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The Obama Kids School Lunch Menus


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Sasha-Lower School

Snack: Grapes & Graham Crackers

Lunch: Cheese Tortellini w/Garden Marinara

Garlic Green Beans

Clementines

Malia-Middle School

Lunch: Corn Chowder

Salad du Jour

Apple Carrot Salad

Vintner's Salad

Cheese Tortellini w/ Fresh Marinara

Garlic Organic Green Beans

Clementines

To see the rest of the weeks eats at Sidwell Friends click:

http://www.aolcdn.com/tmz_documents/tmz_sidwell_menu.pdf

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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An American school that serves real food? I just fell off my chair in shock. :blink:

Sasha-Lower School

Snack: Grapes & Graham Crackers

Lunch: Cheese Tortellini w/Garden Marinara

Garlic Green Beans

Clementines

Malia-Middle School

Lunch: Corn Chowder

Salad du Jour

Apple Carrot Salad

Vintner's Salad

Cheese Tortellini w/ Fresh Marinara

Garlic Organic Green Beans

Clementines

To see the rest of the weeks eats at Sidwell Friends click:

http://www.aolcdn.com/tmz_documents/tmz_sidwell_menu.pdf

Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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Sidwell is a Friends school. It doesn't surprise me a bit the menu is thoughtful. There are lots of interesting funky alternative schools doing good stuff in D.C. I considered Sidwell for my oldest but decided the commute would be a nightmare, and settled on one out in Bethesda, and the menu is equally good. They grow some of their own stuff, in the lower school. I considered Holton, but on their home page they proudly disclose Sodexho handles their catering. That's not the reason I choose another school, but it did make me pause.

Edited by pax (log)
“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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It's not really surprising that a school of this caliber would pay careful attention to their menus. Parents want their kids to eat healthily and have some variety. My wife worked at both the Saint James School and Episcopal High School -- both high end and expensive -- and the food in both places was excellent, seasonal, and interesting. I used to eat at EHS every day, and the food was shockingly good.

The food choices are driven more by the parents than by the students, most of whom would rather just eat pizza. I think for what these parents pay -- think 20K per year per child -- the food needs to hit a certain standard.

Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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Sidwell is a Friends school. It doesn't surprise me a bit the menu is thoughtful. There are lots of interesting funky alternative schools doing good stuff in D.C.  I considered Sidwell for my oldest but decided the commute would be a nightmare, and settled on one out in Bethesda, and the menu is equally good. They grow some of their own stuff, in the lower school. I considered Holton, but on their home page they proudly disclose Sodexho handles their catering. That's not the reason I choose another school, but it did make me pause.

The food service provider at Sidwell, Meriwether Godsey, just recently took over food service at our college (from Sodexho :wacko: ). They are excellent. They try to buy as much as possible locally, and provide a healthy, varied menu for our students and I have been very pleased with events they have catered. They also make some great desserts! This is the first time in all my years at the college that I have eaten at our cafeteria voluntarily, as in "hmm...I forgot my lunch today, I think I'll go buy lunch at the caf".

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I can't believe this is being reported on.

Um, actually, given the dismal quality of most cafeteria food in schools in the U.S., I'd like to see it reported on a bit more often, myself. Better yet, corrected. Sheesh.

Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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I can't believe this is being reported on.

I think it's highly relevant. When we feed our kids crap, it affects them. When we feed our kids well, it affects them.

I interviewed with a local, wealthy school system to be an admin in the lunch program. I was shocked to see the menus - pizza, chicken nuggets, hot dogs - and these were the wealthy schools!

I'm glad to see that Sidwell Friends provides healthy, tasty meals. Other schools would do well to emulate.

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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Holy wow! Thanks for posting this. It's inspirational. The children attending this school eat better than I do if I were cooking my own lunches for a week, that's for certain. Imagine if all schools took such pride in their lunch programs? Bye bye child obesity!

Sigh.

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Out of interest here are the menus that the kids get in Hampshire (In the UK - not New Hampshire!). See Here

Not bad - a bit of a way to go I feel, and I'm sure most of the secondary school kids will go for the snack bar Pizza type options at every opportunity, but a lot better then when I was a kid I'm sure.

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I wonder what the kids think, especially about the deserts,- I noticed they always serve fruit.

Again I'll point out, these menus are designed more for parent satisfaction than they are for the kids. Your palette doesn't begin to mature until you're in your 20s, and most kids and teens like the same kind of food regardless of their economic background. EHS always has white tablecloths -- which creates quite a contrast with all the laptops and bookbags tossed lazily on the floor -- and a healthy, anti-obesity oriented menu. I don't know how they handle admissions, but there really isn't a chubby kid in the whole school. Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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I wonder what the kids think, especially about the deserts,- I noticed they always serve fruit.

