A new study has just been released that indicates the new school lunch
rules put in place may lead to increased food waste and possible even
decreased consumption of fruits and vegetables. For those that don't
know, in 2010 Congress passed a mandate (the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids
Act), the requires schools that participate in the National School Lunch
and School Breakfast Program to give a fruit or vegetable to a student
with their meal (even if they don't want it). The act went into effect
in the 2012 school year. Not surprisingly, researchers have now found
increased food waste at schools. What good is giving children healthy
food, if it only ends up in the trash?
That being said, I do believe the act has great intentions; we all know
kids (and most people) need to eat healthier foods. Perhaps the
increased food is just an effect of the transition. In time, students
may learn to eat their vegetables, even if they would have never chosen
to eat them before. There could also be a number of ways to dress up
the vegetables or present them in a way that is appealing to kids.
However, at the end of the day, true change will have to come from the
home. Parents must take the responsibility to make sure their children
eat their vegetables at home, so they do so at school. It is a noble
goal to get child to eat more vegetables at school, but it cannot come
at the cost of increased food waste. How does that saying go? You can
lead a kid to broccoli, but can't make him eat it.
Have a great weekend,
Why the healthy school lunch program is in trouble. Before/after photos
of what students ate.
Ariana Eunjung Cha
August 26, 2015
Link to study: