Are the new school lunch rules working for you?
For instance, recently students were offered several hot lunch entrees, including a turkey dog (with or without a side of chili), a ham and cheese sandwich on a whole grain bun. They were also offered a prepackaged Smucker's Uncrustables, a yogurt and cheese combo or one of several full-size salads. There were also grapes, bananas, pineapple chunks, apples, pears, side salads and prepackaged baby carrots.
Caleb Iehl, a Cedar Falls sophomore, understands "rabbit food" is good for him. He knows spinach is more nutritious than iceberg lettuce. He doesn't mind eating salads. Sometimes he even chooses them over items like chili dogs. His friends also like the sliced pepper sticks.
However, making healthy choices can be hard when he is allowed only one small packet of dressing to cover his full-size salad. So he also grabbed a smaller side salad to get another dressing packet.
"There was one girl who used to bring a glass jar of dressing every day," he said. Others have contemplated bringing bottles of ketchup, because they don't get enough at school.
While the new Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was designed to get students eating healthier, many Cedar Falls students, like sophomore Emily Le, said it just means they are eating less at school and more at home.
"I don't want to spend money on food I'm not going to eat," said Le, who opted to drink a cold coffee beverage while her friends picked at their hot lunches.
Many students long for the days when pasta, taco and salad bars were the norm and condiments weren't doled out like luxuries. They miss regular doses of processed chicken nuggets and pizza not prepared on whole grain crusts.
Other students say when they finish hot lunch they head to the seriously slimmed down a la carte line. There they stock up on granola bars, Pop-Tarts, Rice Krispies Treats, baked potato chips and other snacks.
"We're still hungry," said sophomore Logan Ryan.
Critical thinking challenge: Are you getting enough to eat at lunchtime? If not, why not?
Define these words: a la carte, condiments, entree
- Posted on December 9, 2012