Monday, August 20, 2012

School lunch is not making our kids fat!

My tall, athletic, active, slender farm kids....tell me they're not eating right!
Please hand me my soap box....thanks. As I climb up on this block, I run through my mind the reasons that I have not made this blog a political platform. I don't like to denounce government programs, endorse political candidates or spout points or counter-points to current events. But, dangit, I'm MAD....

What makes me mad enough to go against my policy so that I will use my Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch blog to talk about the USDA? The new school lunch guidelines as announced by USDA. Frankly, this has been stewing in my brain for a few months. My husband is on the school board and told me that the cooks for our school have had to put in extra hours this summer to clarify the new regulations and plan for the changes they must make. So I immediately looked up the rules and talked to our school cooks.  Here is what I've found:

The new guidelines for High School Students lunch:
  • Limit total weekly protein (meat and meat alternatives) to a maximum of 10-12 oz/week
  • Limit total calories to 750-850 per day
  • Limit milk to 5 servings per week
  • Mandate a set portion of various vegetables and fruits
  • Mandate switching to whole grains
On the surface, I don't think these things appear so wrong. But these are the regulations for High School students. Now, let me tell you about my high school boys. I have two high school boys who are 6 feet tall and weigh 155 and 165 respectively. They both play all the sports that our small school offers, and work on our ranch before school, after sports practice and on weekends. They do not spend much time sitting in front of a television, computer or game station. They are healthy weights, muscular, and very active. In short, 800 calories is a SNACK to my boys!

I am totally against mandating hunger--I thought we were fighting against hunger?! I thought that school lunch is often the best meal of the day for many kids. So why are we cutting back on protein and the nutrients that meat provides? I believe that by the second hour after lunch rolls around, my boys will be hungry again if they do not have more than 2 ounces of meat and only 800 calories. Its proven that protein slows digestion, stabilizes blood sugar and helps to maintain energy.

Our classes are over at 3:30 pm and then the boys head straight to the locker room to change to football gear for a 2 hour physical practice. But if they haven't eaten since noon--and then only fruits and vegetables with minimal protein--they will not have the energy to practice!

My biggest concern with this mandate on our school lunch program is that it takes NOTHING but age level into account. It doesn't allow for physical activity level, weight or height. It doesn't take into consideration that at a small school, most of the students are participating in sports--if they didn't we wouldn't have enough for a team! (As an aside, we have 18 boys playing 8-man football this year in our entire high school.) 

Some moms will say, "Debbie, why don't you just pack a lunch for them?"....but my response to this is WHY should I have to? We have always had excellent homemade lunches served at our school for a very low price. The regular price on our high school meals used to be $2.40/day. My boys would get a second carton of milk (charged an extra 35¢) and they could return for second servings of the main course or side dish after everyone else was served. I should not have to drive 30 miles to purchase lunch items at a grocery store to send with my students when they have been served an excellent meal in the past.

We do have an "open lunch" but there is only 25 minutes for the lunch period. That is not enough time for any student to drive to a restaurant to eat. We only have a local bar (which does serve a lunch) and a gas station for food in our town. The kids often drive to the gas station for a soda (it is not sold during the school day in the school) after they eat their lunch at school.  I believe there will be more of that, and the kids will also pick up a package of chips or a candy bar to fill them up now!

I don't believe this is the intent of the regulations. I really understand that the American society is overweight. But mandating our kids to eat more leafy greens and less lean meat at school is not going to solve the problem. Mandate physical education....put more PE back into our days! But don't make our kids go hungry.

I'll step off my soap box now, but I will be calling my congressmen, you can be sure! In the meantime, here are a few links for more information and insight.
Update:  After speaking with my congressmen, they have directed me to send letters to the following people in charge of the program. If you feel moved to do the same, here are the addresses!

Undersecretary of Food & Nutrition Services
Kevin Concannon
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250

 Secretary of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250

93 comments:

  1. Couldn't have said it better! My grands are absolutely hacked off about this new and "improved" school lunch program. How in the world will they get thru the day? And when the mommies who pay attention start sending extra with their kids, then yet another program will be instituted...Snacks for Kids Whose Parents Aren't Paying Attention. At your expense. Of course. Holy cow.

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    1. The school snack program...free and reduced price snacks! Where will it end. I'd really rather the kids just get a filling, satisfying, healthy lunch.

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  2. I worked in school food service for 25 years and these new guide lines make me very sick. some of these kids only get the food that they eat at school. I watched kids come on Monday morning so hungry that they licked there plates to get every bit of flavor from it. we cooked filling good food and offered choices for the kids. the people in D.C. have no idea what it is to feed kids. every time I hear the news about kids being over weight and school lunches make them that was I want to scream. it is all the happy meals and snacks that some parents buy instead of cooking a nice family meal for them. I am glad I am retired, I could not stand to see my little ones going away hungry. If I had a stufent that was still hungry after there lunch I made a pbj and extra milk for them. we had a share table that the kids put food they didn't want on and the other kids could come get it. very little went to waste in my kitchen. thanks for listening to my rant. ellie

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    1. I am concerned about the waste that will be generated with this program. My kids are good eaters...not very picky. But they probably will not eat all their leafy greens either. It will go in the trash. That's just wrong.

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  3. UGH- You had to open that can of worms... I'm right beside you on your soap box. Our daughter's school has gone totally nut free. The kids can not even bring their own PBJ sandwich in their own lunch. I have since found out it is due to ONE child. Granted there are kids with allergies, but they have been able to deal with it. One family has thrown a big enough "fit" to make an entire middle school (300+) not just peanut free, but nut free.
    Go Debbie!

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    1. I understand your frustration. I don't really know the answer to the nut-free discussion. Of course, my kid doesn't have a nut allergy...

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    2. allergy severity.http://www.allergydiaries.com/2012/08/innocence-and-irritability.html think you should really read this!!!

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    3. As a parent of a child that is allergic to peanuts, I am sorry that you are upset about a ban. Have you ever seen your child stop breathing with his whole face swelling up after another child touched him with peanut butter on his hands? Have you ever had to give your child an injection of epinephrine to try and stop a reaction because someone didn't realize and gave him a cookie that had peanuts in it? It is scary and I bet you would feel that way too if it was your kid. I don't want my kid to die because someone brought in a PB&J sandwich and the teachers/cafeteria staff didn't know the signs of a reaction. Please try to see things from the other parents' viewpoint, they are doing the best they can to keep their child safe.

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    4. At our school anyone who brings their lunch and has peanuts in any form in it, is excused before they are dismissed to wash their hands WITH soap.

