I find the school lunch program to be overpriced for what it is. Often school lunches give you child too much freedom over their diet. A child of preteen, or teen years should not be plagued with choices they are not mature enough to make or understand. The simple fact is that most school lunch plans allow children to eat off the standard menu. Even though this menu has a seemingly balanced meal plan, the portions are out whack. My children almost always cam home hungry. But that is not the big problem. The big problem are the choice you child has if they don’t pick a menu option. Many, schools offer an a la carte line of foods. This often includes choices like pizza, donuts, milkshakes, burgers, chips and ice cream. While some of these items are OK for your body once in a while they should not be entrees. Further, children who really do not know any better shouldn’t be put in a position to make a choice that forms their eating habits without supervision.
Aside from the benefit of controlling what your child eats at school (which is important). There is one more – money. If you pack their lunch you can cut the cost in half (on average). Here is an example of cost cutting
My children’s lunches would cost 6.45 a day, or about 130.00 a month. For 2.15 each child would get meal similar to this: Hamburger, fires 2 oz, and 2 oz of vegetables and 8 oz of milk (regular/Chocolate/Strawberry). For all three Children you can make a pasta salad that weighs in at 10 oz for 3.00. Here is the math
- 12 oz chicken breast $1.50
- pasta about 12 oz $.50
- Peas (leftovers) It is hard to say the cost. We buy them frozen in 6lb bags for about a dollar a pound
- Dressing (provided by the school)
The peas, carrots, and onions are a small expense in equation because of the amount used. Do I spend fifty cents on the vegetables? Yes and no. It really depends on what they are. Even if you go overboard and budget $2.00 on vegetables and fruit you are way ahead of the game. Combined I easily give them 4 oz of vegetables every day. It is usually closer to 6 oz though.
Here is what we packed today.
Naan Bread Calizones peas, pineapple, and 8 oz of milk. The calizones were made with pastrami and mozzarella about 3oz of each item in the calizone. It took me about 30 minutes to prepare doesn’t the rise time for the dough). It cost us about 3 to 4 dollars, because the pastrami is about 7.00 a pound. Even with that expense we saved about two dollars for the day.
I will continue to post these tips as I discover them. I will also start sharing menu ideas. Just remember every penny a gamer saves is a penny that can be applied to your next game badge. I would like to here ideas you have as well.