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News & Politics News & Politics

Complaints Mount Against Gov't's New Lunch Menu...ETA: my response.

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In Wisconsin, high school athletes are complaining about not getting enough to eat each day, due to the skimpy new school lunch menu mandated by the United States Department of Agriculture and First Lady Michelle Obama.

 

The story we published earlier this week on that subject is unfortunately not unique. Students across the country are complaining about the new school lunch regulations.

 

Perhaps the real motive is to starve students into slimming down. Just ask students in Pierre, South Dakota who, too, are in an all-out revolt.

 

"I know a lot of my friends who are just drinking a jug of milk for their lunch. And they are not getting a proper meal," middle school student Samantha Gortmaker told Keloland.com.

 

Despite the fact that the new regulations have increased the cost of a lunch 20 to 25 cents per plate, it’s not pleasing students.

 

Some are throwing away their vegetables while others are adapting to the rules by becoming industrious. In New Bedford, Massachusetts, students have created a black market - for chocolate syrup. The kiddie capitalists are smuggling in bottles of it and selling it by the squeeze, according to SouthCoastToday.com.

 

Nancy Carvalho, director of food services for New Bedford Public Schools, was quoted as saying that hummus and black bean salads have been tough sells in elementary cafeterias. That means even smaller children are going through the day fighting hunger pains, which can never be considered a good thing.

 

One government official tried to put the blame on the students.

 

"One thing I think we need to keep in mind as kids say they're still hungry is that many children aren't used to eating fruits and vegetables at home, much less at school. So it's a change in what they are eating. If they are still hungry, it's that they are not eating all the food that's being offered," USDA Deputy Undersecretary Janey Thornton was quoted as saying.

 

Ms. Thornton just put her finger on the problem. The government is trying to impose a new diet that children are not accustomed to. It’s not reasonable to expect them to either eat what the government deems healthy or go hungry.

 

Many will opt to go hungry, and that’s the government’s fault.

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For those with children who buy school lunches have you children mentioned anything about the options and/or portion sizes for their school lunches?  Have they noticed a change?

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ETA:  I haven't had the opportunity to read all the responses to this post.   I have seen a combination of PRO's and CON's toward the new gov't program.  Most schools have health programs that, in part, teach about healthy eating.  Introducing healthy food choices to kids is a good thing, but taking away a kid's home packed lunch and forcing the kid to purchase a school lunch is an overreach. 

People want kids to take more responsibility for themselves, yet some want to control what and how much a child eats.  There is irony in there somewhere.

by on Sep. 25, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Replies (81-90):
SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Sep. 26, 2012 at 6:21 AM

I don't think I'd like any of that stuff either.  Don't make it like a chic restaurant- these are kids. 

emmy526
by Member on Sep. 26, 2012 at 6:28 AM

yes, my kids hate it too...they say there a LOT less served now, and they're in high school.  

jhslove
by on Sep. 26, 2012 at 6:42 AM

Dude, can I come have lunch at your kid's school?    :)

Quoting Cafe Amanda:

My son started kindergarten this year and he has raved about most of the lunches! I haven't seen one myself yet (am tempted to send him in with a camera one day for a sneak peek, ha) but the menu reflects the healthy changes and sounds good to me. He's got a huge appetite, and hasn't complained about paltry portions, either.

Some recent offerings (if they're legible):



jhslove
by on Sep. 26, 2012 at 6:50 AM

If your kids don't like the food that's offered, you can always pack them a lunch with the food they're used to eating. But a lot of kids like eating healthier food, often because their parents have always exposed them to a wide variety of things. I have a lot of friends whose kids routinely eat sushi, beans, salad, etc. because their parents don't subscribe to the belief that because "these are kids" they should only be eating hot dogs, grilled cheese and chicken nuggets. Meanwhile, I have a cousin whose mom never made him eat anything he didn't like and would always make him a grilled cheese or hot dog if he didn't like what was served. Now that he's in high school, he STILL only eats a very limited (and very unhealthy) diet. Up until he was 9 or 10 years old, he was still only eating hot dogs, grilled cheese and French fries. He's branched out a tiny bit, but not much and she still pretty much lets him eat whatever he wants. He's overweight and gets teased about it, which is sad. (They live in a wealthy area where overweight/obese kids are less common.)

