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Fat Kids and School Lunches: What You Said

See what Patch readers had to say about school lunches — and tell us what you think.

Should one of these always be included in school lunches? (Patch file photo)
Should one of these always be included in school lunches? (Patch file photo)

By Todd Richissin

Should schools be allowed to opt out of certain school lunch nutrition standards?

That was the question atop a Patch story earlier this week about public schools arguing the standards set in 2012 are too costly and are wasteful. One school district in Alaska transferred $135,000 from its education fund to afford the mandates, according to a report from The Hill.

However, supporters say the program has gotten a bad rap and allowing schools to opt of standards meant to encourage children to eat healthfully would be a mistake.

More than 1,400 people voted in our poll, with more than half saying standards are necessary. And nearly 700 readers had something to say about the issue.

Here's another chance for you to sound off:

  • Is flexibility needed to continue healthy-lunch requirements at our public schools? Or is the program working as it should be? Tell us in comments below.

And here's a sampling of earlier comments:

Igor: People are blaming the children's diet for the obesity problem. I think it's the lack of exercise and that falls back on the parents again. It's a lot easier to plunk the kids down in front of the tv or video game', give them chips and a soda. They're out of the parents hair. I know I'll get flack for this but, those who scream the loudest are the most guilty.

Nadja Adolf: The problem with the "healthy lunches" and the "common core" alike is that their supporters base their support on the intentions behind the programs instead of the rotten results of the programs. I think that federal funding for schools should be ended. Period. The availability of federal money and incentive programs has so far encouraged the schools to abandon proven teaching methods including phonics, fail to teach children English, and serve awful food. As more absurd mandates reach the class room, more and more families are abandoning the public schools. In some areas the only people in the public schools are the families who can't afford to either send their kids to private school or to homeschool.

Dorthy Manser: I've got to agree with you. Federal meddling in schools has produced zero benefit as far as I'm concerned. I think the Feds should insure that public schools spend the same amount of money on every child and butt the hell out.

Harriet Brown: Not only are these "healthy" foods costly, the children won't eat them.

Bobbie: Brown Bagging no longer works as children may bring food to school to which other children are highly allergic. Also and unfortunately, some families cannot afford to feed their children 3 meals a day. In the 70's, we were on food stamps and our children received free lunches via the Monroe schools. God-Send.

Old Fisherman: How about we just let the parents prepare the lunch for the kids and then maybe they will eat it as they should know what the kids desires. The old brown bag used to work very nicely and avoided all these gripes because you can't criticize your own choice.

Linda Chrisney: We need to go back to fresh food cooked at the school. I live in a nice city but the food in the cafeteria is slop, precooked,slimy trucked around and dumped out to serve to our kids. There is a salad bar chock full of ...WAIT sugary canned peaches, watery cottage cheese. Iceberg that reeks of chemicals, white tasteless water that claims to be ranch dressing etc. No surprise that the kids won't eat it. The employees aren't proud of it and it's handled like waste before it's even served. We need to bring back the onsite "Cafeteria Lady" who sees how the meals are received, what gets eaten and can adjust to seasons and the needs of "her" kids. Let's use the money we spend for advertising, gas, drivers and waste to do this right.
Jay Charles June 01, 2014 at 04:52 PM
In 2012, the administration, hoping to combat rising childhood obesity announced new rules that added more fruits and green vegetables to school breakfasts and lunches; the rules also reduced the amount of salt and fat children consume at school. However, the House Appropriations Committee has passed an agriculture budget bill that included nearly $21 billion for child nutrition that would allow schools to opt out of the administration's nutritional guidelines passed in 2012. The vote was 31 to 18. So much for good health and nutrition.
Robert June 03, 2014 at 04:44 PM
Kids use to be skinny before government run school lunch programs took over.
Lisa Howard June 18, 2014 at 03:46 PM
I bet the talented culinary students in our AMAZING Schoolcraft College program could solve this one for us and run it, too...
Racer Boy June 21, 2014 at 11:48 PM
Well, they certainly could run it....except for one thing...they aren't Union.
T as in Truth June 23, 2014 at 04:31 AM
We need the lunch lady....with the knee high stockings and orthopedic shoes!

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