A Change in the Menu

March 28, 2017
By Jadah Williams BRONZE, Sacramento, California
Jadah Williams BRONZE, Sacramento, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Fast Food is growing problem especially in America. It is fast, easy, and cheap. However, it is horrible for us. It has led to many diseases; diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. If your food choices have left you with any of these diseases, you are not alone. For us to begin to change these habits, we have to start with our children. The people are going to have to WANT to change. Or we will change when it is too late. When the fast food eats us alive and/or we start seeing these disease within our own bodies.

Based on a survey administration to eighty-seven students at Natomas Charter School, more than half (63%) reported they buy school lunch 0-3 times a week. However, only 47% of the students eat lunch daily. This is rather surprising because in the documentary, Fed up (2011), claim a majority of the kids at the schools ate school lunches almost everyday (Fed Up). So, we have to begin to question why these students at Natomas Charter School rather bring lunch or not eat at all instead of eating the lunches that are provided at school.

To make change within our nation, we need to start in our cafeterias. We need to fund healthier foods into our schools. This will provide the kids to healthier food options and hopefully make the lunch more enjoyable for the students, even if they are not able to access these healthy food options at home.

Children spend a majority of their day in school. So for the many that do purchase school lunch, half of their food intake is actually coming from their school (Let's Move). With that said, parents and the school board need to take a step to renew school lunch menus. Coming together, they should be supplying the best options to improve children's health and prevent possible diseases.

School lunches became slightly more healthy in 2015 due to the Child Nutrition Act. However, it has screwed the nutritional value of food. Under this change, pizza was now considered a vegetable. Ironically, tomatoes are a fruit not a vegetable and child obesity continues to flourish.

According to Alice Waters and Katrina Heron, in their New York Times article, “No Lunch Left Behind” (February 19, 2009), purposes that we need to take the responsibility to redesign The National School Lunch Program. Waters and Heron explain that the N.S.L.P was not the best investment and suggests ways we can bring in a “real kitchen with organic fruit and vegetables” that provides kids with a healthier lunch alternative (Waters, Alice, and Katrina Heron).

The first thing that needs to be done is the funding to purchase kitchen equipments, and fresh produce. It is vital that schools lead the charge and work with food manufacturers to provide suitable products for students. The National School Lunch Program is what is currently funding school meals. This program needs some adjustment. We need to swerve the money in a different direction. The funding that is already be used for the National School Lunch Program is just going to be used in a different way. We will use this funding the purchase healthier school options. We can use the program funding, tax payers money, and even parents that are willing to donate to make all of this possible.

The funding we truly need to further help students is the dollars from the taxpayers themselves. If the people as taxpayers spend a few extra dollars to help the school lunch programs in their district, it could change the life of children. Some may claim, that their child does not go to school in their district, so why put money into something that is not benefiting them. To answer that, even if your kid is in a different district, the taxpayers in that district are paying for it. So either way, you are paying for your child and helping the future generation.

It is so important for children to be obtaining good nutritional meals. Personally, when I ate school lunch vs. when I started bringing lunch from home. I noticed I was less tired, had more energy, and stayed fuller longer. Especially, attending such an active school community surrounded by dancers, actors, and singers that have to do hours of rehearsal everyday after school. It is important that we are obtaining the right amount of nutritional value within our meals that leave us full and happy.

The younger we start educating the students and how long we teach it, will slowly but surely make a change in the way the eat dinner with their families. The year of health in highschool freshman year is not enough. It needs to be an ongoing process. We should be teaching students how important nutrition is and how to properly cook healthy meals. We also need to our lunch ladies and men to know how to cook healthy tasty foods that are appealing (Tips To Make).

A change in the menu that is handed out to students is well needed. With this plan, we can stop disease early. We can start with the future of our children. We can, as a government, make a change to our children's health one step at a time. Providing them healthy food when it is not accessible at home makes it one step closer to our goal. Having kids gain a better understanding on nutrition and be able to show them you can meet these requirements through delicious food will change their future. The younger we start educating the students and how long we teach it, will slowly but surely make a change in the way the eat dinner at their dining room table.

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