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Dec 18, 2011 12:59 PM

Healthful School Lunches: How Do We Get Kids to Eat Them?

An article in the LA Times today describes the recent unsuccessful transition in the area schools to healthful foods. The recent changes to the menu included vegetable curry, quinoa salads, and black bean burgers. Not surprisingly, the kids found these foods, which were completely new to many of them, revolting and tasteless. The healthful food being thrown out in droves and junk food being sneaked back in, district officials are making some necessary changes to the new menus. Some kid-popular foods are making their way back onto school menus, such as hamburgers and pizza (modified to make them less unhealthy) although flavored milk and sodas will probably stay off.

This makes me think of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, where he had some students in charge of cooking the healthful foods and talking to their fellow students about what was being served.

What I found funny was the mention of staff supposedly selling junk food on the "black market" to starving kids.

How do you in the CH community think we can get buy in from students at school to eat whole grains, fresh vegetables, lean meats, and the like? This is assuming the parents/families with whom these kids reside are not likely to take part.


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  1. How do you in the CH community think we can get buy in from students at school to eat whole grains, fresh vegetables, lean meats, and the like?

    We shouldn't.

    Childhood obesity has less to do with diet than it does with lack of exercise.

    Jamie Oliver failed in his endeavors to reform school lunches, and the LAUSD failed experiment is just another further confirmation of what Oliver learned.

    What was it that Einstein said about insanity? Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results?

    36 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Obesity is not the only concern. The problem with school food isn't just that it's too calorie-dense, it's also too nutrient-poor. There are kids popping up in inner city clinics with old-time deficiency diseases, despite the fact that many of them are obese. Not too mention all the attention and behavior problems in school and later-life diseases that are associated with inadequate nutrition. Exercise is an important piece of the puzzle, but food is too.

      I don't know what the solutions are, but it does seem that giving kids black bean burgers and quinoa salads when they've never seen such things before is throwing them into the the deep end. Perhaps more attention should be paid to what demographics various schools are serving and focusing on healthier versions of foods that are going to be culturally familiar to the kids there, or healthier dishes within those cuisines. I don't know that much about L.A. but I have a feeling that quinoa salads are not in the repetoire of a lot of inner city families.

      Also fruit. Lots of fruit. It's usually an easier sell with kids than a lot of vegetables and you have to start somewhere.

      1. re: Lady_Tenar

        "Obesity is not the only concern. The problem with school food isn't just that it's too calorie-dense, it's also too nutrient-poor. :

        Absolutely; starches are calorie dense and nutrient impoverished for the calorie buck compared to colorful, leafy veggies.

        I disagree about "lots" of fruit. It should be very moderated, it's sugar, and fructose promotes insulin resistance and obesity. Some fruits are more healthful than others, like berries.

        1. re: mcf

          Yeah, but it's much better sugar than pop and candy. Again, you have to start somewhere.

          1. re: Lady_Tenar

            sure it's better than pop and candy, and some fruits have significant nutrient value. I just don't think "lots" of anything that gets almost all its calories from sugar is wise.

        2. re: Lady_Tenar

          How are you going to change these habits if on the weekends mom or pop still pull up to the McDonalds drive through. Or mom is too self absorbed to actually stop texting and cook something that didn't come in a box. Get real folks, we are the problem.

          1. re: ericthered

            Or mom is abusive, homeless, has substance abuse issues....

            1. re: DiningDiva

              Hey, you guys, enough with the mom bashing! Maybe she's driving 2-4 kids to that many activities, doc and dental appts., working, going to teacher conferences, volunteering. Just sayinzall. Carry on. :-)

              1. re: mcf

                Thank you, mcf! Or maybe she's busting her ass working two low-paying jobs to support her kids all by herself and doesn't have time for family meals! All this judgment, so easily dished out, just screams of privilege, with a heaping side of sexist double standards. Guess what? In a two-parent family, a dad can cook too. Maybe HE should "stop texting and cook something that didn't come in a box." Sheesh!

                  1. re: Lady_Tenar

                    Judgemental? I think you are the one reading judgement into comments. Fora such as this one are a flat medium with no body language or nuance to guide the reader.

