A new survey of the nation's lunch scene has served up some hefty praise for the Empire State.

Best Lunches in America

Whether you brought your own lunch or lined up at the cafeteria for pizza or nuggets, some states do lunch better than others.

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Or, to be more specific, there are states that are home to parents that know how to pack lunches their kid will definitely eat. Those parents definitely deserve praise because, if kids go to school for 180 days, that means moms and dads pack nearly 200 lunches a year per child!

That can be a nearly impossible task for parents of picky eaters and those who are always changing their preferences.

Crestline wanted to figure out which states offered the best - and worst - school lunches. They did so by polling students to rate their lunches and identify the foods that are the most welcome in their lunchbox.

Conversely, Crestline also asked parents about their packing habits and how they are able to figure out what lunch is guaranteed to be eaten.

In the end, New York State dominated the list when it came to the best school lunches in the nation.

By the Numbers

New York was found to be among the top 3 states with parents most likely to pack a lunch for their child. The reason provided was that parents wanted to ensure their kids eat healthy. Others admit it's cheaper to pack a lunch than give their kid money to buy one every day.

Students Using Fingerprints to Buy Lunch
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And, considering children say they want to eat pizza, cookies, brownies, and candy the most during lunch - they're doing a herculean task. If they allowed their kid to make their own lunches, chances are that's what would wind up in the bag.

However, parents in this state have cracked the code to pack healthy, yet tasty lunches for their kiddos. These parents are likely to fill their kids' lunch box with fresh fruit, sandwiches with deli meat and chips.

In the end, students say New York has 5th most-approved lunches in the country, only to be outdone by Missouri, Illinois, South Carolina, and first-place finisher, Tennessee.

The study also found that kids in these states prefer packed lunches over their cafeteria food.

Other Interesting Facts

When it came to asking parents how they get their kids to eat all their foods, 1 in 5 said they consider the color of what foods they're packing. They say adding colorful food increases their kids' attention - and appetite.

About one in six parents add they will cut their kids' food into fun shapes while one in 8 say they think of fun themes for their child's lunch.

On the topic of what is cheaper: cafeteria or packed lunch, parents say they spend about $4.39 to pack a lunch while a school-bought one can cost a lot more. In the end, those who make their child's lunch say they spend $785.71 annually on groceries.

iStock via Getty Images
iStock via Getty Images

What do you think? Are you a packed-lunch supporter or a cafeteria connoisseur? Also, what did you eat for lunch when you were in school?

You can read more about the study HERE.

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