I was thinking today about an experience that I had a few weeks ago. Once again I was listening to the radio and there was a program on with a woman who had just written a book or made a documentary film (I can’t remember which) on school lunches in our nation. She talked about how it was pretty much fast food and that we needed to get back to healthy food for our kids. I listened and as the program went on I got more and more upset with the school lunch program at my son’s school.
The school district that we live in has won the “Best of State” award for the last two years for it’s school lunch program. It may have won other awards also, I don’t know. I knew about these awards when I was listening to the radio program but I justified my feelings by what this woman was saying. Certainly the school lunch program here had to have the problems she was talking about. At one point a woman who has children in the same school district as me, called in and said how impressed she was with the school lunch menu. My thought as I listened to her praises was “Yesterday Big Boy had a corn dog for lunch. They obviously aren’t that great.” Well, it turns out it was a baked turkey corn dog.
I have realized two things from this experience. First, I automatically had negative thoughts about something because of what is happening elsewhere that doesn’t apply here. I have come to realize that the school lunch here really is better than a lot of places. Of course there are plenty of days that my son eats pizza or a hamburger for lunch but they always have whole wheat rolls, brown rice, and sometimes pay the kids a quarter if they have eaten all of their fruit or vegetables. It is so easy to just assume the worst about something and focus on the bad but when we do that we can totally miss all of the good that is there. I am glad that I have been able to see the good in the school lunches here and hope I can apply this lesson to other areas of my life as well.
Second, a little while after this I was making lunch for my family one Sunday and threw some frozen corn dogs in the microwave. Yes, full fat, fried, beef (ish?) corn dogs. As I did this, I thought back on the school lunch thoughts and realized that I was expecting the school to feed my child better than I was feeding my child. At least when Big Boy eats a corn dog at school it’s a healthier version. When it comes to nutrition, I really shouldn’t expect more out of the school than I expect of myself.
I guess there are some good lessons that can be learned from listening to NPR.