                    There are a gazillion reasons why kids eat the way they eat and why parents feed them the way they do. It's also true that every child in school does not live in a nuclear family with 2 parents. Teachers and school administrators see and deal with everything from well-to-do parents with plenty of resources to kids living in dire poverty and barely scraping by. They deal with the kids that over achieve because they're motivated to those with serious behavioral problems.

                    There are as many dysfunctional families with kids enrolled in public schools these days as there are from functional families. There is no judgement, just the fact that students these days are coming from all sorts of families and all sorts of backgrounds.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      That's exactly what I'm trying to point out--that there are all different circumstances and a lot of families are doing their best but simply don't have the time or resources to give their kids what they need health-wise. I was just trying to combat the idea that all parents who don't feed their kids well are lazy and selfish.

                      And, yeah, I couldn't help but bristle at a reference to "Mom and Pop" taking the kids to McDonald's but then some how the onus is completely on Mom to not be "too self-absorbed" to cook for her family. Where's Pop in all this? This is not the 50s, folks.

          2. re: ipsedixit

            Sorry, but that's just not true. With or without exercise, diet changes make huge changes in metabolism, body composition, blood glucose control and obesity. Studies find that if you eat a carby breakfast, you eat more at later meals, for instance, than if you eat a satiating protein meal. Studies in pediatric obesity find that kids who eat low carb lose twice the weight on 50% more calories than kids on a low fat/high carb diet. Funny how the implementation of the starch based food pyramid transformed "adult onset diabetes" to a pediatric disease within mere years.

            Feeding kids quinoa and beans for lunch isn't healthy, though it's better than pizza and juice. Giving them protieins with non starchy veggies and salads would be more expensive (a huge roadblock here) but healthier.

            1. re: mcf

              Agreed. Kids need protein to grow and develop. Diet and exercise of some sort work together. There is no one simple answer.

              1. re: sueatmo

                Exercise is definitely always desirable and helpful. It's just not the answer to the problem here as posited. But as Gary Taubes points out, exercise works up appetite and raises cortisol, which encourages fat storage, which is why a lot of bonehead bodybuilders inject insulin to prevent it. Exercise produces better health, but not necessarily weight loss when used to compensate for a bad diet.

                1. re: mcf

                  I agree. But building muscle mass is supposed to, long term, lead to more efficient burning of calories. I don't know if this if diet folklore, or a real observable effect though.

                  I suspect that some of the ADD and ADHD problems of kids is because they don't get enough exercise. But I am not claiming expertise in this field. I also know a family member has attention probs that are not due to no exercise.

                  So many physical effects, and so many possible interrelated causes. But poor nutrition is preventable in schools. I think the problems implementing nutritious meals are probably systemic, and probably not undoable except by extreme effort from the top down.

                  1. re: sueatmo

                    It's true that muscle at rest keeps metabolizing more than fat does, but Gary Taubes, IIRC, is the one who calculated that this amounts to a very small difference in calories burned per day. But exercise is great for bone mass if it's weight training, balance, stamina, all sorts of good things that are as important to the elderly as to the young.

              2. re: mcf

                Obesity -- and to some extent "health" (whatever that term may mean) -- for teenagers and grade school children is more about how much they are eating, as opposed to what they are eating.

                Moderate the portions they are eating and couple that with sufficient activity, and our obesity problems, including related health issues associated with obesity, will diminish significantly.

                I don't care if you are feeding quinoa burgers and fresh vegetables every meal to these kids, it won't make a difference if they are ingesting more calories than they are expending.

                Look at high school athletes -- outside of many football linemen -- how many are obese? And trust me, when I was in high school none of my teammates nor I ever gave a second thought about what we were eating, unless we were trying to make weight for wrestling. And all of us were trying to eat as much as possible to put on weight.

                Kids eat too much. Kids don't move enough.

                That's the problem right there.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I agree that controlling portion size is an important part of eating a healthy diet but I don't think that portion control belongs in schools. As another poster pointed out, lots of kids don't have enough to eat at home and really rely on school lunches to get enough to eat. I'd rather they be able to eat as much as they want. Even if it means that some kids will overeat, it's still better to overeat healthy food than it is to overeat unhealthy food. Plus, exposure to healthy foods can help instill tastes for them at a young age which is helpful later. I don't think we should be telling kids how much they should eat at school.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    What they are eating, studies show, determines how much they are eating; more carbs = bigger hunger afterward along with more fat storage.. And here's an interesting new finding... now just imagine if it were expanded to 5-7 days:

                    "Low Carbs for Just Two Days a Week Spurs Weight Loss
                    Adhering to a strict, low-carbohydrate diet two days per week led to greater reductions in weight and insulin levels when compared with standard daily dieting....

