Healthier School Lunches?

So, you walk into your school’s cafeteria one day.  People are eating junk food, but instead of serving french fries, your cafeteria is serving sweet potato fries.  What is this you wonder?  What’s happened to my cafeteria?

Recently, cafeterias have been serving healthier food.  Some changes are seen in serving sweet potato fries instead of french fries, and fresh fruit instead of canned fruit.  These changes are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act aims to make school lunches healthier, and aims to change school lunches to meet new nutrition standards.  School lunches served in cafeterias that meet these standards must be between 750 and 850 calories. Previously, cafeterias have served whatever food they believed kids would eat.  Cafeterias served donuts, french fries, tater tots, and whole milk.  Now, many cafeterias serve healthier food.  The question is, will kids eat these new healthy foods?

Unfortunately, most kids do not like these new foods.  Now, many kids don’t buy school lunches because they think the healthy cafeteria food tastes bad.  Often, pizza crust in school cafeterias is now made out of whole wheat instead of white flour.  Patricia Montague, head of the SNA (School Nutrition Association), says this rule is far too strict.  Other people also think this rule is too strict as well.  Students say that the whole wheat pizza crust tastes like cardboard.  According to SNA, about 1 million kids have stopped eating food from their cafeteria.

However, some kids like these new healthier cafeteria foods.  A lot of parents like these new healthy foods as well. 32 million kids still eat school lunches, say the SNA.  Still, some parents and kids hate the new cafeteria food because they say it doesn’t taste good.

The reason for many of these changes are that in 2009, some military leaders could not be in the military anymore because they were too overweight.  Many 24-27 year olds could not serve in the military either because they were overweight.  Soon, the US military started serving healthier food to their workers. A year after these changes, president Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the first major revision of school meal standards in 15 years.

Do you like your new cafeteria or your old cafeteria?  What do you like better, the old food in you cafeteria or the new food being served?  Think about it.

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