Thank you Michelle Obama for your so called portion control/calorie counting...
While trying to figure out how we are blowing our food budget every single month, I have realized, I have had to add afterschool MEALS instead of snacks to what I buy.
My kids are STARVING when they get home.
Looking at the menu for my 2 HS/MS kids for today's lunch:
Hot Ham & Cheese
Refried Beans OR
*HS Students only
My 2 elementary kids:
Salad Bar Or
Egg & Cheese
The walking taco consists of a bag of generic Frito Corn Chips, a tablespoon of taco meat, and less than a tablespoon of cheese. A tablespoon of refried beans or of corn, about a tablespoon full of mandarin oranges. The Graham crackers is TWO squares out of the 4 and that is only for my oldest. My middle schooler doesn't get them.
My 3rd child loves salad bar day. He comes home full because they actually get to make their own and he loves salad so he piles on as much as he can. However, #4 hates lettuce and the school will not let her make a "salad" out of just the toppings (ham, bacon bits, crutons, cheese, etc.) Also, she has an egg sensitivity. She can eat eggs cooked in things such as cakes or bread or meat loaf, but if she eats eggs on their own, she breaks out in hives. So she might eat pick at her biscuit, she will eat her hashbrown, and her applesauce. She MIGHT pick at the winter blend, depending on what it is in it.
Our schools are NOT equipped to handle kids bringing their own lunches. For my HS/MS kids, yes, they do have their own lockers, but their lockers are approximately 6 inches wide and 4ft tall. By the time they stuff their winter coats in and with the books, there is not really room for a lunch bag. Even if they do take their lunch, it has to be something that does not need refrigeration or reheated. No microwaves available. Yes, I have cook paks for them, but they don't always keep things COLD when stuffed basically inside a heavy winter coat for 3hrs.
My elementary kids CANNOT take their lunches. School policy. The school has NO WHERE to store them. No, they do not have lockers, they do not have cubby holes, they hang their coats outside the classrooms on a hook with a smaller hook under it for their backpacks. They will not allow lunches to hang out there because anyone could access them and they feel it is unsafe. There is just not any room in the classrooms for the teachers to store them. They do not have individual desks. They sit at round group tables of 4-6 students.
So, I have explained why I cannot send their lunches. Now, instead them coming home and wanting a light snack while doing homework or before rushing off to other activities, the oven is coming on for frozen pizza, they're fighting over last nights leftovers, cans of soups or pastas are being opened, a loaf and half of bread along with two packages of cheese are disappearing for grilled cheese sandwiches, a MEAL is being made instead of grabbing an apple/banana/orange or a snack cake or a small bowl of chips/dips/salsa.
I am spending an extra $50-$150 weekly on this extra meal. What makes it extra sad is that they know supper is at 6pm. We're talking 2.5 hrs after they all get home. They can't wait, they're hungry. I have tried moving supper up to 4:30-5pm to avoid this extra meal, but then they come through about 9-10pm claiming they're starving again so there they go to the kitchen to fix their meal. I have talked to other parents and they're saying the same thing. The kids are rushing in and straight to the kitchen for food. Not a snack, food. It is breaking the budget for a lot of us.
This is just a vent. I don't want to hear "turn off your internet for extra money." I only pay 14.95 a month for our internet and the kids, all 4 of them, need it for homework AND DH needs our home access for work. Only DH and I have cell phones and he has to be able to reach me at all times due to his work (I work for him from home.) We do not have cable or dish/directTV. We do have a netflix and watch what we can online or don't watch TV anymore.
I just wanted to vent that I think it is a pretty shitty idea to cut down the portions for our growing kids.