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  4. Totally agree. It is interesting to hear even the elementary kids pick up on this. My kids are saying "Mrs. Obama says we can't have ranch dressing anymore so they took it off the salad bar." My 7 year old will forever blame the First Lady of the United States for taking his beloved ranch away and now he won't eat salads at school! I see they are still allowing them to serve pop tarts for breakfast though... that seems healthy, right?!

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    1. Omigosh! Pop tarts are okay?? That's nuts!!

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  5. Great post Debbie. And great comments from everyone. I think the schools have made great strides in improving good quality from the 70s when I went through the lunch line, and I agree it's probably gone too far. I believe over half the kids in our school system are on reduced or free lunches. School lunches are very often their only decent meal. Parents need to take more responsibility. As usual, schools are expected to fix where parents fail and it's not working.

    My son started middle school yesterday. This is a big transition from elementary where they ate the meal provided for a very reasonable price. Much like you listed above, it followed calorie and fat guidelines and my 5th grader was very hungry each day when he got home.

    Middle School cafeteria offers an Italian entree, a Mexican entree, a cold sandwich and one other choice. It's up to the kids to choose veggies and fruits to accompany the entree. Milk also optional. Everything is offered at an individual price and he can have as much as he wants...however a very short lunch period probably prevents from over ordering? I do not know how reduced and free meals work on this plan. I assume they have a max amount they can spend everyday.

    My question is this...how can we go from very strict guidelines in 5th grade to more or less a free for all 6th grade? Can't we find a "Happy Medium"?

    As for the nut free schools...that's a touch problem to solve. Looking at the perspective of the family who has a child who can die from peanuts, I can certainly understand their concern. And if that child is Kindergarten or 1st, they might not be able to identify items to stay away from. My son's elementary tried to go nut free. Ended up that kids who brought PBJ sandwiches needed to eat in another room. It was kind of like parents were punished for sending PBJ with their kids. That doesn't seem right when some parents are sending PBJ as a good protein choice for picky kids.

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    1. It sounds like your school is very lucky with regards to the school lunch program. Do you know how it has changed compared to last year? It would be interesting to know. Do you have many kids in the school on the reduced price program?

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    2. As with anything, parents and schools need to work together to provide what's best for the kids. I'm a big believer not limiting quantity, but offering a lot of healthy options. I also realize the constraints of school kitchens. They are working on a budget and it's tough to do.


      From what I understand the change is simply a elementary school to middle school transition. I was relieved to see the change , knowing how hungry he was every day after school last year-- and his days are longer now. My husband and I work hard to teach him to make healthy choices when selecting foods, so it will be a good test! I can log onto the school system website to monitor what choices he's making at lunch. That alone puts responsibility is the parents' hands which is GREAT!

      School-wide, we have almost 50% of kids on free or reduced lunch.

      Our food pantry runs a backpack program which sends a backpack full of healthy food home with kids are have been identified as being in families where there is a likelihood that there will not be any healthy meals all weekend. Obviously, this takes substantial donations, we have twice the need as the backpack program can support through donations.

      The backpack program supports the fact that healthy food is more important than limiting quantity across the board.

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    3. Wow! I absolutely love the backpack program idea! I'm sure there are kids who are benefiting tremendously from that program. Keep up the great work--it does take us all working together.

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  6. This makes me mad and I don't even have kids...yet... the next generation of Nebraska ranchers/farmers will be born this coming Feb... but just thinking ahead 6-7 years as to what I would do if my child was not getting enough of the right foods at school for him/her to not feel hungry by the time they get home. To me it seems strange to limit the foods that are the highest in nutrients (MILK and MEAT) and not just protein but also very high in vitamins and minerals that help with cognative function (very important in a learning environment), growth and developement. Over the past few months fruits and veggies have tasted better to my pregnant taste buds than meats and I have had to remind myself to put some meat on the plate (strange for me as we generally eat a good balance of meat and veggies). If I don't I am hungry again in 30 minutes and looking for something to fill that void. I have even heard stories of teachers taking food away from kids that was packed at home, and I am not talking about a candy bar or bag of chips, 1 lady said her son lost his yogart for 2 weeks before he said anything. He was under weight and his mom gave him regular yogart instead of reduced fat yogart. How wrong is that to take nutrients from a kid that needs it the most!?! Really I think we need to add more physical ed classes and add home economics back into the list of classes. Why not take the time to teach kids about proper nutrition, how to cook/prepare healthy meals, and how to save money making healthy meals at home??!!??

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    1. My biggest complaint is that this "one-size-fits-all" approach definitely does NOT fit all. You have to look at the health of the kid, BMI and caloric output before you can determine the appropriate caloric input. This program allows for no leeway at all.

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  7. Debbie, you are so totally right. I couldn't agree with you more. If our kids had PE and didn't sit in front of the TV or their cames and get out and do more playing and physical stuff this wouldn't even be an issue cause there wouldn't be the weight problems.

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    1. I am totally supportive of mandating PE. But, we seem to think that math, English and science...etc...is more important. What is wrong these days? Can't we get our kids to learn?! Nearly every kid in our school is on a sports team. They are all physically active for that time. We wouldn't have enough kids to have a team, if nearly everyone didn't play.

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    2. We have a wonderful PE program for all ages in our school. A parent is the SOLE RESPONSIBLE person in charge of limiting hours sitting in front of the TV and playing video games for their child(ren). A PE program in SCHOOL has absolutely NOTHING to do with TV/GAME time AT HOME!

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  8. just wanted to say, my daughter has a peanut allergy, and I would never ask a school to go nut free, but if I found one that was I would definitely send her there. You should know though, that people who have life threatening food allergies are considered to have a "silent disability" and schools must ensure they are safe, and not excluded or they risk loosing their funding from the dept. of education. Please don't hold so much hostility for the family, when it may have been the school who put these measures in place.

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    1. For a time, my son couldn't have milk protein. He had severe digestive reactions. So I packed his lunch and snack for kindergarten & 1st grade. The teacher and I worked together to help him through it. I do realize that his sensitivity is NOTHING like a nut-allergy. His was not life threatening. I don't think the previous commenter was trying to be negative to the family of the child with a nut allergy. But their kids are being impacted too--and they don't have an allergy. There is no good answer to that question. We all just have to do what we can to help those families and kids with nut allergies.

