As most of us who have school aged children know, the school lunches a few years ago left a lot to be desired. They were filled with mostly junk to include refined sugars and flours, fried foods, and not a whole lot of options in the fruit & veggie department. Recently with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 there were updates to the School Lunch Program. Here are a few improvements that were made:
- Offer both fruits and vegetables every day
- Increase the amount of whole grains included in meals
- Offer fat-free and low-fat milk
- Increased portion control
- Reduce the amount of saturated and trans fat, added sugars, and sodium in the meals
I remember my son would always get peanut butter and jelly for school lunch. I was fine with it until he brought home one of the ‘sandwiches’. Some of the long list of ingredients include high fructose corn syrup, added sugar, along with a few things I can’t even pronounce. Once I saw that this is what they considered a sandwich, I explained to my son why I didn’t want him eating that anymore on a regular basis and we worked on a healthier option that he could bring from home. We incorporated whole wheat bread, all natural grape jelly, all natural peanut butter, carrot sticks, whole wheat crackers, string cheese, and 100% juice to drink. This made both myself and my son happy. With the new updates, he does actually enjoy school lunch a little bit more. 🙂 At his school, they now offer sweet potato fries, edamame, brown rice, and a few other updates. I think the part that impresses me most is the salad bar. It’s stocked with fresh fruits and veggies. He typically goes for some carrot sticks and grapes, but at least they have a lot of options.
If you have school aged kids, do they enjoy the updates to the school lunch program? If not, what is making it hard for them?