15 minute lunches have become SADly standard in schools today. Once you subtract the time the kids have to stand in line to get their "food," they have about 5 minutes to scarf the carbs and fats down. With standard lunch fare being pizza, fries and chocolate milk, there isn't much chew factor. The pizza is mushy, not even a crunchy crust, so the food CAN be just pretty much swallowed whole.
My son starts Kindergarten this year and I want to pack his lunches but wonder how much he'll actually get to eat since healthy food requires chewing. Maybe I can pack him smoothies in a thermos? I have visions of packing cute little bento meals. I don't know for sure how long his lunch period will be but am pretty sure I heard less than 20 minutes, and he's a talker...he might starve if he can't learn to STOP TALKING AND EAT.
What do you send to school with your kids? I've come up with Lara Bars and hardboiled eggs and less-chew fruits like peaches and pears.(again, we're talking easy to slurp down in a hurry, in-between discussing the merits of the best Bionicles and Nerf Guns.)
EDIT TO ADD: Have any of you been harassed by schools for such "strange" lunches, accused of not feeding adequately, etc? I'm in the stoneage midwest, and not in a good way. Most of the town has probably never heard of Paleo, Bento, or Lara Bars for the most part. From what I can tell, nothing has changed here since the 80's.