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  9. It is VERY frustrating, I totally agree. My kids who take their lunch, commented that the lunch program at our district, in their opinion has went from bad to worse. I send their lunch for some of the same reasons you mention, I have two teenage boys who play football, I want to be sure they have enough 'fuel' to get them to 7pm, which is about the time they get home, we are a farm family too. Our district went to a food service program a few years ago and the selections are poor, I substitute in the district and know first hand. I do like that I choose what they eat, and we make mostly good choices that way. Yes somedays its a pain, but feeding a family of 6 means I regularly have to go to the store anyway and watching sales and cooking from scratch, I can be pretty competitive cost wise with the school offerings, if your ultimate goal is feeding your kids, there are plenty of options. Bringing to light this issue IS important and I agree with you, planning to share your post with others, fight the good fight sista! :)

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    1. I know I CAN send a lunch for my boys, but that defeats the purpose of the school lunch program. Besides...my boys LIKE school lunch! Our cooks are awesome! Their hands are tied in this situation. They don't like it, but they must adhere to these new regulations.

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    2. I'm a Food Service Director in a school district of 2000 students. The amount of time spent planning the meal, testing new recipes, and other paperwork took my 6 managers and myself almost the entire summer to figure out. We now have menus that meet the 'component' requirements but now we have to go through the process of calculating the calories, fat, and sodium in each meal to see if we are compliant with the new regs. There is at least several weeks worth of work to enter in all the ingredients and recipes into our software. Unless and until we meet these targets, we will not see a cent of reimbursement dollars. Besides the incredible amount of work it has and will take, none of us believe that this is good for our students. First of all, the rules are so complex that the students don't understand what they are required to take on their tray. We are constantly sending them back because their tray does not meet requirements. Speaking from an Administrator's view, the cost of implementing this program is outrages! School Food Service will not be able to absorb the extra cost that the additional fruit and vegetable requirements are adding. Example: Our cheapest fruit is applesauce. A 1/2 cup serving cost about .18 cents. The requirement for high school is 1 cup of fruit a day. Because that is double, our cost for just the fruit only has jumped to .36 cents a meal and the Government is only giving an us an additional .06 cents?? Then you add the double requirement for the vegetables......??? Another example of the craziness of these regs is that we can no longer serve a ham/turkey/PB sandwich with our small side salad anymore. Why? Because the sandwiches have 2 oz. of Meat/Protein and our side salads have 1 oz of Meat/Protein. Therefore, we have 3 oz. (God forbid!) so that would mean 15 oz. per week and we are only allowed 12 oz per week. We can sell the side salad separately as an a la carte item, but that discriminates against the free and reduced students because they usually don't have extra money to purchase this option. Try explaining that scenario to a hungry high school student. "Sorry, you have to put that small salad back and get just plain lettuce because you can't have the 1/2 oz of meat and 1/2 oz of cheese that is on that salad!" I could continue my rant, but it would go on for hours. We must all make enough "noise" so the Federal Government does not ruin school lunches. We were not serving candy bars, Twinkies, and pop in our reimbursable meals. We had protein, fruit, vegetables and milk in every meal. Some suit in Washington D.C. didn't stop and think of the ramifications that this mandate is causing. Two of my workers were in tears at the end of the day because of the stress and the nasty comments from the students about us starving them.

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    3. I am so sorry that you are dealing with this on the front lines--with the students! They are frustrated too--and you obviously are. I hope you will write to the addresses I listed above. Your words are eloquent and very clear..as you speak from a position of knowledge.

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  10. Great post, Debbie. My two younger girls came home from the first day of school yesterday and headed straight for the kitchen proclaiming that they were "starving"! My oldest daughter went directly to Cross Country practice after school and was not able to eat again like her sisters. By the time that she got home at 5:30 from practice, lunch was a long time ago!

    The key to health (I believe) is a balance of nutrition and exercise---a "one size fits all" mantra in the school lunch room will not solve anything.

    Thanks for the post---
    Anne

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    1. That is the key, Anne. There is no way that my boys should be expected to eat the exact same amount of calories and protein as your daughters. They are different in so many ways!

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  11. This is a multi-faceted issue that we are all facing, thanks to momma Bama. As an agricultural science teacher, father, and farmer, the whole idea makes me mad. And here in Texas, the food policing trickles all the way down to pre-K. Last year, my daughter kept coming home from pre-K ravenously hungry. She is 5, weighs 50 pounds, and is about 50 inches tall (yes, I sired an Amazon). When I finally asked, I was told they could only feed the kids an amount based on the smallest child in the class, which in my daughter's case was someone half her height and weight. In our teacher inservice this week, we have been told that the students will only receive one packet of ketchup and no taco sauce, because of sugar content. If we do not follow the guidelines, we risk losing $60,000 of state funding for the cafeteria, and that is for a school of 140 K-12 kids. The problem is that either people in Washington, or those with educational and nutritional "theory", they are too concerned with hurting little egos. We can't force a kid to dress out for PE, because they are ashamed that they are FAT, and so they might get embarrassed if their extra chins flop when they are running the court. School nutrition has never really been an issue with childhood obesity, it has been nutrition at home and exercise (specifically the lack of either). Luckily, we do have the option of bringing our daughter home to feed her at lunch if we don't believe she is getting enough at school.

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    1. An at-home lunch is a good option for your child, but I am concerned about the kids that a school lunch is their best meal of the day! A one-size-fits-all never fits all!

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  12. Debbie, you are so correct. My mom is a High School cook at a small school like White City and a farmers wife. She is VERY concerned about the new guidelines and that kids will be still hungry and possibly get injuries at sports practices due to the lack of energy. I as a parent am concerned that my son will not be getting all of the nutrients that he needs daily or enough to get him through the day and he is only in 1st grade. They are growing children and not adults. Why don't we regulate those that are on financial assistance and not allow them to purchase candy bars, pop, and junk food with their WIC money, but instead nutritional food for a change. But no we force the school and the KIDS to change. Not 1 of the finest moves for USDA, in my book.

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    1. I foresee discipline problems around 2:00 pm in the elementary level! I know that high schoolers will be hiding snacks in their lockers to nosh on between classes. How does this help their nutrition? I believe this program has lots of unintended consequences. You can't mandate one meal to work for every kid! Our cooks have worked hard all summer to figure out how they will handle this new program!

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    2. To Anonymous - I think you may mean "food stamps". "WIC" is a separate program and stands for "Women, Infant, Child" program and is a voucher system with VERY specific foods, brands and sizes. There is no room for variance. And it ABSOLUTELY does NOT include candy bars, pop, and junk food!

