When Kids Complain About Healthier School Food, Stay the Course!

I’ve been following the reports about how some schoolkids aren’t taking too well to the new National School Lunch program lunches.  Kids are creating and posting YouTube videos to protest the healthier lunches, which now have (horrors!) more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as a maximum calorie limit. For America’s kids, who have been fed a steady and often unlimited diet of chicken nuggets, fries, chips, soda and sweets since they were old enough to chew a Happy Meal, this must truly come as a shock.

In one of the more inane moves I’ve seen this year, Rep. Steve King of Iowa has introduced new legislation that would undo the new school lunch calorie limit.  While I’d like to think that the conservative congressman has the health and well being of America’s children as his top priority, I suspect he’s probably more interested in needling First Lady Michele Obama who championed healthier school food.

My three words of advice on healtheir school lunch? Stay the course.  You can’t reasonably expect children and teens who were weaned on highly processed, unhealthy food to jump for joy now that vegetables, fruits and foreign looking whole grains must appear on their school lunch trays. How many adults do you know who would uncomplainingly adjust to changes made to their diet?

America got itself into this mess of poor nutritional habits, rampant overweight and obesity, and declining health over a number of decades. Surely, we can remain patient and steady as we slowly train our junk-food-loving kids to enjoy fresh, whole foods.

If we stand firm, it’s only a matter of time before schoolchildren will be scarfing down broccoli and brown rice with the same gusto they exhibit for French fries.

2 responses

  1. There was a choice on the lunch u would get in school. I feel the children know what they want to eat and don’t want to eat. My family eats healthy food, and we also eat not – so – healthy food. I understand the overweight/obesity “problem” in our country. There a so many more reasons why we have the weight problems besides what we eat or what our children eat. My daughter competes in a sport that is very vigorous. I get so angry when she gets home from school and is sooo hungry. Why don’t we work on something else that needs fixing. It’s worse on us to have to feed her before practice, especially, when she clearly could have been offered something decent to eat.

  2. I’m a high school student and I can tell you this: the problem is NOT the program that is causing the problems– it is how schools choose to follow the program that creates issues. At my school, lunches have not gotten healthier. They have gotten SMALLER. In my school district and the districts surrounding it, the same fruits, veggies, and grains are served… at a higher price, a smaller portion, with the same bland taste processed foods always have. The food hasn’t gotten healthier– it’s gotten smaller, and students across the country are suffering. If we’re staying this course, we need to reform it.

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