A Healthy Lunch Makes a Healthy Body

Posted on May 20, 2014 by

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When schools serve lunch, it is hard to keep the kids and the government happy. The schools have to put more nutrition in kids’ diet to grow up smart and healthy, while at an economical cost. This is difficult to do because few kids wants to eat fruits and vegetables.

Lunches for kids and teens are mostly bland and skimpy. Having better-tasting food with nutritional value would ensure more food would be eaten and the rates for child obesity to drop. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act aims to help kids meet nutritional needs and maintain a healthy weight.

“It would be nice to have more fruits and more nutritious food in the school lunch instead of what we have now,” sophomore Sophia Hadeed said.

In 2011-2012, the USDA wanted more meat and grain in the lunches at schools. When they achieved this, the participation in the National School Lunch Program declined 3.7%. The only positive thing the USDA accomplished was getting kids who cannot afford lunch free lunches.

“Having better meals would make my day better because I would have something good to look forward to,” junior Katelyn Langford said.

“It would be nice to come for lunch and have more nutritious food than normal,” freshman Luis Leon said.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health observed a low-income school in Massachusetts. Over 1,030 students were examined before and after their lunch to see what was eaten and what was discarded.

The consumed food went from 72.3% to 87.9%, which increased 15.6%. The students who chose fruits increased from 52.7% to 75.5%. The percentage of the students selecting vegetables stayed the same, but the portion consumed went up 16.2% from 24.9%.

Even though the levels of students wasting food still were high, the new nutrition standards increased a lot, which made GOA and the USDA very happy.

“Helping kids out with giving them free lunch is a nice way for school people to show they care,” sophomore Brooke Schaeffer said.

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