Byline: Associated Press
MILWAUKEE Kids may be worried about homework, teachers and that pesky bully this school year. But parents? Theyre leery about lunches.
With food prices rising and packages shrinking, parents are wondering how theyll stretch their food budgets. Children are going to get an unwitting lesson in economics, analysts say, as parents change their food-buying habits to keep costs down.
Some kids will eat more hot lunches this year. Some will carry plastic bags full of snacks like home-packed chips and crackers rather than prepackaged ones. Maybe there will be more peanut butter, if it hasnt been banned in school because of allergies, instead of lunch meats, or cheaper items like Spam.
This years lunchroom will be less about convenience and more about the bottom line, said Marcia Mogelonsky, senior research analyst with Mintel International in Chicago. Parents will be shopping for deals but still wanting all the basics fruits, veggies, proteins and fun things like chips and cookies. It wont be easy, she said.
"Parents are sort of entering …