9-Year-Old Busts School Lunch Program With her Blog

school lunchWhen it comes to making school lunches healthier, there seems to be a lot more talk than action going on for the most part. Everyone seems to agree they need to be more nutritious, but cafeteria trays remain filled with unhealthy fare. A 9-year-old in Scotland, however, got some swift results recently when she took to her blog and totally exposed her school lunch program for it was providing -- food that that seemed to contain more hair than vegetables.

Eww, I know ... which was exactly her point. It only took five posts on her blog, titled Never Seconds, before Martha Payne started attracting international attention for the ratings she was giving to the food served in her cafeteria each day. Her first entry was posted Tuesday, May 8:

The first pic is from last week and the second from today. The pizza in the first pic was alright but I'd have enjoyed more than 1 croquet. I'm a growing kid and I need to concentrate all afternoon and I cant do it on 1 croquette. Do any of you think you could?

Food-o-meter- 6/10
Mouthfuls- forgot to count but not enough!
Courses- main/dessert
Health Rating- 4/10
Price- £2
Pieces of hair- 0!

Subsequent posts follow the same format, and they're quite entertaining to read, especially May 14 when the hair count read: "1 (under the cucumber)".

Over the next couple of weeks, her blog started going viral. She was thrilled when Jamie Oliver sent her a message via Twitter: "Shocking but inspirational blog. Keep going, Big love from Jamie x". With the growing attention, the school acted, and quickly.

Her dad met with the powers that be, and suddenly put into place was a new and glorious policy --- unlimited salad, fruit, and bread. No more squabbling over cucumbers, and the quality of the offerings seemed to go up immediately as well. She posted: "For the first time ever I have seen at lunch cherry tomatoes, radishes, carrot and cucumber shreddings." Victory!

While I don't know that offering kids unlimited bread is necessarily the way to go, it is a great example of how change can be made when there's a strong impetus (like bad press). Way to go Martha, I hope they think about a new policy for hair nets next.

Do you feel like your child's school provides a satisfying and nutritious lunch?


Image via Never Seconds


kids nutrition


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sweet... sweetiepye2004

I've worked in a school cafeteria.  I can't tell you how many kids refused to eat their green beans, carrots, corn, etc.  Most didn't even want it on their tray, but were told they had to take it even if they didn't eat it.  Where I'm at they aren't allowed to put salt in the food...nothing.  Why? Because parents say it's unhealthy. 

People also have no idea how much it costs to feed all those kids, especially with all of the free and reduced.  They work hard to provide the most nutrition, also thinking about what the kids will eat.  Personally I feel if the parent wants a better lunch, pack it. 

Felip... FelipesMom

Coolest blog EVER!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing this!!!!!! School lunches have a loooooong way to go to be the bare minumum of what kids (ALL kids) deserve.

Midni... Midnite00

I read the blog that the teacher post her lunch for a year, and one post asked what the school lunch was for the day, I checked and found my daughter's school (she out now) offered pop tarts or a marshmallow candy bar  for breakfast... Did I tell you that the school has a 90% of the students get free or reduced lunches?? Yea that how many of those kids started their day,,, 

Maevelyn Maevelyn

I disagree that it's more expensive to feed kids healthy food. I know for a fact that bought in bulk (as they would need to be) are as affordable as junk alternatives if not more so. The problem is that it takes effort to plan a menu and cook it. I think if you're paying some one to make food they can learn to cook not just microwave prefabricated meals. Schools are supposed to prepare students for life (sorry, they won't all go to collage but they will all eat for the next 90+ years.) We preach about health, teach about health but don't provide students with a healthy life style. No need for soda, chips ect in school. There is nothing wrong with chicken and veg on wheat bread, get ride of fries or serve them once a week bc you can and should eat broccoli, carrots squash daily. Let the parents who believe their kids "won't eat" healthy buy their own crap food. It makes no sense to spend public money one sub par products.  I know the more broke I am the healthier my meals are because I have to think about putting them together. We pay some one to acquire school food, I believe thinking should be a job requirement. 

nonmember avatar Christie

I think all schools should have their own vegetable and fruit gardens that the kids tend as part of recess and they could eat their own healty foods.

butte... butterflyfreak

I think Christie's on to something! We started a garden at home, my daughter is SOOO finicky. But she's excited watching the strawberries turning red and has said that she wants to eat them (she has never been willing to try a fresh strawberry all the times we have offered before.) Will she eat it when it's really ready? I don't know, but I think it's great that she thinks she wants it! And maybe she'll be more willing to try the tomatoes when they're ready. Maybe it will extend PAST what we have growing and make her more open-minded towards ALL foods. We'll see...

nonmember avatar KA

My son did both - packed lunches & ate at school. If we are paying taxes that go towards the school district, then you bet your butt the kids need to be getting healthier food. Not every parent is going to be able to pack a lunch for their kid. It's easy to say "don't like it, pack them a lunch", but that isn't always reality. If I'm paying the school on a monthly basis (on top of tax money) to feed my kid lunch/breakfast, then yes, I do expect my child to be fed something healthy - & there is nothing wrong with having those expectations. It's just plain laziness on the part of administrators & those who plan the meals IMO.

Texas... TexasWife

Torrence. This isn't in America. There are some places that do not allow you to pack your childs lunch. There are also others that do not serve lunch at all.

Stacey. Stacey.

For everyone saying pack a lunch, this is for kids on the FREE LUNCH program, as in their parents cant afford to feed them, so the school does. For some kids its the only hot meal they get everyday. Dont you think if their parents could afford to pack them healthy, yummy lunches they would?

Sidthe Sidthe

I began packing my lunch sophomore year of high school after my friend and I were unable to get ANYTHING to eat. We were the last lunch period and they simply ran out of food and said sorry kids. My parents were livid when they found out.

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