School Lunches or a Death Wish?

April 27, 2015
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Michelle Obama has finally managed to put more nutritious lunches in the school system, but kids are revolting against the improved lunches. One of the reasons is the nutrition. The lunches are supposed to enrich us, to help us, and to make us healthier; but kids are not eating it. It is also meant for food-insecure households, but only 14.3 percent of homes are in that range. Kids would eat more if they could voice their opinion in what they get to eat. The new lunch system has got to go.


The new lunches in schools are more nutritious, yet no one seems to be eating it. Why? Maybe it is because of the smaller portions. It could also be the fact that the food has fewer calories. In the article “Nutritious School Lunches, or the New Hunger Games?” it states, “According to the nutrition standards released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January 2012, high school students must receive a minimum of 700 and a maximum of 850 calories in their lunches… The standard lunch includes a cup of fruit, a cup of vegetables, two ounces of a grain, two ounces of meat, and a cup of milk.” The old school lunches had to have more calories than that. Another fact is that fruit and vegetables are required. Some kids go home hungry because there was not enough of the other part of their lunch to support their dislike of  certain fruits and vegetables.


Secondly, the new lunch system is intended for food-insecure households, homes that can not or will not provide balanced meals for their families. They probably appreciate it, but the rest of America does not. Not everyone is food-insecure. According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), only 14.3 percent of households are not able to provide good food for their families. That’s 49 million people in 2013.  What about the rest of the country? Why do they have to eat food designed to help other people? This is why we need a new lunch system so other people who do not need, or want, the new food can be happy as well.


Thirdly, kids would eat more it they got to have a say in what is served. Some kids do not eat because they do not like the lunches.  Compromise would solve the massive problem of hunger in the States. There could be a lunch survey that had different lunches on it. The kids could pick which ones they liked the best. Then the school would start serving it. The pickier eaters would not be as hungry, and everyone would be happier. Another thing is the presentation of the food. Some of the noodles the lunch ladies serve look disgusting! I have first hand experience of this. If the lunch people would try harder to make it look better, maybe more kids would eat.


On the other hand, the obesity percent in children is crazy. The percentage for 6-11 year olds is about 18 percent, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In the United States, 31.3 percent of our 10-17 year olds are obese. Do parents really want fat children? The new lunches are supposed to help with that. By not having as many calories, the schools that reach the standard for lunches have lighter students (healthland. time.com). So, are they supposed to make us thinner? What about the people who are already skinny? They do not need to lose weight and they certainly do not want to starve!


In conclusion, the “new and improved” lunch menu must be renounced or replaced by something better because many kids are not eating it, and the food-insecure households are the ones who are benefiting the most. That should not be the case.  Everyone should benefit from the lunches; therefore, we should change the menu by letting the children decide for themselves what they want to eat. The world would be a much happier, and less hungry, place if the people of the United States do this.






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