School Lunches Need A Healthy Kick In The Cafeteria

A new report says school lunches need more fruits, veggies and whole grains and a limit on calories.

Schools must follow federal standards, because the government's school lunch program subsidizes lunch and breakfast for needy kids in nearly every public school and many private ones.

Yet those 14-year-old standards are lacking, according to the Institute of Medicine report. They don't restrict the number of calories kids are offered, even though childhood obesity keeps climbing. And they don't match up with the government's own dietary guidelines calling for lots of fresh fruit and veggies and more whole grains.

The proposed standards won't be cheap. The report committee says breakfast prices could soar 20 percent, and lunch prices could rise by 4 percent.


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  • by Anonymous on Oct 21, 2009 at 08:27 PM
    Both my mom and Grandmother have worked in the School System for the last 20 years, and the government gives money to the school for the children that "can't afford to pay for lunch" but can walk around on $75 shoes?? And the reason the food is so terrible is because the state is so strict on the food that lunchrooms can serve, No Salt, No pepper, No seasoning, I mean really who would eat it?? The food that the school system has no ways as much fat and calories, as the double cheeseburger at McDonald's some of them go and get after school. The reason our society is so obese is because we have more choices from the television, computer games, and video games than we have from exercising. And some of the parents are too lazy themselves to get outside and play with the child, because again they think it's the government's responsibility to take care of that too.
  • by quit having babies if u can't pay Location: eastern NC on Oct 21, 2009 at 06:04 PM
    I have to pay $2:00 every day for my child to eat lunch due to all the freebies given to kid's (who can't help it) because of many parents who refuse to take responsibility for their children and their basic needs. What do these children eat during the summer? I ask her every day, what she eats for lunch, and at least 3 days a week she says peanut butter and jelly because the food is so terrible. How healthy is that? $2:00 is crazy and talk of it going up. We may start brown bagging so at least I know my money goes towards my child and not rewarding others for not taking responsibility for their kid's.
  • by Anon Location: Gville on Oct 21, 2009 at 04:55 PM
    None of ya'll must have kids.... What do you want parents to do? Beat them until they eat it? Then we would be jailed for Child Abuse. My mom made me sit there until I ate my vegetables and if I did not eat them after a long while of being forced to sit there then some form of punishment occurred. I hated most of them and to this day I will NOT eat them if I don't like them. I will not do the same thing to my kids because while I can have them try every vegetable I fix (they have to eat one small bite and can spit it out if they hate it and can't swallow it) hoping one day they'll say hmmmmmm that's good if I force it on them then that will not cause them good habits for down the road. If that is called neglect then so be it. There are very few snacks if any that the children can buy at school. They can't even drink tea in the upper grades (middle school) like we could in school. they can have water, milk and I think they do offer some sort of fruit slushy on the alacart.
  • by ASD on Oct 21, 2009 at 03:25 PM
    Changing the foods children have in school may change some of the weight promblems in todays society, but the biggest problem comes from what children are eating at home.
  • by Uncle Buck Location: NC on Oct 21, 2009 at 02:13 PM
    Give them vegatables. If they want something different let them bring their lunch. May be we should send the parents to jail for neglet. We could feed the parents and kids.
  • by Grandma Location: Goldsboro on Oct 21, 2009 at 06:19 AM
    I have to say that I agree with the article regarding school lunches having too many calories and not being healthy. My granddaughter who lives with us was starting to have a weight problem towards the end of the summer. We started off the school year with her eating school lunches. When I spoke to the pediatrician about her weight, she told me how many calories are in an average school lunch (700 ). I then began packing her lunch and limiting it to 300 - 400 calories. She has already lost 8 pounds from just that one change. That's a lot for a 2nd grader !
  • by Anonymous on Oct 20, 2009 at 08:48 AM
    I go to the schools and help out all the time. I go and pay and eat lunch. I have not ever seen where the children were getting a bad lunch. They had fruits and veggies, meat, and milk. No drinks except the soda's the lunch Box kids brought. The schools do have a buget but most of the buget goes to paying the staff. I can tell you that the state gets plenty of money for schools, it always one bad apple who demands more pay or vacation time that hurts the rest. Balance is the key but you can't balance when one gets more. I have seen kids throw away a perfectly good tray of food right in the trash. No one told them not too. That hurt because I know some of the children will not get fed at home. I do hope that people will see the issue is not about need, its about greed. We as people are to give freely and expect nothing back. But our hearts and pockets have fled from that. Its a sad day.
  • by Pitt Co Location: Pitt Co on Oct 20, 2009 at 07:45 AM
    Let me say this, it used to be that someone in "ok's" situation (two children, deceased husband) was helped by family, the church, the community. That doesn't happen anymore - there's too many out there that need help. If helping is defined by giving a few dollars more in taxes, then so be it. This story was about healthy food, not free-loaders ... and it's about time we started teaching kids healthy food choices. Especially here in the land of Fry-O-Lators where everything is fried, fried, fried. So many of today's parents consider a Big Mac a balanced meal ... no wonder pizza, french fries and Pepsi are a staple at the school cafeteria. When I was in school we had the choice of a balanced lunch and you got either milk or water for a drink. And look - I survived to tell about it. Give this school-age generation a chance to learn and adopt good eating habits. Start at home and reinforce it at school. To the rest of you griping about taxes - this will save $ in the end.
  • by ok Location: goldsboro on Oct 20, 2009 at 05:37 AM
    yeah thats it ...umm i can say this i am a mother of 2 who works on a waitstaff pay witch is 2.33 a hour...as i am a chef but there is no work for them atm..but i can say i lost my hubbty to death an so yes i ask for help with my kids lunch......i pay taxes to hun...
  • by ace Location: plymouth on Oct 20, 2009 at 04:45 AM
    Why do the working people of the USA have to feed childern of parents who are negelecting them. They keep having them and we keep feeding them. What do you think will happen when the governmanet cannot support them. They will find a way.
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