My younger kids attend a school where there is no formal cafeteria. Hot lunch is available, but in southern CA, the kids typically sit outside. If it is rainy or too windy, they eat inside the classroom and then go to the gym for recess.
Hot lunch was always done in a small kitchen and the menu was formed by women who were paid part-time and could create recipes that were quick, easy, and could feed the masses. Life was good.
At some point the health department decided that they could no longer cook food from the small kitchen to feed those desiring a hot meal and so the school had to resort to purchasing food from existing restaurants, Del Taco tacos, Wendy's chicken nuggets, etc. and call it a hot lunch experience. This worked well for the parents and students.
This year, all things hot lunch took a sharp turn. The school decided, for convenience sake, to hire a company which created the meals and then delivered them to the school based on the number of children ordering for that day. Great idea? Sure. The portions are good, but unfortunately the selections leave little to be desired for my children.
When my middle son decided that he wanted to try the corn dog, I went online to glance over the menu. The corn dog that he wanted to order was evidently made from vegetables and not dipped into a vat of hot grease. He prefers the hot grease type.
In addition, he had the choice of brown rice crispy treat and grilled cheese puffs. What are those?
Needless to say, my kids only order two meals a month and they are always the same things which are tried and true, chicken teriyaki bowl, and pasta with butter and cheese. We keep it simple.