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  13. THANK YOU! Can we make the school regulatory bodies understand that P.E. is every bit as important as math and science? Healthy foods are fine, but only if the kids eat them. And just turning off the vending machines during lunch will not keep kids from stopping by AFTER lunch on their way to their next class to pick up a candy bar. And how many different age levels and geographic differences (rural v. urban v. suburban, etc.) did Ms. Obama's study group consider? Thank you so much for speaking out!

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    1. Frankly, there are so many differences in nutritional needs within schools, within families and between siblings I don't understand how USDA can think that one-size-fits-all is right.

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  14. I am a school cafeteria manager. I have been at the same high school for 10 years. The first year I was there I made some changes that the students weren't thrilled with(no frying and lower fat milk),but kept feeding them nutritious filling meals. These new regulations are ridiculous! My paperwork has doubled,the kids are hungry,and the teachers aren't happy. If you have questions,no one seems to have the answer,or everyone has a different answer. I can't stand for my teenagers to leave the cafeteria hungry,but my hands are tied. This has been the most stressful school year in 10 years and we've only been in school a week. This will probably be my last year. Can't stand the stress!!!

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    1. I am so sorry to hear that you are dealing with this and it is affecting your ability to do your job. I really appreciate our school cooks. They do a great job of making nutritious meals for our kids. Bless you!!

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    2. I'm a school Foodservice Director and I totally agree! I've been doing this for 13 years and this is the most radical changes I have ever seen. The students, faculty, and cooks are angry, stressed & frustrated. We do everything we can to provide healthy, tasty meals. But with the new regs on sodium, the meals will not be edible. Yes, the paperwork has doubled and I worked all summer and still am not finished getting all the information together to submit for Certification to get the extra .06 cents. We have had only 4 school days and the lunch room is mass chaos.

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  15. Thank you for this post! I have been wondering and have asked a few questions about this very thing and so far have not been given much. My kids start tomorrow and I am anxious to see what they think and how hungry they are when then come home. We live in a very small community, (less than 1000), and we have a peanut free school. At first I was not sure about the whole thing, but really it does help to keep kids safe and does not affect the others.

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    1. I suggest you ask your school cooks how they are changing the meals for the new guidelines. It may or may not affect your lunches much. It is interesting the variation. I'm just frustrated with the one-size-fits-all approach!

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  16. Debbie,
    Very well written, I couldn't have said it better myself. My son came home yesterday at 3:30 and said "Mom, I'm starving~ they only gave us five chicken nuggets with our lunch" I agree we need to add more Physical Education classes and not cut the portion sizes. my kids are coming home hungry and with headaches because they are not getting enough food at school. My kids have always eaten more than most of their friends however, they work hard on the ranch as well. You can thank Michelle Obama for stirring the nutrition pot!!

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    1. Thanks. I am totally supportive of more fruits & veggies! I admit that my kids probably don't eat enough of those. But I'm frustrated that they have also limited the amount of protein and calories. My kids do need those things--and many kids do not need them limited either.

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  17. The new USDA regulations are so frustrating. USDA got thousands and thousands of responses when they first published the proposed changes, I really thought they'd reconsider. The new regulations will increase food service expenses, create more labor, and more waste! Because I had enough years in, I retired from my position as Food Service Director. I am lucky, but I feel for our students and all the food service employees!

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    1. Paperwork is everywhere! How crazy!

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  18. so true the school must follow certain rules when their is and allergy. no parent would want to see a child die due to someone not doing their job. not getting to eat pbj is little to ask if someones life is at stake. now im not trying to be flip, but iv seen and know what can happen with allergies yes swelling but nothing compares to if they stop breathing and airpassges closing. poptarts can still be served because break-fast will not be implimented till next school year. this have been a very difficult change iv seen my director making herself crazy over all of this. it is also alot more work for everyone in the kichen i get to make over 125lbs of homemade pot. tom. so we can controle all of the ingredance that go into our recipes. so please be patiant with these changes and with people working with all of these changes we may not agree withs all that is going on but its our jobs plus were in it for the kids cause its not the pay. jobs are not alway about what we want thats why their called jobs. sorry if i come off crabby but this has been very very stressful . thanks

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    1. I don't think anyone is upset with the cooks! Just with the USDA. I have has conversations with our cooks and they are frustrated but working with it as best as they can. I am supportive of them 100% but I will be sending letters to the Secretary of Ag and the Undersecretary of Food & Nutrition Services. I place the blame squarely on them.

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  19. It is not the food, it is the lack of exercise. I am not sure about this year, but last year the kids got one 15 min recess and P.E. everyday. The kids get on a bus at 7 am get home at 4 pm, they need to get out and run and play. They need cholestrol for a healthy brain development, they need protein for growth. I think each school can decide for themselves what is good, not the federal government,. I don't love this nanny state country we are turning into. Great article, you did a great job writing.

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    1. Amen! Local control! Why does the federal government have to fix this? It isn't broken everywhere!

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  20. AMEN!! As a Teacher and a mother of 2 growing boys...I agree completely! I also was from a small Kansas School where everyone played sports or we didn't have a team. Rarely do you see an overweight child. My children are starving at 3:20 when they are done with school. AND do not have a 30 minute bus ride home like some of their friends....

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    1. As much as I hate to, I will be sending some kind of a protein snack for my boys. Frustrating that we have to do that.

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  21. Banning kids from bringing pbj sandwiches is nuts Parents if your kid is allergic to peanuts tell them NOT to eat them simple not to eat others foods! This has went to far with our government trying to decide how to raise healthy kids the epidemic of malnourished will show these kids need healthy I grew up on HOT breakfast with proteins and fats im sure a dairy farmers daughter and HOT lunches to die for at school with mid afternoon snacks served all the way thru grade school yep raisins and cheese were fun to eat back then and still participated in sports and activities to return to the farm for chores and EAT a HE man dinner with my parents yep we had potatoes gravy meat vegetable some sort of salad and dessert every evening how about those kids that go home hungry and no food another fool and his wife in office

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    1. I don't want to confuse the allergy issue with the new school lunch regulations. They are very different issues.

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    2. A nut allergy is different than many others and you have to consider that someone with a serious nut allergy is affected by the airborne content as well. It is not as simple as telling them not to eat it...if the child who sits next to them in class has eaten pb&j for instance and has a kernel of peanut left in his teeth, and breathes heavily next to the child who is allergic, the allergic child can go into a severe reaction. I have a friend whose child cannot fly on a plane that has had peanuts served on it...ever, it is a lingering odor, and enough to cause a reaction. The only way for a school to be 100% safe for a severe nut allergy is for the school to be nut free.

