I'm not really sure how to write this post, but I feel strongly about this issue. So if I wander or babble here is my apology up front.
|My supper last night. A 6 oz. steak|
and wedge salad.
The school lunch thing used to be a little foreign to me. In my elementary and high school we brought out own lunches. Mom usually packed them for us because we would get up early to do chores before we headed to school. However, I have talked to the boy and a lot of friends about school lunches and it was the norm in their lives. I also understand that there are a lot of families that don't have "quite enough" and the meals that their children get at school are very important. Maybe the only meals they get during the day.
Now back to USDA. USDA has made more changes to school lunch program nutritional guidelines. They include more fruits and veggies - that is awesome. They include less meat - not awesome. The new guidelines state that Grades 9-12 will get 10-12 ounces of meat a week, younger children even less. Let's put this into perspective. A four ounce serving of meat is roughly the size of a deck of cards. That means you get three deck of cards servings a week, at the maximum.
I remember when I was younger I could consume a foot-long Subway sandwich in a matter of minutes, I usually could eat two hamburgers, and my mom used to call me a grazer - I never quit eating. I was healthy, active, strong. I was on my volleyball team, danced in ballet and jazz classes wo night a week and was able to lift a 30 lbs. bucket of grain on each arm with ease. Protein was my fuel. My friend Katie Pinke has a growing, active high school son, and the new nutritional guidelines won't even meet his daily calorie needs.
Some may say well you still have the option to serve meat at home. True, but what about the families that can't afford protein options? In a 2010 survey done by Share our Strength No Kid Hungry it was reported that two-thirds of teachers said most or a lot of their students rely on school meals as their primary source of nutrition, and around two-thirds of teaches also say there are children that regularly enter their classrooms hungry because they are not getting enough to eat at home.
The Boy and I definitely will have children one day, but sometimes it scares me because of the direction of society is headed in. I watch eight years olds with cell phones, I didn't have one until college. I watch the government making more and more choices for families. It is frustrating.
I would love to hear your opinions on this. Are you a mom that is concerned about the direction USDA is taking school lunches in or maybe you are on the other side of the fence and have a differing opinion. Or maybe you are like me kind of watching from the sidelines, but don't like what is going on.