School lunch intentions and reality
I have been doing a survey of Indian moms of middle schoolers or those with kids at the high end of elementary school. Its an informal survey, or course, and I just managed to talk to a few moms. My goal was to find out what they usually give for lunch to their kids and snack. Most moms I know start out with great intentions of serving ethnic/Indian/chinese food for lunch. Does it last?
Here is what I found:
In elementary schools, many moms continue with Indian/ethnic food and adaptations. Lentil soup in a thermos with pita chips, upma, wraps with paneer, chicken etc, noodles (OK, thats not really Indian), sandwiches. But many also let kids get their own from the cafetaria.
By middle school, most kids like to go to the cafetaria because its cool. Also, they dont want their lunch boxes to have all kinds of ‘strange foods’ in fear of being teased. This is big in middle school. So most moms abandon the ‘Indian’ food by then and serve it up for dinner and weekends. Or post school snacks.
If you do want to serve Indian food, hide and package it well is the advise. Say chicken tikka in a wrap or something like that.
In high school however, some kids on accelerated programs ‘skip’ lunch, which means they eat lunch in their classes itself and can eat any dry food.
Snack is usually a fruit and some kind of bar – granola or something like that. Driving decision factor – whatever they will eat. Also many moms have gone back to work by then, so the elaborate home made snacks go down a little bit, though they still pack something healthy.
I thought you might find the results interesting but then again, its nothing so new to me. Most of my middle school life in India , I think I took noodles or fried rice or the main staple sanwiches to school. I was a kid who didnt want to get her fingers messy. of course, ma would give a fruit and a sweet – a must for any bong lunch box.
What does last is the healthy food intentions of moms. Though when kids but their own, its more of their choice.
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