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  22. We have a highschool student working for us this summer, and plays football, he was complaining about the new lunch program, taking the bread out also. One plan fits all, I would go to Nutrition Express and purchase protein bars for the guys playing sports

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    1. It is amazing what these kids can eat! They are active and healthy. I know some schools need to overhaul their lunch program, but not all of them do!

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  23. Please read Eat to Live by Joel Furhman. It will explain all of your frustrations. We have been taught wrong when it comes to the best foods to find our nutrients. Meat and milk are not the best as we've been led to believe.

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    1. I wish you had left your name so we could have a conversation about that book. I totally disagree. Meat and milk are nutritional powerhouses, packed with nutrition and protein so necessary for growing kids. But, no matter what you believe on that, I think we can agree that every body is different and it makes no sense to pass a one-size-fits-all mandate. Let local schools hande their own menus. Our school has active, healthy kids and delicious lunches that are nutritious and provide for the kids in our community. Let the cooks do their job!

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    2. Lean meats when consumed at the proper levels are very healty and packed full of nutrients and because they are slower to digest give you a full feeling and cuts down on the binge eating of unhealthy snacks. A 3 ounce serving of lean beef (there are 29 USDA approved lean cuts of beef) provides:
      15% of the daily recomended value (DRV) of Iron (same as 3 cups of spinach)
      38% DRV of Zinc
      37% DRV of Vitamin B12
      15% DRV of Vitamin B6 (need to eat 6 cups of spinach to meet that)
      Less than 170 calories
      Less than 10 g of total fat
      Less than 4.5 g of Saturated Fat
      Less than 55 mg of Cholesterol
      Not to mention 50% of the fat in beef is monousaturated (same as in Olive Oil)which has been shown to cut down on bad cholesterol in increase good cholesterol.
      Not to descriminate against other meat products but I am a rancher and a beef nutritionist so I am a little bias when it comes to choosing meats to feed my family. We do eat poultry, pork and fish but not as much as we take advantage of the power packed nutrition found in beef.

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    3. Thank you so much for your breakdown, Bobbi. I obviously feel the same as you that beef is important in a teenagers diet. I am very concerned that they are not using even a recommended serving size for the maximum. I would be happy if they would increase it to 3 ounces per day!

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    4. I am a dietitian and I think that book is a disgrace based one or two weak studies.

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  24. The school lunch is about to be ruined. It is going to be so regulated that we will be limited on what we can serve, and what ingredients go into our recipes. The "Healthier School Lunch Menus" are bland and in our taste tests, no one said they would eat them. What is going to happen is the only people that will eat school lunch is going to be the free and reduced students because they can't afford not to. Then I see them not wanting to eat because 1) it doesn't taste good and 2) they don't want to be embarrassed that they are on free or reduced meals. Students will go hungry and jobs in school foodservice will be lost. It's sad that our Government wants to control everything in our lives, including what we choose to eat.

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  25. Very, Very well written. Something this mommy is totally hacked off about too.
    One thing that also isn't mentioned in this blog is that parents are no longer able to bring their kids lunch to school. For example, if I wanted to make homemade pizza for my kid's birthday and share (in the lunchroom) with her and her 4 best friends, that is no longer allowed. Or if she happened to forget to take her lunch that day....and I was already in town, I couldn't swing by Subway and get her a healthy sandwich and apples and milk and take it to school.
    My kid is STARVING when she gets home. She might eat one thing on her plate at lunch.....and rutabagas it ain't!.....but that was the other choice she had. No longer can they have REAL milk, but that watered down crap they call skim milk. No longer can they have a pat of butter with their dry roll. However, a rice Krispy cookie counts as breakfast.
    And I'm NOT putting the blame on the school food service.....they are just as upset about this mandate as the kids and parents.....it's more GUBBERMENT INTERFERENCE in how I am raising MY kid.

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    1. Hahaha...I totally understand. I am surprised that you are unable to bring food to your children at school. That must be a local decision. Our school must still allow it, but actually I don't know. I haven't tried.

      I'm working on my letters to Undersecretary Concannon and Secretary Vilsack right now, but I am having trouble keeping it to a reasonable length! I have so much to say, but can't say it all!!

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    2. It must be a local decision within your school. There is no regulation that says you cannot bring a meal to your child. The regulations say that you cannot have food delivered in competition with school food service. In other words, a student or faculty member cannot call to have a pizza delivered, or a classroom cannot have a fundraiser that involves the sell of food during the lunch hour. You can go out and purchase the pizza and bring it in yourself. What difference does it make, you might ask? NONE! As a school food service worker, having a parent bring in Subway for their child is no different than them sending a sack lunch with them. You should check with your Food Service Director and Wellness Committee (every school must have a Wellness Committee) and find out where this policy is coming from. At this time, I know of no regulation that prohibits a parent from bringing in food. Just don't have it delivered! :)

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    3. Studies have shown that children from 1 to 18 years old need fat in their diet for brain development. Making ALL students have 1% or non fat milk because there is an obesity problem is ridiculous. My 2 sons are both 6 feet tall and weigh 150#. They both drink whole milk at home but at school they must drink the "cloudy water" as they call it. If our school lunch has a pasta or noodle in it such as spaghetti or chicken and noodles, then the roll or bread stick either has to be eliminated completely or the serving size is reduced to 1 oz so they don't go over the 8-9 ounce weekly maximum for grade school! The bread sticks now are 1" x 1/4" in size. I think they call those croutons!

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    4. I served my children whole milk for many years, then 2% as they entered puberty and finally they now drink 1%. But I can't enjoy a glass of skim!!

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  26. I totally agree with you Debbie. I have four kids in school and two that are old enogh to play football. I have to have supper ready for them when they get off the bus at 4:45 because they are starving. My oldest has to wait until high school practice it over at 6:30 then drive 20 minutes to get home before he gets to eat. My kids are ranch working kids and need more protein, not just a chef salad for lunch(which that is what they had yesterday). Debbie you have a great looking family, do you remember me?? We showed cattle together when we were in junior high and high school. Joy Jahay Branscum

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    1. I absolutely DO remember you! Thanks for your comments. I hate to have to send food with my boys to keep in their lockers, but I am afraid that is what I plan to do. I think high protein drinks and bars might be what I send as they are shelf stable. I'd rather them have a sandwich with meat, but I don't think I can trust a teenage boy to keep it in a safe place or bring it home if they don't eat it!!

