Home > Uncategorized > New School Lunch Recommendations

New School Lunch Recommendations

First off, I am all for school lunches being nutritional. I am also for them having things kids will eat. To have the former without the latter will result in lunches being thrown away without them being eaten. I graduated high school about 6 years ago and I haven’t forgotten what happened with a lot of the lunches, many of them ended up in the trash if the food wasn’t appetizing.

Pizza a little under under cooked? Garbage can.

Pasta sauce too watery? Garbage can.

Don’t like what’s being served? Garbage can.

Granted, these are just recommendations (proposed rules actually) and for the sake of kids getting any nutritional benefit from it lets hope some of them don’t make the cut. Lets take a look at some of the recommendations, shall we?

The proposed rule would do the following:

  1. Eliminate whole milk as an option, milk must be 1% or less
  2. A requirement for ‘dark green and orange vegetables’
  3. Limit starchy vegetables (1 cup per week for breakfast)
  4. Sodium reduction of about: 25% – breakfast 53% – lunch
  5. Students could decline 1 food item during breakfast but must select 1 fruit or juice
  6. Students could decline 2 food items during lunch but must select select one vegetable
  7. Disallow any snack type fruit or vegetable products, regardless of nutrient content
  8. Disallow most ‘fortified’ foods
  9. Whole grains must comprise 50% of grain offerings

There’s a lot more in there. 77 pages complete the proposed rule, much of it meaningless procedural drivel. It is a bit difficult to find anything to be honest.

Some of these things might be good ideas. Some of them are obviously going to be failures. Milk for example, I don’t like any milk with a % or a fat free in the name. It tastes watery and terrible to me. I’m going to assume students will feel the same way, not offering a range of milk will almost surely decrease the amount that is consumed and that sounds disagreeable to me. 

How many kids like to consume ‘dark green’ or ‘orange’ vegetables? How many adult do? Probably quite a few are like me, I don’t really care for most of them, but I eat them because I’ll eat almost anything and I just don’t care. I predict a large segment of the school population is going to be like my sister, she likes potatoes and that’s about it.

Its interesting to note that female participation is as much as 17% lower for lunch and about 9% lower for breakfast at the high school and middle school levels. I don’t know if there is evidence to back up a claim that females are more discerning eaters, but I’ll make it anyways. They probably are. If school food is crappy, and it usually is, the girls won’t eat it as much as the guys.

The guidelines are going to make it more bland, that’s almost a given and they say as much around page 25 (ish) if you are interested. They mention this when talking about sodium reduction, which is a very good idea, I just think it may lower participation if it leads to food being too bland. Which could be a good thing, healthier meals could be prepared at home, also much crappier meals like a bacon and cheese sandwich with a bag of chips and a bottle of coke could be as well. They could just not eat too, that’s an option.

If you are extremely interested drop me an e-mail and I’ll be more than happy to email the pdf to you about 4.2 MB. (it took me forever to find and I can’t find it again, http://www.regulations.gov if you want to try your hand at the search thing, I would email me if I were not myself and I wanted to read it congressshallmakeno@yahoo.com)

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. 2011/01/14 at 03:53

    I would hazard to guess that girls tend to participate at a lower rate because of the higher pressure they face to be thin and attractive.

  2. 2011/01/16 at 22:01

    Personally I am not opposed to the government regulating meals it pays for. I would include those who recieve food stamps as well.

    The problem of course is that when you do it at the Federal level you add one more layer of bureaucracy to suck up non-existent money, to little ultimate effect.

  3. 2011/01/16 at 22:08

    I would love to see what people could buy with food stamps regulated. Less lobster more hamburger.

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