Thursday 25 October 2012

Well done Blod! Hello Long Island!

First a thank you to Harshi for all her brilliant posts. You live in India and I live in Scotland yet we both love cheese! One of my favourite's is Gouda and you have it in your photograph. I don't know why everyone in the photo is looking away. I would be staring at the cheese! The school dinners from Japan, Taiwan and South Korea are my favourites but I will add your Indian food as well now because it looks so tempting to try. I like your expression "Every morsel of food you waste today represents hunger later in your life". It has made me think. Thank you. If you are in Germany, France (do you have snails at school), Denmark or Spain please ask your teacher to help you guest blog for a week!

We have been fund raising in school this week as well for Mary's Meals. We've already had sales of porridge, flapjacks and oatcakes. Mr Kipling wrote to me offering to send me some cakes because I won the Observer Award. I asked if I could sell them at a cake stall for Mary's Meals and he said yes. They were meant to arrive today but haven't but I hope they arrive tomorrow early so I can add them to the cake stall. We are also having a non uniform day like Blod but I don't know if we will raise more than your £150! Thank you everyone at Ysgol Kingsland and well done Blod's mum!

Joe, Polly and I gave a presentation at school today about Mary's Meals and Malawi. A lady from Mary's Meals came as well. It was nice to do it with my brother and sister because I wasn't alone. We got help with the microphone as we are all different heights. My headteacher gave me a certificate in a wooden frame to say well done. I went a little red.

I am going to the Halloween School disco tonight dressed as dad! That's scary enough I think.

Our next guest bloggers are from Long Island, New York.


Hi Veg! I’m Ms. El and I work in a school on Long Island, New York. This public school only has three grades in it: Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and First Grade. I asked a couple of our First grade students if they would like to tell you about their lunches for a week. They enthusiastically replied, “Yes!” So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Zee and Sunflower.

“Hi! My name is Sunflower and I am 6. I am in first grade, and I like to play with my brothers, (Ms. El asked, “What about your twin?”) and alright, my sister too. So far my favorite part of first grade is outdoor recess. Today I had pizza for lunch. I had an apple, cheese crackers, and my drink was chocolate milk. I like this pizza because when I tried it, it was good. Because it’s not very sweet. Sometimes the pizza is sweet, but I like it not too sweet. I had a cardboard tray it has a lot of little spaces on it, and one big space. The apple is super healthy!”

“Hi, my name is Zee, and I am 6 too. I am in the same class as Sunflower in first grade. My favorite part of first grade is playing in Centers (On special days, the first graders can have some free choice playtime, Zee likes the small wooden geometric blocks). Pizza is the best food that I like. Because the cheese is so good. First I ate my apple. I ate it first because apples are my favorite fruit. Water is better than milk because water is more healthier. (At this point the children at Zee’s lunch table discussed the health benefits of water. One boy told the table, “Water keeps our kidneys safe.” And, another child announced, “Water is the healthiest drink on earth.”) I got the Pop-tart because I like cinnamon, but I didn’t get to eat it. I’m going to eat it at home today.”

Zee and Sunflower:
Food-o-meter: 8/10
Mouthfuls: Sunflower ate her entire pizza, she counted 53 bites.
Health meter: 7/10
Recess: Indoor, it was raining. We watched a video about children with food allergies so we know not to share food with each other. Sometimes if it’s raining we play crab-soccer.
Price: $2.60 (£1.62) for students $3.75 (£2.34) for adults (some students are eligible for reduce-fare or free lunch).

I (Ms. El) had a school lunch as well. I chose pizza just like Zee and Sunflower.

The lettuce salad had cucumbers and carrots in it, and the chickpeas were dressed with red onion and herbs. I chose an orange over the apple and fat-free milk. The kids had these options as well. They must have one fruit serving and one vegetable. The US government famously ruled last fall that tomato sauce on pizza is to be counted as a vegetable serving. So, both Zee and Sunflower had their fruit and vegetable serving today. The cheese crackers, Pop-tart, and water bottle were not included in the price of lunch; their parents allow them to buy extra snacks today.

French bread whole wheat crust Pizza was the “A” lunch option today. The “B” lunch offered was Turkey sandwiches on whole wheat bread. The cafeteria also offers peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, and salad every day.

The lunch line:

We had so much fun writing about our lunch experience! Can’t wait to tell you about lunch tomorrow.

Ms. El, Sunflower, and Zee.


  1. Can't wait for the incoming outrage from people angry at the ridiculous "pizza is a vegetable" ruling! ;)

    Thank you, Ms. El, for also including pictures of the lunch line. It's been so long since I was in elementary school that I don't remember what my lunch line looked like. I definitely would have chosen pizza over the other choices as well, hehe. I also love chickpeas and I cook my own from scratch, so maybe I will add a few red onions and herbs to my next batch! :)

  2. The US government famously ruled last fall that tomato sauce on pizza is to be counted as a vegetable serving.

    Really? Why am I not surprised...

    1. just because it comes in a sauce means it's suddenly evil.