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  27. One more reason why I pack lunch for my girls. Of course, I have the time and resources to do so. . .and I know a lot of parents don't. It is sad that we have become so "regulated" that we can't even feed our kids anymore in this country.

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    1. If I wanted to pack a lunch, I have to drive 30 miles to the grocery store and PLAN AHEAD! I can do that...but I hate to if they can have a good, healthy, hot meal at school!

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  28. I don't mean to attack you, but I'm not sure you understand calorie requirements. Based on the height and weight you listed, for a 16 year old boy, his Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR is just over 1800 calories per day. This is how many calories he'd use if he were to lay in bed all day long. To determine his caloric needs, you then apply a Harris-Benedict multiplier. This is a bit subjective, but I think around 1.5 to 1.6 is pretty accurate. While they are active, they are also sitting in class for a large portion of the day, which would be considered sedentary. This brings us up to just under 3000 calories per day. For girls, it would be even less.

    This is the amount of calories he would need to sustain his current size. To increase weight, he would need to eat more, and to lose weight, eat less. Assuming your son were to sit down and eat a healthy breakfast. Something like a good size bowl of oatmeal with a piece of fruit and a few eggs, then an 850 calorie lunch (that's actually a big lunch if you're eating it correctly - consider that a PB&J will be close to 400 calories if you don't overdo the peanut butter), a quick piece of fruit or a handful of nuts, and then a well rounded dinner can easily top out at 3000 calories in a given day.

    The real problem has nothing to do with calories. Caloric requirements are very easy to achieve. The problem is with empty calories. Sodas, sugars, and other things that we just don't need. Consider a large salad. 2 Tbsp of an italian dressing will typically be less than half of 2 Tbsp of Ranch. Compound that with fact that 2 Tbsp of ranch doesn't go very far, and just putting ranch dressing on your salad can easily take up over half of an 850 calorie lunch. Add a couple slices of bread, even whole grain, and you are likely adding another 150-200 calories and you still haven't even touched your protein yet. Assume it's a 4 ouce slice of chicken breast. That will run you approx 200 calories (you did take the skin off it right?) but is between 24 and 27 grams of protein! Unless your son is looking to go in to body building, that's half of his protein needs for the day in that one 4oz piece of chicken.

    One year ago, I set about losing a lot of weight. I spent six weeks on the treadmill and exercise bike sweating like a pig. I barely lost 5lbs. Considering the amount of salt and water you consume in a day can make up for several pounds day over day, I effectively had not lost anything. That's when I started learning about the other end of the weight loss equation (that equation is "Move more, eat less") and I began counting calories hard core. I learned how to calculate my BMR and what my daily calorie needs really were. Then I paid attention to what I was really eating and I was a LONG way off. I couldn't believe how little I knew about food, calories, macronutrients, and my true needs. Today, I am 50 lbs lighter than I was then and have never looked back. I think if you'll take the time to truly understand caloric needs, you'll find that an 850 calorie lunch is more than adequate, serves the needs of active kids, and honestly, is still probably high for the truly sedentary boys, and definitely for sedentary girls.

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    1. You are correct, I am not up on my calculations...hahaha...I know how to balance a feed ration for a steer, but not for a kid...the numbers at least. But I still disagree that 850 calories of good nutrition is enough for my kids. They are still growing--they are only 16 and gaining in height and weight every day. This is the year that my other son grew 4 inches! They absolutely positively are on the upper level of activity--even though they are sitting in class a large part of the day, they are very physically active in sports practice for 2 hours, and then on the ranch after that.

      I also totally agree that we do need to get the empty calories out of their diets. I am not against increasing veggies, whole grains and fruits. I am just against cutting lean protein, and calories. The calories concerns me because that is the limiting factor on protein. Lean beef is a nutrient dense food that provides so many vitamins and minerals in one package. They have limited it by a cap on meat/meat alternatives and calories.

      I'm very impressed with your knowledge of BMR and calorie counting. I'm also very impressed with your weight loss. Congratulations!!

      I use my sons to show an example of a child that is not "average" and not needing to cut calories. There are so many examples of other kids who do not need this kind of lunch to be healthy. Frankly, I also don't believe that an overweight kid should eat this lunch--they need more protein to maintain a feeling of satisfaction and therefore not "chow down" on whatever they can find when they get home from school.

      I do appreciate the math. I just know, as a mom, if my son eats a PBJ, a handful of nuts and a piece of fruit for lunch...he is starving about 1 1/2 hours later! That may add up on paper, but in reality my son would suffer.

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    2. I can see how it would seem that way. And don't get me wrong, I personally think a PB&J for lunch is really not a great idea. Peanut butter was one of the hardest foods (that and onion rings, but that's a whole different story) for me to learn to moderate. I adore peanut butter, but it's just so calorically dense that a little bit just wasn't enough, and enough was too many calories for what I was trying to achieve.

      I understand being a teenage boy with a hollow leg, I was there once. But in reality, the overabundance of cheap, non-nutritious, salty, fatty, and sweet calories in our lives has taught us that we have to be full or we've not eaten a good meal. I struggled with this problem a lot when I started learning and counting calories. But there are still ways to fill a belly. One of my favorites was a simple frozen veggie medley of corn, peas and carrots. They're cheap, they're easy to nuke in the microwave, and are delicious with a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper. And a huge bowl of them is only roughly 100 calories. It won't fill you up, but it'll leave a lot of room in your calorie allotment and not a gaping hole in your belly.

      Another important factor is breakfast. Trust me, if you put a bowl (even a double serving) of steel cut oats with a tsp of brown sugar and a little cinnamon in it, along with 3 scrambled eggs and a banana in front of him for breakfast, he's still going to be full at lunch. He'll have good carbs, good potassium, good sugars, and good protein in him and for less than 500 calories.

      I do agree I'm not sure I understand the logic behind a protein limit for lunch. 3-4oz per day is all he should need for lunch, but that puts a weekly total between 15 and 20 oz. So the stated limit is a little low, but not exceptionally low. I don't think worthy of intense concern. Especially if you're feeding him other good proteins for breakfast and dinner. (For what it's worth, good protein foods tend to be around 10 calories for every gram of protein I.E. one large egg is approx 70 calories and 7g of protein)

      I'm now in a maintenance mode in my life. I try to eat roughly the right amount of calories every day so that I maintain my weight. I currently run 20-25 miles per week, lift weights 2-3 times per week, work full time (desk job), and take care of a family of four. I aim to hit roughly 2500-2700 calories per day and I'm 6'1" 185lbs.

