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2/27/2006

School Lunches

Do you get this image in your mind?

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Are school lunches meeting the nutrition standards that parents would like?

Based on studies done by multiple sources, school lunches today have improved in both taste and nutrition. However, even though the lunches meet the standards in protein, vitamins, calcium, and iron, they still exceed recommendations for fat.

Some schools have tried to make changes to their menu to accommodate these statistics, but still many fall short.

Still, other studies have contributed to even more startling statistics. Lunches provided from home generally are even less healthy than those purchased through schools!

I thought about it, and things started to make sense. First, how many lunches from home that students bring include milk? According to studies, 87 percent of school lunches include milk, while only 7 percent of lunches from home do. Also, lunches from home include many more snacks than school lunches do. Chips, fruit-rollups, pudding, and candy bars may all include some vitamins and minerals, but they also contain a lot more fat than recommended.

Another issue that is often brought up is that "School lunches are gross. There's nothing good to eat. They're not appealing." To combat this complaint, many schools have used student surveys and other student input, as well as parental input to modify the lunch menus. This has improved the opinion of many students.

There are good arguments from both sides of the issue. And of course things vary from region to region, even school to school. My school in particular has had student input for the lunches. I eat school lunch about once every two weeks. I usually always purchase a milk from school to go along with a lunch I take from home.

Some interesting things to think about anyway.

Here are two links that discuss the school lunch issue. These take a more confrontational approach toward school lunches.

Consumer Reports for kids

Kids health for Parents

"You are what you eat, from your head down to your feet."

11 Comments:

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Chicka said...

I dunno. My kids love the school lunches.

Ok, so what does that say about the cooking at home. LOL!

 
At 12:29 AM, Blogger Brad said...

We had a Taco Bell and a Dominos in my school cafeteria which tells you a lot about the public school system's insistence on health food.

 
At 9:06 PM, Blogger Kris said...

My kids' highschool had two lunch lines: one was more like a snack bar and the other had plate lunches. I never gave them lunch money, but always bought them lunch cards, forcing them to get the plate lunches. The school did have a great salad bar that came with every plate lunch which my kids really liked. But they didn't have the option of putting their money in the soda machine or making a lunch out of a plate of french fries. (Until they worked and had their own money and I lost all control over what went into their mouths!)

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger GuusjeM said...

My school is 85% Free & reduced lunch and most of the lunch -esp. the fresh fruit ends up in the trash. The kids eat the meat and that's it. The kids who bring their lunch bring the unhealthiest food of all - chips and sodas and Lunchables.

 
At 12:26 AM, Blogger Tachizuno said...

Sounds similar where I teach guusjem...

 
At 9:50 PM, Blogger Pamela J Weatherill said...

What a lovely little blog! Hey if you meet any teachers looking for journal writing tips for students send them to me at www.blogcharm.com/journalwritingtips

I have just sent a couple your way too!

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger Jason said...

If you take the fat out, you take the state out, then the kids will never eat a good lunch.

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger Jason said...

That's take the *taste* out. (Dyslexic fingers. It's a wonder I can pass the captcha test.)

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Jenn of the Jungle said...

My mom packed my lunch each day. Sometimes we'd have pizza or burger day. But that was a special treat.

 
At 11:56 PM, Blogger Tachizuno said...

Thanks Pamela! Will do... and I'll head there myself from time to time.

Tachizuno

 
At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My school lunches are so gross-pizza one day, chicken the next, pizza again, chicken...u get my point. The only things I like are the pizza dippers and the spaghetti with meat sauce

 

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