Again I'll point out, these menus are designed more for parent satisfaction than they are for the kids. Your palette doesn't begin to mature until you're in your 20s, and most kids and teens like the same kind of food regardless of their economic background. EHS always has white tablecloths -- which creates quite a contrast with all the laptops and bookbags tossed lazily on the floor -- and a healthy, anti-obesity oriented menu. I don't know how they handle admissions, but there really isn't a chubby kid in the whole school.

Well, since the parents are paying, the menu should reflect their preferences :)

And it's a good thing if parents and schools are shaping kids' palates with good food, so that fewer kids end up as adults with the food tastes of picky toddlers. Do you have any feedback on whether the kids like these lunches?

Anyway, that Sidwell lunch as reported seems very plain and simple and child friendly (not a bad thing; I am just pointing out that it's hardly exotic and sophisticated). Basically pasta, marinara sauce, green beans, salad, fruit, that kind of thing. Just one step removed from pizza, it seems.

What I would like to know is the quality of these Sidwell school lunches. Hot or stale? Fresh-made or processed/canned? Well-made or blah? Good quality ingredients or cheap and nasty?

Chemprof mentioned that their FSP Merriwether Godsey was very good, so I would hope that the Sidwell lunch reflects that. Otherwise it seems that even people who pay $ 30 K tuition can get ripped off on school lunches.

My kids currently attend a school (not in N America) that has a very expensive hot lunch program you can buy. It looks absolutely beautiful on paper (e.g.: Tuesday: Chicken Satay or Vegetable Ravioli; Pommes de terre; Garden Salad; Tangerine Wedges.) But the actual quality when delivered was abysmal and we opted out after one semester. And here, everything is fresh, very little is an industrial product and labor is very cheap, so there's no excuse.

Edited by Milagai (log)
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Out of interest here are the menus that the kids get in Hampshire (In the UK - not New Hampshire!). See Here

Not bad - a bit of a way to go I feel, and I'm sure most of the secondary school kids will go for the snack bar Pizza type options at every opportunity, but a lot better then when I was a kid I'm sure.

Are these menus a recent development there? I guess what I'm really asking is if it was driven at all by the campaigning Jamie Oliver did to improve school lunch programs in the UK.

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Here is an account of the inauguration menu. What the children (Obama children and Biden grandchildren) got is described:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01...in-the-capitol/

"Taking into account Mr. Obama’s young children, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, and the many Biden grandchildren who were in attendance, there was a children’s menu, served in the nearby Rayburn Room.

Hot dogs

Cheeseburgers

Macaroni and cheese

French fries

Grilled cheese sandwiches

Cheese pizza

Chocolate chip cookies

Apple and orange juices and soft drinks"

Can you imagine anything more generic or dreadful (in terms of taste and health)? Not one single fruit or vegetable in there. In this day and age? With this crowd?

The catering company is called "Design Cuisine". They seem to have taken all the trouble with the adults' menu, and ignored the kids (and insulted their tastebuds).

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My first two thoughts on the kids' menu are:

1. That's comfort food--a good idea after a morning of (to kids) baffling informalities, runny noses, and frozen extremities.

2. For the really young ones, it doesn't require knife-and-fork assistance from the parents, who were lunching in a different room.

At least, that's my Devil's-Advocate way of looking at it. It's not like there won't be other (smaller and less public) opportunities for the younger crowd to tackle adult fare. But on the first day, I'd say...cut the kids some slack. :smile:

Here is an account of the inauguration menu.  What the children (Obama children and Biden grandchildren) got is described:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01...in-the-capitol/

"Taking into account Mr. Obama’s young children, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, and the many Biden grandchildren who were in attendance, there was a children’s menu, served in the nearby Rayburn Room.

    Hot dogs

    Cheeseburgers

    Macaroni and cheese

    French fries

    Grilled cheese sandwiches

    Cheese pizza

    Chocolate chip cookies

    Apple and orange juices and soft drinks"

Can you imagine anything more generic or dreadful (in terms of taste and health)?  Not one single fruit or vegetable in there.  In this day and age?  With this crowd?

The catering company is called "Design Cuisine".  They seem to have taken all the trouble with the adults' menu, and ignored the kids (and insulted their tastebuds).

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At my son's elitist private Washington high school, parents catered lunch twice a year, apparently a holdover tradition from when the school was much smaller. We tended to bring in Ethiopian as a low-expense change of pace, though once we did try for pizza (a sleet storm closed the school so we had to cancel 50 pizzas at the last minute).

My daughter's more proletarian Catholic school has some horrid caterer, so we try to get her to brown bag as often as possible, an option she doesn't much care for unless there are quality leftovers in the fridge.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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My first two thoughts on the kids' menu are:

1. That's comfort food--a good idea after a morning of (to kids) baffling informalities, runny noses, and frozen extremities.

