Tighter rules regarding school lunch

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Caesar753, Jan 13, 2011.

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  1. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Jan 15, 2011

    But changing from 2% milk to 1% doesn't cost any more. Baking instead of frying doesn't cost any more. Using water instead of oil (or cooking spray) to cook does not cost more.
     
  2. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jan 15, 2011

    TeacherApr, that's all true already for Texas schools. We aren't allowed to fry anything, and haven't been able to for a couple of years now. Like I said in an earlier post, we aren't allowed to have soda machines at all in the elementary schools and at the hs level, they have to be placed far from the cafeteria.

    I don't think anyone is arguing against healthy food choices. Where people started getting upset in this thread was when it was implied that if you don't prepare 100% healthy foods all the time to your kids, than you aren't doing a good job as a parent (or you had wrong priorities).
     
  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jan 15, 2011

    I'm all for healthier meals at school. The breakfasts served at every school I've worked at rarely have any protein and kids get very hungry before lunch. I would love to see fewer starches served at lunch. Our main entrees are usually pretty good. But the fresh sides are rarely choosen. Many times the kids have no idea what those fruits and vegetables are because they are definitely not served at home.

    I have kids who have only attended school after Texas implemented a ban on frying and from any item with sugar or corn syrup being the first ingredient in the classroom as rewards or lessons. I knew at the time that my M&M graphing lesson wasn't the single deciding event in making so many kids obese, and I've found other non-food lessons that are probably better, but I still have six severely obese children out of twenty-one students. Five of those are on metphormin or insulin. I have at least ten others who have fat rolls hanging over the waistbands of their pants.

    I'm all for healthier lunches, but when the kids (who did not choose one single vegetable or fruit at lunch) are complaining of hunger at two, I am realistic enough to know they are going to have a large snack or perhaps even a fourth meal.

    If kids are on free lunch, they usually have families on food stamps. They may not have healthy food, but I really doubt they got sixty pounds overweight from what they eat at school.
     
  4. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    Jan 15, 2011

    I watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, and he was able to turn the elementary school around as to what was served and how it was prepared. Yes it cost the school more to prepare healthier food, but he showed it could be done.
     
  5. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jan 15, 2011

    I've never seen anyone cook pasta in a huge pot of just oil. I'm not a cafeteria worker, of course, but I have worked in restaurants for 8 years (McDonald's for 6; Steakhouse for 2). I never saw pasta cooked in solid oil. :dunno: Nuggets, fries, fish and chicken filets? Yes. Pasta? Not so much.

    Boiling pasta or rice in water will work great, but not so great for chicken, fries or similar foods.

    Bottom line is this: changing cafeteria menus might provide a "feel good" effect for gov't and administrators, but it won't have a significant impact on obesity any more than NCLB has affected standardized test scores.

    As I said before, if cafeteria food were responsible, the obesity problem would have been a huge epidemic in the 1950's, 60's and 70's.

    That doesn't mean we can't offer better alternatives in the cafeteria, but it does mean we shouldn't put too much emphasis on such changes and definitely shouldn't expect them to be a magic bullet that will cure the nations obesity.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 15, 2011

    When you cook pasta in a pot of oil, you end up with those crunchy noodles like they have at Chinese restaurants...my take out gives them for free with an order...kind of a 'snack food', crunchy...other than that, pasta is NOT cooked in pots of oil!:confused:
     
  7. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jan 16, 2011

    This is a good point and one I'm guilty of breaking. I usually drink a soda at lunch and often have one on my desk during class. The kids aren't allowed to have sodas at school and can only bring water into class.

