The school lunch debate

Changes to the school lunch program have caused quite a stir lately. The government, who picks up the tab for school lunches, have attempted to make school lunches healthier.

Anyone who has watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution can attest to the disgustingness of school lunches.

But what irks me about the reports is how they’ll talk about how kids are hungry, and then talk about how all this food is being thrown out, and then blame the government.  Um? Maybe if those spoiled kids would eat the food they’re throwing out, they wouldn’t be hungry.

The lunches are capped at 850 calories. I’m sorry, but that’s a lot. I’m on a plan that gives me 1,200 a day, plus what I burn working out, if I want to meet my weight loss goals. I might not always stay under that, but I sure do try!

But 850 is more than 2/3 of what I’m allowed a day. And I know that growing children need more food than adults, but still 850 for a whole meal seems like a lot.

For example, 850 calories is more than 5 pounds of baby carrots, just under 3 pounds of apples, or three slices of Little Caesar’s pepperoni pizza. I’m pretty sure I would be filled up on any of those, so I don’t see what the students are complaining about.

Yes, school lunches are not always going to be your favorite food. You know what I would do if school lunch wasn’t my favorite? I ate what I liked, skipped what I didn’t and ate a snack when I got home. It was my fault I was hungry, I was the one being picky, and no one thought to blame the cooks or the government.

The one who pays for the meal gets to make the say. If your kids or you don’t like what’s being served, make them lunch. No one said they had to eat the USDA food.

4 thoughts on “The school lunch debate

  1. I agree! My parents could not afford school lunch all that often and we didn’t qualify for reduced price meals, so we brought lunch from home a lot. We did get to pick lunch once a week and I remember it being tator tot hotdish, chicken nuggets, typical foods kids like. The difference – we were much more active 20-25 years ago. We did not spend time inside with computers or video games, we would leave on our bikes for an entire day and be home at meal time – we never had them – and so eating that school lunch did not affect kids’ health or weight as much. I think that kids should be eating healthier, they aren’t nearly as active. And if they can’t get it at home, they need to be open to trying it at school. A lunch that provides 50% of your daily intake? I think that’s enough to keep kids going through the day.

  2. What bothers me is they can only have so much of each food group. If they want another hot dog or a piece of bread they say its to many calarie’s. Im sorry but if my kids hungry I want her fed. She’s not over weight and very active. I dont care if I have to pay more for it. Just feed her! It’s not fair that they group all kids the same all of them have different body times. I have starting making her lunch so I know she gets enough food. And yes she does finish her food.

  3. I agree with Dawn. I want my kids to be able to get seconds if they want it. They are very thin but can eat a lot. I pay for my kids’ lunches- and would pay more if I had to. It’s not school lunches that are making our kids be overweight – never was. And your breakfast and lunch meals are indeed supposed to be the bigger of your meals. My kids are not spoiled and they are being served things that they have never had before – turkey hotdog on a whole wheat bun anyone? And only so many ounces of fruit and vegetables?? I strongly disagree with that. I tell my kids they need to eat the food they are served – but how can a child (or anyone for that matter) have too many fruits and vegetables?

  4. At Hazen, we have a la carte where kids can pay to get more, or less, food. This year compared to last year the school made more than $1,800 from the a la carte but they sold 3,600 less lunches during the last 19 days of school. That’s almost 190 lunches per day, more than half the amount of kids that go to the school. That tells me they are either not eating at all, going home or going to the Cenex store.

    Yes, parents need to teach their kids to make healthy choices and kids needs to make those choices, but is it up to the government to decide what they eat? I wouldn’t like it if a government official told me I couldn’t drink soda or coffee because it’s bad for my health. I know it is but I want to make the choice for myself.

    You’re right about kids complaining that they don’t get enough and then throw it out, but that’s not the issue. It’s about the government telling us what choices we can or cannot make.

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