B headed back to school last week and, just like any other new school year, there were some changes. One of the major changes came to the school menu. Michelle Obama proposed earlier this year a new healthier school lunch standard. You can read all about it here and read the guidelines here. The new guidelines call for more whole grains as well as more fruits and vegetables. At the high school level kids are only allowed 10-12 oz. of meat, or protein, a week! For active kids, that is not enough. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm all about eating well balanced meals. We always have a fruit, vegetable, and meat at mealtimes as well as a good serving of calcium from milk and other products. (With the exception of an occasional pizza night.) B and Mel are also given a wide variety of foods to try. They have to try it once, and if they don't like it then fine, at least they tried it. I just wish her decisions weren't so extreme. B won't eat roasted red peppers with butternut squash nor will she eat green peppers. I'm sure several other children refuse to eat these items. That leaves empty bellies and a lack of energy for classroom activities in the afternoon. They go home hungry and fill up on junk food.
Mrs. Obama's goal is to fight childhood obesity which I definitely feel is a problem in our nation. However, I feel there are other items that need to be evaluated in our school systems. Many schools are cutting extra curricular activities as well as physical education. With the new school guidelines, more time is required in the classroom which has some schools eliminating recess time. We are fortunate in that our kids lead an active lifestyle, but for some kids this is the only chance they have to exercise. So, I would like to ask, why not change the guidelines, but not to such an extreme? You can cook healthy food that kids will actually eat.
B is allowed to pack her lunch one day a week because we have already paid for lunches for the first semester. At the beginning of the week, I read the menu to her and she picks which day she would like to take her lunch. If things don't improve, she may be packing her lunch more next semester. Today was the day that she decided to take her lunch. After reading the menu, the only thing she would have eaten on her plate would have been her banana.
So, with her help, we prepared everything the night before which make the mornings run smoother.
She requested a ham sandwich (on wheat bread....my kids will only eat wheat bread, they think white bread is gross), yogurt, chips, a banana, and milk to drink.
A happy camper...
Visit my friend Katie's blog for some other opinions on the new school menus.