Some of you have probably heard that there is a new federal rule
require public school lunches to include fresh fruits and vegetables
with all meals they serve. Child nutrition is a critically important
issue, and I applaud the efforts to increase healthy food served at
schools. However, just because students are served this food does not
mean they will eat it, and this could lead to a substantial amount of
food waste. In fact, as this article describes, the Lake County School
District had already enacted a similar rule prior to the federal rule.
The district estimates that Lake County school children will throw away
$75,000 worth of fruits and vegetables because the children must take
them but don't eat it. This is a tough issue to tackle. Requiring
schools to give every student fresh fruits and vegetables, even if they
don't want them, may seem ridiculous and will obviously cause waste. On
the other hand, if the students don't have to take them, many students
will only take the less healthy food they like. Maybe schools should
start a "clean plate club" where students are rewarded for eating all
their food. Perhaps the answer is for parents to impart the importance
of healthy food by serving healthy meals with many fruits and vegetables
at home. It's hard to get kids to eat their vegetables at school when
they get McDonald's and KFC for dinner. Let's not let this opportunity
to have healthy food at schools go to waste.
Have a great weekend,
Will new food rules fill students' bellies? Or trash cans?
February 15, 2012