School Lunch Guidelines…

Ok, so whenever you hear a debate about school meals, you hear that they need to be provided, and there needs to be a program for people to get these meals for free (breakfast and lunch) because this is the only way some of these kids get to eat a hot meal during the day at times. Some of these kids, yes, that is true. I have heard several parents around me who have said they are so broke and have no money to feed their kids, and they don’t really care as much about grades, they don’t care that the kid might be failing or falling asleep during class, or disrupting the classroom, in their minds, it is easier for them to just send their kid to school to let the school feed them.
Now, my son does eat breakfast and lunch at school, he eats the hot meal they provide, but we pay for the meals. It is his choice to eat with his friends because he is in different classes and does not always get the opportunity to see them during recess. This is a choice, and I always have a snack for him when he gets home in the afternoon.
But, now you have these kids who you have already admitted this may very well be the only food these kids get all day. In many cases, there isn’t even a slice of bread for them when they get home. Most children around the country are not lucky enough to come home to a parent who is there with a snack and/or supper cooking when they get home. So many of them go home to an empty house with empty pantries and fridges. So many of these kids don’t even have a glass of milk available at home.
Cue school meal reform. Their pet issue, childhood obesity, has taken over and has caused them to consider extreme measures. Now, instead of providing a meal program that will actually feed these kids, the kids these very people advocate for and say they need to reform lunches so these kids are able to eat and be full and be available to survive without malnutrition and starvation on only these two meals serves in schools, what do they do? They put in a MANDATE LIMITING CALORIES! Does that seem like idiocy to anyone else?
Instead of giving these kids enough to eat, they would rather limit what they can eat, offering additional “Fat Free Skim Milk” to those who “need more calories” instead of actual food. And it has to be fat free skim, because everyone knows an extra pint of whole milk will lead to childhood obesity.
Instead of taking a look at the issues, both childhood hunger and childhood obesity, and figuring out the underlying causes, they just throw more laws at it, trying to regulate it away instead of really solving it. They call for limiting the calories in school lunches, they call for a limit to the fat free skim milk, they call for cutting after school athletics, they call for limits, limits, limits.
How about this for a simple solution, instead of spending all this money trying to find the reason/solution to childhoos obesity, put that money back into after school athletics and even PE classes. Instead of just telling kids to get fit and healthy and counting on a video game most of their parents can’t afford (yes, Wii Fit) to make them get active, teach them how to properly exercise, teach them how to stay fit, instead of mandating it and just expecting it to happen or putting their BMI on their report cards (the BMI is another issue completely, according to the BMI charts, John Cena is obese). Force these parents to be parents, it is our responsibility as parents to get out kids outside to play, away from the video games. Don’t encourage the kids to stay inside in front of a video game.
Put PE back in the schools, let the kids learn how to exercise, don’t require reams and reams of paperwork to make the schools have no liability for a child who plays an afterschool sport. Teach the kids how to make healthy choices while at school. Don’t limit calories for a student who, as you admit, is only getting the meals the school provides. No child can be healthy and survive well on 1,000 calories a day.
I am willing to bet that, as soon as more filling and better meals are available at schools, the kids will be more alert during class, they will have more energy to play and run around during recess, they will be better able to focus and test scores will go up.
That is just my opinion. Will it change anything? Probably not, but I guess I am doing something right, since my son is fit and healthy and well fed.