If I make less sense that usual I apologize. I am fighting a head cold. I hope you have read the first and the second post in this series. I have obviously spent way to much time thinking about schools. Last night I had a dream that left me quite upset at the lack of grizzly bear attack preparedness in our country’s elementary schools. Duh people, it’s not rocket science, just shoot the bear already! But seriously, there are a few points I haven’t covered yet about the school lunch debate… Fat kids, the politics involved in all of this and why the hell I care about any of this.
So let’s talk about the obesity epidemic in our kids. Healthier kids is something I think we can support. Kids shouldn’t be on prescription drugs to treat type 2 diabetes. It’s one thing to hear Wilford Brimley talking about “diabeetus”, I don’t want to hear Beiber pitching blood sugar monitors.
So are the new guidelines really doing anything to help those kids? Of course they are! But to be honest this quote from a friend of a friend on facebook who happens to run a school kitchen pretty well sums up my thoughts.
“I am slightly honked off by this whole thing. The last several years I have been blamed by parents, media, Hollywood starlets that wouldnt know a P.S. if they crashed into it with their Jag for being the root of obesity in America….so in steps the government (even more then they were before) and makes changes that restrict choices even more and now that isn’t ok either….So basically I am supposed to feed kids stuff that will fix obesity but has to taste like fluffy chocolate cause heaven forbid someone doesnt like something….if that item existed I wouldn’t be a lunch lady I would be a billionaire for revolutionizing diet food. Also maybe, just MAYBE, if when I put out starfruit/kiwi/chickpeas the kid would try it if the kid sitting next to him didnt have a home lunch that involves a slice of cold pizze a pudding cup and koolaid.”
What’s a lunch lady to do? That’s the thing, school lunch is supposed to cover the kindergartners, the senior football stars, the poor kids, the fat kids, the food allergy kids and it’s all supposed to be done in a cost effective manor. Let’s not forget that it’s run by our government. How can this plan not fail?
The first lady, Michelle Obama has taken the obesity and food cause under her wing as her pet project and despite your politics you have to admire that she cares. But her plan in practice just isn’t working. To be honest if we are going to overhaul the school lunch system to get our nation’s kids back to healthy weights what’s been done now is a half step at best. But maybe our school lunches shouldn’t be about making fat kids into skinny kids. Our lunches should be about making sure that all the kids, regardless of weight have a filling and nutritious meal that they can count on each day. Teach about proper nutrition, offer lots of fruits, vegetables and lean meats but feed the dang kids!
So why do I care about this anyways? Well first of all I help produce the food that goes on the cafeteria tray. My cow’s milk goes into that whole milk that is no longer allowed and into the 1/2 a slice of cheese on that turkey sandwich. So I am not going to say that I don’t have a stake in this argument. But the real reason I spent the time look at all of this information is because I care about kids going without food. A kid who is hungry is a kid who isn’t learning. And a kid that’s not learning isn’t going to go far in life. That’s something we should all care about.
Yep, feeding kids so that they are full and ready to learn is what it’s about. We all have a stake in that (no pun intended). The schools do teach about nutrition and what they should be eating to be healthy. Unfortunetly, it doesn’t always get through and for many kids, it’s not reinforced at home. BTW…You can let the lunch lady know Elizabeth took left over tuna casserole, broccoli, a KIWI, some romano cheese and a water bottle in her lunch. After school/before band practice snack was pretzels and hummas…and she’s the one that packs her lunch every day.
These posts have been great. You are right to be concerned. I know active kids have high metabolisms and need a lot of calories. These policies against obesity are outrageous. I have a 2 year old daughter that is below the percentile scale on body weight for her age. She is small and lean and because of these policies she cannot get whole milk at daycare. There are plenty of kids out there that are NOT obese. And when you create hunger in a kid by limiting their calories at lunch you are messing up metabolism and you can actually make kids fatter that way. Anyway, I appreciate your desire to shed light on this subject and if there is some way that I can help you in this crusade, I would love to.