I’ve been pretty vocal about my disdain for the changes made to the school lunch menu. On that note, let’s take a look at a sample menu:
- Fresh apple
- Spanish omelet
- Pkg. Cream of Wheat
- 3 slices bread
- 2 cups skim milk
- 2 pkg jelly
- 2 margarine
- Kosher beverage
Sounds good, right??? That’s what I thought. Unfortunately, that’s the menu being served to our prisoners in federal prisons. That’s right. Prisoners are being fed better than our
Let’s take a look at another menu:
- Mango, ginger and curry soup
- Mediterranean pasta salad
- Tarragon farmers salad
- All natural turkey BLTs with basil mayo
- Grilled Portobello Ciabatta with roasted red pepper spread
- Ginger glazed carrots
- Red, white and blue chips
- Farmer’s market melon
- Organic milk, greens station, all natural deli bar, whole fruit always available
Sounds pretty extravagant, right? That’s the menu being served at the private school where the Obama’s children attend. I understand that not all schools are on a level playing field when it comes to school lunches, but it the new mandates are so great, why aren’t all schools expected to follow them? Especially this school.
Here’s the last sample menu:
- Baked beans
Doesn’t sound like much, does it? A little lacking in a few areas? That’s the menu that is offered to my children.
And we wonder why kids that have the option to leave campus are now eating at the local gas station and bakery shops. I’m sure the local businesses are enjoying the boom, but it would be nice if the children that would like to eat at school actually felt like the food was able to meet their needs. And as a parent, I agree.
I enjoy the fact that our schools are now expected to serve fresh fruits and vegetables, but to require it is ridiculous. Where are we supposed to get fresh fruit from in December? What will it take to ship it in? What will the shelf life be for it? What do we do if no one eats school lunch that week?
Yes, changes may be needed to our school lunch menu, but those changes need to be made at the local level, with no ties to federal funding.
So many have stated that if you aren’t happy, if your children aren’t fed, just pack a lunch. There’s nothing you can do once it’s implemented.
We can fight for those that cannot fight for themselves. And we can work for a sensible change that can actually help our children throughout the day, not set them up for failure.
Due to the widespread claim that these new, improved lunches are the best thing since sliced bread (which, by the way, is no longer offered as an alternative to the main entree at our school) (oh, and pun intended), and that we need to use these guidelines to curb the rampant obesity in our schools, my 10-year-old is no longer eating much of anything. He was never a big eater, but always ate what was needed through the day. He’s now concerned that he’s overweight, because “the news says that most kids weigh too much.”
Thank you, main stream media, for giving my child a food complex that didn’t exist before…and thank you, current administration, for taking children that are impressionable and at-risk for food disorders for making it impossible for kids not to stress over what they eat.
My solution: Let food decisions be made at the local level, where the school lunch experts know their students, know the climate and know what will work. Educate about nutrition, teach proper eating habits, but please, do not tell our children that they are fat. (Oh, and most children over the age of 7 know what the word obese means…that doesn’t make it better.) If you want to see real change, start at home. Make an effort to reach those parents that don’t understand, or just don’t care what they are feeding their children.
School lunch is not to blame for the childhood obesity issue, and putting our children on a diet during the school lunch day will not solve the problem. If anything, it has encouraged binge eating and unhealthy food choices after school.
It’s time to start using common sense…but unfortunately, it’s not so common.