school lunches
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Kids upload and unload on school cafeteria lunches

Kids upload and unload on school cafeteria lunches | school lunches | Scoop.it
A cellphone camera can be a dangerous thing. Just ask a school cafeteria worker.
Jenny Sloane's insight:

I found this article off a tweet and was shocked by some of the information. Kids posted thousands of photos of school lunches for viewers to observe and decide whether they'd "eat it" or "toss it". Not surprisingly many of the photos were of pizza, hamburgers, and chicken nuggets, but there were occasional photos of salads. One student from a Maryland high school posted a picture of a piece of pepperoni pizza with a ton of cheese, jello, whipped cream, and chocolate milk. The caption said "Diabetes on a plate", and 43 people said they'd toss it , while only 11 said they'd eat it. This was very shocking to me. I would think that any student would love this meal. I mean what kid does not want pizza and chocolate milk? I think this shows that our attitudes are beginning to shift. Students are starting to recognize the dangers of eating such unhealthy meals all the time. However, I think it is important for students to understand they are still young and most likely have fast metabolisms and should be allowed to eat junk foods and unhealthy meals every once in a while. 

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Healthy Food in Schools Promotional Video

This is a promotional video for a new nonprofit company, Healthy Food in Schools. Founded by Bay Area radio personality Jerry Hart, HFIS aims to provide affo...
Jenny Sloane's insight:

The first statistic that shocked me was the one in three children is obese. That should be enough to recognize that Americans need to change their eating habits. I am also curious what the feds think 6 cents will be able to accomplish? My next question is why is it so important to update lunch rooms? To me, that just seems like wasting money that could be used on buying healthier foods. I am surprisingly not surprised taht 75% of drinks and 85% of snacks in schools are unhealthy for kids because usually unhealthy snacks and processed foods are a lot cheaper than healthier options. However, this should not be an excuse to be serving students food that is so bad for them. I think this video was a lot of name dropping and mentioning big corporations and individuals who may be able to help with this program. But, I am really interested if this program will end up being successful. 

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Preordering Lunch Increases Healthy Entree Selection in Elementary Schools

Preordering Lunch Increases Healthy Entree Selection in Elementary Schools | school lunches | Scoop.it
Cornell study finds children make healther choices when they have the opportunity to preorder school lunches.

Via Gina Stepp
Jenny Sloane's insight:

This short article provides insight on an idea for helping kids to choose healthier lunches that I never even considered. The idea behind preordering lunches is that students are choosing their meals in the morning when they are full, rather than making a decision when they are hungry with all the food right in front of them. Results from the study show that almost 30% of students chose the healthier meal when preordering compared to about 15% of students who did not preorder their meals. I believe this is definitely a significant finding, but, in my opinion, 30% is still not an appropriate percentage of students who are choosing healthier options. I remember when I was in elementary school, my parents got a lunch menu every month and together we would choose which option I would get. I believe this is an even better approach, especially for younger students, because then parents can also play a role in helping them make a healthier decision. One major reason schools are so hesitant to get healthier meals is because healthier food usually means more expensive. So my question for these authors would be if kids do start choosing the healthier option, will schools have the fundings to provide these meals for everyone?

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Healthier School Lunches Face Student Rejection

Healthier School Lunches Face Student Rejection | school lunches | Scoop.it

Students get more fruits and vegetables under new nutritional requirements for public school lunches, but many children just toss them away.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which required public schools to follow new nutritional guidelines this academic year to receive extra federal lunch aid, has created a nationwide version of the age-old parental challenge: persuading children to eat what is good for them.
According to the new restrictions, high school lunches must be no more than 850 calories, middle school lunches no more than 700 calories and elementary school lunches no more than 650. Before, there were no maximums.


