Emily C. California

School Cafeteria Food

There is a big concern on school cafeteria food all over the country. Students want a change. I hope their wish comes true for them.

August 29, 2016

Dear Future President,

Mrs. Obama wasn’t wrong in changing the cafeteria menu because the United States has high rates of  childhood obesity. She changed the menus to grains and low sodium, but what good is it bringing, if students are getting the food but throwing it away as they exit the cafeteria? Students should have better and appealing options for when receiving school lunches. There are many students all over the country who skip out on their lunch and that was not the purpose for Michelle Obama’s project. The First Lady’s project was to help the kids in America change the course of history in the numbers of obese students. The changes she created were very drastic and many students who were already used to the old menu don’t agree with the new menu; however, students who are new to school and have only known of the menu set by Mrs. Obama would agree that the cafeteria food could still use improvement.

The changes the first lady, Michelle Obama, put into effect with the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010 has lead students to complain and react in rebellious manner by throwing out today’s school lunches. Schools have been following through with giving more than 80 percent of the grains and limiting the sodium given to each student. Students are growing up everyday and they need a specific number of calories and foods they must eat to get themselves going. Schools have not been doing an efficient job in reaching these requirements and daily necessities.

The portions of the foods are now smaller than before; which is crucially affecting both athletes and scholars who are not getting the nutrients they need to maintain the health standard required in their respective sports. The small rationed apple these students are being served isn’t helping them much if they toss out the actual lunch meal they are given. The Los Angeles Times stated school lunches don’t exceed 850 calories. Boys, ages 14 to 18, should consume 2,200 to 3,200 calories a day. Girls, ages 14 to 18, should consume 1,800 to 2,400 calories. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and schools are providing it to most students in America, it should be a big portion of their calories and not just a plain bagel accompanied by a golf ball sized apple. Lunch is also very important and should be a smaller sized portion of what breakfast was. When students get home and eat dinner they should be consuming about 600 calories; which is usually less than the portions they actually take in. The food in the cafeteria should look appealing to students in order for them to follow through with the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. When looking at other countries’ cafeteria food, they are given food that follows up with their culture.

In America, traditional foods consist of burgers, hot dogs, pizza, etc. . . . but there are different ethnic groups attending schools in the U.S. as well. Respecting the other students’ culture could involve feeding them other cultural foods and not just the traditional American food; which would enhance better multiculturalism that is still a vital part of the globalization we’ve progressed today. This would teach students to try new foods and to respect other foods as well. The number of students studying abroad has increased from a range of 72 percent throughout the years. School cafeteria food is a significant portion of food consumed by children and adolescents every week. Students should have the opportunity to begin trying other cultural foods at school so they get an idea of where in the world they like the food best.


Emily, Grade 11

New Technology High School


New Technology High School

American Studies

New Tech High's Junior class. This is a team taught US History and Literature class.

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