Healthier Lunches Make for Happier Students | Teen Ink

Healthier Lunches Make for Happier Students

May 3, 2018
By iz.w1234 BRONZE, Metairie, Louisiana
iz.w1234 BRONZE, Metairie, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Today in America, obese and overweight teens are a troubling problem. Nearly fourteen percent of high school students are obese or overweight. This is attributed mainly to the food served in school cafeterias. In school cafeterias, there is barely enough food with actual nutritional value. Some may say that if teens do not like their school lunches they should bring their lunch to school; however, this is easier said than done. When rushing in the mornings to get to school, it is difficult to have lunches prepared for school. In addition, it can be every expensive for families to constantly buy lunch supplies for their teens when the school should be offering proper lunches. For Mount Carmel, it might be the argument that healthy options are available for lunch. For example, Mount Carmel has a salad bar and pre-packaged lettuce wraps. But, this is not fair to have only two healthy options for kids. This is especially a problem when there is barely enough chicken or toppings to put on top of the salad or when the pre-packaged lunch does not suffice for a meal. To solve this problem, the students of Mount Carmel can help to make a more nutritious lunch for students and a better learning environment.

The starting point of having better lunches is finding a better supplier. A better supplier provide healthier options for school lunches. Schools, including Mount Carmel, might be opposed to this because of the pricing. There are many places that can supply healthier foods for less than it cost to buy or make breaded and fried foods. For example at Mount Carmel, fried steak and fried chicken with macaroni and cheese is often served. It takes many ingredients to fry and cook pastas and breads while it does not take much ingredients or resources to make grilled chicken or vegetables. Also, little does Mount Carmel know the exact same meal can be made and still be delicious and healthy. For example, instead of serving fried chicken, the chicken can be made in the oven or grilled. Baked chicken is much healthier than chicken fried and breaded with oil and bread crumbs. As for fried steak, an alternative could be that the steak can be seared and served with not buttery mashed potatoes but asparagus with salt and pepper. Even just offering an alternative to mash potatoes can be a change that will be beneficial. Alternatives can be found to solve this pending problem of obese and overweight teens as well as aid teens to have better diets and better learning experiences.

Not only could the problem of unhealthy eating be solved by a better supplier but a more nutritious lunch can really effect the learning and alertness of the students. For example, a healthier food option can make anyone feel more alert and healthy, but for teens who have to learn in classrooms all day this can be extremely beneficial. Things like fried chicken and huge amounts of carbs can make the body tired and make it harder to focus on important lessons in class. Having healthier options can make for a better and happier environment around. Teens can be more attentive in class and not be so tired and dragged down by unhealthy foods. Even just offering vegetables instead of fries or grilled meats instead of fried meats can contribute significant effects. By doing this simple task of making healthier options available in our own school cafeteria, other schools can be influenced. Maybe even in the future there can be a decrease in obese and overweight teens in America. If teens are shown how to eat healthy it could be a big change and benefit to not only their school lives and activities but their lives at home and in the future. Health is so important in everyone lives and most of all in teens lives.

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