How many of your kids with #Autism or #SPD would eat these school lunches? -

How many of your kids with #Autism or #SPD would eat these school lunches?

This is not a criticism of Summit Academy Schools at all.  This is merely something I have noticed and fund myself a bit confused. 

To me, this seems to be a unsensory friendly lunch menu, especially since it’s at a school for children with Autism.  I actually spoke with the school and they said that it’s based on the states nutrition guidelines, as per state law.

I totally get that. 

Elliott and Emmett will eat almost nothing off of this menu and I was wondering if your child with Autism or SPD would enjoy the offerings. 


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Meggie Kobb

Ian would eat about half of this. His issue is food being plain. No sauce, no ketchup, nothing but cheese is allowed. 😉

Clementine Kruczynski

Oddly my five year old son will eat almost everything on this menu…he absolutely loves fruits and veggies though. It's meats he's always had the issue with.

Kris Rollins

I've actually been amazed- my son started eating lunch at school this year(wasn't eating anything I packed him besides crackers), and his teacher said he ate meatballs, and he told me he ate chicken nuggets and hamburgers. He doesn't eat meat in general- except for the certain brand of frozen beef and bean burritos. I'm hoping that his new found tolerance for food at school will carry over to his home habits. It will be nice to be able to feed him more than burritos for lunch and dinner every day.

Nathan William Brown

I just didn’t eat school lunch during middle school and most of high school and no one knew. I would usually just get a sunny delight in a la cart line

Peta Ellis-Stein

In Australia our kids take packed lunches every day and order ‘hot lunches’ from the canteen or local take away store. Which is good considering I wouldn’t eat some of those meals either! (I totally get sensory eating patterns…some foods just ‘feel’ wrong)’

Anastasia Beaverhausen

I don’t think that serving soft tacos is forced socialism, and I will agree that it sucks when an entire school has to go peanut free to ensure the safety of a child(ren) with a peanut allergy. I filled in for a while when my oldest child was in grade school, one of their cooks had a heart attack and I worked there until they could find a replacement. Not easy to dó when you’re offering $5.50 an hour! I was surprised by how much actually cooking we did – especially the baking.

Erika Lowery

Not my kid. When my daughter was in Pre-school she had something on her plate that resembled hockey pucks (“teriyaki beef”?) and I told her since we can’t identify it she didn’t need to eat it.
What makes me mad is when I send a lunch in with my son, and the school doesn’t give it to him. The other day I asked what he had for lunch, and he said “milk”. I asked about his cheese, yogurt, hot dog. None. They had him get a school lunch.
One of the options on my kids menu is “chicken and waffles” which has cinnamon in it – both the chicken and waffles; which he is violently allergic to. :/

Tracy Smith

pizza yes, mine loves hot dogs but not turkey dogs. My kid would starve at your school. My school has pizza and hot dogs almost every Thursday and Friday so he bought those days last year but this year has started balking at those now.

Amy Motschenbacher Kutz

My 3rd grader has a lot of “picky” issues for food. He is taking home lunch 10 out of 20 days this month. Before we just thought he was eating lunch on all the days… until last spring one day he told me that he got PB& J many times –but then didn’t like that too! We have been working with him to help pick out what he takes so he will like it.

Holly Oberg

I have to say the foods look better than our elementary schools. It’s all pre packaged preservative laden lowest bidder crap. They don’t even make the cheese sandwiches on site

Cammy Rubin

I say that any forced socialism that tells mom and dad that what they serve in their home – is very negative, its ethically wrong. Family and good health is more important than supporting the government subsidized lunch system – the district wanting to keep their funding numbers high should not trump Mom & Dad.

Cammy Rubin

When I send my lunches my sons eat a full meal every time. When I left it up to the school lunches, they would loose weight and go hungry, food wasted in the trash. My sons would never eat school lunches, and half the recent items on our school menu I never would have eaten when I was in school either – they are too much culturally diverse, to a fault. Too much of anything can be just as bad, as well.

Jen Escandon

I have 5 boys and my oldest son with autism is the easiest to feed. My other boys are really picky.

Laurie Brown

Mine would eat the fruit and bread for sure. Some of it he might try. He’s actually pretty proud of himself when he tries new things at school but there are things he’ll eat at school he won’t at home. I’m glad he doesn’t go to a school where they don’t allow peanuts on the grounds. He would have starved in Kindergarten. I had to pack him a peanut butter sandwich every day or he wouldn’t eat. I started talking him into school lunches when they had something I knew he liked and I think he liked how routine and orderly the lunch line was and wanted to be part of it. I have to say I like our school lunch program. For instance on the day they have a BBQ rib sandwich they also offer a chicken patty sandwich. He hates BBQ sauce. He hates most kinds of sauces and gravy so we had a talk with the main lunch person and now they always ask him before they put anything on his food. Took a couple times asking but when the Special Ed teacher told all the staff at the school to greet my son when they saw him walking with her in the hall so he’d start interacting with people, the lunch people started recognizing him and would remember about the no gravy thing.

Kristy Marie Davis

Another reason we homeschool

Kathleen Barney King

Several of the meals my son might eat or try a few bites of one item and dump the rest.

Gwen Curriden

my 3rd grade granddaughter will maybe try 3 of these depending on her mood etc., we pack her a lunch and sometimes she won’t eat things we know she likes.

Peggie N Mike Moreno-LoRe

The smells make him gag. It’s a wonder how he is able to eat with his peers. We’ve packed his lunch as well since kindergarten…he’s a fifth grader now.

