Tuesday, September 18, 2007

August Poll Round Up: School Lunches

Our poll for August was all about school lunches. How healthy (or unhealthy) you find them, if you think they are priced reasonably, et cetera.

Fifteen of you voted and no one voted for "very happy." Five votes went to "somewhat happy," and the rest went to "not happy."

Reader Heather says, "I have five kids in school and am disgusted with school lunches. Many of the foods are pre-packaged junk food items (potato chips, rice krispy treats, etc.) or high carb (cinnamon rolls, pizza, corn dogs). Plus they allow the children to serve themselves so they don't have to put veggies on their plates. I once walked into the cafeteria and just saw sea of yellow foods on everyone's trays.I rarely let my kids buy lunches one because of how unhealthy they are and two because of the expense. If all of my children bought lunch every day it would cost me well over $125 a month. For much less I can offer healthy lunches made from home."

Contributor Jen mentioned that although schools are supposed to meet certain nutritional goals, the meals don't seem healthy at a glance.

A common complaint was the amount of time allotted for lunch and recess. In one county in my state, the lunch/recess period was shortened by 15 minutes. The lines for school lunch were so long, the kids didn't have time to eat leisurely and also enjoy outdoor time.

So what can you do? Write letters! Contact the school board or write to the school superintendent and let them know how you feel about the choices in the cafeteria. Does your child's school have vending machines where the students can access them? Lobby to have them removed. If all else fails, you always have the option to pack lunches for your kids. Get them involved in the process, take them shopping with you, to teach lessons about healthy eating. They might even discover a new favorite!

Thanks to all who participated in our August Poll!

1 comment:

Jen said...

I think my kids will probably brown bag it and have a meal ticket for their occasional favorite hot lunch.