Munch that lunch, kids!

 

We’ve been hearing about this for a while.  Now it’s happening.  If you catch a few minutes, read this blog piece by Debbie Lyons-Blythe at Life on a Kansas Cattle RanchShe has links to other blogs written in the last couple of days that concentrate on this particular subject… the new regulations on public school lunches. 

I’d love to hear from you and your kids about this in your particular region!  Our school doesn’t start until tomorrow, so I haven’t had any feedback. Yet.  We’re not saying a whole lot about it for fear of setting the little minds’ expectations to the negative! 

 

School lunch is not making our kids fat!

My tall, athletic, active, slender farm kids….tell me they’re not eating right!

Please hand me my soap box….thanks. As I climb up on this block, I run through my mind the reasons that I have not made this blog a political platform. I don’t like to denounce government programs, endorse political candidates or spout points or counter-points to current events. But, dangit, I’m MAD….What makes me mad enough to go against my policy so that I will use my Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch blog to talk about the USDA? The new school lunch guidelines as announced by USDA. Frankly, this has been stewing in my brain for a few months. My husband is on the school board and told me that the cooks for our school have had to put in extra hours this summer to clarify the new regulations and plan for the changes they must make. So I immediately looked up the rules and talked to our school cooks. Here is what I’ve found:The new guidelines for High School Students lunch:

  • Limit total weekly protein (meat and meat alternatives) to a maximum of 10-12 oz/week
  • Limit total calories to 750-850 per day
  • Limit milk to 5 servings per week
  • Mandate a set portion of various vegetables and fruits
  • Mandate switching to whole grains

On the surface, I don’t think these things appear so wrong. But these are the regulations for High School students. Now, let me tell you about my high school boys. I have two high school boys who are 6 feet tall and weigh 155 and 165 respectively. They both play all the sports that our small school offers, and work on our ranch before school, after sports practice and on weekends. They do not spend much time sitting in front of a television, computer or game station. They are healthy weights, muscular, and very active. In short, 800 calories is a SNACK to my boys!         For the entire article, click HERE.

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6 Responses to Munch that lunch, kids!

  1. Fancy Nancy says:

    Students haven’t started back in our district yet, so time will tell the response here. In the past, I think our district high schools have offered other alternatives to plate lunches: salad bars, Chick Fil A kiosks, Smoothies, etc. And our older students could leave campus and probably went to fast food places….and THAT’s one culprit for obesity in our kids anyway, along with a sedentary life style. I do like the healthier approach with whole grains, and more fruits and veggies. The protein does seem a bit limited, but the protein in school lunches here was not great quantity or quality anyway! The number of calories in these new regs (that’s about a third for the day) seems to be enough for most kids, but may not be enough for athletes (and farm kids), etc. who are extremely active. Alot of kids just don’t burn up enough calories. I’m at the elementary level and will keep ears open for responses, but I’ll be interested to hear from our secondary folks too.

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    • The Queen says:

      The extra physical activity is something that is being discussed a lot too. It seems kids can opt out of PE. But the portion equality thing is what getting most people’s goats…there’s no way my boys could exist on what they’re feeding these kids now…I doubt that even our grands at 11 will have half of what they usually eat and these kids eat EVERYTHING. They are NOT picky!! I’m betting a lot of moms will be packing lunches daily for their younguns in a couple of weeks??

      I too like the healthier approach…it “sounds” good but what will it be really? LOL! Only the kids will know and I can guarantee that they won’t hesitate to tell us about it!! When they leave the house @7am and return after 4, it could get ugly. Fast. We’ll see. 🙂

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      • Fancy Nancy says:

        Yeah, possibly more kids will be taking their lunches or eating a bigger breakfast – educators have encouraged that for years! I recall a few years ago, new regs were set for school lunches and I did notice somewhat healthier food on our campuses, but as it’s always been, providing the healthy food doesn’t guarantee it will be eaten. That is the challenge in store. I’ve always thought it was ridiculous to force each child to take a carton of milk whether they want it or not, and then watch them throw it unopened in the trash! And, as one school nutrionist said, we want healthy kids, not healthy trash cans! I’ve seen so much waste from so many lunch trays in my years of teaching! Do you remember at East Elementary and maybe even up through high school, one of our classmates (can’t remember who) always ate everyone’s greens on “greens day”? LOL. Not mine, though, I always liked greens! We can’t force “healthy” on our kids, we can only provide healthy choices. Yes, it will be a challenge for the school nutritionists! God bless them!. I’m anxious to hear feedback from schools in my district. Let you know! 🙂 Hope you don’t mind me adding this, but FYI, here is the daily calorie recommendations for kids:
        6 – 10 year olds – 1800 – 2000
        11 – 14 year olds – 2200 (girls) – 2500 (boys)
        15 – 18 year olds – 2200 (girls) – 3000 (boys – here’s where the shortage seems to lie by about 200 calories, assuming that students eat three meals a day including a good breakfast! One thing good that might come of this is more breakfast eaters!)
        🙂

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  2. Fancy Nancy says:

    One more thought. I do think these regs should be more generalized and guidelines ….keep it healthy with flexibility giving each district some wiggle room for their specific student bodies. Don’t want to give the idea that I favor more federal government control of our lives! Just so you know!

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    • The Queen says:

      You’re good! I’m trying to sort all of this out. What makes it really interesting is the past years actions concerning red meat…get interestinger and interestinger…

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  3. Fancy Nancy says:

    I know….maybe BB should start disguisiing your cows in little (or rather big!) chicken and fish costumes! Bet your momma would be up for the sewing! LOL

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