      I swear I'm not trying to argue with you, even if it may seem like it. I've learned so much about food, fitness, and myself, but along with that, unfortunately, my eyes have been opened to how little most people know. I try to share my knowledge whenever I can, and I try not to be pushy about it. My intention was not to try to start a fight here, simply an attempt to educate in hopes that you too will spread knowledge.

      If the guidelines you mentioned are strict rules (they wouldn't really be "guidelines" then), then no, this is not a great plan. A better plan would be teaching kids how to make effective food choices. But if parents don't know how to make effective food choices either, the school lunch is never going to solve the problem and the best that they can do is create a strict plan.

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    3. Don't worry, I appreciate a good discussion for what it is...and if I'm confident in my facts, I am comfortable with the discussion. I still feel very strongly about this issue, but I value your discussion. I appreciate that it is a civil give and take...although I do wish you had logged in with your name so I'm not talking to some Non-Entity (who is nonetheless fun to talk to!).

      That being said, I agree, they are not true guidelines...they are rules--regulations--mandates. And I might say that your snack you mentioned in paragraph 2 are all starches under the new rules and will be served only in small quantities if other grains/starches are not served.

      And, believe me, my boys do eat a good breakfast at home...but if you look at the actual rules about breakfast served at school you may serve NO meat/meat alternative at breakfast and only 2 ounces at lunch for high school students. One ounce for younger kids. THAT is my concern...I am not disagreeing that our kids need to learn how to eat healthy. But they are not mirroring their own food pyramid and offering up what a kid needs to stay healthy.

      Let's face it, my child will get a good supper at home (except on game nights--but that is another story). There is a large number of kids whose parents do not cook a well balanced supper--for a variety of reasons. Lunch is truly their best meal of the day. They are not treating it as such on this plan.

      I still stand behind my bottom line...one-size-fits-all does not fit everyone. I used my sons as examples, as I don't feel it is my place to talk about other people's kids and body types, etc. Lean beef is still the foundation of a healthy diet in our house and will continue to be. I can afford to send extra food with my sons so they can have enough energy for football practice now, basketball practice this winter. Many parents are unable to do so and I argue for them and those kids in this situation.

      Thanks for the good conversation on this issue. I have enjoyed it! :-)

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  29. Don't lose hope on getting more PE! Somehow we will get it back as a priority in schools. http://www.startribune.com/local/south/148459015.html?refer=y

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  30. Well said, original poster!! Anytime the government regulates anything there is trouble.

    I am starting my 8th year as a lunch lady in a Minnesota school with 65% free and reduced lunch. We have improved the healthy offerings over the last few years and that has been great. For most of the student body , this is the best meal they will have all day.

    I have gained almost 30 pounds in my 7 years as a lunch lady. Why is that? I choose to eat the breaded chicken, awesome mashed potatoes,government asian chicken.......all of the bad choices on the menu. Kids will eat the things that are really good if they are offered. Really good tasting school lunch food is high in calories.

    So from what I can tell(we start after labor day) we will be offering less of the things that kids like and more of the healthy things they have not chosen in the past. Pretty simple.

    You cannot force a kid to eat what they don't like. For the record, we offer 2 fresh fruit, 2 canned fruit and a complete salad bar that rivals Ruby Tuesday. Every day!!! Most kids just get their entree,milk and ranch dressing and skip the salad bar.

    I will report back after school starts.

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    1. Please do report back. I look forward to seeing how my boys feel after a month of school & practice.

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  31. 850 calaries is enough for one meal. You act like school lunch is the only meals. I know for some kids it is but that is not the issue here. Your body needs refueling every 3 to 4 hours so another bite to eat is needed about practice time. I grew up on a farm and we always took a snack mid day - usually a sandwich- to the guys working in the field

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    1. But that IS the issue here! There are so many kids who don't get another good meal all day! They need more protein and healthy calories!!!!!! We can't lament the child hunger problem one day and then ignore it the next day!

      My sons do get a good supper when they get home and I will serve a good-sized protein every evening. But there are parents who do not cook an evening meal for their family. The kids grab whatever they can find, or they go out for junk. Those are the kids who will suffer...and I thought that those are the kids for whom the original School Lunch Program was created.

      I use my sons as an example, as I don't feel it is my place to talk about other people's kids and body types. But my kids will be fine--whether I'm feeding them or they eat at school. I merely want to illustrate that a one-size-fits-all program doesn't really fit all!

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  33. Thank you Debbie, this is very well said. I am a school teacher turned stay at home mom. Most of my husband's family is school teachers as well. 3 of them have been in the school system for over 30 years. This is a discussion that we have regularly. Schools used to serve meals that tasted good, every Wednesday was FRIED chicken day in my district, and we did not have an obesity problem. In fact, I my memory serves me right the problem has gotten worse since the regulations were started.

    I think the problem we need to address here is moderation. Moderation with sodas, fast food, and sugary snacks, (and others) none of which you can get at school. The other problem here is lack of movement. Politely said we spend too much time sitting on our bottoms. So, my thinking is if there is an obesity problem it is not the school lunch.

    I agree with a previous commenter about a filling breakfast, unfortunately that is not a reality for most families. Some kids get on the bus at 6:45 or before, and other kids don’t have the means. I know that breakfast is offered at some schools, but if you think that lunch is bad let’s don’t even talk about breakfast.

    The nut free discussion is a whole other post itself. I understand being nut free with smaller kids when they are learning to deal with this disability, which I agree it is. However, at some point even kids with a disability must learn to deal with it in some way

    All in all the government needs to but out and not dictate how we raise our kids.

    One final thought…….I have seen where most congressmen eat lunch and what they eat for lunch. It would not meet “Moma Boma’s” regulations.

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    1. Hahaha, thanks for your support. I think I need to go shopping again this week and get some better breakfast food!! Unfortunately I never taught my teens to like oatmeal.

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  34. I am at teacher at a small NE school and enjoying the extra fresh fruit that we have on the salad bar now, but this limit on protein is insane. I was never happy when we were served just 3 mozzarella cheese breadsticks for a "main course," because I don't really think cheese should be the focus of a meal! They are generally tasty but were never filling; today we are down to 2 breadsticks because of the new regulations. I used to take some salad with cheese and ham and/or boiled eggs if the main course wasn't filling, but the cheese and ham are gone. And I'm not a high school kid (let alone a person who has to worry about getting enough food at school to last until I get back the next day).

