Lunchroom menus push healthy foods

  • Article by: MARIA ELENA BACA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 3, 2012 - 11:39 PM
  • 30
  • Comments

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lordhawhaw1Sep. 3, 12 9:45 PM

They Strib gave you the good stuff on these changes; now I'm here to tell you the whole truth. Due in large part to the cost of fresh produce the price of the meals are higher and the portions smaller. Shouldn't bother many of you though as kids pay for school lunch on a sliding scale according to their parent's income. My kids pay more for their lunch because that is how we reward hard work and sacrifice in this brave new country. They tell me its "Fair". But I digress. One mother complained to me about the new standards just yesterday. Her kids started school on the 17th. According to her the school lunch food portions are much smaller. That might be fine for some of the kids but her son leaves lunch still hungry and then goes to football practice for two hours after school. Tough to practice or concentrate on schoolwork when you are still hungry (By the way the kid is skinny as a rail). One of the other moms started to pack her kids lunch to help avert her kids from being hungry. The school lunch staff insisted on inspecting cold lunches and confiscating foods they deemed unhealthy by the new Fed standards. Chips and cookies were not allowed to be consumed. Sound crazy? Well when people keep voting for politicians who force one size fits all policies on us from thousands of miles away this is what we get. When we elect politicians to do everything and take all risk out of life we shouldn't be surprised when they treat us all like children. We apparently aren't bright enough to decide locally what and how much our kids eat anymore.

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comment229Sep. 4, 12 4:55 AM

So, I agree with almost everything said in the comments so far, but would ask only one question about one sentence that, for some reasons, presented a problem but no solution. You have a student from a poor family who gets "free lunch." You don't like that because your family is fortunate and this family is not? Care to enlighten us with your solution? The only solutions I can come up with is that the kids don't eat or bring their own lunches, which I have personally seen. It is embarrassing in America that anybody should be hungry. As far as the article is concerned, the jury is still out. In the old days, when I was in elementary school, the head cook stood by the tray return/garbage can area and if you had something left on your tray, you had to go sit down and "try it." You would be surprised how creative you could get to throw food away. I fear that if mandated, most of the healthy food is going to feed that garbage can.

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comment229Sep. 4, 12 4:57 AM

PS... One other consideration is the freshness of the fruits and vegetables. Have you ever tried to sell a kid on a mushy apple or a carrot from a bag? How about those green beans with no taste from the one gallon cans? If that is what is being proposed, you are doomed to failure. On the other hand, do we buy fresh and watch the price sky rocket? Only in America.

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comment229Sep. 4, 12 5:00 AM

Finally, for all the politicians out there that are promoting this venture, you are missing the boat. The first bill proposed in the house, should be a bill to forbid the sale of candy and soda pop in every school in the state at all times of the day. What's that? The athletic teams depend on that money? In our school, the kids are allowed to buy junk food near the end of the 20 minutes they are allowed to eat. Guess how much chard the kids are going to eat?

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fwallenSep. 4, 12 6:22 AM

It funny how studies can " show" almost anything. The best study of how much kids like the lunch provided is to look in the trash. In my informal look, there was mostly vegetables in the trash. Makes you wonder what's going on.

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nancykuhlSep. 4, 12 6:32 AM

Visit your local school at lunch time and see how much of this healthy food ends up in the trash. Putting it on a kids tray doesn't mean they will eat it.

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fwallenSep. 4, 12 6:40 AM

Maybe the gov't can institute synchronized eating where they can monitor each mouthful.

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rickbmnSep. 4, 12 8:33 AM

Truly amazing that the "education system" had it wrong all these years (sarcasm). How on earth did any of us who are in our 50's or 60's survive? We were so mistreated being forced to eat things like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mac & cheese, chicken nodle soup and crackers, baloney sanwiches, and, oh, my gosh.... leftovers from yesterday's dinners. How on earth did we survive without the government telling our mom's what to feed us for lunch? And to think that in the junior high lunchrooms (predecessor to middle school) we actually ATE that square pizza and those wiener wraps and all that other mystery meat. How on earth did we survive? I did "lunchroom" duty at my kids' schools a few times, and I can assure you that if they served 100 lbs of broccoli (or other horrible vegetable), there would be about 80 lbs in the garbage and about 18 pounds on the floor. But I suppose 2% success is pretty good for a gov't program.

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rickbmnSep. 4, 12 8:56 AM

Another typical, liberal, nanny-state program. They always think that throwing more money (in this case food and money) at problem is the answer. It is, after all, only the intent that matters not results. As I have witnessed and others here have written, most of the "healthy" food goes right into the trash. Why aren't gov't programs ever actually measured for success? [Here's some science fiction for you: In 20 years, kids will line up to be infused with the gov't-designated nutrients at the proscibed lunchtime. True?]

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sr4564Sep. 4, 12 9:20 AM

I'm glad they are changing from a "low fat" approach to a balanced (not too much carbohydrate) approach as well. The low fat craze of the 1990's may have caused more problems than it solved. Smaller portions are good as well, but are we being too politically correct here to say that teenage girls and teenage boys need the same portions? Boys go through tremendous growth in these years and may very well starve on what a teenage girl should consume. We probably don't need to put "everyone on a diet" because we have a childhood obesity problem - that could cause more problems as well. But the emphasis on activity certainly has to be a good thing. One question - are the soda machines gone from all schools now? If not, they should be.

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