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Beyond the Stereotypes: Facts About School Lunches

Beyond the Stereotypes: Facts About School Lunches | Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
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This article by the School Nutrition Association outlines some of the stereotypes of school lunches and the actual facts that disprove them.  These stereotypes include: school meals making children obese; schools serve junk food for school lunch; schools don’t serve enough fruits or vegetables for lunch; schools serve fried, greasy foods; sack lunches from home are better than school meals; soda is served with school lunch; only junk food is available through a la Carte lines and vending machines; and what is served at schools is out of my control. The one that interested me and made me actually think about the foods being serves was that sack lunches from home are better than school meals. I never pictured cafeteria food actually being good for people, even though they are supposed to be. As a student, I ate a sack lunch practically every day and I feel as though my lunches were very balanced and nutritious, but that must mean that my lunch was the exception and that many other sack lunches have never little nutritional value. “Research…concluded that students who eat school lunches consume less calories from fat than students who bring their lunch from home. Furthermore, the research found school lunches contain three times as many dairy products, twice as much fruit, and seven times the vegetable amounts as lunches brought from home.” After reading this and reflecting on my lunches, I agree that these school lunches probably have more dairy, because my lunches rarely had dairy products, but at the same time my lunches had a lot of fruits and vegetables. I also think about the foods served at my school and realize that those foods do not meet the standards of which this research looked at.  This is very interesting to me and as a hopefully future teacher and mom, I want to be prepared to meet the nutritional needs of the next generation instead of setting them off on the wrong foot for life. 

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These Days, School Lunch Hours Are More Like 15 Minutes

These Days, School Lunch Hours Are More Like 15 Minutes | Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
It's lunchtime at Oakland High School in Oakland, Calif., and that means fence hoppers. Several kids wear mischievous grins as they speedily scale a
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This is a radio broadcast that talks about how lunch times are becoming shorter and shorter and many parents are concerned that this is unhealthy. “and junior Olivia Moore says the lines leaves little time to actually eat and socialize.” I think back to my lunch times and it always felt rushed but it was still way more than fifteen minutes, which it is at this high school. “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that students get at least 20 minutes to actually sit down and eat – excluding time waiting in line or walking from class to cafeteria.” This school is clearly not meeting the lunch standards. Now that there are more standards for healthy eating this small amount of lunch time will be even more rushed. One student explains that, “It’s going to take longer to eat a salad that it will to eat French fries.” I think this is a legitimate problem that will arise and if the lunch period is shorter it will encourage students to eat healthier foods because they will not pick the foods that are quickly consumed. The schools are not changing their schedule because they feel too rushed to cram in testing and lecturing material. This academic progress is seen as more important than the health of the students. I think this is so wrong because a few extra minutes is not going to strong effect an education but could strongly effect the health and healthy habits that a student will have for the rest of his or her lives. I think this is such a valid problem in the schools that should be changed and enforced nationally. If the schools have to better the foods they are providing then they should also be forced to give adequate time to consume those foods. If they are not able to give the students the full time to consume, they should change the methods of giving the students food to allow there to be no need for extra workers or food stations. I feel like the students are already working so very hard in their classes so a few extra minutes to eat and take a relaxing deep breathe would be largely beneficial. 

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Roast Beef, Potatoes, and Carrots Don't "Meet Nutrition Guidelines ...

Roast Beef, Potatoes, and Carrots Don't "Meet Nutrition Guidelines ... | Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
Never question authority - rulers are right; School nutrition is healthy; Teachers are experts; College is the only 'real' choice for success after high school; History taught in schools is accurate: “God cannot alter the past, but ...
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This article is about a parent in Canada that was charged ten dollars because she did not provide a grain in her child’s lunch. The lunch she sent for her children contains roast beef, potatoes, carrots, an orange, and milk. It is now the policy of this school to supplement lunches that do not contain “1 milk, 1 meat, 1 grain, and 2 fruits/vegetables.” The supplement provided for her children for the grain was ritz crackers. It is interesting to note that, “grains are encouraged because they contain fiber…Also note which vitamins are present…pretty much none of them.” These ritz crackers contain no fiber or the vitamins for a healthy diet. But ritz crackers are, “Loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup (a GMO sourced poison linked to obesity, diabetes, and containing unregulated toxic contaminants), partially hydrogenated oils (this is a transfat and currently on the verge of becoming a banned ingredient in the US), sugar (because HFCS just doesn’t make it sweet enough), and chemicals.” I am confused as to why the school system would pick this as the additive for the grains. I feel like it would be better for the schools to give the students a whole wheat roll or something that is not a processed food. This is a scary factor that the schools are trying to be a part of if they do not do it properly. These students are very influenced at a young age, so if they are taught that Ritz crackers are the same as a grain then their habits will be anything but healthy. The parent had an interesting response to the fine that she received. She said, “[If the lunch contained] ‘microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box’ those lunches would have sailed right through this idiocy. But her whole food, homemade lunches? They lacked Ritz Crackers.” For me it is really scary to think about all the possibilities for the foods that meet the standards this school is looking for no matter their nutritional value. Another child could be eating a lunch full of processed foods that have barely any nutritional value, but the healthy lunch gets in trouble for lacking a grain that is replaced with a processed innutritious cracker. I think it is important that the parents and schools realize what the new regulations say and act accordingly, instead of just following the rules and actually hurt the student more than help. As the regulations of food continue, this will become more and more important because of the necessity to follow the law while also trying to look out for the student’s best interest.  