Via Seth Bilazarian, MD
Jenny Sloane's insight:

Revolutionizing school lunches is clearly a very difficult task. Students are used to eating comfort foods like pizza, fries, chicken tenders, and nachos. It is unrealistic to think that any child would willingly want to give up those delicious foods that they are so used to eating for healthy meals, like sandwiches and green beans. Change is always challanging. However, I believe if schools stick with adopting new, healthy meals younger students will not have the same problem because they will only grow up eating the healthier foods. Therefore, they will never know what they are missing out on and be healthier along the way. With that being said, the transition period will be the most difficult. I am not surprised that this article is about high school kids who went on a strike because they wanted their old meals back. Before reading this article, I had no idea that there are not set calorie restrictions on school lunches. Although I am all for healthier school lunches, there are a couple of arguments made in this article that I do agree with. First of all, high school students are often very active. I personally played a sport every season all four years of high school. That meant practicing every day after school for two hours. If we had lunch at 12:30 and then practice from 4:30-6:30 I would not get home and eat dinner until about 7:15. That is a very long time for any growing teenager to go without eating a solid meal. Therefore, I agree with the fact that many teens do need a lot of food throughout the day that may often exceed the calorie limit. Furthermore, there is no question that most of the time, healthier food options are more expensive. This is also a huge problem for many students and families who simply do not have the resources to afford whatever food they want. I know I am very fortunate and my parents could always provide for me. I also agree that as long as children are still given an option of what they can eat for lunch, they will be unlikely to go for the healthier choice. 

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Karla Luetzow's curator insight, December 19, 2013 7:57 PM

 

This news article from the New York Times reflects on the recent protests from high school students against the new school lunches. Rising in price from $2.50 to $2.60, it seems like this ten percent increase would not cause this much commotion. However, it is more about the amount of food and quality of food in each lunch. Due to the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2011, an 850 calorie cut off per meal was mandated to all high school lunches. Therefore, as price increased, the portions decreased. All over the country high school students have protested this new lunch claiming that vegetables are “gross.” Researchers in this article claim it will just take time for the students to adjust.

 

Insight:

 

While reading this article, I thought the high school students sounded like snobby, unhealthy, and unrealistic. A quote that especially raveled my bones was by a high schooler who stated,” “Now there’s no taste, no flavor and it’s healthy, which makes it taste even worse.” It bothers me that “healthy” food is considered gross. There are so many healthy, delicious options out there that I believe that this student is being very narrow-minded. To me, it seems more like quote by a seven year old than by a high school senior.

However, after my initial reaction, I remembered saying the same things about my high school cafeteria food. I saw my high school go through a similar shift a few years ago. Pizza and fries were replaced with salads and apples. I have always enjoyed fruits and vegetables. A lot of the time I will choose a yummy, wholesome salad over a greasy pizza. However, this was not the case in my own high school cafeteria. It is pretty difficult to mess up pizza and fries. However, vegetables loaded in grease and cooked down to mush can get disgusting pretty fast. Therefore, I have the preconceived idea that high school cafeterias try to make healthy food but ultimately fail by loading it in grease. The same can be said about the University of Maryland’s dining services. Most of the value meals are cooked in so much grease that the vegetables do not really add nutritional value. 

I really love the idea of adding healthier options. However, the portion size must be able to satisfy the student body. The United States should look at European schools for inspiration. In most European countries, schools must cycle lunches every ten to twenty days. They also are now allowing student and even parent test-tasting before a meal gets approved for a school lunch. With the community working together, I believe this school protests can end and healthier food can be a realistic, yummy, and satisfying option in public high schools.

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School Lunches and Childhood Obesity (Michelle Obama)

Michelle talks about Childhood obesity. This was a submission for the Northwest High School Film Festival.

Via Troy Mccomas (troy48)
Jenny Sloane's insight:

Although I read another article that clearly did not think obesity was due to school lunches, Michelle Obama argues that school meals do play a role in the increase in childhood obesity and decrease in overall health. Some of these diseases include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. Bullying and depression are other consequence related to obesity. Michelle Obama just talks about several of the health problems that kids and future generations will face if obesity continues. Even though this clip is titles "School Lunches and Childhood Obesity", she does not really talk about school lunches at all. However, all the footage in the clip is from schools and images of the unhealthy food options. Although I wish she had vocalized her opinion about school lunches and maybe even given some possible solutions, I think the footage speaks for itself. For example, the images of soda and snack machines, fried chicken nuggets, pizza, cake, chips, cheeseburgers, etc. I think it is clear to see that this is unhealthy and we need to take action now. It is mind blowing that 1/3 of students are considered obese. The fact that this generation has a shorter life expectancy than their parents should be a wake-up call. Even if it may be expensive to get healthier meals, it is necessary for kids. 

