When we think of a food fight, we all think of the dreams we had in our k through 12 days of grabbing that fruit cup, pudding cup, or anything other lunch time treat, and chucking it across the lunchroom and hitting the nearest innocent bi-standard. But this food fight is a bit more serious, it still involves lunch, but the battle in schools across the US to get better nutrition in their lunch lines and vending machines.
There is lots of research out there to support the claim of the better you eat, the better you learn. There was a big push for kids who skipped breakfast to in fact take the time and eat in the morning. Kids that did this improved there academics and behavior in the classroom.
Lunch isn’t any different then breakfast, yet the problem here is not that kids aren’t eating lunch, but they’re eating unhealthy and unnutricous foods that don’t fuel there minds and bodies efficiently. But this trend is not really the students fault, the healthy alternatives to the greasy and fried foods aren’t being offered, so there is a problem.
This problem is the epidemic of schools giving kids access to all the fat and junk they can pay for, but no nutritional choice a healthier lifestyle.
The effects of these foods is becoming quite apparent, the main and most dangerous being childhood obesity. This has only recently become an issue in the US. Kids of this generation are less active and consuming poor food choices leading them to all sorts of health problems that shouldn’t be happening in junior high and high school, such as diabetes. Its like a cycle, bad food doesn’t really fuel your body, making you more likely to lay around…and make more poor food choices.
These of the meals of todays average student, the greasy-laiden burger and fries. And everyone’s unhealthy favorite…pizza. But this is only a scratch of the surface in the lunch line today.
Vending machines are to blame as well, offering tons of sugar and empty calories. From the pop machines, to the snack foods machines, and now, they even offer ice cream.
Kids need to be givin’ a choice, a choice where wholesome food choices are readily available to them.
The future of the school lunch. Full of vegetables, fruits, fresh meats, and lots of whole grains. It even looks better then the burger and pizza
The research is overwhelming in the favor of these healthier options, all of it points to the better academics, kids showing up more, and even a decrease in things that would get students in trouble.
As far as putting a healthier lunch program together, there are many companies out there that do a get job. Although the selection is some what limited, programs like Natural Ovens and Wholesome Tummies are becoming some of the fastest growing in the food industry. The demand for these businesses is only going to increase as the issue of nutrition in schools continues to be a problem.
Like they say here, “it is an investment”, but the positives are so overwhelming, it would be a shame not to do something like this based on cost. One Wisconsin teacher for example says that schools spend there money on all kinds of other things, why not invest in the most important commodity you have, the students.
I could go on and on about the places that these programs have been effective, from Wisconsin, to the east coast, to the mid-west, geographic area is not a factor. It just breaks down to all these schools having lots of success on many different levels just by simply changing what the kids eat.
But the food isn’t the only problem, it is a large part, but more can be done outside of just what the kids eat. More can be done with educating how much of the right foods to eat and when to eat them. Its about exercise and fun activies. Schools are even able to take once though “bad” food, and make them better, like veggy burgers, or whole grain french bread pizza with reduced fat cheese and toppings.
Its about a lifestyle, there are commercials all over the television telling kids to get active and eat better. You just didn’t see these sorts of commercials 5 or 10 years ago. If you start kids on the right track and teach them proper nutrition habits, it sticks with them for life. The US is the fattest country in the world, and obesity is literally killing us. It has to start somewhere, why not with the kids. And where are the kids most of the day? In school, and there is no better place to start eating right and getting the benefits of it, then there.
