Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Sofia Zhiminaicela, Hampton Bays

You sit down at the lunch table. You take a bite of your pizza and you hear: crunch! Is it baked or faked?

What we mean by that is: Is our school cafeteria food real or fake? We all know it is real, but sometimes we just miss the food Mom and Dad make for us at home. We miss the pizza from our favorite pizzeria. But we have to eat, and sometimes we don’t have time to make that homemade meal to bring to school.

We took a survey of 125 kids in our school and asked them about the lunches. We have all had it, but 102 would prefer a home meal rather than a school lunch. There were 23 kids who said they didn’t mind the school lunches at all.

Asking this question gave us some odd answers such as, “The food tastes like plastic,” or “the chicken is spongy.” We know our school tries its best, and we can’t expect gourmet food. We did find out that the kids love the cornbread, and one kid said, “The tacos are amazing!” Other popular foods were French toast, cheeseburgers and mozzarella sticks.

And we really can’t complain too much because there are people all over the world who wish they had our problem, because they don’t even get a lunch.

We agree that our lunch ladies are the best. And we know that they try their best. How easy could it be to prepare more than 1,000 lunch meals every day? The lunch ladies still try to satisfy our needs, and we need to be appreciative of that.

Jordan’s grandma used to be a cook at our school. We went home and asked her, “Did you have experience?” Her reply was, “Yes, but we still needed to train a lot. We needed to make food for 1,500 people within three hours.”

Allison Krieb and Mike MacKenzie’s sixth-grade class, Longwood Middle School, Middle Island