More healthful school lunches… Maybe?


After reading this friend’s Facebook status about what she has seen in a dietetics field, I wondered what exactly the USDA was doing to help our youngest generation eat wisely.

This article from the Huffington Post describes the USDA’s reaction to criticism’s given by school cafeteria’s across the nation. Schools said putting limits on meat and grain intake was too big of a restriction. So USDA removed the restriction, all the while considering potatoes (including french fries), and tomato sauce on pizza, vegetables. What’s even more startling is that kids aren’t happy with the new “healthier guidelines.”

Get a load of this:

Is it the media’s fault for children’s attitudes towards healthy food? I think the way food is portrayed to children, on television, radio, online, and everywhere else in the media, has created this idea around what kind of food is acceptable for children to eat, and enables children with a false sense of entitlement; children may believe they are responsible enough to make their own food decisions.

At the end of the video, the USDA representative explains that some tactics are working in a small number of schools. If you read my last post about over consumption cues, tactics the representative describes, including giving dishes more intriguing names, and making food more physically accessible (placing it at the front of the buffet) are some ways in which to use typical over consumption cues for the better.

Farm to School is, in my opinion, a much better way to shift the paradigm around healthy food. Partnering school cafeterias with local farms, and providing children with nutritional education and cooking classes at a young age sparks interest and excitement about the food we eat. That’s how it should be!



school lunch

Versus this: (yum!)

What do you think about our society’s battle against childhood obesity?

NP 4/9


4 thoughts on “More healthful school lunches… Maybe?

  1. I think obesity is a huge problem in our nation, and clearly we can thank the USDA for that. It is absolutely crazy to me that french fries now qualify as a vegetable. Farm to school programs are a great way to exposure children to healthier food options and it also shows them that vegetables can be delicious without deep frying them.

  2. Childhood obesity is an ongoing issue and there really is no one way to solve it. There needs to be a combination of things that all work in tandem to help fight this issue. Parents must be involved, as well as the schools, government, and especially the media. Classifying fries as a vegetable is obscene. The USDA needs to reexamine it’s objectives as a government agency if they are concentrating of serving fries to children ad nauseum.

    • Definitely. It’s not just one part of the system that has to change, it’s the whole thing. And until society as a whole starts to realize that and demand the changes in our government, we won’t see any large-scale benefits.

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