One of Michelle Obama’s pet projects since becoming first lady is the revamp of public school lunches. Her aim is to provide healthier school lunches.
Unfortunately, her crusade to make children eat healthier has backfired but instead of backing down or tweaking a few things she’s doubling down.
Michelle Obama will make your kids eat vegetables at lunch if she has to feed them like a mama bird! Alright, maybe that’s too far, but make no mistake, she will continue the failed policy pushing as long as her husband is president.
According to Obama’s federal mandate which cap meal calories at 650 for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, at 700 calories for middle school students and 850 for high school students, they also dictate the number of breads, proteins, vegetables and fruits children are allowed per meal.
Western Journalism reports that officials pointed out that absurd federal guidelines prevented them from offering hard-boiled eggs, hummus, pretzels, some brands of yogurt, and nonfat milk in containers larger than 12 ounces.
If you want to see for yourself why this program is bad all you need to do is go down to your local elementary school. The kids are herded through the lunch line where school employees are guiding their selection process to make sure that they have the correct number of items on their tray and that they are even the correct color of vegetable sometimes.
A lot of the children take the tray to their table and nibble at what they don’t like, devour what they do and then throw away almost the entire tray of food. Look in the garbage cans and see how much food is being thrown away every day at your local school.
Some schools have even had their cafeteria personnel watch the children and will not let them go outside to recess if they haven’t eaten sufficient amounts of their mandated veggies.
A Los Angeles Times report last month actually estimated $100,000 in food being thrown away every day in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Not only is the waste costly, but actually meeting the requirements for the program are costly too. For example, under old regulations, a small school district might budget approximately $20,000 dollars for the lunch program, which isn’t very much compared to the entire school budget. The food services department basically pays for itself so they don’t need much help from the district.
However, the same district under the new mandate has earmarked for the 2014-2015 school year a whopping $260,000 to go to the food services department to help them meet the federal mandate. And all for naught because that money is literally being tossed into trashcans in cafeterias across the nation.
My children have started to take their own lunches. They don’t want to eat a whole grain corndog, a tomato slice, bell peppers and an apple for lunch. Healthy? I would say it probably is more healthy then what they bring from home, but considering their home lunches consist of a sandwich, banana, low-fat pudding and crackers I wouldn’t bet it was that much more.
Some children qualify for free lunches and can’t afford to bring lunch from home so they’re stuck eating the kind of food that Michelle Obama says they should.
So what’s healthier? What makes a student perform better? Eating half a bell pepper and then being hungry and unfocused for the rest of the day, or eating a full fat granola bar and a slice of whole grain crust pizza (gasp!!) and being comfortable and able to get through the rest of the day.
And what’s next? Is Michelle going to come to our houses and make our kids’ lunches? Or what’s more likely, making it so that children are no longer allowed to bring lunch from home.