Do school lunches include a sweet dessert or just fruit?
I don't have kids but I was looking at the lunch menu for my town schools and every day listed some kind of fruit for dessert. No cake, cookies or any sweet desserts. As a child in the 60's and 70's I remember having a sweet dessert available most days. I found this menu online for a school from 1965 and this represents basically what lunch looked like in my time. Dessert was always my favorite, especially cake! Probably why I've always had a weight problem. ;-) Wish they had only served us fruit!
Monday: Beef goulash, green beans, peanut butter cake
Tuesday: Pizza pie, tossed salad, fruit jello
Wednesday: Bowl of chili with crackers, cole slaw, cherry cobbler
Thursday: Oven-fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, buttered corn, peaches or applesauce
Friday: Tuna and noodle casserole, peas and carrots, assorted desserts.
Bread and butter and milk served with all lunches.
I work at a private boys' school with hot lunch served daily (plus dinner for boarders). There's always a fruit salad in the salad bar, plus lots of fresh fruit available. That said, there would be a riot if they got rid of the additional sweet dessert that is also served alongside each day's menu. They are always kept in pretty small servings (one to three bites maximum). Examples I can think of are cookies, brownies, lava cakes, squares, pound cake, etc.
I don't really know either, but I imagine if they don't include them, it's due to budget constraints. Canned/frozen fruit is much cheaper and easier to prepare than making baked goods, especially in large quantities.
I was in elementary in the late 80s/early 90s and from what I recall, dessert was mostly fruit in syrup. I didn't eat the school lunches all that often though, usually only on pizza day :)
I work at a school and things have changed a great deal since the 90 s. There are regulations that say the children can not have as much sugar and fat as they could in the past. Mostly the have fresh fruit, canned fruit,and dried fruit. They have options like snacks that they can purchase with or with out a lunch purchase. They have a lot of different choices in snacks,like cookies,ice cream,baked chips and pretzels.
Growing up in the 1980s-1990s (in NC and VA), we mostly had fruit for dessert. "Real" desserts for only served once a month or so, and were usually ice cream. I remember having to finish everything else on my tray before the teacher handed out the dessert (in elementary school). By middle school, there were cookies/cakes/ice cream for sale in addition to the standard meal, but my mom never gave me money for those.