School lunch. Those two words can mean either delight or disgust to high school students.
Typically, the infamous school lunch has been made to sound like a horrible thing that nobody loves. However, this is not so, as many students actually enjoy some of the menu items. Nevertheless, even though teens do like some lunch items, they also have some least favorite items.
We asked some Top of Utah students to share the Best and Worst of School Lunch.
Junior Maddy Olsen of Layton High says that she likes pizza because it's her favorite food. Fellow junior Kortnie Mueller agrees that pizza is good, but she also usually goes out for lunch.
But pizza isn't the only thing kids like, as Kade Peterson, a sophomore of Northridge High, says that his favorite lunch item is "the mashed potatoes, because they are really yummy!"
Mary Houtz, a Bonneville High junior, agrees, saying, "They are so yummy, especially with country-fried steak!"
So is the verdict in? Are mashed potatoes a fan favorite? Not quite. Jenny Rasmussen, senior at Clearfield High, says, "The mashed potatoes, they feed that stuff to us every day ... we want VARIETY!"
Colby Dean, a senior at Weber High, loves the school's popcorn chicken and said, "I eat it every month at least."
Chicken sandwiches are a hit with Billie Shaw, a Weber junior, who says, "I think the lunch ladies make them the best."
Smothered in ketchup
On the list of favorites for Kylee Flanders of Roy High are chicken wraps.
"They're a good alternative and they're healthy," the senior said.
Brandi Guerra, a senior at Syracuse High, said, "My favorite thing on the lunch menu is a cheeseburger. I like it because I can puts lots of ketchup on it, just smother it in ketchup."
Orange chicken rates high with Courtney Slater, a Syracuse sophomore, because "it actually tastes real."
What other things do high school kids not like? Lasagna gets a thumbs down from two seniors at Ogden High School.
"It's crusty and gross looking. It's just all dry and gross, said Lexi Christofferson.
Janet Houser agrees and adds, "It's not like my mama's. It's gross."
Dallas Clark and Jacob Young, sophomores from Northridge High School, both say that nachos are definitely not their favorite.
Clark says that "it's a gross, small meal," while Young says "it's almost no food and I don't like cheese."
Megan Kowal, a Davis High senior, is not a fan of her school's hot dogs.
"I'm not a picky eater and I'll usually eat whatever you give me except rubbery hot dogs," Kowal said.
Katelin Riding, a Syracuse sophomore, says she doesn't like sub sandwiches "because sometimes the bread is moist and it is just ehhhh."
"I hate the pot pies," Dean said. "They always seem to be just a little overcooked, to me at least."
Shaw adds that the lunch workers "let you eat peas with everything; I don't like peas."
Angela Allred, a senior at Roy High, adds a new item to the 'worst foods' list: spaghetti.
"It looks so disgusting so I've never had it," Allred said.
Kalin Craynor, a Clearfield High junior, adds, "I least like the pasta because it's watery. Yuck!"
So does that mean spaghetti is on the 'least favorite' list? Think again, as Rasmussen, at Clearfield, says, "My favorite food in the lunchroom would have to be either the spaghetti or the tacos! I absolutely love pasta and you can't really go wrong on that."
No gravy, thanks
Pizza has a reputation for being one of those "old standbys" that teens always enjoy but after further investigation, we found that it's actually not as popular as most people might think.
"I don't like the school pizza because it's really greasy," Guerra said.
Hillary Cook, a sophomore at Northridge High, said she doesn't like pizza because "it's always cold."
The macaroni and cheese isn't appetizing to Hannah Beagley, a sophomore at Davis High, who said, "The taste in general just tastes like plastic."
Madi Larsen at Roy High doesn't like corn dogs "cuz they're very greasy."
And Flanders says she avoids the hamburger gravy. Why?
"Because in second grade a girl threw it up on the bus -- next to me."
TX. correspondents Alexandra Burton, Ogden High; Danielle Downs, Davis High; Lindsey Larson, Roy High; Cortney Pettingill, Layton High; Lynette Randall, Northridge High; Shelby Lou Shelman, Roy High; Hillary Slaughter, Layton High; Mackenzie Stevens, Bonneville High; Michelle Thurgood, Syracuse High, and Sarah Bingham, Weber High, contributed to this story.
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Kimball Gardner is junior at Clearfield High School. E-mail him at 11KGardner1@davis.k12.ut.us.