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Kid's stuff

Kid's stuff | school lunches | Scoop.it
Sandwich Alternatives for School Lunches
Jenny Sloane's insight:

I have recently started using the internet to search for quick and healhty recipes that I can make while in college. This is the perfect example of how technology can and should be used to help people connect and share ideas with each other. Health concerns are a major issue for many children in today's society. Kids have such busy schedules these days that it is common to turn to fast food as the solution. However, this post gives several examples of quick, easy, and different ideas for school lunches. I used to eat PB&J every day for lunch with snacks like an apple, pretlzes, granola bars, and cookies. However, I recognize that eating the same meal every single day is not healthy, no matter what the food is. I am also a strong advocate that healthy meals leads to better focus and attention in the classroom or even just in general. 

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Tomato sauce on pizza is a vegetable, says Congress;  GOP says healthier school lunches are too expensive 

Tomato sauce on pizza is a vegetable, says Congress;  GOP says healthier school lunches are too expensive  | school lunches | Scoop.it
Congress wants to keep pizza and french fries on school lunch lines, fighting back against an Obama administration proposal to make school lunches healthier.

Via Cathryn Wellner
Jenny Sloane's insight:

I try to eat as healthy as possible and find it completely disgusting that a bill would count tomato paste of pizza to be considered a vegetable. Not only is that still incredibly unhealthy, but it is sending an awful message to all the students. If we recognize that obesity is a serious epidemic, this is only going to make matters worse if kids think that tomato sauce of pizza is healthy. If pizza and french fries are a couple of the most problematic and unhealthy options, why wouldn't schools find other healthy foods to substitue those, rather than spend money in an attempt to make these foods healthier. 

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School Lunches Don't Make Kids Fat

School Lunches Don't Make Kids Fat | school lunches | Scoop.it
Junk food does, but school is a small part.
Jenny Sloane's insight:

This article really caught my attention because I genuinely do believe the opposite of this title that school lunch actually do make kids fat. I think paying attention to what one eats needs to start in the home, but children spend just as much time at school and some eat half their meals there. Once kids get in the habbit of eating unhealthy food, it will be hard to break it. However, the study mentioned in this article was very surprising to me. Out of about 20,000 students K-8 there was no significant difference in the number of overweight kids who went to school were they served junk food vs. those who did not receive junk food. I would just question what do they mean by junk food? Is it referring to snack machines and soda machines or full meals? I think this article makes a good point when it says "there really isn't a lot of opportunity for children to eat while they're in school, or at least endlessly." I would definitely agree that this is true, however I am still interested in learning more about the methods that went into the study because I am still not convinced of the results. Furthermore, even if the study is valid, I would still argue that 35% of students being overweight is unnacceptable. Whether they have access to junk food or not is irrelevant; not that many students should be overweight and something needs to be done about it. 

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Some Grumble About Change As School Lunches Get Leaner And Greener : NPR

Some Grumble About Change As School Lunches Get Leaner And Greener : NPR | school lunches | Scoop.it
Federal guidelines introduced in The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 have started to go into effect this school year. That means lunches feature more fruits and vegetables, and fewer processed foods.

Via Bill Palladino - MLUI
Jenny Sloane's insight:

I have read several articles where students complain that the new, healthier school lunches lack taste. However, just from looking at the picture of the school lunch in this article, I may be biased because I like to eat healthy, but I think this looks like a pretty solid and appetizing meal. I think you can still have choices within healthy meals, but the choices would have to be along the lines of do you want an apple, pear, or banana or do you want grilled chicked or a salad? That way students will still have the freedom to choose what they want, but no matter what they pick it will be a healthier alternative to pizza and fries. Furthermore, even if students may not be happy with these choices, at the end of the day if they are hungry they will eat whatever is in front of them. Everyone has heard  of "mystery meat", but no one actually knows what it consists of. If children are willing to eat that for lunch, they should definitely be willing to eat foods that they recognize. I think it is absolutely necessary to cut back on sugar and completely get rid of trans fat. In this article some of the healthier food options listed include chicken enchiladas and hot dogs with whole grain tortillas and buns. Although I know students may not like adjusting to whole grain, it is much better for them and they still get their normal food. Furthermore, I think it is a really good idea to make as much food from scratch as possible in order to help with the costs of healthier foods. I do not know if that is a realistic option for all schools, but definitely one solution that can help out many people. There is no doub that students are not going to be happy with the changes, but these changes are being made to protect them from diseases like obesity and diabetes. Children are unlikely to understand the importance of these changes, which is why it is even more crucial to follow through with these diet changes because they would never make the changes themselves. 

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