Tags: Barack Obama | Michelle | Obama | school kids | healthy lunches

School Kids to Catch a Break From Healthy Lunches

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 04:42 PM

First Lady Michelle Obama may be frowning today over passages in the new budget bill which severely weakened her pet healthy school lunch program, but America's school kids and administrators are smiling.

The new budget bill contains explicit language which allows local school districts strapped for cash, and school kids wanting a break from Michelle-advocated healthy, but not too flavorful, school lunches that often end up in cafeteria trash bins, to take some steps back to when cafeteria midday meals were both cheaper and tastier, The Washington Post reports.

Ever since President Barack Obama signed the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA) in 2010, largely at the insistence and lobbying of his wife, school kids have been griping on Twitter about their new healthy lunches and even posting yucky-looking photos of them marked with #ThanksMichelleObama and comments like, "Thanks to you I've just stopped eating. At four dollars I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy," the Post reports.

The budget bill states, "The secretary shall allow States to grant an exemption from the whole grain requirements that took effect on or after July 1, 2014" and freezes sodium restrictions in "meals, foods, and snacks sold in schools ... until the latest scientific research establishes the reduction is beneficial for children."

The HHFKA mandated minimum fruit, vegetable and whole grain servings and cutbacks on sugar, salt and fat content, the Post notes.

A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that the 32 million school students who eat lunch at school every day were trashing much of the food.

"The overall high levels of fruit and vegetable waste continued to be a problem — students discarded roughly 75 percent of vegetables before the USDA school meal standards went into effect and 60 percent of vegetables after the standards went into effect, and they threw out roughly 40 percent of fruits on their trays both before and after the implementation of the new standards," the study notes.

The 55,000-member School Nutrition Association, which advocated for the changes allowing local districts leeway to determine the content of school lunches, stated they were "pleased to see several of our key issues addressed in the language that will provide schools greater flexibility to plan healthy school meals that students will eat."

Lyman Graham, food service director in Roswell, New Mexico, said, "Many families in the Southwest will not accept whole grain tortillas. Schools can’t change cultural preferences. And with sky-high produce costs, we simply cannot afford to feed our trash cans. Every penny spent on whole grains and produce needs to go into the mouth of a hungry child," the Post reported.

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First Lady Michelle Obama may be frowning today over passages in the new budget bill which severely weakened her pet healthy school lunch program, but America's school kids and administrators are smiling.
Michelle, Obama, school kids, healthy lunches
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2014-42-10
Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 04:42 PM
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