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Why Some Schools Are Taking Healthier Lunches Off the Menu This Year

Why Some Schools Are Taking Healthier Lunches Off the Menu This Year

As our kids trickle back into school this fall, some may be surprised to see last year’s healthy school lunch menus have been tossed and traded for menus more reminiscent of how things used to be. Reports are coming in that some schools across the country have dropped out of the healthier federal lunch program this year due to it’s unpopularity among students which led to a loss of money.

School superintendant Gary Lewis is quoted in a CBS News report explaining why his school has opted out of the program for the 2013 school year. Lewis says, “Some of the stuff we had to offer, they wouldn't eat. So you sit there and watch the kids, and you know they're hungry at the end of the day, and that led to some behavior and some lack of attentiveness.” Lewis’ district saw a 10% to12% decrease in cafeteria lunch sales last year which amounts to about $30,000 lost. A few schools in upstate New York suffered a $100,000 loss before deciding to bow out of the healthier lunch program this year.

The new guidelines, that limit the amount of calories and salt in school lunches was definitely a big change for a lot of students, but some believe the program just needs a little more time for kids to get used to eating healthier. Dr. Janey Thornton, deputy undersecretary for USDA's Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services explains how most schools are sticking with the program and she is hopeful for it’s long term success. She says, “The vast majority of schools across the country are meeting the updated meal standards successfully, which is so important to help all our nation's children lead healthier lives. Many of these children have never seen or tasted some of the fruits and vegetables that are being served before, and it takes a while to adapt and learn.”

What do you think of reports that some schools are dropping out of the healthier school lunch program?

Are you and your kids happy with what’s on the menu at school this year?
 

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  • Flenkerbelle By Flenkerbelle
    09.13.13  

    Hmm, not sure what to think about this... I honestly wouldn't mind either way. I would actually like it if they served foods the kids liked so they would actually eat it and not come home starving!

  • JaeMac By JaeMac
    09.14.13  

    Interesting. How healthy and exotic could the lunches have been to include fruits and vegetables that most of the children had never seen or tasty. Explain to me how a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomato, an apple, chicken breast, brown rice, bananas etc could have been so foreign that kids would rather go hungry? Fun healthy foods could include, turkey tacos with the normal trimmings, thin crust cheese pizza, sweet potato fries, etc. If more than 50% of the lunches are subsidized free/reduced they should have to go with the federal program.

  • Allbriisa By Allbriisa
    09.16.13  

    I think they should be more focused on our children's health then making a couple extra bucks. But then they complin our children are obese. I have a five year old daughter in law and I make her lunch every day because the school lunches don't appeal her she said they look gross so healthier can be alot better

  • Cheran687 By Cheran687
    09.16.13  

    A step backward!? Not seeing the logic here? Not if the goal is to raise a healthy child supported by a caring community!

  • centrej By centrej
    09.17.13  

    Many of the kids who eat at school do not have the best role models of trying new foods or eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables at home. I would interview kids and ask their favorite lunch, it's always the entree (usually hamburger, chicken nuggets, or the turkey & mashed potatoes day). When I asked their favorite veggie or fruit, its usually carrots or corn. I found it a little odd that fruit was not popular. I visited a different elementary school, the kids get a full salad bar with all kinds of stuff, but they chose to go to the hot lunch line. The teachers loved the salad bar, they would try to role model it for the kids, but the kids still go with the hot lunch line for the corn dogs or whatever.

  • bbissell By bbissell
    09.23.13  

    I have 4 children in school who used to eat the school lunch. this year i make and they take there lunch. I dont feel it should be up to the school to watch what kids eat. That is the job of the parents. If a child is taught at home to eat well, they will do it in school. My kids go to a tiny school (160 kids from k-12) and that school always managed a healthy choice and my kids mostl ate that but now the food portions have been cut and they are starving when they get home. I feel like its not up to the school but the PARENTS, people seem to forget that..

  • Rose2011 By Rose2011
    09.30.13  

    My grandson comes home starving after school and the good stuff lol goes in the garbage. They need food at school that kids will eat. They can make it reduced fat if they wanted to.

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