September 24 2012

School Lunch Reform = Hungry, Angry Kids.

Julie Gunlock

The Daily Caller reports that children are largely rejecting the “new and improved” lunches now being provided to them in schools (I wrote about this last week here). This is worrying to school administrators and health advocates who are wringing their hands about this set-back on the path to healthy school lunches.  

The truth is ugly.  Michelle Obama’s little project has been a bust!  There’s massive food waste, more confusing regulations for local school districts, and most concerning, hungry and angry kids.  Why are they hungry? Because the geniuses in Washington thought it a good idea to develop age-specific instead of size and gender-specific calorie limits on school meals (frankly, the idea that Washington is setting any type of limits at all as absurd). Yes, that’s right; the feds think it’s totally appropriate that a 250-pound football player gets the same portion size as his 105-pound cheerleader girlfriend.  As The DC reports, administrators are looking for ideas to get kids to eat the food being offered:

Administrators have scrambled to find creative ways to make the new menus appealing. A school district in Lake County, Fla., for example, is planning to conduct a survey to determine how to make vegetables more appealing to children, who often throw them out.

Oh, those wild and crazy school officials. You can almost see them signing up for those culinary classes where one is taught to turn a radish into a flower or a melon into the shape of zoo animals.  See, they’ll eat it if it has an inviting shape!  Look, it’s a monkey made of carrot! Cute.

How about they save the paper and the online training courses and simply introduce some things that actually taste good back into the school lunch program—like butter and salt.  This is commons sense stuff.  You know how I get my young sons to eat their vegetables?  I douse them in butter and salt, like my mom did for me and her mom for her. 

Re-introduce?  That’s right.  You see, the local lunch lady isn’t allowed to put a little butter and salt on those canned green beans. According to the final rule issued by the USDA on school nutrition guidelines, butter is banned and salt is severely limited (emphasis mine).

In large measure, USDA Foods offered to schools are already well positioned to support the final rule’s requirements. In recent years USDA has purchased relatively more canned foods and meats with reduced levels of fat, sodium, and sugar for school distribution. As products such as butter and shortening have been removed from the USDA Foods available to schools, new products such as whole grain pasta have been added.

Now, we’ll probably see a whole new set of laws and new regulations designed to fix the problem the feds created in the first place. Looks like government as usual.

 

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