So USA Today reported this morning that there’s been a large influx in the percentage of state incorporating low income student lunches into their school systems. Over 20 million students are currently enrolled in the lunch aid programs across the nation. While I think that the program is absolutely crucial I don’t believe that there is enough funding allocated towards the issue nor do I think the quality of food they are providing the children is beneficial to their health/wellbeing.
The majority of school lunches consist of food high in trans fats; some popular options include French fries, onion rings, hamburgers etc. The less nutritionally beneficial the food is, the less expensive it is as well which leads me to the big problem. While there are some schools that offer healthier school lunch options such as salads, wraps, and vegetable platters, they are all much higher in costs. Therefore, the only students who will be opting for the healthier foods are those who are more well off.
The typical lunch for a student in middle/high school consists of something like what’s featured above –Chicken fingers which are fried, ketchup loaded with sugar and sodium, and French fries.
This is an example of a much healthier school lunch consisting of Flank steak, sauteed spinach, tofu and brown rice, a pear, and soy milk.
Let me preface my statement by saying that I don’t think most schools could ever offer dishes such as flank steak as part of their normal daily lunch menu. I do think, however, that school systems nationwide must aim to create healthier and less expensive options for students who are part of the lunch aid program.
The increase in costs is the major concern for most education systems; they believe that increased funding for healthier lunches results in decreased funds for other things such as physical education programs, class field trips, and books. While they do have a point, I believe the health of their students should be made their main priority. Without proper nourishment, students mentally and physically are not working to the best of their ability.