Lunchables vs. School Lunch

Oscar Mayer Lunchables are a popular option for busy parents who are looking for something fast, easy, and affordable for their kids to eat for lunch.  But how do they compare to the school lunch that comes from Grass Valley School District Child Nutrition Services’ Central Kitchen, which is an option in 11 schools in our county?

It’s certainly less work for parents if their kids eat the lunch that the school serves. And, with Lunchables selling for between $3.00 and $3.50 per meal, school lunches might even be more affordable, especially if families qualify for a free or reduced price school lunch. The biggest advantage of the Central Kitchen’s lunch, however, is the nutritional value. Each lunch that GVSDCNS serves must meet stringent federal nutritional standards, which include a limit on the amount of fat (no more than 30% of calories from fat/ 10% of calories from saturated fat) and a minimum requirement of one-third of the recommended Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for calories, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium.

We compared a “Chicken Dunks with Juice” Lunchables meal with the Central Kitchen’s elementary school lunch menu for May 29: Chicken Tenders, Sweet Potato Fries, Baby Carrots, Couscous Salad, Fruit and 1% unflavored milk. Here is what we found:


 If you fill out a school food survey here before May 31, you will qualify for a drawing to win a month of FREE school lunches from GVSDCNS, which provides students with a nutritious, balanced meal choice every day.

Lunchables Nutritional Information: