Here is the entire article in The Washington Post
I’ve always sent my kids to school with a packed lunch thankfully… even to this day I pack a brown bag for my high schooler!
I actually have a few things to say.
I’ve never been a fan of the sodium in school food. I think sodium intake is a major problem in cafeteria food anywhere you go, and obviously in most places that you can grab a quick bite to eat.
I understand! Has everyone forgotten what one of the first areas for budget cuts is? It’s education. Unless the government has enough money to foot the entire bill for what it’s proposing, those proposals should remain unenforced(in reference to the nutrition changes). Food that is served in schools is food that is inexpensive. It’s nutrient enriched to an extent. I remember hearing the cafeteria workers talking one day about how our hamburgers were 15% grapes and cherries. This was back in high school.
The bottom line is this… There are certain things that kids will eat. It starts in elementary school. It starts in the home. I would argue that for kids, it’s not so much about what they eat as it is about how much activity they’re getting. What ever happened to recess!? I know that’s a romantic notion, but the point is still the same. We all have to play!
I get it, I do. I understand why everyone is upset at this. However, stop to think about the implementation of new laws. Think about how much money it takes. Think about the current cuts that have been made to educational programs. In my county they have considered cutting physical education programs. They’ve already cut the music and art programs considerably. Schools are expected to comply to government regulations with insufficient funds. It’s unrealistic. There is no way we can meet a student’s need for enrichment and enrich his diet at the same time. Not in a public school.
I understand the need for great, nutritious meals in school. Unfortunately, in my opinion, implementating that idea is a delusion of grandeur at this point. The resources need to be in place. Think of school nutrition as only one piece to the puzzle. Kids need time outside! All ages should be playing and socializing in person, not waiting to get home and facebook and text and all that crap!
Ideally, parents should teach their children early on the value of balancing nutrition and exercise. You can’t always eat what you want. If you don’t like what’s going on in schools, pack a lunch. That’s what I did. I understand that many people can’t afford to do that, but it’s an option for many. I do know one thing that’s still free… getting off your butt and going for a run or a walk!
When I see some legislation that starts valuing physical education more, I’ll be happy, and that will be worthy of a discussion. The tomato sauce/paste thing? Come on.. Give Congress a break. They messed up by passing legislation for which they couldn’t put the infrastructure or resources in place, and they fixed it by doing what they do best… passing more legislation… going back and saying that they could save a bunch of money by making tomato sauce count as a vegetable. Think of the majority in Congress right now. Sometimes this is how things have to be done. Is it stupid? SURE!!!
The Short of It All:
Don’t expect things to really change until taxes are raised across the board, and the American public becomes more involved in the political process, not just the political outcomes.