                    Can you diet for just two days a week? You might be able to drop more weight if you cut back on carbs just two days a week.

                    British researchers found that women who essentially gave up carbs for two days and ate normally the rest of the time dropped about 9 pounds on average, as compared to the 5 pounds lost by women who cut back to around 1,500 calories every day, according to a new report presented at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium."

                    1. re: mcf

                      Growing brains need carbohydrates. Fad, low carb diets have no place in schools.

                      1. re: wyogal

                        No one needs dietary carbs, only fat and protein are essential in human biochemistry. All brains need a small amount of glucose daily, which they get from protein without all the damage done by fast metabolizing carbs. The fad is the grain based pyramid, completely out of synch with human evolutionary history. I just want to end this with the observation that everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but no one is entitled to her own facts.

                        1. re: mcf

                          Not all carbs are created equal. Whole grains have a lot of protein and fiber in them that slows their metabolism. I definitely agree that lots of refined carbs are bad news but nothing wrong with some brown rice.

                          1. re: Lady_Tenar

                            No, grains do not have a lot of protein. They have extremely small amounts and no matter how high the fiber is, any diabetic using a blood glucose meter can tell you that they are rapidly and completely digested and produce a predictable and high blood glucose spike. Even plain wheat or oat bran or steel cut oatmeal produce spikes. There's almost no difference in the result between whole grain (by the way, a grain is not a whole grain once it's been cracked or ground) or processed gr ain. I've been testing every single food I've eaten both alone and as part of high protein mixed meals for over a decade... there is no grain that does not produce a big spike when added to even a substantial amount of quality (meaning animal) protein.

                            Since we're speaking about obesity, check out how many calories of quinoa you have to eat to get as much protein as a lean 4 oz of beef or chicken. That's not even addressing how much excess glucose and fat storage the grain induces compared to the meat. That's why they feed it to feedlot animals, to fatten them fast. It works, just look at the kids and others around you.

                            1. re: mcf

                              So what do you suggest, that we feed kids (and everybody else) on an animal protein-based diet? That got it's own health problems and is completely environmentally unsustainable. I've had issues with hypoglycemia my whole life so I know a thing or two about keeping my blood sugar steady. There is a right way to eat a diet that includes a lot of carbs (and I'm not overweight). Vegetables are wonderful and we should eat lots of them but it's nearly impossible to get enough calories from them. They need to be bulked out with something, either protein or carbs, and, except for legumes, high-quality whole-foold carbs are a better choice for our bodies and the planet.

                              1. re: Lady_Tenar

                                There are no health problems associated with animal proteins, not once you read the studies instead of misleading headlines and corporate driven health authorities. I used to be severely hypoglycemic until I ate low carb. Instead of feeling shakes, clamminess and disoriented an hour after eating, I quickly was able to go 5-6 hours between meals and to reverse my kidney, nerve and neuropathic diabetic damage. Reactive hypoglycemia is caused by post meal hyperinsulinemia. If you've had issues with hypoglycemia your whole life, then by definition, you haven't learned anything about how to keep your blood sugar steady! I'm sorry, I used to believe what you believe, and accidentally found out the opposite was true by researching the hypoglycemia and the PCOS I developed on such a diet, and diabetes. The hg and PCOS disappeared overnight on low carb, and I use no meds after many years diabetic, just diet to keep my bg level all day and night, in normal, non diabetic numbers. No one gets less healthy by giving up calorie laden, nutrient impoverished starches for lots of colorful, fiber laden veggies, healthy proteins and fats. For example, our dinner tonight was a huge spinach salad with olive oil, walnuts, onion, celery apple and pork tenderloin. A ginormous serving of veggies, with non feedlot meat and healthy fats. And delicious! My post meal glucose is rarely budged ten points by such meals and I don't get a glucose low later because there's no insulin gusher causing a hypo.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  I would think that, since I'm on this site, you might not assume that I am NOT taken in by every pop-science headline that anyone puts in front of my face. I've done my own research, thanks. My hypoglycemia has been controlled for years now, mostly from eating a lot of vegetables, whole grains, and vegetarian proteins with a little meat thrown in. Isn't it just maybe possible that what works for you is not necessarily what works for everyone else?