The Real Food Fight2
The Real Food Fight <ul><li>The issue of nutrition in schools </li></ul>
Good Nutrition=Good Learning <ul><li>Research has shown us that kids who eat breakfast: </li></ul><ul><li>produce better test scores, </li></ul><ul><li>behavior better, </li></ul><ul><li>showed a decrease in hyperactivity </li></ul><ul><li>… but it’s also the quality , not the quantity </li></ul>
Lunch at School <ul><li>The same goes for lunch (healthy choices=better learning) </li></ul><ul><li>But if you eat at school and all you have are unhealthy choices, you don’t even have the opportunity to eat right. </li></ul><ul><li>Most schools aren’t offering those healthy alternatives to the fried and greasy meals. </li></ul>
The Problem… <ul><li>Unhealthy food choices for student snacks and lunches </li></ul>
Effects of Unhealthy Food <ul><li>Childhood obesity epidemic </li></ul><ul><li>Poor nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>No energy </li></ul>
School Lunch of the Past <ul><li>Burgers </li></ul><ul><li>Fries </li></ul><ul><li>Pizza </li></ul><ul><li>Breadsticks </li></ul><ul><li>Chips </li></ul><ul><li>Soft drinks </li></ul>
Vending Machines <ul><li>It’s not just the school lunch selection to blame, vending machines play a role in malnutrition in schools by offering: </li></ul><ul><li>Sugary beverages (pop, juice) </li></ul><ul><li>Candy </li></ul><ul><li>Processed snacks (chips, cookies, crackers) </li></ul><ul><li>Snack cakes (brownies, buns) </li></ul><ul><li>Ice cream </li></ul>
The Solution! <ul><li>Give children an alternative to unhealthy eating by offering healthy, wholesome choices </li></ul>
School Lunch of the Future <ul><li>Fresh Cooked Meats </li></ul><ul><li>Whole grain breads </li></ul><ul><li>Lunch meat </li></ul><ul><li>Salads </li></ul><ul><li>Fruits/Vegetables </li></ul><ul><li>Water </li></ul>
Research Doesn’t Lie <ul><li>Schools that have implemented a healthier style of eating all say the same things: </li></ul><ul><li>Better academic performance </li></ul><ul><li>Attendance increase </li></ul><ul><li>Trouble spots decrease (drug, guns, expultions) </li></ul>
But what about the cost? <ul><li>It is an investment (at about$20,000 a year), but as one doctor said defending it "one child arrested would cost the schools more." (Dr. Scullen) </li></ul><ul><li>Dan Tauber of one Wisconsin school says, "Let’s invest in the kids now, financially, with food versus invest in them later, financially, with ’how do we correct the problems we have because they are not eating healthy?’" </li></ul><ul><li>according to another Wisconsin teacher, Mary Bruyette, nutrition should come up in the budget. "We’re concerned about everything else. We’re concerned about new band uniforms. We’re concerned about the football team. We’re concerned about text books. Why not be concerned about nutrition?” </li></ul>
Success Stories <ul><li>Tons of examples </li></ul><ul><li>Effective at any grade level, any part of the country </li></ul><ul><li>New York City area schools </li></ul><ul><li>Appleton, Wisconsin </li></ul><ul><li>Colorado area schools </li></ul><ul><li>The list goes on… </li></ul>
Not Just About the Food <ul><li>Food education </li></ul><ul><li>Being aware of what you’re eating </li></ul><ul><li>Making healthy foods fun and appealing </li></ul><ul><li>Physical activity </li></ul><ul><li>Take existing “bad” foods you have and make them healthier (studies show the students don’t even know) </li></ul>
Establishing Life Long Healthy Eating Habits <ul><li>Healthy kids become healthy adults </li></ul><ul><li>Obesity #3 preventable death in the US </li></ul><ul><li>Our country in the “fattest” in the world </li></ul><ul><li>Need to start nutrition guidance early, in elementary, junior high, and high school (not before it’s too late) </li></ul>
Citations <ul><li>Ellerbee, William J.; Bramson-Paul, Phyllis.; Marcellino, Sara. (January/February 2006) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Healthy Children Ready to Learn. Leadership v. 35 no3 (p. 26-9, 39) . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Feingold Association </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A Different Kind of School Lunch. Retrieved from http://www.feingold.org/Bluebook/page-09-wisconsin.pdf </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Pettigrew, Andre N. (2005) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Denver’s Balancing Act for Obesity and Vending. School Administrator v. 62 no9 (p, 10-12 ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hernandez , Fabiola (May 27, 2009) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Top 5 Fattest Countries in the World. Retrieved from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1766192/top_5_fattest_countries_in_the_world_pg2_pg2.html?cat=51 </li></ul></ul>