Not only do schools have to struggle with getting the right kind of funding for school lunches, but they also have difficulty making food that the students will enjoy eating while also staying within the strict federal nutrition standards, which are intended to combat childhood obesity and to make those lunches affordable. It is not affordable for families to pay for the high cost of a school lunch and then to have their children either eat only a small portion of the lunch or simply throw the whole thing out and then eat when they get home from school. For example, when Obrien Wood serves whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce, in Buffalo, New York, some students only eat the meat sauce. This is not a balanced nutritional meal for the students, but there is not much they can do about the situation. Making food that stays within the federal nutrition standards but also is tasty and good to the student has proven to be a difficult obstacle. Obrien Wood argues that “it’s not nutritious if they don’t eat it,” which I believe to be a very strong argument. There is no way for schools to force the students to eat their food so schools must come up with a healthy way for students to get their nutrition. This means the students will like the food so they will voluntarily eat it. The way school lunches are prepared right now there are many students who simply won’t eat it, and that is big problem because that stops them from getting the nutrition that they need.
Another example of the very strict federal nutritional guidelines is the standard on student sodium intake. This standard limits the amount of salt that the schools are allowed to use. When they serve the students French Fries they are not like French Fries that you would normally get at a restaurant and more like the cardboard that you would find in the garbage can behind restaurants. Obrien states, “You put a little salt on something, they’ll eat it”. Putting slightly more salt in the recipes for school lunches would dramatically decrease the amount of food thrown away and wasted in our schools.
More and more children are either throwing their food out because they don’t like it and refuse to eat it or they are choosing to bring home lunches and just not even bother with school lunch. There has been a movement to make the laws on school lunches less strict, in particular, the laws that control whole grain food and sodium levels that are required in student lunches. This will make school lunches much more enjoyable for students to eat and drastically decrease the amount of food that is being wasted in school trash cans around the nation.
In conclusion I believe that school lunches have way too many regulations. There definitely needs to be some changes to make school lunches more enjoyable for the students so that they get the nutrition they need without wasting or throwing away good food. I also believe that school lunch needs to be more affordable while also being higher quality so that the parents will be able to pay for the lunches and the students will also enjoy the lunches. This not only affects students because they are the ones who have to eat the food but it affects the parents too because they are the ones who are paying for it.
We Grizzlies are an opinionated bunch, hm? Speak out and be heard.