A “sad excuse for a meal” is what one student said about her cheesy hotdog without the dog. She posted her meal on Facebook and it immediately went viral. The meal consisted of a handful of baby carrots, a packet of marinara sauce and – worst of all – an opened hot dog bun with melted cheese.
Estimated calorie value of meal:
- hot dog bun: 130
- Red Gold marinara sauce: 40 (source: https://dese.mo.gov )
- 9 baby carrots: 36 calories
- cheese (generous guess of 1/2 cup colby/ cheddar blend): 98 calories
Total calorie count for a $3.00 lunch: 334
Herein lies the Michelle Obama era school lunch failures. Her lack of understanding of basic needs for a child, led to a complete overhaul of the school lunch system. Her motto: low fat, low-calorie. In 2010, Michelle rolled out the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
- Gives USDA the authority to set new standards for food sold in lunches during the regular day, including vending machines.
- Authorizes additional funds for the new standards for federally-subsidized school lunches.
- Provides resources for schools and communities to utilize local farms and gardens to provide fresh produce.
- Provides resources to increase nutritional quality of food provided by USDA
- Sets minimum standards for school wellness policies
- Limits milk served to nonfat flavored milk or 1 percent white milk
- Reduced portion sizes in meals
- Mandate a minimum on fruit, vegetables, and whole grain servings
- Mandate a maximum sodium, sugar, and fat content
A YouTube video, produced by Wallace High School students drew national attention and over 1.5 million views. The video complained of its students being “hungry” and not fed well enough to participate in their extracurricular activities or sports due to reduced portion sizes relative to those prior to the new law. In response to viewing the video, nutrition specialists explained that before the new standards were implemented, some schools may have been serving a lot of protein to keep their customers happy, “but none of us need as much protein as a lot of us eat”. The experts also explained that eating 850 calories at lunch is enough for most high schoolers. Along with the viral video, other students are reaching out on other forms of social media by using the hashtag ‘ThanksMichelleObama’. Sam Kass, the executive director of Let’s Move! and senior policy adviser for Nutrition shared “We’ve seen the photos being tweeted, but we don’t dictate the food that schools serve-school districts do.” A study done by Harvard School of Public Health discovered that about 60 percent of vegetables and roughly 40 percent of fresh fruit are thrown away due to no interest.-wikipedia
On December 6, 2018, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a new rule which froze the Act’s progressively lowering limits on sodium, while also allowing for the sale of 1% flavored milks and fewer whole grain-rich foods in school breakfast and school lunch options.
Kids are growing, and it’s not the obesity rate I am speaking of. They’re growing. They need calories.
Calorie requirements for children are pretty high. See the government guidelines below.
I would argue, with the required P.E. classes, that children are all moderately active. They run the mile, they go to recess, some walk to school. A 300 calorie lunch isn’t going to cut it; especially since these meals are supposed to be geared toward less-advantaged youth, with limited funds.
I argue these programs are actually contributing even more to childhood obesity and diabetes.What is a kid going to do when they get home after a long day at school? Eat. They raid the fridge, and eat whatever is around BECAUSE THEY ARE HUNGRY. The government can’t even be sure there’s food available to children when they get home. Some opt for cheaper fill-your-stomach meals, like a 79cent liter of soda, and some Top Ramen (25cents), since that’s all mom and dad can afford. Tons of sugar, tons of salt, exactly what this failed plan was meant to curb.
A kid who had no breakfast, goes to school and eats a 300 calorie lunch is ravished by the time they get home. YOU would be. Your Starbucks Frappuccino has 4 times the calories than they get all day.
Now, besides the stringent guidelines most schools still have to follow, you have the issue of religious beliefs taking over what our kids can and cannot eat. Pork products are targeted by the Muslim community because they are considered unclean. Even the method of production is questioned, as Muslims eat Halal food; food prepared a certain way.
Jewish people simply abstained, they didn’t ask the rest of the world to follow suit. There is always more than one choice, as you know, for school lunches. Simply don’t eat it, pick the other option, or bring your own if you’re that worried about how it’s processed or what’s in it.
So now we have kids starving at school, and now we have to worry about their choices being taken away as well, due to others’ religious beliefs. Fantastic…
Meanwhile, here’s the menu the Obama’s kids got to choose from while this was all going on:
The Trump administration relaxed some of the nutritional guidelines regarding school lunches established during the Obama administration. He also reintroduced chocolate milk as an option for children. This is not enough though, and definitely needs to be looked at some more.
On Tuesday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) and Representative Glenn Thompson (R-Pennsylvania) introduced the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act of 2019. It would expand upon Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s rule change allowing flavored 1 percent milk in schools, which is part of the Trump administration’s directive to roll back Obama-era regulations, but also a bit of a personal agenda: As the New York Times reports, the secretary has repeatedly proclaimed his love of flavored milk.-LA Times
“I wouldn’t be as big as I am today without chocolate milk,” he told reporters in 2017, after announcing a rule change that would loosen 2010 nutrition standards aimed at ending childhood obesity.
As of 2017, according to the Department of Agriculture, 97% of schools across the country are still implementing the school nutrition standards set by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.