    It would be very easy for me to bring water to school for lunch and class time. That doesn't mean admin will be going through my lunchbox each day looking for contraband. I can still drink a soda (and get my caffeine fix) while I'm in the room alone before lunchtime. ;)

    Our workshops and education classes emphasize over and over that we have to model the behavior we want the kids to follow. It just makes sense to extend this to personal habits as well. :)

    Another good point and just one more reason WHY a restricted cafeteria menu would NOT really address the obesity problem. :thumb:
     
  8. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jan 16, 2011

    I haven't read the whole thread, but here is my 2 cents. We don't have a lunch room and I do "police" the lunches that my students bring to school. I inform all parents during their intake meeting that I do encourage nutritious lunches to school. I do tell them that their child will not be able drink soda at school (school rule) and that big bags of potato chips (the family size bags) and family size candy will be sent home after I give the student a serving size. A breakfast is available for students who need their own supplemented and my students are to choose their most nutritious snack for morning snack (granola bar, fruit, crackers and cheese, vegetables...). I let them know that if they do not have any food at home, rather than running to the gas station for a big bag of chips and soda, that I will provide their child with a lunch and snack. Each classroom in my school is stocked with lunches, drinks and snacks for students who need them. I rarely pass out sugary treats to my class (they get excited when I bring out the soy nuts). I do get parents who request that candy is not sent home with their child b/c they are unmanageable at home after they eat it, but these are the same parents who think nothing of sending their students to school with a lunch full of candy:dizzy:.

    In the last 3 years, I have brought in vegetables and fruit to share with the students after they eat their lunch. I would then make a list for parents as to what fruits and vegetables that their child likes to eat at school. This is the first year that I haven't had to b/c my students have been requesting them for their lunches.

    All of my students have severe behaviors and ADHD and we do notice an increase in behavior when they have too much sugar and I am known as the mean teacher in the school b/c I don't let my students eat 3 cupcakes during parties. Why set them up for failure by loading them up with sugar when I know that they have a hard time with impulse control?

    My school also has a lot of students who are food hoarders due to abusive they have experienced. Whereas some of the teachers at my school let their students eat until they are sick "because they don't have food at home" when special lunches are provided, I encourage my students to eat until they are full and to take their left overs home, so that they will have something to eat for dinner or as a snack....
     
  9. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Jan 16, 2011

    School lunch should be better, but I certainly doubt that 1 meal a day from schools in contributing to the obesity epidemic. I certainly doubt that there would be a decrease in childhood obesity even if the most renown chefs came in and cooked themselves.

    Why is the burden always on schools? Why not children's hospitals, restaurant children's menus, places that host children's parties etc? And of course, parents. I come from poverty as well, actually still living along the poverty line, and there is a lot of information out there on how to eat healthier. (Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't). I don't absolve parents from this huge responsibility just because they live in poverty.

    But I'm certainly not judging parents, but I don't want any added responsibility among the millions of things I already have to do as an educator.
    It's about changing the mentality.

    Nothing significant will ever change as long as schools are expected to solely bear the brunt of society's responsibilities and solve all of society's problems when it should be society as a whole changing its patterns, not just schools.

    And teachers are no more healthy and nutritional eaters than anyone else. There is no consensus on what is 100% healthy 100% of the time, none of us have nutritional certificates, so as a teacher I'd rather stay in my place and leave all of those decisions up to the parents as I have my own diet and child to worry about.
     
  10. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Jan 16, 2011

    oh for crying out loud......

    yea, I really meant, seriously, a huge pot of oil 100% Have you tasted the pasta in my location?! NO When I eat pasta and my lips are so glossy you can see yourself in them and so oily I can't close my mouth because my lips slither all over the place then you will "get" that the pasta is NOT cooked in just water. I'm willing to bet it's 70/30 with oil on the 70% side.

    AND as a side note, without personally attacking so much (even though I want to) I'm getting real tired of responses that are condescending. It happens EVERY time with you two.
     
  11. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Jan 16, 2011

    Thanks for explaining. However, I don't remember anyone saying you are a bad parent if you don't serve healthy meals 100% of the time....but, maybe I missed something?
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 16, 2011

    There was a suggestion that those who don't have time to cook might need to re-evaluate how they spend their time. I think we can all agree that families are BUSY and that cooking a homemade meal every night falls by the wayside sometimes..that's life. For the most part, most families are doing what they can.
     
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