canned mixed vegetables], and some ate the tortilla only. To top it off, the dessert of applesauce was eaten first, by a 2 to 1 margin, as well as that ever-present chocolate mile.
I see a real disconnect here somewhere………