Life in Poland

Szkolny sklepik

Where I went to school, we didn’t have such a thing as the szkolny sklepik. Not that we didn’t like to eat. We did, but we were only permitted to eat in the cafeteria during our allotted lunch time or after school, off school premises. In our cafeteria, we could buy the standard school lunch on offer and supplement with a supply of chips, cakes, cookies and sweetened juices and milks. No, no, we didn’t have canned sodas, no way, but we did have canned lemonade which contained the same if not more sugar than the average cola.

I ate it all. I ate the greasy, gooey school pizza cut in big, thick rectangles. I ate the toasted cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. I ate the tacos, the nachos, the spaghetti, the mashed potatoes – oh and the tater tots, I almost forgot about the tater tots. More often I packed a lunch and supplemented it with junk food from the ale carte menu. I packed a whopping PB&J sandwich, an apple and then bought a chocolate milk and a small bag of chips. I sometimes packed a ham and cheese sandwich, a banana and then bought a regular milk and a candy bar. The good old days before I learned about things like carbs and transfats and cellulite- before I had a consciousness that food is fuel for my body.

I was super skinny in high school and some of my nicknames reflected it – “hollow leg” , “skeleton, “Q-tip” all of these nicknames simply a teen-aged girl’s dream.
I recently read an article about the relationship between obesity and what schools sell in their cafeterias, school shops and vending machines. The article states that schools with stricter rules about junk food make an impact in curbing childhood obesity.
Strict regulations concerning junk food in school is one tiny factor (even the article admits) in childhood obesity – a drop in the bucket really,  but as stated in the article, why not give it a try?

But if the laws have even a tiny effect, “what are the downsides of improving the food environment for children today?” asked Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital. “You can’t get much worse than it already is.”

Our Lizzie is a first grader. Her class missed their first English lesson today because the teacher forgot to send them to class from świetlica. We packed her lunch this week because September snuck up on the school district and the school cafeterias are not in operation until next Monday.
Lizzie got her locker key today with instructions to make a lot of copies – kids lose things. Her locker is located in a pretty busy place for the “new” kids, right next to the szkolny sklepik.

The szkolny sklepik is a popular place packed full of sugary, chocolaty goodness. The line to buy something sweet was down the hall and around the corner. There must have been 40 kids waiting to buy something (that might also have something to do with the fact that the cafeteria was closed).
What I didn’t see was a single fat kid.
What I did see was a bike rack without a single free place.
I saw kids walking (sometimes running) home from school.
No school-wide, city-wide, regional or state-wide sports program…but somehow today I didn’t see a single fat kid.
But that was just today. Sometimes, I see some “American-style” kids walking home from school with orange, Cheeto-ed fingertips chugging a Coca-cola. Be careful Poland. You can’t say we didn’t warn ya.
PS You couldn’t pay me to eat a typical school lunch in America now. But a Polish school lunch…some days makes my mouth water. And what does school lunch look like in Poland…

Obiad w szkole


You Might Also Like

No Comments

  • Reply
    September 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Cool pics 🙂 Szkolny sklepik was the center of the school for the social live of students. Miss those days. Lookig at the pictures I think that szkolny sklepik serves only snacks. The main luch is a dinnerlike meal with kompot as a drink. Every time I visit Poland I see that people cook from known products and from scratch. And I remember that for polish people american food is like poison loliwona

  • Reply
    September 6, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    In the late 70's some schools allowed oldest pupils (13-15) to sell things in szkolny sklepik. There were mostly exercise books, pencils, etc. there, some small bags with simple sweets and delivered every day fresh doughnuts and/or so-called cieple lody, known also as murzynki (sooo racist, I know;) if they had chocolate topping on.Good old times…Regarding still slim children in Poland – if you were in the school in a really big city (or small village, as if affects mostly farmers' children and these in the cities over 500 000 residents), you would probably see many more overweight/obese children. Doctors say it's a real epidemic already and the numbers are growing really fast:\”Aż 29 proc. polskich 11-latków ma nadwagę, a wśród 13-latków jest niewiele lepiej, bo na otyłość cierpi co czwarty z nich\”

  • Reply
    September 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Iwona – You will be proud of me – today I am making pomidorówka made from smoked bacon, chicken baked with blue cheese, potatoes with dill and beet salad. I inspired myself ;)Czar – I stuck my head inside the sklepik this morning and they also had doughnuts and sweet rolls and some small school supplies as you described. As Iwona said, it is only a snack but since the cafeteria is closed some kids are just eating from the store and not packing anything else.I was thinking about your comment as I walked the kids back from school. I saw 2 boys coming from school (and heading to Żabka together) who had serious weight problems. I think the stats you give are right on the money. I can see the changes in the kids even in the time I have been here. I hope that some people look at the bad example the US has set and the dire consequences of our behaviour and try to avoid what I hope is not inevitable.

  • Reply
    September 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Mmmm… Unlike most of my friends, I loved school lunches (I also like the food served on planes, so you can say I'm odd…) but even more I loved vanilla ice cream from the szkolny sklepik! Yumm, what great memories! :))

  • Reply
    September 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Hanna – I'm with you. I'd be happy to eat a Polish school lunch. Today was Lizzie's first school lunch in 1st grade. She said they had \”zupa zielona\” and \”makaron z sosem\” and that it was good and the kids ate everything. Success!

Leave a Reply