A first-hand look at school lunch
As the All We Can Eat blog reported last week, lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation that would improve school lunches, enhancing their nutritional value and making them available to more children.
If you don't think such changes are necessary, take a look at this blog that is said to be created by an anonymous teacher who has committed to eat school lunch every school day in 2010 -- unless she gets fired first. "Mrs. Q" writes on her "Fed Up With School Lunch" blog site that she's "Eating school lunch just like the kids every day in 2010."
Mrs. Q, who says she's staying anonymous for fear of being fired for writing the blog, chronicles her daily lunchroom experiences in words and photos. It ain't pretty:
Today's menu: cheese lasagna, peas, pear, milk, bread, butter
Wow. Truly monumentally bad. I couldn't get through the main entree. I was hungry too... I bit the cheese lasagna and it didn't even pass muster as pasta! Al dente? No, al crappy. The pasta couldn't hold its form and it crumbled. I ate two bites and I was done. Yuck.
Luckily I keep peanut butter in my desk. I used the two pieces of bread that came with the lunch and made a peanut butter sandwich. The spork was my snife. I would have been so screwed without my little snack stash today.
The pear and the peas were good. If it had been a fruit cup, I probably would have cried.
Mrs. Q told AOL Health "These are the kids who need the good nutrition. . . My students don't have good food models at home. These kids depend on the school for so much, including good nutrition. And if they don't get it, they will develop bad habits and increase our health-care costs in the future."
Having written about school nutrition programs before, I know that many school systems have upped their game and do their best to serve nutritious food that appeals to kids. But I also know that too many schools--apparently including the one at which Mrs. Q teaches--lag behind.
I'm not big on government's telling people what to eat and what not to eat. But since the federal government already runs the national school lunch program and sets the standards for the quality of food served and sold in schools, then I heartily endorse efforts to get the government to up its game, too. Given what we know about childhood obesity in America, continuing to feed kids garbage on the taxpayer's dime is unconscionable. Let's hope this legislation passes--and accomplishes the changes it aims to achieve.
Jennifer LaRue Huget
March 22, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Family Health , Nutrition and Fitness , Obesity , Social Media
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