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Tales From the Dad Side – Nutritious Minds Think Alike

Coming soon to a school near you? (Getty Images, Larry Busacca)

Gather ’round everyone and let me tell you yet another tale from the mind of a father.

On Monday night, I attended my final “Kindergarten Orientation” at my kids’ school as my daughter is now officially a student. After going through the standard rigamaroo, we picked up copies of the standard paperwork, student guidelines, discipline procedures, etc. One of them jumped out at me more than the others, the upcoming menu choices for this year’s lunch periods. Being a self-described “foodie”, I was naturally drawn to the selections my kids will have when going through cafeteria line this year. Color me jealous.

In the interest of keeping some parts of my life private, I won’t tell you which school or which school corporation my kids attend, but I will tell you the upcoming lunch options read less like an elementary school and more like an Olive Garden.

Vegetable choices include, “Harvest Splendor sweet potato bites, fresh beet sticks, fresh jicama sticks, stir-fry bok choy, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, homemade Mexican pinto bean dip, roasted red pepper hummus w/ veggie sticks, white beans w/ bacon, romaine lettuce salads, parmesan broccoli”.

Apparently, this is jicama. (flickr, clayirving)

Sweet potato bites? Roasted red pepper hummus? Jicama sticks?!?! I don’t even know what those are! Where are the freshly opened cans of corn and green beans, the mashed potatoes made fresh daily out of a box and served with an ice cream scoop, none of which were seasoned with an ounce of salt and pepper?

That’s just the beginning. Entree choices this year include, chicken bruschetta pasta, pita bread pizza, homemade chicken and cheese quesadillas, citrus herb baked tilapia, and gyros. No mention of cardboard-flavored pizza, hamburgers whose buns stick to the patty because they’ve been sweating inside aluminum foil for two hours. This menu makes me want to go back to school!

At the risk of sounding like my parents, these kids don’t realize how good they have it. I’ll spare you the “in my day” speech. In all seriousness though, I give the school corporation credit for making an attempt to expand the pallets of the students. With most kids, if it’s not spaghetti, pizza, or a hot dog, they’re not going to eat it. I wonder if the offer take out?


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