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Nutrition in Schools- Hungry for Improvement | Nutrition- Healthy Eating Among Adolescents

Nutrition in Schools- Hungry for Improvement | Nutrition- Healthy Eating Among Adolescents | Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
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In this blog post by Rachel Powers, the issue of Nutrition is schools is discussed. Rachel grew up in a time that she would bring her lunch to school besides the days when the popular foods were being sold. These were days in which the cool thing to do was to eat fried and unhealthy foods. Now when Rachel compares that menu to today’s menu, she sees little difference. Rachel said that, “To me, there is no change. Still allowing students to order the same unhealthy foods every day does not provide them with healthier eating habits.” I find this very interesting that the menus in some schools have not changed in many years, even with the new regulations on food. I want to further look into to how much schools have actually been effective and changed their food options based on the regulations. I like Rachel’s comment that says, “I feel as though taking smaller changes month by month will be a more effective way of leaning students out of unhealthy eating habits and providing them with new, healthier ones.” I think it is interesting because the large change that needs to happen is not just going to happen overnight, but will take some time. These students are used to unhealthy foods, so they need time to get used to the new tastes and realize that just because it is healthy does not mean that is bad. I want to keep looking into how new menus in schools are being liked by students. In this blog, another perspective is also shared on this topic of foods in school “Serena Suthers, director of school food and nutrition services in Prince William County, states, ‘for each food item, we look and say can we afford this, is it good for them, does it meet all the new food requirements, those kinds of things, but what is really important is are they going to buy it if we put it out there.’” I think it is super important to think about how are the students going to react to the foods because it may seem like the best plan ever, but if the students are not on board then it is not going to make an impact at all. The school systems are going to lose a ton of money if the students will not eat the foods that the school is offering to them. I think this is going to require a lot of time and patience on the school’s part while at the same time a lot of experimenting and adjustments on the student’s part. Nutrition in schools, while it is a hot topic and requires a lot of improvements, is going to take time and is not going to change immediately.  

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This Is What America's School Lunches Really Look Like

This Is What America's School Lunches Really Look Like | Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
The days of mystery meat are far from over, photos submitted by students across the U.S. show.
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There is a new program out where students can take pictures of their school lunches and will share these pictures on the internet. The creator talks about the aim by saying that, “is not to horrify, but to equip ‘young people who are upset with what they’re being served with ways to make change in their school.”’ Through this program students can vote on the pictures to either throw them out or to keep them. The data from these votes shows that the foods that said they were healthier were kept most of the time, but the foods that said they were unhealthy were thrown away. This challenges the idea that teenagers only eat unhealthy foods.

 

 I think this is a wonderful plan of action because it uses the media that is available to them to create a network of students. As this new student body creates, they will become empowered to make a change in their schools and have a voice from the students. Because of all the new food laws and regulators, this student voice will be particularly important because the students are the ones actually eating the food.  Some of the students recently have been complaining that the new healthier foods coming in portions that are too small and thus leaving them really hungry.  So with this new plan students can come together and work with the school to give them what they want out of lunch while still following the legislation. I think that without the students being involved and having a say, then the food would just follow the regulations and leave the students unhappy and helpless on how to fix it. I am very for the students being involved in their schools, especially when big changes happening that directly affect them. 

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Chocolate Milk in Schools: Ban-worthy or necessary nutrition?

Dr. James Rippe of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute discusses the current debate on banning chocolate milk in schools and also his recent findings from a 24-wee...
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This is a video that talks about the debated over whether or not chocolate milk should be banned from schools. This speaker is from Rippe Health so he is a credible source in this study. He talks about how, “There is no study relating the consumption of chocolate milk to childhood obesity.” Some schools are using the argument that chocolate milk has more sugars so that is worsening the childhood obesity problem. But in reality, “Chocolate milk consumption in children is strong correlated to total milk consumption. So if you ban chocolate milk, immediately what happens is there is a 35% decrease in all milk consumption and a corresponding 35% decrease in calcium and vitamin D.” Banning chocolate milk has “no benefit and unintended consequences” because we would be significantly reducing those important nutrients.

 

Adding sugar to the milk actually will improve the amount of milk consumed. “Now in the issue of milk,  we gave our subjects either high fructose corn syrup or sucrose in low fat milk and what we found was that individuals significantly improved the amount of calcium they took in, the amount of vitamin D, and the amount of calcium.” Added sugars can make this more palatable and more consumable and it is almost always forgotten during this debated about added sugars. The country recommends that we get 3 serving cups of low fat milk or the equivalent a day. “Only one-third of boys get that amount, one-fifth of boys get that amount.”

 

I think that if there is no negative nutritional consequence to adding sugar to milk, then the benefits of having the sugar outweigh the negatives. If a little bit of sugar will help people to consume the milk which has the nutrients they need, then there should be no reason that people are banning chocolate milk. I think it is more important to look at the overall picture that the students are getting the nutrition they need, rather than arguing over little details that actually have no effect on their health. 

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September 2014

September 2014 | Health and Nutrition | Scoop.it
New laws to require schools pack healthy foods in vending machines, stores, menus
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Starting in September 2014, new regulations will be put into place regarding the food that the school's serve to children. In previous regulations schools had to add more fruits and vegetables, but now the schools must change the "competitive" foods in order to meet the new food standards. The typical foods that students are drawn to like burgers and pizza are not required to be made out of healthier ingredients. This makes me curious as to see how the students will accept these new healthier food because they probably have somewhat of a different taste than the less healthy food. The regulations that take effect in 2014 include a variety of foods that have never had these health legal restrictions. These new restrictions make me excited to see how they will effect the health of the students while at schools and continue to make an effect when the students are at their homes. At the same time, these regulations have the opportunity to not be effective as they are made out to be. The health of our country can be completely effected by this upcoming generation, so the health of the schools can truly impact how foods are seen and what choices the people make, so I see the extreme importance that these regulations are effective and accomplish what they are supposed to. 

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