Nutrition In The Schools:Is It A Reality Check Or Just Drama?

I woke up yesterday morning and read quite an interesting opinion on school nutrition and the reality show Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. It was titled Opinion: What’s Wrong With School Lunches? .

In reality, do most parents honestly know what kind of nutrition is being given to their children in the school? Do you actually take the time to read the monthly menu brought home by your children? Is it okay for our children to have pizza for breakfast and French fries for lunch everyday no matter what age? Is it okay for children in the first grade to know what a French fry is but not a potato? Or not know simply vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or tomatoes? Does a French fry really count for a vegetable serving?

In the article, the author states that school lunches are healthier than most people realize and that Jamie Oliver is trying to scare parents off from school lunches. If the author had paid any attention to the show, she would see that Jamie Oliver is clearly trying to teach the cafeteria workers, schools and America  how to prepare a simple meal from scratch that is healthy and nutritious. As a parent, I would rather have my children eat a stir-fry with eight vegetables and fresh chicken than greasy French fries and greasy chicken for lunch.

The author also states the lunch ladies from Huntington are portrayed as what they know and are stuck in their ways and inflexible. As a parent, observing how inflexible and rebellious the head cafeteria worker Alice is, I’m appalled. Rather than take the time to come up with a solution, she always walks away. If the school system is going to walk away from finding a solution on helping our children, than something is clearly wrong with the system.

If Huntington, West Virginia is considered a stout city in one of the fastest states in the union, don’t you think you should start where the problems are the worst? This state is just a starting point for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

This is a true Reality TV show that is educating the school system, parents and children all across America. In reality, how many people would watch something like this on the news versus a reality TV show? Kids are more likely to sit down for an hour to watch a reality TV show with their parents than a news cast. If that is how you have to teach people awareness then so be it. The author did not mention anything about being a parent or educated on nutrition. I was completely irritated with the opinion this author had after reading the article. The author mentions school lunch menus are designed by nutritionist and brown bag meals are not.

The author states,” if families watching Oliver decide to pack a lunch because they think school lunches are bad, it’s not clear they’ll be giving their children anything better.” As a parent who makes homemade lunches for my children, I want to ensure my children are provided a healthy lunch everyday including snacks. The way the author describes parents throwing together a “pre-made lunch”  from the store is basically saying without saying parents don’t know how to put together a healthy and nutritious lunch for their children.  I’m smarter than she thinks when it comes to making brown bag lunches for my children. I can pack my children’s lunch while I am making dinner or when I get up in the morning. I think a lot of parents seeing school lunches as an ‘easy out’ rather than packing their kids a nutritious lunch.

USA Today in January 2010 reported that obesity will cost the U.S. healthcare $344 billion a year. Hazards of obesity now rival smoking in the United States. Overall, about 31.7% of kids are obese or overweight, compared to 29% in 1999, also not a statistically significant difference. This analysis is based on the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which is considered the gold standard for evaluating the obesity problem in the USA. Obese kids are at a greater risk of weight-related health problems such as high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes, plus they are at greater risk of becoming obese adults.

I know that people are entitled to their own opinion, however the author did not mention anything about being a parent or educated on nutrition. And just to make it clear, I do understand that there are some parents who are not familiar with what types of healthy foods, count calories, etc. but  Jamie Oliver and his producers are taking the initiative to teach people all across America just that. This show applies to a lot of school districts in this country and how parents chose to feed their children. Schools are supposed to teach children too. Why not about nutrition?

Sign Jamie’s petition simply clicking the badge above to save cooking skills and improve school food.

 I support Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. America’s kids need better food at school and better health prospects. We need to keep cooking skills alive.


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3 thoughts on “Nutrition In The Schools:Is It A Reality Check Or Just Drama?”

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  • I do think he is honestly trying to make a difference, and since this is the only school job I have ever had in my career as a chef, I understand what he wants to do…but when you work it everyday there has to be a middle ground..especially in my case where i am not subsidized at all… While I do my very best to feed them healthy home made foods, I do have to serve them what they will eat as well. But with all the choices I offer Vegetarians to meat eaters can always find healthy options.
    I do think there is too much drama in this show, it looks very staged sometimes and when he cried I thought that to be a bit much.
    just my opinion though

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