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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Healthy School Lunches: Why is this so Hard?

I have to tell everyone about these articles I found.  I found them while reading the Today Show online.  If you have kids in school, this is something you definitely want to read. The title of the article that got my attention is called, Cafeteria chaos: School bans lunches from home . Now first off, the title alone shocked me, so of course I had to find out why a school would ban home lunches.  Read the article for yourself to find out.  It will definitely cause a stir.  In the middle of the article their is a note on related stories entitled: Related Story: What is school lunch really like? One woman ate it every day, and blogged about it. Now this really got my interest.  I don't know about you but I haven't eaten a school lunch, well since gramer school. Read her blog to see what it is all about.

I remember and I'm talking a long time ago that school lunches were not great, but were not horrible either, but then again. Our taste buds probably were not all that developed yet either and part of me thinks it is that fact the school's are banking on.  The fact is school lunches are not healthy.  I don't care how many fruits and veggies you serve, the staple of the meal isn't, and that is where school's go wrong. Don't get me wrong many of the kids do eat the fruit, I know my son does, simply because he loves fruit. So I don't worry there, but I know he isn't eating the veggies, and at my school there aren't many veggies on the menu at all.

There is a huge argument over the overhaul of the lunch menu at schools, it is a nation wide problem and the government is trying to change the program.  I don't personally know why it is so difficult?  I understand that the schools have to work within a budget, but if parents are able to put a healthy meal on the able for their kids at home within a buget, why can't the schools? 

I keep hearing so it's just so expensive to cook healthy in the school, yet we are drilled constantly that it is possible to cook healthy at home and it not cost a fortune.  Sorry people, but you can't have it both ways, so make up your mind. 

Personaly I have a idea.  It might not be a solution, but I believe it is a step in the right direction.  I watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution when it was on, I think it was last year.  The show concentrated on a school in Virginia.  Jamie had some good ideas.  (Notice I said some-not all).

Here are a few ideas based on watching Jamie's show.  (He gets the credit here not me).  1) Less starch.  Why are their 2 starches on the menu?  2) Milk/ chocolate milk.  Not coffee milk, not strawberry milk, (how much of that is wasted and thrown away anyway?)  I say coffee milk because they offer that in my schools.  Why are we introducing 5-10 years old coffee flavors?  Not appropriate if you ask me. 3) Get rid of the processed meats. I know that is hard, but why can't they grill the chicken or the burgers? 4) Taco's- I don't care what you say, they are NOT healthy.  5) Pretzels and mustered does not contatute a lunch. 6) Stop offering one than two things a day. This alone will save the school's money. 7) Let's be realistic, the kids are not going to eat the veggies, but if you stop cooking them, most kids will.  I know my kids will not eat cooked veggies, but love raw ones. People I can go on, but I think you get the idea.

One starch, one meat, one veggie, one piece of fruit, and milk is all a child needs.  Why is that so hard?  You know where I stand, now it's your turn.  What are your thoughts on the subject?

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