Each day, children and teens across the United States have not been given a filling meal. Their meals can range from one mystery meat homemade hot pocket and a water, to enchiladas that have been warmed up three times. This can result in students not performing their best in class, sports, and even at home.
The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs recently changed their meals in 2012 for what was acceptable for the children and teens to eat. Most of the changes included “counting fruits and vegetables as separate meal groups, offering fruit every day, making half of grain choices whole grains, giving different grades different meal sizes and reducing sodium and trans fat in meals”. Personally, I experienced this changed as I was getting used to the vast variety of new snacks and entrees at our school. After this was changed, lunch wasn’t as filling or the same as before. I remember being decently full after lunch, but now I sometime have a hard time finding food to fill my try.
Similarly, a few students at Lincoln Lutheran were asked how they felt about their school lunch but requested to stay anonymous. One student simply stated that school lunch “can be kinda gross at times” and “not filling whatsoever”. Most of the time the students say that they “don’t know what [they] are eating”, which isn’t a good sign. Since this change in 2012, most students haven’t been getting the essential nutrients needed for growth and focus in afternoon classes.
According to Sara Ipatenco, children who regularly do not get the “needed vitamins and minerals from a meal may suffer headaches, irritability, and fatigue”. Due to not filling lunches, students can be emotionally drained from no food. The opposite is a risk to children too, such as if a student eats too much sodium, sugar, or fat. This why a balance with healthy and edible food is vital for school lunches in America today. Many students lose focus in class without proper energy, which is gained by eating a good, healthy lunch.
A vast variety of food is consumed by the students in America, good and bad. The majority of schools across the country have experienced failed attempts at an edible, healthy meal for lunch and breakfast. Maybe a packed cold lunch is a better idea if you aren’t sure what your school is actually serving for lunch.
Schuna, Carly. “The Effects of Children Eating Unhealthy School Lunches.” Livestrong. N.p., 24 June 2015. Web.