The government is mandating health care for all Americans, so why can schools opt out of the Federally mandated nutritional lunch program? Both seem to be for the health and well being of Americans, so why would schools essentially opt for obesity when it comes to the welfare of children? Many schools are actually forgoing the Federal dollars they will receive by implementing a nutritional standard for school lunches, which bans high fat-content foods like french fries. Why would they rather have the highly processed foods that have contributed to the obesity problem in America? It may be as simple as not knowing how to create and cook nutritional meals on a budget. One such school that decided not to implement the nutritional program states that they will serve less costly fruits and vegetables, justifying this by stating that the kids throw them away anyway.
Is this what the U.S. wants to teach its children? That it is okay to take the easy way out and serve whatever children want because it is easier? American kids already eat an excessive amount of fast foods at home; should these foods really be a part of their school life also? In part due to the economy, most families require two incomes and that leaves less time for cooking. Many families find it easier to just grab some food on the way home so they can get to all the other things that require their attention in the evenings. When did the majority of Americans get so lazy? When did Americans put all the recipes in the bottom drawer, believing that it is okay to forgo fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables? Sounds like opting for obesity, instead of opting for healthy futures for children. Cooking and sit-down dinners with the family is a lost art and one that needs to be brought back into style. Maybe that mandatory health-care bill is going to come in handy after all.
Looking at the guidelines, they seem wholly achievable and bring meals in line with a healthy way of living by using smoothies and salad bars in the school lunch program. These options will help curb the epidemic of obesity in today’s children, and set an example of healthy eating in those that are most impressionable. Chef Jamie Oliver has been a champion of kids and foods for a healthy childhood, going so far as to teach schools how to make economic and healthy dishes that children will actually eat. His mission takes him to primary and secondary schools to teach kids where food comes from and how to make healthy choices. His work is primarily in the UK after a failed attempt to change thinking in American schools. The United States mandates health insurance and penalties for not having it, so it stands to reason that not allowing schools to opt out of a program that will help solve an existing obesity problem in our children just seems to makes sense.
By Kristi Cereska
Opinions by Kristi Cereska
Jamie Oliver foundation
The journal times