2. For the really young ones, it doesn't require knife-and-fork assistance from the parents, who were lunching in a different room.

At least, that's my Devil's-Advocate way of looking at it. It's not like there won't be other (smaller and less public) opportunities for the younger crowd to tackle adult fare. But on the first day, I'd say...cut the kids some slack.  :smile:

Here is an account of the inauguration menu.  What the children (Obama children and Biden grandchildren) got is described:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01...in-the-capitol/

"Taking into account Mr. Obama’s young children, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, and the many Biden grandchildren who were in attendance, there was a children’s menu, served in the nearby Rayburn Room.

    Hot dogs

    Cheeseburgers

    Macaroni and cheese

    French fries

    Grilled cheese sandwiches

    Cheese pizza

    Chocolate chip cookies

    Apple and orange juices and soft drinks"

Can you imagine anything more generic or dreadful (in terms of taste and health)?  Not one single fruit or vegetable in there.  In this day and age?  With this crowd?

The catering company is called "Design Cuisine".  They seem to have taken all the trouble with the adults' menu, and ignored the kids (and insulted their tastebuds).

or just a "treat" meal of their favourite foods on one of the most special days of their young lives...

"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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Well, it is surprising to see a group such as this endorse this array of nothing-but-flat-out junk as comfort food, special treat, etc.

There are plenty of better (in taste and health and ease) options that could have been equally comforting, easy, "treat", and tasty, and at least one such should have been included.

How hard would it have been to have included a fresh fruit platter? Most children (assuming no safety issues with under-threes, who would not have been alone here anyway) love grapes, strawberries, similar fruit that's easy to pick up and eat with fingers and make almost no mess.

The caterers must have been paid large sums of money for the privilege of serving this event. They must have known their menus would be looked at by lots of people. What they served up to these children did them absolutely no credit.

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Geez - given their dad's uber-healthy aproach to eating, I'm sure Sasha and Malia will be dining on steamed vegetables and fresh fruit soon enough. Let them have a day just to eat for fun -- and a fine round-up of patriotic, non-elitist American foods it was. Nothing could be more appropriate than burgers and pizza on Inauguration Day!

And, twenty years around kids leads me to suggest that it's a rare child indeed who will abandon pizza for a fruit plate.

I think the main problem with this menu was a lack of Tater Tots.

Edited by Busboy (log)

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Whose to say the ingredients used in the children's menu weren't top-notch? I love grilled cheese sandwiches, especially when made with gruyere with parmesan-crusted bread (when browning the bread, add some parmesan to the pan).

The cheeseburgers could have been made with freshly ground angus beef, organic onions (tomatoes, lettuce), etc.

It doesn't have to be junk food.

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My kids go to a plain old public school in Oklahoma, albeit in a university town. The food is provided by Sodex'ho. They are at the elementary school level, and some healthy-ish choices are available each day. There is no soda, only milk or water. My oldest child is a very unadventurous eater, and I suspect from the stains on his clothes that he just drowns everything he eats in ketchup. And now at home he will only willingly eat canned/frozen veggies, not the fresh fruit and veggies I serve 90% of the time. And he drowns everything I make in ketchup. Even with some better choices available, I think his palate has zeroed in on the processed, thanks to school lunches. *sigh*

I do appreciate news stories like this, in that it helps me to know what to lobby for in my school system. Not that I expect Sidwell quality, but putting pressure on public schools to offer better quality food (within budgetary confines) benefits far more kids.

"An' I expect you don't even know that we happen to produce some partic'ly fine wines, our Chardonnays bein' 'specially worthy of attention and compet'tively priced, not to mention the rich, firmly structur'd Rusted Dunny Valley Semillons, which are a tangily refreshin' discovery for the connesewer ...yew bastard?"

"Jolly good, I'll have a pint of Chardonnay, please."

Rincewind and Bartender, The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett

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Geez - given their dad's uber-healthy aproach to eating, I'm sure Sasha and Malia will be dining on steamed vegetables and fresh fruit soon enough.  Let them have a day just to eat for fun -- and a fine round-up of patriotic, non-elitist American foods it was. Nothing could be more appropriate than burgers and pizza on Inauguration Day!

And, twenty years around kids leads me to suggest that it's a rare child indeed who will abandon pizza for a fruit plate.

I agree totally. Healthy eating should be guided by common sense: there's nothing wrong with a hot dog or pizza or french fries once in a while, and even as an adult I would never want to eradicate these foods from my life. If I'm going to a big party, I don't expect to be served a fruit plate. A very smart dietitian once told me that its not the hot dog you eat once a week that's the problem, it's what you eat the other six days.

And he drowns everything I make in ketchup.

I did the same thing as a kid, not because I liked ketchup, but because I saw all the other kids doing it.

Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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