What are we feeding our kids?

ljnewlfnwsfAs childhood obesity becomes a bigger problem in the United States, there is the question of what we are feeding children in schools. In order to prevent bad habits and teach a healthy lifestyle, I believe schools should offer healthier food in their cafeterias. When I was growing up, elementary through high school, I noticed that school lunches are quite unhealthy. A lot of the time, they offer foods such as pizza and fries, instead of foods that have nutritional value. I would like to see more vegetables and fruits and less fatty/sugary foods. I think that if kids learn to eat healthier when they are young, they will most likely keep the same good habits as they get older which will decrease the risk of the many diseases associated with obesity.


Even though there is the option for kids to bring their own lunch to school, it is often more expensive and some families might not be able to afford to do so. It is known that obesity is more common in poor people, so giving healthy options at schools would be beneficial to kids whose families don’t have enough money to buy them healthy lunches outside of school. Although I was personally a fan of soda and ice cream vending machines, I believe they should be banned from schools. Foods like this allow kids to overindulge because they aren’t being watched by their parents. The more unhealthy foods we eat, the more we want. To try to stop this cycle, we can start young, and in the place that they spend the most time at, outside of their homes.


3 comments on “What are we feeding our kids?

  1. I think you bring up a couple great points about an issue that I think spreads even beyond high school. When I go to the bison, at least 50% of the time, I’m deciding between a burrito or chicken tenders and fries. The amount of fried food, pizza, and as you mentioned, ice cream and soda consumed in the Bostwick Cafeteria is remarkable as well, and shows that when we have the opportunity, it is easy to overindulge. Promoting healthier options, and limiting the availability of soda’s or ice cream in cafeterias might be the answer. Simply having to get up and have your drink refilled behind a counter may add inconvenience, but might make a student reconsider getting a refill on their soda. I think there is a lot of room to improve dining programs, and I completely agree that this is an issue that needs to be met at all levels of education.

    • I think you are right Anton, that we need some policies to “control ourselves.” Like, just get rid of “bottomless” soda. Studies of portion sizes I think show that we are just such big dumb mammals in some ways. We eat what is in front of us.

      And the Bison. I like my burger and tater tots too. Why not somehow encourage some carrots or other finger vedge there? At home, I often give my kids some vedge BEFORE dinner when they are hungry. Hunger is the best sauce….

      So they chomp down on a serving of vedge and then I don’t need to force an unfair competition between carrot sticks and a cheesy-gooey quesadilla (whole wheat tortiallas, but my daughter hates them).

  2. The national average spent on school lunches is $1.86 for elementary kids.

    I wonder how much of the subsidized corn and soy we saw in Food, Inc makes it that much easier/tempting for nutrition programs to use processed foods to make a “complete” lunch.

    At my kids’ elementary school, they put sprinkles on applesauce. Fucking sprinkles. They let them choose between pink, orange, and “white” milk. As if normal milk needs a fucking modifier. It. Is. Just. Milk.

    Drives me nuts, obviously.

    Moreover, many, most?, school districts outsource their food programs to for-profit corporations. Are their contracts written so they are paid based on nutrition? Waste reduction? BMI of the school? I doubt it. Hence their margin is goign to always be the $1.86-costs of food. Sure a nutritionist is around to make sure it conforms to guidelines. But that poor soul is fighting a loosing battle.

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