Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Luncheables- Is It Cheese?

One of the moms at school and I started talking. 
Her sweet son (a student from a few years ago) wanted a special treat for lunch. 
He wanted the same thing that his classmates had. 
He said the package said "Lunchable".

Sister got one in her lunch too and was over the moon about it. When the mom picked up little sister she explained that she was embarrassed for sending a Lunchable and then explained how it came to be in little sister's lunch.
We chatted in the hall and I mentioned that most of the time the kids don't eat the cheese out of these prepackaged lunches.
I told her that I was concerned- that I felt like it couldn't be cheese and that's why the kids didn't like it. Twenty years in early education has taught me that most kids love cheese.
In the last few years it is getting harder and harder to get the kids to eat the cheese out of a Lunchable.
So here is what is in the Prepared American Cheese Product.

Milk, water, milkfat, milk protein concentrate, whey, whey protein concentrate, contains less than 2% of sodium citrate, salt, lactic acid, sorbic acid as a preservative, cheese culture, enzymes, oleoresin paprika (color) annatto (color) with starch added for slice separation.

Why do we put color into food for children? 
A kid doesn't care if cheese is an orange/yellow color.  
 I asked a few of the other teachers. 
They didn't see a rise in the tossing of the cheese but several mentioned that they noticed the kids don't like the cheese. 
Do children want this lunch just for the cookies?
Let me just say that the price point for this product is about the same as when they were first introduced when my youngest was little and he is 23. He confessed that he just ate the cookie and the crackers. My daughter says she liked the cheese but not the ham or the turkey. 
I think that the company has cut corners to keep these cheap at the expense of the health of our children. 
I am in no way smacking down the moms that want convenience. 
I am not a morning person so as soon as my kids were able, they made their own lunch and learned to pour their own cereal. (I made up for this failing at dinner, I promise)  
I loved the ease of packing Lunchables.
I think the moms and dads out there, don't realize that every day there is a tossing of the cheese. EVERY DAY!
I wouldn't want my future grandchildren to eat this stuff. 
I've seen a huge increase in allergies in the last 20 years and 
I have to believe it is because of stuff in processed food. 
Oh wait.
 It isn't cheese food it is cheese product.
Food for thought...  


  1. It is awful what our kids eat and even the "healthy" food we feed them at home has often been infused with something or sprayed with something or given growth hormones. It is sad...and I don't see it getting much better at this point. Maybe the government should start taking a good look at PREVENTING issues that need govt. sponsored INSURANCE! xo Diana

  2. Here, here, Katie! One of my very first posts was about junk food - and what I learned from a NY Times article about how it is engineered to be addictive. Lunchables got a lot of press...one food industry executive actually said that the most nutritious thing in the Lunchables box was the napkin!

  3. I think kids just like the idea of the "packaged" lunch. I remember my daughter {almost 23 now} begging for these (and those frozen "Kid Cuisine" dinners) when she was little, but not really liking them. Sadly, I think most Americans think if something is sold in the grocery store, then it MUST be okay to feed to their family. I agree, Katie- it's nearly impossible to believe that the rise in, not only allergies, but other serious health issues, are not directly related to what we're eating! Cheese product- eew!