Monday, April 23, 2007

School Lunch...

Today we received word that our camera's repair is complete and I should have it back in four days!! Woohoo...I have been feeling a bit of a camera withdrawal. So, here is a Oldie-but-goodie pic of the Popster last summer (she kept her outfit entirely clean!).

A few days ago one of my friends approached me with an idea about trying to re-inspire the school lunch system within our area. The main premise of the idea is that we would try to convince the school board that instead of feeding our kids the trans-fat laden, sugar loaded, pre-processed food that they are currently receiving. We would try to devise a plan/alternative that would supply our children with healthier food at school.

Basically the thought process of this brainchild is this: With the childhood obesity epidemic taking hold of our nation, and with children who probably rarely ever eat "whole" foods, why is it that our school systems encourage this poor dietary consumption. It would seem logical to me that children being in a learning environment should be learning how to eat well. Why is it that if parents such as myself, want my child to have a "real" meal for lunch, I have to send it with my child who will, no-doubt, actually want to eat the pre-processed terriyaki-dippers(that was actually on the menu this week) that all of his friends are eating?
It would seem like a much better idea to serve our children healthy whole foods and then if the parents decide that their child would not like to eat the real food, they could send the wonder bread/ Bologna sandwich with Velveeta on the side. Have we as a society just embraced the fact that obesity and poor nutrition are the norm? Do we sit complacency on the side and let these health issues destroy these children, before they have a chance to make the choice to eat healthy? We tell them they should be eating whole grains but we don't supply them with it. We tell them that fruit and vegetables are good and delicious, but we give them canned processed, syrup laden food. What ever happened to actually giving kids fresh fruit and veggies?
With all that being said...I am trying to devise a way that we could encourage others to see the good that could come from giving these kids at least one good meal a day...especially if the parents aren't helping them with good food choices.
I recently heard on NPR a report that said, that the lower class of America tends to be the most at risk for obesity. During the study they actually showed that when people were obese their earning potential goes down and that when they lost weight their earning potential went up.
It seems strange that the poor people of our country are the people who are struggling the most with obesity. Does that seem backwards to anyone else? OK, I think you get my point here...sorry to get on a soap box...but I would love suggestions and ideas from the blog world. Surely there must be a way to gain leverage against obesity. It seems to me like a good place to start would be with our children.
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A. Buchanan said...

me and lisa talk about school lunches sometimes, and how we never had the cool snacks. I just remember having a turkey sandwhich that i had to make myself...and whatever i could find. Everyone else was bringing these crazy treats...good times.

mama rhodes said...

sack lunches insure mom's ability to give her kids what she wants them to eat...until trading comes into play.
You'll have to research this, but a news story awhile back showed a school district that uses a lunch provider who provides fresh wholesome food, for only about 5 cents more per meal.
The kid's test scores improved and after they got used to the good food they began to really enjoy the food choices. To bad I can't remember what state it was in.

Also--snacks after soccer games--an article in the paper pointed out that kids don't even burn enough to earn that donught or twinkie after the game.

Betina said...

Kelly has a friend (Sarah) in St John who is working with the famous Mary Jane Butters of Mary Jane's Farm on a project trying to get local whole foods onto the school menus.... like lentils, whole wheat, peas etc. I can give you Sarah's number if you want. She runs an organic hog farm. It's a pretty cool place. Lemmknow! You are just the person to fire up a nutritious revolution in the Pullman schools!

mamma locks said...

AMEN! I am not quite there yet in my life but will be very shortly. Rory goes to school this fall and I am terrified of the food too. It is only a matter of time beofore she realizes the mom is anti-funfood. I think it is easy to come accross extreme and if there is going to be any change in the schols it has to come vey gradually. like offering wheat verses whole wheat (but still, face the fact that your child will undoubtably pick white) because it is proven time and time again that too big of a change too quick provokes revolt. Wether it is the lunch room staff that hates laboring over the longer prepared foods, or the kids themselves. So I think it jut has to be baby steps. A mom can just volenteer in the kitchen and make suggestions, or even be involved in the food supply decisions on the board.