6 Hard Truths No One Tells You About School Lunches

Lunch is part of every school day, but the harsh reality is that sometimes school lunches are not all they're cracked up to be.

Sure, the midday meal is a time to refuel and recharge without many of the regular stressors associated with school, but it's not exactly an invitation to eat and do what you please, either.

From meals that you don't like, to the the anxiety of finding a seat in a cliquey cafeteria, school lunches can often be more difficult to navigate than you think. Keep scrolling to read our list of six hard truths no one tells you about school lunches.

Some of Them Are Really Gross

While there's no doubt your food services staff is trying their best to feed you and hundreds of other students each day, sometimes the meals they make just miss the mark, especially considering everyone has different tastes. Sure, Taco Tuesdays are usually a hit, but not everyone loves lunches that use intense flavors or heavy sauces, which can sometimes look really unappetizing despite how good they may actually taste. Since it's impossible to please each student every day, there will be some meals you'll definitely want to skip.


It Can Be Difficult For People With Dietary Restrictions to Find Something Good to Eat

In today's world, most school cafeterias do their best to accommodate people with dietary restrictions, such as those who are gluten-intolerant or don't eat meat, but it's impossible for cafeterias to churn out lunches that are tailor-made for each student. For those who have dietary restrictions, that means there will likely be days you'll need to resort to eating a simple salad or plate of veggies while those without any limitations can feast on yummy, hot meals.

And even if your school is good about catering to students with certain lunchtime needs, there's often not a lot of creativity that goes into preparing an alternative meal. After all, there are only so many times you can snack on tofu stir fry or make a sandwich with gluten-free bread.

Olive Eats Lunch in Easy A
(Easy A via Screen Gems)


The Cafeteria Is Super Cliquey

Unfortunately, the cafeteria clique cliché isn't just something that exists in movies like Mean Girls. At many middle and high schools across the country, this practice is something that's alive and well, and it can make an already stressful lunch period even more uncomfortable for many people, especially if you don't have lunch at the same time as your friends.

If that's the case, be prepared to eat by yourself or with people you don't know very well, on occasion. While it might not be your preferred way to lunch, eating solo can be beneficial if you feel like you need your own space, and eating with people you're less familiar with is a great way to get to know others and expand your horizons.

Mean Girls Eat Lunch
(Mean Girls via Paramount Pictures)


It's Not as Good as Fast-Food or a Home-Cooked Meal

Even if your school is known for making particularly tasty lunches, there are bound to be days when waiting on line and getting the same burger and fries or spaghetti and tomato sauce everyone else has just isn't going to cut it. Does that burger taste as good as one you can get from In-n-Out or Shake Shack? Probably not. Is the spaghetti as scrumptious as the pasta your mom makes every Sunday? We doubt it. Though school lunches can taste good in their own right, they're usually not as good or familiar as something you can get from a restaurant or at home. It's just not the same.


You Won't Always Have Enough Time to Eat Your Lunch

Let's get real: By its very nature, lunch is always scheduled in the middle of the day, and if you tend to be particularly busy at school, there will probably be several instances when you simply don't have time to grab more than a piece of fruit between classes. Because lunch is often seen as "free" time, it might be the only opportunity you have to meet with a teacher to discuss an upcoming test, or touch base with your chemistry partner about your latest project, meaning there will be days when sitting down and enjoying a full meal likely won't happen because of that.


It Can Be Hard to Stay Healthy

If you've ever noticed that your school lunches are often swimming in creamy sauces or drenched in cheese or salt, it's because that is an inexpensive way to add flavor to a dish. Generally speaking, adding flavor is a great way to make something taste better, but if it comes in the form of creamy sauces, chances are it's not very healthy for you. That means if you're trying to be mindful of what you eat while at school, it can often be very tricky to find something that fits the bill and also tastes good.

Rachel Berry Eats Lunch on Glee
(Glee via FOX)


For more honest tidbits, click HERE to read six hard truths about freshman year of high school.