    At the same time, kids in big schools have options, like in-school Pizza Huts or Subways or something similar. My nephew goes to a large school and can get soft-serve ice cream every day! How is this fair that kids in our schools, which simply cannot accommodate or afford this kind of service, have to get by with such a small amount of food? One of our sophomore girls came into the counselor's office today after lunch and was still hungry; one of the teachers gave her a Fiber One bar to tide her over. And this is just an average teenage girl-if she's hungry, think about the boys! Our kids can walk downtown to get food-now they'll just get more chips, candy bars, and other junk food to help fill them up. This is just completely ridiculous and counter-productive.

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  35. I am so happy that you have addressed this issue. My teenage sons say they are starving and they blame Michelle Obama. They are very angry about this. I send extra money with them everyday so they can order from the snack cart. They are supplementing their lunches with nachos and big pretzels. This seems to defeat the purpose. My sons are very thin and do not have an ounce of fat on either. They have high metabolism rates and they are very active in sports. This is absolutely unhealthy for them. They are at least fortunate enough to have parents who make enough money to send money for the food cart and to pay for double portions. They are also given a snack when they get home and a generous lunch and supper. What about the kids who go without? I pay for these lunches. We do not receive free lunches. I called the school to tell them the school is starving my children. My response from the school secretary, "I know." She said her sons are starving too. Why are American children going hungry? So Michelle Obama can feel like she has accomplished something?

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  36. You say "why should I have to make lunch for my kids?" I say, "why should the school have to provide your child with lunch?" I always packed my lunch as a kid because I didn't like what they were serving. I never felt that it was the school or government's responsibility to feed me exactly what I wanted in the exact amount I needed. I am also a parent and a registered dietitian and I believe that they should not be limiting quantities at school. However, there is a cost involved and that should increase for the kids if it increases for the government. I also believe that if your children are very active, they should be taking snacks with them to school. Most people, active or not, should not rely on one meal in the middle of the day to get them through all of the activities of the day. I also agree with you whole-heartedly that PE and other physical activities should increase at school. However, that will NOT erase the damage of a poor diet. Research has shown that again and again.

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  37. Im a nurse in rual Kansas. I have a 12 yr old daughter who is very active. For the last 2 wks she has gotten home after school and cheerleading practice with c/o H.A., stomach pains, dizzy, and very diffficult for her to concentrate. Yes she has her breakfast @ home of whole grains, milk, oj, toast with peanut butter on it. This ample to get her to lunch but since portion control and caloric intake is no long part of parenting and more of governmental issue, my daughters health has been placed at risk. No she is not DMII either, just growing farm girl that has more activity in her day her than most in a week. Since this control has been imposed, my daughter has lost 18 lbs. Not goog. Her PCP is very concerned as well as myself. This caloric and portion control is not "healthy" as much as its put out there to be. My daughter is 5'6" and now weighs under 100 lbs due to all this. No, her activity level has not gone up, just the opposite. At home she was always on thego with chores, friends, cheerleading practice, her workouts to stay in shape for sports. What has happened, not only to her but many other "farm kids" is and outrage. These children, due to manual labor every day, need so much more than a damn orange, side salad, cheese stick and water for lunch. Essentially, this new program is hurting more than just my child. I have started sending snacks with my daughter to make sure she has the strength and energy to get thru her day.

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  38. I completely agree with you! I understand wanting to encourage healthy eating, and although school lunches have never been perfect, the reason kids are overweight is NOT the school lunches. It's the parents that feed their kids McDonalds (or other fast food/junk food) every meal. My husband is a type 1 diabetic as is our 7 year-old daughter. Last year I sent her to a private school that receives the same meals as the public school. I packed her a lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY because the school lunches weren't healthy enough for her on a daily basis. Our main issue? The carbohydrates that the lunches provided were pointless carbs. Not once did they have whole grain bread, but they did have pasta (40+ grams of carbs per 1/2 cup serving) and PLENTY of potatoes. Almost all of the vegetables are canned and full of sodium (yet very few nutrients), and the fruit was not a whole lot better. I would love to blame my issues with their meals on me being overprotective, but I'm not. At home, we have chicken nuggets, hamburgers, spagetti, pasta (there is one kind that is reasonable at 8 grams per 1/2 cup), bread (whole grain), as well as pizza (just not every day). But I also make sure she has fruit and vegetables (fresh or frozen) with virtually every meal. If they would focus more on increasing the nutritional value in the foods they give the kids (whole grains, lean meats, fresh or frozen vegetables, fresh or canned in light syrup fruits) rather than lowering the caloric intake, I think they would have fuller, healthier students. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like they are. This year, I decided to homeschool both our 7 year-old and 5 year-old and it's WONDERFUL to not have to make that sack lunch every single day. Plus, I'm able to teach our daughter things our public schools seems unable to grasp themselves, such as how to eat a healthy balanced diet. Those are the skills that will change her entire medical future.

    As far as the nutritional needs of a teenage boy are concerned, weight/aged daily calorie intake charts are very subjective. One of the major factors that most leave out is activity rates. There is a rather complex formula I got from a nutritionist that factors in everything from gender to age to activity, but even it isn't fail-proof. The best way to judge caloric needs is based on height, weight and BMI. If they are eating healthy food and maintaining a healthy weight through growth spurts, you're doing it right. One of the major issues with type 1 diabetics is actually stunting their growth because of diet. If you limit their carb intake (as type 2 adults often do to manage sugars), they will not reach their natural height. Our daughter is only 7 and she will eat between 70-100 grams of carbs per meal (lunch and supper). If you look at what is recommended for her age, she easily eats over that. However, she is 48" tall and just hit 45lbs. She can't afford to eat less. It's all about eating the RIGHT KIND of foods.

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    1. I see some concern about the fat content of food fed to children. Actually, high-fat consumption is good for them. There's growing realization that saturated fats are benign, if not outright beneficial, over a wide range of intakes as long as they are consumed in the context of adequate supportive nutrition. From Australia:
      http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/victoria/could-the-truth-about-fat-be-rendered-obsolete-20120901-257gr.html
      http://video.au.msn.com/watch/video/is-saturated-fat-good-for-you/x4goj61

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  39. I thought of you when I saw this. :)

    http://youtu.be/2IB7NDUSBOo

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    1. Awesome video by some kids in western Kansas! I love it!!

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  40. I remember there was quite an uproar about the new guidelines back in August / September. Since we've been through half the school year, have any changes been made? Are kids still coming home "starving"?? Seems like this has quieted down in our community. With no school-age children, I'm not sure if I missed something or if people have simply adjusted. Also curious if the stress level and extra time put in by the cooks has changed.

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