Do Children Have Healthy School Lunches?
I remember when I was in the 4th grade in the 80’s when Ronald Regan wanted to make french fries and tomato sauce (and/or ketchup) part of the vegetable food group. I was actually very happy about that at the time but I knew at age 9 that ketchup and french fries were not in the vegetable food group. Playing sports as a child I knew that I had to be agile and quick and when I ate fast food or other unhealthy foods I could feel myself getting slower and my energy levels were plummeting. I made a pact to myself when I was younger that I would try to avoid and ultimately quit drinking soda and eating fast food. It was an awareness I had about my own eating habits and one that my father would instill in me that being overweight and eating unhealthy would not help my overall performance in sports. A few days ago I read a little article on the 10th page of the Press Telegram in Long Beach discussing the story of unhealthy lunches still being served in schools across the country everyday. In my opinion there are a few main reasons I see why we can’t put healthier food out on the table for children. One very easy and effective way to get great nutrition in a child’s body everyday is by taking Juice Plus.
Please contact me here about any and all inquiries about the Juice Plus Product and the Juice Plus Children’s Health Study where your child can get this amazing fruit and vegetable food concentrate for FREE by the company.
#1 COST: Processed food is cheaper than buying fresh fruits and vegetables and the government is not willing to invest money in better quality foods! I guess we would rather wait till our children get fat and unhealthy to treat them down the road with diabetes or onset heart disease which costs millions more in the long run. I say we invest now so we wont have to pay later for mistakes we made in making the wrong decisions to eat healthy! And why is it that we congratulate our children for eating so much? Portion sizes are out of control and for some reason we think as a society that big overweight children are ‘healthy’ children? Not true. And on the other hand if a child looks too skinny we always have to offer them more food because we don’t think that is good to be too skinny which in turn can be really healthy. A lean body is a good body!
#2 Knowledge: It comes down to an investment of nutritional education for our children’s future! Just like buying car insurance is the law and is considered an investment in our society so should the fact that healthy decisions and staying active in your own lives is ‘insurance’ and our own investment to living a long and healthy life!
#3 Being Physically Active In A Technological World: Calories in.. calories out! Everyone is always looking for the easy way out and the least path of resistance with getting a better body while not taking action to actually get there. The reality is that we all need some physical activity almost everyday! Just like we need to sleep and eat everyday… Exercise is in fact a everyday necessity. If you deny your body the everyday necessity of working out then you will have a higher chance of paying the price later in life with fighting infectious diseases and living in pain.
The long Beach Press Telegram on November 16th, 2011 along with other major newspapers across the U.S. has reported on the same subject of the derailing of the ‘Healthy lunches campaign’ for our children across the nation.
Congress Pushes Back On Healthier School Lunches
WASHINGTON – Who needs leafy greens and carrots when pizza and french fries will do? In an effort many 9-year-olds will cheer, Congress wants pizza and french fries to stay on school lunch lines and is fighting the Obama administration’s efforts to take unhealthy foods out of schools. The final version of a spending bill released late Monday would unravel school lunch standards the Agriculture Department proposed earlier this year. These include limiting the use of potatoes on the lunch line, putting new restrictions on sodium and boosting the use of whole grains. The legislation would block or delay all of those efforts. The bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. USDA had wanted to only count a half-cup of tomato paste or more as a vegetable, and a serving of pizza has less than that. Nutritionists say the whole effort is reminiscent of the Reagan
administration’s much-ridiculed attempt 30 years ago to classify ketchup as a vegetable to cut costs. This time around, food companies that produce frozen pizzas for schools, the salt industry and potato growers requested the changes and lobbied Congress. School meals that are subsidized by the federal government must include a certain amount of vegetables, and USDA’s proposal could have pushed pizza-makers and potato growers out of the school lunch business. Piling on to the companies’ opposition, some conservatives argue that the federal government shouldn’t tell children what to eat. In a summary of the bill, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee said the changes would “prevent overly burdensome and costly regulations and …provide greater flexibility for local school districts to improve the nutritional quality of meals.” School districts have said some of the USDA proposals go too far and cost too much when budgets are extremely tight. Schools have long taken broad instructions from the government on what they can serve in the federally subsidized meals that are given free or at reduced price to low-income children. But some schools have balked at government attempts to tell them exactly what foods they can’t serve. Reacting to that criticism, House Republicans had urged USDA to rewrite the standards in a bill passed in June. The Senate last month voted to block the potato limits in its version, with opposition to the restrictions led by potato-growing states. Neither version of the bill included the latest provisions on tomato paste, sodium or whole grains; House and Senate negotiators added those in the last two weeks as they put finishing touches on the legislation. The school lunch proposal is based on 2009 recommendations by the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said they are necessary to reduce childhood obesity and future health care costs. USDA spokeswoman Courtney Rowe said Tuesday that the department will continue its efforts to make lunches healthier. “While it’s unfortunate that some members of Congress continue to put special interests ahead of the health of America’s children, USDA remains committed to practical, science-based standards for school meals,” she said in a statement. Nutrition advocate Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest said Congress’s proposed changes will keep schools from serving a wider array of vegetables. Children already get enough pizza and potatoes, she says. It also would slow efforts to make pizzas – a longtime standby on school lunch lines – healthier, with whole grain crusts and lower sodium levels.”They are making sure that two of the biggest problems in the school lunch program, pizza and french fries, are untouched,” she said. A group of retired generals advocating for healthier school lunches also criticized the spending bill. The group, called Mission: Readiness, has called poor nutrition in school lunches a national security issue because obesity is the leading medical disqualifier for military service. “We are outraged that Congress is seriously considering language that would effectively categorize pizza as a vegetable in the school lunch program,” Amy Dawson Taggart, the director of the group, said in a letter to lawmakers before the final bill was released. “It doesn’t take an advanced degree in nutrition to call this a national disgrace.”
Specifically, the bill would:
• Block the Agriculture Department from limiting starchy vegetables,
including corn and peas, to two servings a week. The rule was intended to cut
down on french fries, which many schools serve daily.
• Allow USDA to count two tablespoons of tomato paste as a vegetable, as it
does now. The department had attempted to require that only a half-cup of tomato
paste could be considered a vegetable. Federally subsidized lunches must have a
certain number of vegetables to be served.
• Require further study on long-term sodium reduction requirements set forth
by the USDA guidelines.
• Require USDA to define “whole grains” before they regulate them. The USDA
rules require schools to use more whole grains.
Food companies who have fought the USDA standards say they were too strict and neglected the nutrients that potatoes, other starchy vegetables and tomato paste do offer.”This agreement ensures that nutrient-rich vegetables such as potatoes, corn and peas will remain part of a balanced, healthy diet in federally funded school meals and recognizes the significant amounts of potassium, fiber and vitamins A and C provided by tomato paste, ensuring that students may continue to enjoy healthy meals such as pizza and pasta,” said Kraig Naasz, president of the American Frozen Food Institute.The school lunch provisions are part of a final House-Senate compromise on a $182 billion measure that would fund the day-to-day operations of the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. Both the House and the Senate are expected to vote on the bill this week and send it to President Barack Obama.
One Solution To Get Around How The Goverment Wants To Serve Our Children Food Is To Make Your Own Lunch And Bring It To School! It Starts With Education And Action From The Parents! Take A Look At Some Ideas To Make Healthy, Affordable, And Amazing School Lunches 🙂
Jack Nunn is the head trainer and owner of Roworx. Jack is a former national team rower who has competed in more than 100 triathlons, including 9 full Ironmans. He has created a system of rowing that prepares the whole body for both competition and fitness longevity.