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French School Lunch Compared to American School Lunch, Day 13

Creative Commons License photo credit: Osamu Iwasaki

Welcome back!  Here we are at Day 13 already and the start of another week!  I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to memorize these menu choices for Toms River, probably because this system is on a two-week rotation menu.  On Mondays, like today and on alternating weeks there is chicken nuggets or the ham and cheese wrap served with R/F Doritos.  But I do wonder…are these real Doritos that they are serving the kids?  I wonder what R/F is?  And why are they serving Doritos as part of an elementary school lunch menu?  The other choices for the day are carrots and apple slices.  THESE  are good foods to include in a daily lunch menu.  Chicken nuggets are on our menu at home sometimes too.  But because chicken nuggets are high in fat because they are fried I try to balance this out by serving a green vegetable or fresh fruit on the menu, especially when offering higher fat foods, to keep the menu balanced and healthy.  I think Toms River is doing a good job for today, with the exception of the Doritos…Why add that in?  Could they offer rice instead of Doritos or another starch?  Perhaps making rice is too labor intensive?  And to keep costs down in a food service system such as within a school lunch system, the use of labor hours has to be justified.  The more time it takes to prepare a food, the more expensive the meal is. That is always an issue:  how to offer healthy, lower labor intensive foods to children while keeping within the budget constraints.  Easier to serve Doritos than to prepare some rice, couscous, or mashed potatoes.  Looking at the French menu, interesting to see iceberg lettuce as a first course.  Iceberg lettuce is rather American and it is a relatively new salad to arrive here in Pau.  The iceberg lettuce available in Pau supermarkets comes actually from Spain.  But kids like it…crunchy and fresh.  It doesn’t say this , but the salad is served with a vinaigrette. Here is the school lunch menus for Toms River, NJ and Pau, France for this day 13!

Toms River, NJ

Choice of 1 main dish, 2 sides and served with a half pint of milk

Chicken Nuggets or Ham and Cheese Wrap

R/F Doritos

Mini Carrots and Baked Apple Slices


Pau, France

Served with slices of baguette and water

Iceberg Lettuce with Ham

Veal Blanquette (1) with Steamed Potatoes

Piece of White Tome Cheese

(1)  Veal Blanquette is a delectable veal stew with leeks, carrots and herbs.


Dear Readers, if you have can, send me a typical one day menu from your school lunch menu.  I will post it and we can compare the menu to what we have seen so far!  Thanks in advance.  Buon Appetito!

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  1. French Recipes From a French School Lunch Program, Part 2 | brightonyourhealth - January 18, 2011

    […] VEAL BLANQUETTE (Veal Stew) from Day 13 […]

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