                                  Your eating habits could never work on a large scale. Your salad sounds delicious but it's also expensive. We shouldn't be feeding kids cheap staples but it's simply not feasible to be feeding kids gourmet salads all the time either. And while you can individually choose not to eat feed lot meat, feed lots are the only thing that allow us as a society to stuff our faces with animal protein at the rate we do. Pastoral, sustainable, healthier agriculture could never support the meat habit that we have in this country. If we were to return to it, we would all have to eat less meat--unless we were pretty well-heeled. Personally, I can't afford to eat ethically produced pork tenderloin all the time. Neither can most people. And school systems, definitely not, even if they were funded the way they should be.

                                  Everybody eating meat all the time is not environmentally sustainable. It's irresponsible to give kids that habit--for them and for the planet. And we have to think about that too.

                                  1. re: Lady_Tenar

                                    Clearly, we are working from very different information. Everyone's entitled to an opinion, but no one is entitled to their own facts.

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      Very true--and I really don't know where who're getting your information. I don't know of any serious person that denies that America's meat habit is unhealthy and unsustainable.

                                      1. re: Lady_Tenar

                                        I get my information from biomedical research mostly and not from advocacy groups. While I agree that feedlot beef practices are unsustainable, that there are numerous much more sustainable and humane ways of producing quality animal proteins and vegetables. My job one is to survive and be healthy enough not to be a burden to my community in any way so I can contribute for as long as I live.

                                        1. re: Lady_Tenar

                                          But it's cheap.

                                          If we want to feed children healthy meals from quality ingredients, it's going to cost money to do so, compared to the abysmal but cheap ingredients and preparation methods that are used now.

                                          If we want to feed kids healthy meals made from sustainable, organic, locally produced, fresh foods, it's going to take even more money and a complete rearrangement of the food purchase, production, distribution and preparation system over the entire country.

                                          At some level you get what you pay for. If you want to do things as cheaply as possible you either need a great deal of skill and a willingness to adapt you eating habits to what is cheap and available (the frugal home cook, for example), or you get what the current school food system tends to be - low quality for a low price.

                            1. re: wyogal

                              Sorry, not a fad diet. If you went to your doctor before the food pyramid came out and told him you wanted to lose weight, his first words would be "cut out starches and sugar." This low fat, whole grain stuff is the fad and it's obviously not working. Growing brains need fat and protein. Take two kids, give one bacon and eggs for breakfast and give the other one cereal and toast (and make sure both are "healthy whole grain") and see which one is going to have ants in their pants and be starving by lunchtime.

                          2. re: ipsedixit

                            I almost never think answers to systemic problems are simple. I am sure kids (in general) eat too much; I am sure that kids (in general) sit too much; but I am also sure that from the cradle to adulthood, they are eating the wrong things, unless their mothers are cooking nutritious meals, and insisting they eat them at home all through HS. When you were an athlete in HS, you probably didn't have a history of eating frozen pizza, hot dogs, and pizza rolls from the time you stopped taking the bottle. Modern kids do. And you probably hadn't been drinking soda from the age of three, either. And you probably didn't watch your dad do this when you were growing up. This is a systemic problem, or if you prefer, a societal problem. And then, there is the 24 hour availability of processed snack foods, most of which are over salted and over sweetened. If the problem is complex, the answer will probably be complex. But I don't think there is an overarching answer.

                            And I also want to mention the fact that most kids aren't athletes.

                            1. re: sueatmo

                              When you were an athlete in HS, you probably didn't have a history of eating frozen pizza, hot dogs, and pizza rolls from the time you stopped taking the bottle.

                              In fact, I did. And then chased it all down with a quick run to our nearest Taco Bell or Winchells (if there were Krispy Kremes near us back then I might have gone broke).

                              And I still had problems keeping on weight, most of us did.

                        2. re: ipsedixit

                          Jamie Oliver failed in the US. He was successful in the UK, where (a) he is recognized and admired and (b) it is much easier to have a grassroots led movement to effect such changes as came about in the school lunch programme.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            I agree here. The problem is wrestling the iphone, ipad, video game controller out of their greasy, pudgy little fingers and kicking their overstuffed asses outside to get some exercise. This is the place to start.

                          2. I think healthy eating needs to be made a part of the curriculum. Not sure exactly how, especially on a larger scale, but just throwing these healthy items at students is not going to make the skeptical ones eat them. From what I remember high school offers plenty of electives - a mandatory elective each year could have something to do with learning about food and cooking. I was actually the type of high school student who ate a few bags of chips for lunch(when I didn't buy pizza or fries which were served every day), but since then I did a 180 and mostly do my own cooking and eat a lot of veggies and other healthy stuff. In other countries like France or Japan, lunch time is also much more of an occasion than it is here. So I think our whole food culture/attitude towards food needs to change in order to get the kids to eat better. Concentrate on the math/science/english, but also devote a decent part of the curriculum to cuisine. I think kids would be interested - I remember trying to get into the home ec cooking classes but they were always full. Expand the program and have every kid learn the basics at least.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Fromageball

                              Agreed. Home ec in America has become a joke class and it shouldn't be that way, considering how much important knowledge could be potentially transmitted there. When I had home ec in public school, we sewed stuffed animals (yeah, so practical and useful) and made "pizza sticks"--canned dough, canned sauce, pre-shredded cheese and pre-sliced pepperoni. Hardly "economical" and certainly not healthy. What a wasted opportunity that was. A class like that should teach actual basic cooking skills--cooking a pot of beans, making a basic tomato sauce, peeling and prepping different kinds of vegetables, etc. And once in a while, sure, have the kids bake cookies on a Friday to keep them into it and to show them that being healthy doesn't mean being totally ascetic all the time.

                            2. "Andre Jahchan, a 16-year-old sophomore at Esteban Torres High School, said the food was "super good" at the summer tasting at L.A. Unified's central kitchen. But on campus, he said, the chicken pozole was watery, the vegetable tamale was burned and hard, and noodles were soggy."

                              "Among other complaints, Vanderbok said salads dated Oct. 7 were served Oct. 17."

                              "In class recently, students complained about mold on noodles, undercooked meat and hard rice."

                              These statements stand out to me showing that the kitchen staff is incorrectly preparing, storing and presenting the food for the students.

                              The article is not saying the students have not tried the food; they have and it isn't fresh. I won't eat watery, soggy, burned, moldy, dried up, undercooked, ten days past the expiration date food either.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: Cathy

                                Yeah, that's another issue. Make the food actually GOOD. That's extra important when you don't have the crutch of covering everything with processed cheese to lean on. If we're going to get serious about serving healthy food at school, we also need to get serious about cooking it well--hiring people who really know what they're doing, training staff well, and paying them better too.

                                1. re: Lady_Tenar

                                  I think that's an important but often neglected step.

                                  If you've got poor quality food, poorly trained staff, and little money, the easiest way of making it palatable is to do what schools are doing now - coat it in batter and deep fry it.

                                  The other way to turn poor quality food into palatable food is to have someone who is a really good cook in charge of making it, which is practical on a family level, but not on a school system level.

                                  I like good healthy food - I'll eat quinoa, I love salads and vegetables of all sorts, I eat whole grains and happily chow down on the weirder parts of the animal, and I generally prefer the home-made version to the store bought. However, if you dumped me back in my university cafeteria and told me to buy lunch, I'd make a beeline for the fries and gravy, as the only item that was affordable, identifiable, and edible.

                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                      A lot of newer schools don't have kitchens, hence the importation of pre-packaged foods.

                                      1. re: MandalayVA

                                        Buiding a functional kitchen is expensive, hence school districts have cut corners in building new schools. Additionally, new schools are often not designed in collaboration with the end user(s) and many school administrators do not feel it is their - or the district's - responsibility to feed children, hence the care of and feeding of children in a school setting is a very low priority.

                                        What gets built also depends upon how the existing food service program is formatted and how it delivers services to the campuses. Is it a central kitchen operation? Do middle and high schools do the prep that is then delivered to elementary schools? Do the large elementaries do their own cooking? If a district builds a school with a full kitchen it then means they have to staff it, which they may not be able to afford to do.

                                        Not having a kitchen is certainly undesirable tho' not necessarily a travesty.

                                  1. re: Lady_Tenar

                                    How do you propose to pay for the staff you're suggesting schools hire?

                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                      There's really not money enough in the wealthiest country in the world to properly pay service workers who are responsible for feeding children? Give me a break. It would take a re-organization of priorities but the money is there. It'll just never happen, not any time soon anyway. I never said this wasn't a pipe dream. :-P

                                      1. re: Lady_Tenar

                                        I don't think DD was necessarily referring to the pay scale of existing workers so much as the need for additional workers needed to do the labor involved in using fresher whole foods and prepping/cooking.

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          I think both need to happen--more staff and better-paid staff. More staff to do the work, better pay to fairly compensate them for what they are doing and to give some actual prestige to the job, so it's not just attracting the dregs of the workforce.

                                        2. re: Lady_Tenar

                                          The money *isn't* there. Where is it?

                                          The French do a fabulous job of feeding their children in public school and doing it well. They also spend substantially more than $2.50 (or thereabouts, I think the NSLP reimbursement is actually a little higher). A lot of it stems from the fact that the French understand the "pleasure of the table" and have a far different relationship with food than Americans do, and they place a higer value on good food than we do.

                                          1. re: DiningDiva

                                            Um, I said it IS there. It's just being spent on kids...

                                            1. re: Lady_Tenar

                                              Show me the money. WHERE is it? Where are school districts going to findadditional funding to pay higher wages to their Food Service staff? Yes, you did say the money was there to do it, I'm simply asking you where. You also said no countey on Earth had the resources to adequately provide for their students and I suggested that the French did (which is pretty well documented)

                                              1. re: Lady_Tenar

                                                Where I live, it's being spent on pensions that are guaranteeing annual returns that cannot be met without plundering the school budget, not on kids, they're last in line in U.S. public schools.

                                    2. Start by making sure junk food and soda are not sold in the school building.

                                      It is against the law here for schools to sell soda nd other junk items, BUT the school store is operated by an organization, NOT the school. So, if my 14 year old has cash she will buy soda, gum, chips, chocolate and spend nothing in the cafeteria,

                                      Next, make the food available at a reasonable price. a simple wrap or salad in our local high school costs $6 without a drink. This is beyond the lunch budget of most families with multgiple school aged kids. So we brown bag it, and our kids are unlikely to try any healthy items offered at the school cafeteria. Even a bottle of water ias $1.10, while a soda in the school store is 75 cents!

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                        Our lunches cost adults $3.50, and at the high schools that gets you a full salad bar, choices of sandwiches, soups, main dishes, drinks. You get one meal, but the add on prices for extra drinks, other entrees, are reasonable. I've joked about wearing my district substitute teacher ID card and going there for lunch on my days off.

                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                          Is this a private school? It sounds like highway robbery, considering the kids are probably mostly a captive audience

                                          1. re: EWSflash

                                            no, it's a public high school in CT

                                            This is what I get with 15K in property taxes, pay to play for high school sports, no sidewalks, no garbage pickup and lunches kids can't afford

                                        2. It has to start in the home as soon as the little tykes start taking solid food. Personally I think it's too late and won't happen. I think and beleive 80% of the population could care less, They'll talk a good story how they are moving to more healthy eating but it's all talk, the kitchens in their homes are just used as another storage area for empty pizza & KFC boxes before they go out to the trash. We CH'ders are passionate about food and are a minority, 20 years ago when our kid's were little we had their friends over all the time and had nice meals bbq's etc. It was amazing (if not shocking) how many of them had never had a real meal or sat down at the table to eat with the family. When our kid's went over to other kid's homes the parents were rarely around and would leave $20 on the counter with a note for the kid's to call Pizza Hut.
                                          Everybody claims they are just too busy, BS! Tyson foods, Hostess and Yum Brands etc. are going strong and will continue to do so. The little ones can't be expected to know how or what to do unless it starts in the home, everything starts in the home. There, that's my preaching for today!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                            Exactly. It's not about making kids take a required class in high school. It's about the home.

                                            1. re: wyogal

                                              But we can't control what goes on in people's homes. We can grouse all we want about how people don't bring up their kids right (and many of them ARE too busy for family meals), it won't change anything for those kids. We can, at least in theory, control what goes on in the public sphere, like in school. If the kids aren't getting this knowledge at home, they should get it at school instead.