The push toward healthy lunches may be having an unintended effect. I have no research. I cannot document a thing. Still, I may be on to something here.
Here is what I know: I am on a diet. I am trying to lose Christmas weight. I bought the school lunch this week because it was perfect. I got a small piece of baked chicken, some unflavored rice, and a choice of fat-free veggies and fruit. Perfect. The whole thing probably wasn’t 250 calories. I’m not sure it was even 200 calories.
Other menu options for the month look equally suitable for my diet. Lean Cuisine could not do better. A nice fresh apple, raw carrots, a cooked vegetable without oil, butter or even salt, and baked, low-fat something-or-another.
Eduhonesty: That lunch was pretty scary. Can an adolescent function on that little food? Especially since they often throw some or all of it away, I am concerned. You have to be on a diet or a bit of a health nut to eat overcooked, unsalted, fat-free green beans.
Are other districts serving similar lunches? I’m afraid they might be. With the government push toward fresh, healthy food, districts are forced to budget to get that fresh food onto plates. I’m sure it’s more expensive than pepperoni pizza. So the district serves one piece of baked chicken. Or one scoop of low-fat, overcooked, whole-wheat spaghetti in slightly-diluted red sauce. The chicken may get eaten, at least.
When I was 15, I frequently ate 500 or more calories for lunch without a thought. I probably needed 500 calories. Most kids need that much food and athletes may need more.
I wonder if we are underfeeding our students in the name of good nutrition?