Thursday, February 3, 2011

School Meals

So as many of you may have heard, the USDA just released the new dietary guidelines. General recommendations talk about reducing sodium in our diets as well as added sugars. To me this is not earth shattering news. You can rewrite and reword the guidelines as many times as you want. I think we all know by now that junk food, sweets, soda, and fried foods aren’t good for us. And what we need to do now is think of more eco-logical ways to eat and take care of our health.

Here is a great interview from the Diane Rehm show on NPR:

How about changing the rules and lobbying when it comes to the media and advertising?
Why do we still have Pepsi and Coke sponsoring school programs in exchange for vending machines in schools?

Why is Disney’s Shrek, the most unhealthy-looking of all the Disney characters, the one supposedly promoting healthy foods to kids? He was chosen to be the spokesperson for children’s eating habits, but at the same time he is promoting this!

                                                      Talk about conflicting messages!

Introduce more sport programs in schools, instead of always cutting those programs. Limit the number of junk food advertisements, advertisements that are aimed at toddlers and children.
And dude, let’s work on school meals…

Here is what is being offered at my son’s school for breakfast this week. I will preface this by saying that his school meals comply with USDA regulations.

So, on the plus side, milk and fresh fruit options every day. Good. Very good.
They actually make a point of telling you that the fruit is fresh.

Oh good, what were the other options?
Apples- old
Apples- rotten
Apples- canned (does that exist?)
Apples- freeze dried
Apples- fried?
Apples- fill in the blank

But I do have a few questions:
1. What the heck is a Bosco stick? I am not being facetious, I really don’t know what that is. Other wonderful items for the rest of the month included waffle sticks, French toast sticks, honey buns, and pop tarts.
2. Since when are pretzels and pizza breakfast food?
3. No nutritional info readily available, but I’ll make a wild guess and say it’s probably not the healthy cereal they’re getting
4. Why is every day so different? I know they are trying to show that it is exciting and fun to have breakfast at school if you are a 4 year old. But I would rather see it be more repetitive and healthier. My son eats the same thing for breakfast almost every morning, cereal, milk, maybe sometimes toast or a banana. There is nothing wrong with that.

But then again, why would you choose to have your kid eat the school breakfast?
1. “I work early and don’t have time to give him breakfast.” Making breakfast takes about 5 seconds. Give him a piece of toast and an apple (fresh) on the go in the car if you have to.
2. “That way I don’t have to worry about it.” It is a very stressful thing to have to reminder to do, feeding your kids.
3. “It’s cheaper to do the school meal program.” I checked the prices, it costs $1.25 per breakfast or 0.30 cents if you are on the reduced cost program. Granted, it would be hrad to make breakfast for less than 30 cents. But it doesn’t have to be expensive to make either breakfast or lunch for your kid. Buy bulk foods instead of buying prepackaged items for him. Ditch the cheese sticks and cut off a hunk of cheese for him instead. Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead of buy a box of “luncheables.” I promise it won’t cost much.

* I just checked in case you were still wondering. I quote from the company’s website: “Bosco Sticks are premium quality stuffed breadsticks. Just thaw, bake or deep fry, and top with butter and parmesan cheese for a delicious breadstick.”

Which just reminds me of this:

1 comment:

  1. Here is an interesting link about various school lunches around the world and how poorly the SUS rank...