Kids don’t like school lunches | Letter
Editor, The Beacon:
What do you know about the meal programs at your local Title 1 government school? How well does it work? Do large amounts of food get wasted?
When the federal government builds a one-size-fits-all system, how effective do you suppose it becomes? It seems not so much.
Sometime ago, Michelle Obama, under a POTUS directive, championed the idea of rewriting the old school lunch menus so that they follow new and improved nutritional guidelines.
Typical of how the federal government works, bureaucrats in the U.S. Department of Agriculture removed choice at the local level and replaced it with menus that impose new federal government calorie, sodium, sugar and fat limits.
The USDA enforces these new limits with fines and other punishments when government schools choose not to comply.
Since then, we have learned some truths about the new nutritional guidelines: Kids do not like them.
Where the USDA requires menus to include fruits and vegetables, the kids either do not purchase these meals or a large portion of them end up in the garbage. Most would be surprised at just how much; at least I was.
Some government schools, prompted by student petitions, have opted out because the USDA rules have become so onerous. Add to this the reduction in reimbursements and the losses because the kids won’t buy the food being offered, and the program looks less and less attractive.
So what to do? One consideration is to teach the students how to make the right or healthier food choices, rather than requiring them to take fruits and vegetables they don’t want.
It comes down to education and trust. Making their own choices applies not only to school meals but also dinner and on the weekends.
Perhaps it is time for our local government schools to opt out of another very wasteful and counter productive federal program and trust their students to make healthier choices all the time.
That would be a good thing for kids, don’t you think?