    2. Did I say something about evil? I might have implied the term "unhealthy", but hey just my european opinion.

  3. When are we going to see your school lunches again, Veg! all the guest bloggers have been very interesting, but I started to read your blog because of your lunch posts...

    1. Veg isn't feeling comfortable enough at school dinner time to blog at the moment.

      Veg's Dad

    2. Take Your time, Veg.. but I really, really miss Your posts about Your scholl dinners. And I guess, there hasn't changed too much yet, from what they've been before. And.. though You already made some great change in the world, by gathering all that money for Mary's Meals, it sometimes is good to make some small changes, too. Like, getting not only Your school but all in Britain to accept the concept of healty schoolfood.. okay, not so small a task. But it would be worth the efford ;)

      At least You can gather lots of examples what healthy and not so healty food is by the posts from the guest-bloggers ;)


  4. Hi VEG & all other bloggers here :-)

    thanks for all your postings - i love to read them!

    You wonder why all people are looking in different direction?
    In Alkmaar at the cheese market there are men carrying the cheese from the seller to the buyer, like this: ... i guess they are all watching these men (I watched this market some years ago when i was at your age :-) ).

    greetings from Vienna to all of you!

  5. Ooh, another Long Islander! I'm desperately curious to know which district this is (though I think Long Island has over 100 school districts, so you may be a distant neighbor!)! I'm a grad-level Early Childhood Ed candidate and the only school I've been placed in with separate Early Childhood buildings was in Amityville, where I'm doing hours now (but they have a Pre-K/Kindergarten building and a First/Second/Third grade building). I come in after lunchtime so I've never taken a look at what they eat - maybe I'll pop into the caf tomorrow and investigate!

  6. When I attended school back in the 70's and 80's in the US, Ketchup was approved by the government as a veg which is just as bad as approving the sauce on pizza as a veg.

    Actually, the school lunches were very good. Yeast Rolls and desserts like cookies or cobblers were made from scratch and very few convenience foods were served.

  7. Sunflower is an unusual but good name!

  8. Okay, I'll bite. I'm dying to know how to play "crab-soccer." I know how to play soccer, but what's different about the crab variety? :)

    As an American myself, it only seems totally in-character for our government to decide that the tiny amount of tomato (which is actually a fruit) sauce on a serving of pizza counts as a full serving of vegetable. I fully expect them to proclaim, this year, that a teaspoonful of sugar-laden strawberry jam on a piece of bread counts as a full serving of fruit.

    1. Sometimes we play crab soccer here. It's an indoor variation for confined spaces. As it is too dangerous to run about, the children sit down and have to move about whilst still in the sitting position using their hands and legs, like crabs. They will kick a soft ball at a target to score, such as a gymnastics bench. It is a useful game if the weather makes it impossible to take a club or lesson outdoors.

    2. When I was in school and we'd play crab soccer we'd be on our hands and feet but face up with hands stretched backwards. We still couldn't touch the ball with our hands, you could only use your feet. You could push back on your hands to lift up and kick. Usually in place of a soccer ball we'd use a really large softer ball as well.

  9. Well done Veg, Joe and Polly giving a talk - hope you enjoyed it and you weren't too nervous. A great idea to have a sale to raise money, hopefully the carrier of the Mr kipling cakes has eaten them and they will turn up today for you.

    Welcome Ms. El, Sunflower, and Zee, great post and look forward to reading about more of your lunches.

    Tomato is extremely good for you whether raw or cooked, although it is a fruit (berry) not a vegetable.

  10. Thanks, Ms. El. Very interesting.

  11. I wonder whether the children should be told that milk is healthy too - they need the calcium, especially at their age.

  12. oh God, i was hungry after seeing you'r pict . :)

    Im from Indonesian :)

  13. Nice to see fruit and Vegetables on there.
    A long time ago (1970s 1980s) I remember not liking school dinners.
    They were healthier than some of today’s twizler and chips with choco milk. My mother was a great cook, so most things were nowhere near as good. Today I thank her, as I enjoy food cooking and eating.
    This is a great blog, very inspirational.

  14. Ah, thanks for the explanation, TR! Sounds rather like an exercise we used to do in ballet class called the "crab walk." I can see where playing soccer like that would still use up a lot of energy, but would be much more approprate for an indoor sport.

  15. This looks a lot like the school lunches I grew up with except that was before they started ruling more in favor of healthy options being mandatory.

  16. Hi from Saudi Arabia! School lunches are not the same and not as healthy as in my kids former school back in Texas. My kids just quoted to me what they serve at their school: pizza, hot dogs, nacho chips, loads of candy, Skittles, Cheeto's, Pepsi, Lay's potato chips, gum, candy rings, Gummy hot dogs, Gummy hamburgers, Mento's, shaw-ra-ma (which is like a tortilla sandwich with meat inside), water, juice. Wow! This is sad, very sad that their school does not realize that healthy eating equals healthier brains and a healthy learning environment. If you want to see more about what life is like for Americans in Saudi Arabia, feel free to visit: