Obama Girls Enjoy 'Best School Lunch in America;' Public Schoolers Lament 'Let's Move' Meals

By Barbara Boland | April 10, 2014 | 1:44pm EDT

With public school students using #ThanksMichelle to tweet photos of their skimpy, stomach-turning school lunches, I decided to look at what Michelle Obama's daughters are served at Sidwell Friends school, and it turns out the girls dine on lunches from menus designed by chefs.

First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" program is responsible for low calorie limits on public school students and lunch gruel that resulted in tweets like this:

Crusted Tilapia

First Lady Michelle Obama's daughters attend Sidwell Friends, and their meals include hot lunches that are prepared every day fresh-from-scratch. The company that caters the food, Meriwether-Godsey, uses chefs to prepare the food on-site - from scratch - with local and organic foods where possible.

Here's a sampling of the school's "soup of the day": Borscht, Tuscan white bean, Italian bean and kale, calico wild rice, Thai chicken coconut soup, local butternut squash soup, chilled cucumber and mint soup, and chilled blueberry soup.

Other delectable lunch items include:

  • Crusted tilapia
  • Herb roasted chicken
  • Strawberries and chevre salad
  • Freshly baked muffins
  • Pesto cream & garden fresh marinara sauce
  • Cheese tortellini
  • All natural house-made chicken fingers
  • Scallion rice
  • Roasted edamame & Shitake mushrooms
  • Jicama mango slaw
  • BBQ sliders
  • Pesto pasta
  • All natural rosemary chicken
  • Fresh herb risotto
  • All natural beef nachos
  • Vegetarian stuffed Portobello mushrooms
  • Baked lemon herb tilapia
  • Arugula, fennel and parmesan salad
  • Baked organic French fries
  • Baked three-cheese lasagna
  • Pepperoni flatbread pizza

If the items listed above look like they could appear on the menu at a wedding or a five-star restaurant, that's because the menus are prepared by people that have studied under Sous Chefs.

Student Tweets Photo of Public School Lunch

Meriwether-Godsey has a registered dietician, executive chef, and a team of company chefs that design the menus and update them every quarter "so we continue to provide excellent nutrition in keeping with the latest tastes and trends," says Leslie Phillips, the Director of Business Development for Meriwether-Godsey. "Young people are increasingly interested in food and are developing very discerning palates at a younger age." asked Meriwether-Godsey what the favorite lunch the company serves is, and Leslie Phillips responded, "Probably home-made mac and cheese." It's a four cheese macaroni (and here's the recipe!)

Unsurprisingly, the lunch Michelle's daughters eat ranked #1 on The Daily Meal's "The Best School Lunches in America:"

Cuisines you'd never dream of show up on the menu here, such as an entire lunch of Brazilian delicacies like feijoada, caldo verde soup, all-natural chicken with coconut milk, and mango and pineapple with lime and mint. There's ...creative dishes like the Creole caprese salad or hot and sour Cajun gumbo served on "Fat Tuesday."

Nothing on the menu at Sidwell Friends looks remotely like the revolting lunches tweeted by public school students. What would the First Lady say? Let them eat ... freshly baked muffins?

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