No lunch menu is going to satisfy 100% of the population, but if the district has to make a choice, I think it's good that they're choosing more nutritious, fresh fare over processed, fatty crap.

Quoting SallyMJ:

I don't think I'd like any of that stuff either.  Don't make it like a chic restaurant- these are kids. 


jhslove
by on Sep. 26, 2012 at 6:58 AM

I think that most school districts do different portion sizes depending on grade. If your daughter is in elementary, she definitely would get a smaller portion than a 17-year-old.

Your comments about the flavor of the food aren't hard to believe, but to be fair, that's how cafeteria food has always tasted--at least in every school that I've ever eaten in. Bland, mushy, overcooked veggies, meat that all tastes the same (that's why they call it "mystery meat"!), etc. That's why my mom usually sent me with a lunch, or once I got to be in middle school or so, I started packing my own lunch.

In high school, we actually had a great cafeteria that, in addition to the "regular" cafeteria food, had a big salad bar, a soup and bread station, and a Healthy Choice deli station. So I did buy my lunch a lot of the time in high school.

Quoting fairy_fan:

My kids have complained about portion sizes but mostly they're complaining about TASTE.  They say that the food is very bland.  There are absolutely NO seasonings on anything.  No one can tell me that when they cook at home, they use NO seasoning of any kind.  They have complained that the spaghetti and sauce taste like water, (same for all soups/chili/and other pasta dishes) the veggies have NO taste at all, they say all the meats taste the same from a hamburger to chicken, it just kind of is there until you add ketchup or mustard to them, even when the menu lists them as BBQ or grilled.   

They attend different schools in the same district.  They complain that the schools are using a different supplier for the milk and it tastes spoiled.  So far, every day that my kids have actually attempted to eat their school lunches this year, they have been sent home by the school nurse for vomiting.    

And let's talk about the portions.  My DD sent me pictures via text of her friends lunches every day last week.  (My kids are now taking their lunches.)  
Monday her friend had 2 chicken strips, 4 french fries, and 2 orange wedges, along with her milk.  
Tuesday she had 1 oversize cheese stick, a piece of cauliflower, a piece of broccoli, and 2 carrots to make up her "California blend veggies" a piece of jello that looked about the size of 2 quarters with what she said was supposed to be pears but they were so small I couldn't see them, and a single celery stick, along with her carton of milk.
Wednesday she had HALF a grilled cheese, 2 tomato slices, a brownie bite (like the Hostess Brownie Bites...one) and her milk.
Thursday, the ONLY day Salad Bar is available at our schools, she had a decent sized salad.
Friday they had pizza.  It was a mini cheese pizza about the size of my fist, a scoop of mixed fruit all diced up and in syrup, and their milk.  

There is no way that is enough for middle/high school kids.  Maybe the elementary kids, but not for the teenagers.  

  


Kate_Momof3
by Platinum Member on Sep. 26, 2012 at 7:10 AM

 How is it government interference if your kid goes to private school? Oh wait...you're just getting pissed off about a non-issue so you can rail against non-existent government interference. Got it?

Quoting thefiregoddess:

Quoting rocketracer:



Let someone take my kids lunch. I'll smack a bitch and make them pay for what they threw out.

My kid goes to a 18k a year private school. If the birthday cupcake I sent with her with spaghettti and whatever she wants on her birthday is too bad, TOO FUCKING BAD

My child, my childs body.

More government interference.

These kids are used to eating garbage, you cant just snap them into something 'healthy'. Little kids might change faster.. they really need to think this shit through.

