Being a kid meant having to do things adults said because they (allegedly) knew best. That included everything from getting braces to knowing how many feet are in a mile. It also meant that, for five meals a week, your food choices were controlled by people who were tasked with feeding hundreds (if not thousands) of minors, often as cheaply as possible (that is, unless you were lucky enough to get a packed lunch).
It certainly didn't help that limited resources also had to please the discerning palates of growing boys and girls who would just as soon eat boats of ketchup at every meal. The results were hilarious, weird, and sometimes wonderful, just like childhood itself.