School Lunch Woes
August 22, 2010
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By: Stacy Sawyer
I have to admit I'm jumping for joy over my fourth grade daughter counting down the days until school starts. Her being excited to return to school must mean the school and I am doing something right.
But one question keeps coming up: "Can I eat hot lunch this year?" I cringe every time she asks. All I can think of is the bosco stick that's considered a meal at her school. I don't dare look into the actual nutritional value of this calorie and carbohydrate laden bread stick stuffed with cheese. I'm just sure to send a sack lunch with her every day.
Now I know each school has its obstacles when it comes to providing healthy meals to our children maybe it's a budget issue, a staff issue or a time issue. But you have to admit some kids are a lot luckier than others.
For example a friend of a friend of a friend is in charge of the nutrition department, aka lunch room, in a school a ways up north. On their first day of school the students are getting homemade soup, homemade rolls, a lettuce salad, pasta salad and fresh fruit. Then there are the alternative choices - a chef salad, tuna wrap, turkey sandwich, etc. Seriously?! My daughter's first day lunch - probably the infamous bosco stick.
So a passion of mine is the recent legislation known as The Child Nutrition Act that can require schools to provide healthier food and increase physical activity. This is not only a passion of mine because it is a priority of the Heart Association, but because I believe in the importance of serving kids healthy fresh meals.
If you are at all concerned with what your kids are consuming at school, I encourage you to get involved with the passing of The Child Nutrition Act. A couple weeks ago the Senate approved the bill unanimously, and now the question rests with the House: Can it pass meaningful childhood nutrition legislation this fall?
The legislation can make a real difference in our children's health and lives. It could remove high-calorie beverages and junk food from school vending machines; create new national meal programs and strengthen school nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. Not only does this impact our kids nutrition but it will impact all areas of their lives as experts have also shown that normal-weight children have better scholastic achievement, fewer absences and are more physically fit.
You can get involved simply by sending an email to your legislature today. Just follow the link below to have your voice and your child's voice heard. Go to www.yourethecure.org to fight and advocate for our kids nutrition and overall health.
Communications Director -- American Heart Association
I invite your questions and feedback
Stacy Sawyer is the Director of Communications for the American Heart Association. She can be reached at (989) 225-7513.
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