 

fairy_fan
by on Sep. 26, 2012 at 7:11 AM

DD is in the 8th grade and the friends tray she was taking pictures of is in 10th.  (We only have 2 schools in our small town, elementary is preK-5th and from 6th on up go the middle/high school.)  I don't think her friend got enough food to satisfy my 10yo, let alone a teenager.  And breakfast is just as bad.  Choices that rotate are half a biscuit with a tablespoon of gravy, one mini pancake/waffle with a small sausage link, one pop tart, one small muffin, 2 half slices of cinnamon toast, and a 4oz glass of juice.    

I went to the same schools and our food was GOOD.  Some of the same cooks are there as when I graduated 25 years ago.  Both schools.  My 2 older kids had no problems with the food either (they're 23 and 22.)  2 years ago the food was still good and mid-way last year they started complaining it was going downhill.  This year they refuse to eat it except on certain days.      

Quoting jhslove:

I think that most school districts do different portion sizes depending on grade. If your daughter is in elementary, she definitely would get a smaller portion than a 17-year-old.

Your comments about the flavor of the food aren't hard to believe, but to be fair, that's how cafeteria food has always tasted--at least in every school that I've ever eaten in. Bland, mushy, overcooked veggies, meat that all tastes the same (that's why they call it "mystery meat"!), etc. That's why my mom usually sent me with a lunch, or once I got to be in middle school or so, I started packing my own lunch.

In high school, we actually had a great cafeteria that, in addition to the "regular" cafeteria food, had a big salad bar, a soup and bread station, and a Healthy Choice deli station. So I did buy my lunch a lot of the time in high school.

Quoting fairy_fan:

My kids have complained about portion sizes but mostly they're complaining about TASTE.  They say that the food is very bland.  There are absolutely NO seasonings on anything.  No one can tell me that when they cook at home, they use NO seasoning of any kind.  They have complained that the spaghetti and sauce taste like water, (same for all soups/chili/and other pasta dishes) the veggies have NO taste at all, they say all the meats taste the same from a hamburger to chicken, it just kind of is there until you add ketchup or mustard to them, even when the menu lists them as BBQ or grilled.   

They attend different schools in the same district.  They complain that the schools are using a different supplier for the milk and it tastes spoiled.  So far, every day that my kids have actually attempted to eat their school lunches this year, they have been sent home by the school nurse for vomiting.    

And let's talk about the portions.  My DD sent me pictures via text of her friends lunches every day last week.  (My kids are now taking their lunches.)  
Monday her friend had 2 chicken strips, 4 french fries, and 2 orange wedges, along with her milk.  
Tuesday she had 1 oversize cheese stick, a piece of cauliflower, a piece of broccoli, and 2 carrots to make up her "California blend veggies" a piece of jello that looked about the size of 2 quarters with what she said was supposed to be pears but they were so small I couldn't see them, and a single celery stick, along with her carton of milk.
Wednesday she had HALF a grilled cheese, 2 tomato slices, a brownie bite (like the Hostess Brownie Bites...one) and her milk.
Thursday, the ONLY day Salad Bar is available at our schools, she had a decent sized salad.
Friday they had pizza.  It was a mini cheese pizza about the size of my fist, a scoop of mixed fruit all diced up and in syrup, and their milk.  

There is no way that is enough for middle/high school kids.  Maybe the elementary kids, but not for the teenagers.  

  



Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.  ~Mark Twain

Kate_Momof3
by Platinum Member on Sep. 26, 2012 at 7:14 AM

 Dude...they're taking away ice cream. That's just cruel.

Quoting tnmomofive:

Good lord lets calm down..it will be ok ..really

 

jessicasmom1
by on Sep. 26, 2012 at 7:14 AM

Yes DD is packing more this year than she has ever in the past , she says somedays she does not like, other day I like it but they don't give you enough I am still hungry.

Kate_Momof3
by Platinum Member on Sep. 26, 2012 at 7:16 AM

 School  lunches are getting smaller because of budget cuts, not Michelle Obama. If you want to see an improvement, go to your town, board of ed, PTO meetings and get them to address it.

This is a local problem, not a federal one.

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