Tonya Mb

I see 2 meals. My HFA son deals with this every day.

Kat Reid

No way

Robin Roberts

My son, a fifth grader, will try to eat new foods at school with his peers that he would never try at home. Best decision his team and I made last year!

Nicole Logan


Steph Ward-Williams

Kendra would not eat most of these meals…

Tammy Wagar

Mine would eat some of it but not enough to survive.

Cynthia Thornton

Mine would eat parts of that- but would mainly just play with it

Belenda Kay Kemp

Definitely not my kiddo, he is in 5th grade and has packed every single day since 1st grade.

Bobbi Ely Man

Not a chance!! This actually shocked me considering the students!!!!!


I read a novel once set in Japan in the 1890s, about teenage boys attending an elite boarding school designed to train future leaders. It was a feeder school for the best universities in Japan and many students became politicians, etc. Anyway, the freshmen complained bitterly about their school meals and how they tasted terrible and so on. After a month or so of this they were roused out of their beds at four o’clock in the morning and told: We have listened to your complaints about the school meals, and we’ve decided to do something about it. From now on, you will make your own school meals. We will give you the same amount of money we gave to the kitchens before, and you will be buying your own produce and cooking your own meals. This morning you can watch the cafeteria staff cook your breakfast; starting tomorrow you have to make your own breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. Have fun!
Things like that were the reason why that school was considered so awesome and why so many alumni became important people. Because (A) They learned not to complain so much and (B) They learned to take charge of their own lives. Within a week or so they’d gotten some cookbooks, learned the rudiments of cooking, set up a rotation where everyone had take turns cooking the meals, and actually wound up making better food than they had before.
Not that I’m suggesting Summit Academy do such a thing; I just think it’s a good story.


Rob, by now you know me (by my comments) and I know that you understand that this is not meant as bitchy as it might sound. Reading some of these comments and the ones on Facebook reminded me of when I was about 12 and was told that Hospitals are businesses and exist to make money. I was SO indignant!!! What do you MEAN they make MONEY?!! OFF OF SICK PEOPLE???!!!!!! What the hell? It’s the same thing with School Lunches. It’s a business. I read comment after comment and post after post day after day about how you can’t get your kids to eat. How the hell dó you expect perfect strangers to get an entire school full of children with sensory issues to eat if you can’t even get them to eat their ‘preferred’ foods at home under ideal conditions? Your kid may not like ‘crunchy’ foods, the kid next to them might ONLY eat crunchy foods and gags at their peanut butter smell. The menu is what it is. I’m certain it meets your state’s dietary requirements (and hopefully for their sake within their budget) which is what it’s designed to dó. The alternative is obvious; since there isn’t a menu on the planet that can possibly be catered to each child’s sensory issues, pack their lunches at home. And if it’s cost prohibitive to do that; for example if you’re in the free or reduced lunch program and can’t afford to pack X amount of lunches each day? A) Please don’t tell me that you’re complaining about free food and B) Imagine that times however many students there are and put yourself in the shoes of the food service staff. As a child, I myself was in the free lunch program, so I’m ABSOLUTELY not putting anyone down for that. Quite the contrary, I applaud anyone who puts their children’s needs above their pride. And back in the Bad Old Days when I got free lunches? I think they did everything within their power to embarrass us – the lunch tickets were a different COLOR, even! As always, I hope that everything works out for you and your families. Peace to your little ones & rest for the parents!


It sounds similar to the lunches at my school (we had kitchen/cook staff on premises) when I was in grade school about 20 years ago. There are a lot of foods on that menu I wouldn’t have touched or would now as an Aspie. I took my lunch to school a lot, except on the few days I actually would eat the school lunch. I hope this helps.


I gave up on school lunches.  My son brings his own to school and picks out what he wants each day from home.  Thankfully it’s stuff he can just grab and doesn’t have to put together because I hate making school lunches!


The school gets reimbursed a certain dollar amount per student from the federal government for all students enrolled in the free lunch program,.  The school then looks for the third party company who will do the lunches for the cheapest amount, this allows them to then in essence pocket the money.  For example, they get 2.00 per lunch from the government and Sanese provides the lunches at 1.00 per child, leaving an excess of 1.00 they can put towards their budget. They could certainly do better and some schools across the country have made it a priority.   The USDA guidelines make it very difficult for schools who really do want to try to provide healthy lunches for kids, it is a shame.


chefaimee megskitchen okay.  Interesting feedback.  I suppose that I should clarify that these lunches are catered by a third party company. The school has no control because they don’t do the cooking.


It’s a ‘heart healthy’ nutritionally sound 3 week cyclic menu. I’m an Atkins person (down 100#, thank you!), but I’m also certified in Nutrition and have a degree in Food Science. Most school lunches are written with cost control and inventory in mind, as well as meeting federal and state guidelines for nutritional content. I notice a lot of items used mire than one way, and most institutional food that I’ve worked has a 6 week cycle rather than a 3, so maybe they’re trying to be more predictable for the kids that need to know ‘what’s next’? Unless the meal plan cost is rolled into tuition, I’d say send a sensory-friendly lunch to school on days individual kids will have a problem.


It looks like a standard school lunch menu, and I really think a specialty school should be able to do better.  I know my son wont eat carrots (too hard), mashed potatoes or anything with gravy for sensory issues.  On top of that, he doesnt like salad, most fresh veggies, or peppers.  So yeah, he would be eating a lot of fruit and maybe half of the main courses. Oh, and because of motor skill issues, he still doesn’t know how to cut things up, so any meal that he would have to cut, he just wont eat.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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