Pancake on a stick anyone?

This morning I was joined by dozens of hungry children during breakfast. We were at Edison Elementary bright an early, before classes started for the day.

pancake on a stick

Hundreds of children eat school lunches every day, and many of them also eat breakfast. So I’ve started to do some reporting on what our city’s kids are eating in school, by eating with them for a few days.

Last week I ate at Blue Ridge Elementary, but the breakfast sandwich I chose, although good, didn’t look like a popular choice among the children, given the quick glance I gave around the cafeteria. Most had grabbed the favored “pancake on a stick.”

Today at Edison I was really excited to give the pancake on a stick a try. It’s basically a breakfast corn dog. That’s a breakfast sausage, I believe made with turkey meat, dipped in pancake batter and baked. It was good with syrup, and the chocolate milk I chose. I also got some applesauce (not too sweet!), some canned peaches, and a slice of really tasty watermelon.

I have to admit I’m more of a coffee and toast person, or even oatmeal, but it hit the spot. It was also a bit more fruit than I’m used to in the morning.

I’ll be eating at area schools a few more times, getting to talk to some of the older students and also getting a peak at what goes on in the kitchens each day. I’m also hoping to hear from some parents who feel strongly one way or the other on what our schools are dishing up for lunch and breakfast. Maybe you’d like to join me for lunch one day?

This week I’ll be back at Edison for lunch. Lunch time is when the real variety is dished up and children get to make lots of different choices.

I welcome reader input as I get going on this story, and if there’s something you think I should ask or look into please let me know.

And if you’d like to be interviewed for the story, send me an e-mail at mariagonzalez@wwub.com

2 thoughts on “Pancake on a stick anyone?

  1. I really do think that looking into the school’s food should be less about what is tastes like and more about the nutritional quality of the meals the children are receiving. Of course it’s going to taste good, they want the kids to eat it. But look a little closer and you’ll find piles of preservatives, processed ingredients, high-fructose corn syrup, and an imbalanced meal for our children. What do they consider a vegetable? French fries? Yup. Not for us. We pack a lunch every day.

  2. We are actually in the MF Unified School District. (for clarification)… My daughter chose pizza every single day. I asked the school to limit her pizza to once per week. I was told they are not allowed to limit a child’s freedom of choice. I had to get a physician’s note to grant the school permission to limit my child’s pizza consumption; because, it was causing her body physical damage. She was so constipated it was causing her stomache/intestinal problems. I do try to make sure the choices at home are healthy. For us it’s a lot of high fiber whole grains (Dave’s Killer Bread), fruit, veggies and dairy. I try to avoid hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrups. Soda pop and pizza are rare at my house. The kids have their favorite snacks that we will splurge on occasionally (hot cheetoes & salt and vinegar chips). I wont eat either of them – ick! But, the whole pizza every day for lunch really bothers me. Unfortunately short of sitting down with my daughter at the school for lunch each day, I have been unable to resolve the issue without a physician’s note. My daughter refuses to eat a sack lunch and I’ve given up the fight. She eats salad at home, but says the veggies at school are covered in slime. When I was a kid we all got the same lunch meal and it was a rounded meal. (i.e. meat, potatoes, veggies, fruit, a roll and milk or juice. I usually always loved my lunches and if I didn’t occasionally – no big deal. I didn’t get a choice at the dinner table at home and I don’t understand why the kids need a choice at the lunch table at school. We were also forced to eat at least 1/2 of our lunch tray and there was a monitor checking it as we cleared our trays and headed to recess. I think we need to get back to that style of lunch program. Breakfast also shouldn’t be a choice. Kids need variety, not a choice. There’s nothing wrong with a pancake on a stick, but there is something wrong with having it EVERY SINGLE DAY! Oatmeal, whole grain/high fiber toast, hard boiled eggs and cheerios with milk are great choices that should be mandatory occasionally as well. The healthy foods should be rotated daily to give children a variety. If they don’t like it – to bad! Eat at least 4 bites and I’ll let you leave the caffeteria! That’s how I was raised! Then we can get back to the physician notes I use to have as a child (so and so is allergic to this food and can’t eat it) Healthy foods on a rotational basis please! The choices on your plate should be different every day and consist of a rounded meal based on the food pyrimid.

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