A recent article, Hummus in the School Cafeteria, discusses the issues faced with why children don’t eat the healthier foods even if they are offered to them and how school lunch vendors are working to change all of that.
You know… I can honestly tell you that I appreciate the effort that is being made. But I don’t think it should be just within the schools and unfortunately I don’t have much faith in the success of this movement (Which by the way have I mentioned is long overdue?)
So much influence comes from home and that is exactly what one expert stated. The change really needs to come from everyone. It doesn’t do much good to offer healthier foods (and I don’t care what anyone says, school chicken nuggets and pizza are not the healthiest of options), when the children can still choose a different lunch option that isn’t as healthy. The chef salad that is offered won’t do a bit of good as a lunch choice when the 2nd option is a beef burrito.
Besides that, even if the schools and government do succeed with this, then you still have the children who pack lunches or turn to packing lunches in order to get out of hummus and whole wheat breaded chicken nuggets. You’re a parent… you know the whining game… “Buuutt Mooommm I hate the cheese at school. It tastes funny.”
That’s when parents will start giving in and packing the lunches. There are many parents out there who won’t even blink to fill the lunch box with chips and pudding cups because it is what the kids want.
But let’s pretend for a moment that the movement to make school lunches healthier is a success. What about the kid who gets a school lunch, takes 2 bites or none at all and then comes home to raid the fridge and cupboards? With a ready made smorgasbord of snacks (fruit snacks are not a fruit), what good did that healthy school lunch do? Nothing.
In light of all that, how plausible do you think it is going to be to get everyone on board? Eating healthier is more expensive (even the schools say so) and buying for a family of four or more is no cheaper.
So what options are the schools and government left with? Should they completely remove all unhealthy options, forcing kids to eat healthy? Should there be incentives for kids and families who rid the junk from their cupboards? How would you propose they change the school lunch program?