Healthy lunch changes create unhealthy responses
Federal government enforces new lunch rules
Friday, Aug. 22, 2014
By Kayce Warren and Sami Fischer
Who doesn’t love crispitos and ice cream?
These food choices are a delicious addition to lunch. But with all the high fats calories, and sodium they become unhealthy.
The federal government has set new guidelines for schools that Tara Schooler, Food Service Director, has to follow. Students no longer have the options of eating these fats and carbohydrates because of their lack of nutritious value.
The lunch guidelines are coming from the Smart Snacks in School Guidelines, which went into effect this July, and that's all a part of the Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was passed and went into effect two years ago.
"I think change is hard, but usually the things that are good stick around, and the things that are bad go away. We will see what happens in the next few months," Schooler explained.
According to Schooler, the biggest change is that junior high students can only have water and 100 percent juice, instead of the vitamin water, sports drinks, and flavored water that the high schoolers receive. The food at å la carte and any fundraisers have to meet all the nutritional standards with few exceptions.
Another change that students are seeing is regarding outside food. Students and faculty no longer have the option of ordering food and having it delivered to the high school, if the money is exchanged on school grounds. Outside food being brought in competes with the high school lunches.
Schooler hasn't asked the students how they feel because she wants the students to get used to the changes first. She said she believed the new changes will bring more health benefits.
"I think anything where you are trying to be healthier is probably a good thing. I think some of the rules are a little hard on small schools. So I hope some things will loosen up or go away, and I think that will be a good thing,” she said.
The guidelines that have been put into place have shocked Schooler, faculty, and students.
"My first reaction was I was shocked when I started going through the å la carte items. I was like, ‘Oh I can’t sell that, I can’t sell that,” Schooler stated.
Schooler is making changes to lunches to make them more enjoyable for students, but there are some items she cannot serve on å la carte, such as crispitos and ice cream. One option she is trying is adding pizza as an alternate entrée.
"I plan on trying to compensate for the loss of options on å la carte by adding alternate options each day, and I will likely continue to make changes to menus and what is offered on å la carte over the next month or two," she explained.
Sophomore Cassie Dewey isn't a fan of the new changes because she thinks the students should be able to have pretzels and crispitos for lunch. She shared her views on the new guidelines.
"I don't think the new rules were needed because I think you should be smart enough to know what you can and can't eat," Dewey said.
Although there are many negative student reactions to the new rules, some students choose to find positives in them. Senior Jace Freeman expressed his thoughts on the subject.
"I do like the different entrée choices because it gives you a variety of choices to choose from,” he said.
The guidelines have been set for nutritional benefits and to improve the health of students across the country. For more information go to: http://www.kn-eat.org/SNP/SNP_Menus/SNP_Guidance_Smart_Snacks.htm or http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/allfoods_flyer.pdf