STANTON, Neb. – The Stanton Public Schools food services director – presumably an expert in her field – says the federal government’s overhaul of the National School Lunch Program may not be the best answer to tackling childhood obesity.
Her point is simple and indisputable. Most of the food that children eat is provided to them at home. A lower calorie school lunch, which often leaves them feeling hungry in the afternoon, is not going to make them skinny and healthy.
According to EAGnews calculations, students receive about 15 percent of their diet at school over the course of a calendar year. That means if the stuff they get at home isn’t healthy, and they aren’t getting enough exercise, they’re still going to be pudgy.
“To be perfectly honest, there are too many kids who don’t have any idea what a healthy meal is or how to get one at home, because that’s now how they’re raised,” said Cissy Louthan, the Stanton food service director. “(At home) it’s prepackaged or fast food, and they couldn’t tell you what a healthy, home-cooked meal looks like.”
Louthan and several of her peers in Nebraska schools are the latest professionals to criticize the federal lunch menu overhaul, which was directed by First Lady Michelle Obama
“There are lots of kids who don’t like fruits and vegetables, and they fill up on the main entree or bread,” Louthan told the Norfolk Daily News. “That hasn’t really changed over time. They’re still unhappy, but they’ve kind of adjusted.”
Meanwhile, in nearby Bloomfield Public Schools, kitchen manager Debbie Nipp said students have complained of not getting enough food. Their parents have called the school, too, according to the newspaper.
She said the new guidelines allow students to gorge themselves on as many fruits and vegetables as they want. But the food they’re more accustomed to is restricted or gone.
“I took off the cheese and the cottage cheese and my meat stuff that I had on there so that the kids wouldn’t have all of those extra calories. And then we just tried to meet (the USDA’s) criteria with the vegetables and all of that,” Nipp told the Daily News.
Nebraska farmers take note: now the feds think cheese and meat are bad, too.
“We are just following the guidelines we have to follow. It is very hard to stay within the calorie count with that, and sometimes I think it’s really hard with our high school kids. You do really see the difference with how hungry kids are (who are in sports),” Nipp said.
A Pennsylvania food service director has deemed the new rules “unsuccessful” after lunch sales plunged 19 percent in her district.
The Government Accountability Office released a report analyzing the numerous problems created by the new regulations, including students going hungry, increased amounts of food waste and rising administrative costs.
Some school districts are attempting to overcome their financial losses stemming from the “healthy” lunches – by selling more junk food!
Even CBS reported the complaints “seem to be getting louder.”
When will the “experts” in Washington D.C. realize the overhaul is imperfect and in need of reform?