While playing with my IPAD this afternoon with the news on the television, a story about school lunches caught my attention. As a principal the story naturally attracted my attention. All I could do was listen and agree with most of the points in the story. It was a story about the federal nutrition guidelines and how students are responding to the healthier food options. The most important point I noted from the story was students throwing away lunches because they simply don’t like the food. I immediately reflected and remembered observing our students doing the same thing this morning at breakfast and again at lunch today. If students aren’t throwing it away, they give it to someone else. Students will go without food rather than eat a free healthy meal. Go figure but I see it every day. What is the solution?
I believe the folks that created the nutrition guidelines had good intentions. Instead of forcing students to choose foods they don’t like, why not give them what they do like. We need students eating instead of going hungry looking for something to eat. Students should attend school without having to worry about their next meal. What if the federal government provided vitamins instead of healthy food guidelines? What if the federal and state governments provided the funds so schools can provide physical education for all students every year?
I’m not a health nut but do believe exercise is a life skill students need more than anything today. With technological advances, our students sit around playing on phones and other devises instead of going outside playing games. Students need calories to fuel their bodies. If students are not eating at all, are we winning the health battle? I would argue we need a balanced approach but most of all empowering local boards of education, who are “representatives” chosen by parents, make the final decision what food is provided to students.
The article below (link) states similar points mentioned in the news story I viewed today.