"Let's face it, once your kids leave the house for school, do you really know what they are eating?
"... The cafeteria lunch. Sure, you can diligently pack your kids a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a healthy drink -- but the cafeteria meals will come calling -- especially on pizza day.
"While President Barack Obama recently signed The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act into law -- deeming the U.S. Department of Agriculture free reign over the nutritional guidelines of foods sold in schools -- does this mean school lunches will actually be healthier?
Let's hope so. Last month USA Today issued a report questioning the safety of the meat in school lunches and came to the dire conclusion that the meat used at your local Burger King may be safer than the meat used at your kids' school.
"Great. So now we're back to packing our children's lunches again. Fine and dandy -- if you can keep it cold for the four hours until lunch time.
"Because while you may have survived your own brown bag years (or Partridge Family metal lunch box years), your child's home packed lunch -- housed in the school cloakroom all morning -- is probably not being safely chilled. Once that turkey sandwich hits 40 degrees it's only good for about two hours, which means it may be expired before the lunch bell rings.
"So what's the solution to your child's school day food woes- without going overboard?
"Control what you can before at home. That means a healthy, low-sugar breakfast and low-fat snacks.
"Combine the best of school lunches with healthy foods brought from home. That piece of cafeteria pizza is really OK once in a while (c'mon mom, everyone is doing it!) but try to add some healthy side items from home, like fruit or cut-up veggies.
"Pack safely. Use ice packs to keep cold foods cold; use thermoses to keep hot foods hot.
"Talk to your kids about what they ate today. If they've already chowed on an impromptu school-birthday cupcake, that may mean you need to put the kibosh on dessert tonight. And yes, they still have to eat their veggies."