items tagged with school lunches
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Category: Feature Stories
When Jodee O'Tool's son entered kindergarten in the Bettendorf Community School District in 2008, she was troubled by the meals the school offered.
"I started looking at the menu," she said. "I am in the field of nutrition, so that's something that's important to me.
"It's mostly processed food," she said. "Not much fresh food. ... A lot of it is hot dogs. ... A lot of chicken nuggets. Fried food ... ."
The Bettendorf elementary menu for May is a good illustration. The 20 lunches include three meals anchored by chicken nuggets, one with popcorn chicken, and one with a breaded chicken patty. One entrée is a hot dog; another is breaded mozzarella sticks.
On the fresh side are days with orange wedges, bananas, apple slices, watermelon wedges, grapes, celery sticks, "carroteenies," and freshly made salads.
While these meals meet federal nutrition standards, O'Tool said they're not particularly good for students overall. And she's trying to change the way the Bettendorf Community School District feeds its children.
Read More About Feeding Young Minds: Making School Lunches Fresher (And More Local) Isn’T Easy, But It Can Be Done...
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