Another school year is upon us in New Jersey. For some parents it is a great relief that the children are going home, while for others it is a bitter reminder of the summer that is now in the rear view mirror and one that one would like to cherish a little longer.
Instead of preparing for what beachwear to wear and how much sunscreen to apply, parents prepare for homework nights and altered morning schedules to get the kids ready for school.
Parents often prepare lunch for their children. The most common and simple lunches are usually a sandwich, which is easy to put together, along with a piece of fruit or yogurt. In general, it’s quick, as most working parents tend to have very little time in the mornings.
Then there are days when preparing lunch is just too much. In this case, parents can simply send their children to school with some food money, where they have to support themselves.
Here in New Jersey, some school meals seem to have stood the test of time. For example, pizza is typically served on Fridays, although lunch changes on other school days.
Maybe one year chicken nuggets was on a Monday, but then the following year it was moved to Thursday. However, pizza always seems to remain firmly on the Friday schedule.
However, what always made the pizza interesting was that it wasn’t your classic Jersey pizza. Instead, it resembled and tasted more like a typical frozen pizza. Still, we never bothered about it.
Well, maybe not all schools have this tradition, but for the most part, there are certain staples that have stuck through the decades. However, one of these staples is no longer an option.
Peanut allergies have become an increasing problem for some college students over the years. As a result, it led to the elimination of one of New Jersey’s most classic lunches.
The totally battered and squished peanut butter and jelly sandwich you would buy at school.
Most of us of a certain age will remember those sandwiches in the school cafeteria. They were usually wrapped in plastic and the cafeteria staff had tons of them. If you ask about it, the sandwich might look like it went through some kind of torture device.
Instead of the bread being in good shape, it usually looked like someone had taken the time to beat the daylight out of it. Almost like it’s being tenderized like a piece of meat.
It was mostly always on white bread. And when you eat it, you realize how mashed it was. That’s how it was for decades, and yet we didn’t care.
Although the sandwich didn’t resemble anything you would make at home, it was delicious. And it always hit a lot of kids who didn’t think twice about it while they ate it. It was just a great sandwich that hit the spot.
But that was then. You can’t even bring anything with peanuts to school these days. And I totally understand that now that more is known about how serious peanut allergies can be for some children. After all, we learn more and more about our health over time.
Maybe peanut butter and jelly is still legal in some private settings, but for the most part you won’t find it anywhere near a New Jersey public school. I know it makes preparing lunch for my family more difficult since my kids love peanut butter and anything nut related.
But like I said, it’s totally understandable why it’s not allowed, and we bypass that to cook other types of lunches. Luckily my kids aren’t that picky. Unfortunately for others, however, this might force unconventional thinking when it comes to preparing meals for school.
So as we move forward with another school year in New Jersey, please take a moment to remember the classic peanut butter and jelly. Not the ones you make at home, but the mashed ones that all New Jersey school cafeterias have been serving up.
See how school canteen meals have changed over the last 100 years
5 Animals in NJ You Need a Permit to Own
The top 30 roller coasters in New Jersey
Happy National Coaster Day! The state of New Jersey is home to the 5th largest roller coaster in the United States, spread across 14 exciting theme parks.