Marissa R. Washington

Healthier School Lunches

Schools need a nutritionist to plan school lunches in order to make them healthier.

Dear Mr. or Ms. President,

Studies show that eating a healthy lunch encourages kids to have good eating habits ("5 reasons"). School lunches are currently lacking in nutrition and are high in fat and salt. I think schools need a nutritionist to plan the school lunches so the lunches provide students with the nutrients they need. A nutritionist or dietician is an answer to this problem because they are an expert in food and nutrition so they know what properly balanced meals are.

People may say, “But didn’t Michelle Obama recently change the school lunches to make them healthier?” It is true that she changed some lunches, but she didn’t necessarily make them healthier. In fact, students eating the school lunches are more likely to become overweight and obese. Dr. Wen You, a professor at Virginia Tech who authored the research said, “While well-intentioned, these government funded school meal programs that are aimed at making kids healthy are in fact making participating students more at risk of being overweight,” ("Michelle Obama") This quote shows that Michelle Obamas change in school lunch didn't make kids healthier, it made the kids more obese.   

School lunches are not giving students enough nutrition in their day-to-day lives. Low-income kids rely on school lunches for most of their daily calories ("5 reasons") New federal lunch regulations limited the calories for high school students to 850 calories and the meal requirements call for more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and sodium ("Stomachs rumbling"). This is a good change except for the fact that they aren’t serving the students enough food because of the calorie restriction.

A student in my class buys lunch everyday and he never eats it, he just throws it away because he doesn't like the taste. Not only is this a waste of food, but now he is hungry for the rest of the day. This is very unhealthy for the student. “By combining better recipes with fresh ingredients, the meals undoubtedly become more appealing to children,” says Chef Guy ("5 reasons"). I think the schools  should have a nutritionist redesign the menu to have better tasting and have more nutrient filled food. Also, I think the lunches should be prepared by hand instead of coming out of a package and heated up in a microwave. If the the food doesn't come out of a package and is hand made then the food will be fresher and better tasting.  

In conclusion, if school lunches have help from a nutritionist, fresher ingredients and are hand prepared then as Chef Guy said, the lunches will become more appealing to students and overall healthier. Sam Collins is a dietician in North Carolina and she worked in a school kitchen for six weeks. During that time she changed the menu to better tasting and more nutritious food. She said it was very difficult, but in the end she was very happy about what she did. She was also happy to serve the kids who don't get a hot meal outside of school food because she wanted to make sure that their meal was healthy and filling ("Kath eats real food"). I hope you give this issue the attention it deserves when you become president.

Sincerely,

Marissa R.