Attention Parents … School Lunch is changing!
For the first time in 15 years there are major changes in school lunches that will result in healthier meals for kids. What’s changing? The new school meals will contain more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; low-fat or non-fat milk; and less sodium and fat. The meals will also be “right sized”– portion sizes will be based on a student’s age.
A deeper look into school lunch
Saying good things about school lunch never has been fashionable, but recent changes seem to have provoked more concern than usual. I posted a blog about changes in school lunch last month. The responses prompted me to investigate the situation further by eating lunch at three schools — one urban, one suburban and one rural. The first step (and maybe the trickiest) was to get my nieces to let me eat with them. After some sweet talking and conferring with friends, they agreed. A colleague got me into the third school to eat with her son and his friends.
Ala carte options
I heard and observed many good things about the new school lunches when I ate at three different middle schools. These include:
What School Lunches look like in other Countries
School lunches have been front page news in the U.S. this fall with lots of discussion about the healthier meals. Have you ever wondered what kids in other countries eat for school lunch? BuzzFeed, a social news organization, posted What School Lunches Look Like In 20 Countries Around The World about a year ago. The lunches are random pictures but do give an idea of what kids eat in other countries. I feel sorry for the kids in Kenya, Honduras, Ghana, and Djibouti (a tiny country in Africa). Their lunches are very skimpy. The U.S. lunches shown are higher in fat and have less fruits and vegetables than many of the other countries. However, these pictures were taken before the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act became effective.
It’s Not Just School Lunch. It’s Bigger Than That.
This year my daughter started kindergarten. And honestly one of my biggest concerns was if she was going to be hungry throughout the day. Going from daycare and preschool to kindergarten is a huge adjustment for various reasons. I was particularly concerned about the change in foods available to her and how much time she would have to eat. The thought of her having fifteen minutes to eat lunch and no snacks was a little scary!
True Stories from the School Cafeteria
The past couple of weeks our blogs have focused on breakfast. Today, I’m going to change it up and talk about lunch. School lunch to be more specific. A couple of weeks ago I ate school lunch with my daughter who is in kindergarten. It was the week of her birthday and she was so excited to have me come.