It’s no secret that the school cafeteria has certainly revamped their lunch menu for this year with many of the selections having been modified and some having even been entirely removed from the menu. While this change has been upsetting to some students, the motivation for the sudden decision to switch up the options actually came from Michele Obama’s Let’s Move program as a way to fight child obesity and work towards making younger generations healthier.
Head of Steinbrenner’s Student Nutrition Department, Sheryl Rabelo gave more insight on the program’s changes, which mostly pertain to smaller portions.
“The guidelines are cutting down on fats, cutting on sodium and cutting more sugars. What they’re really trying to do is narrow this down and make a more farm-to-table type deal so that there are more fresh items,” said Rabelo.
Living in this day and age, teens are expected to not only attend school but participate on sporting teams, or even pick up part-time jobs, which allots hardly enough time to consume healthy foods. This year, calories and sugar content have been cut and new selections have been added. Even though some of students’ favorite items may have been taken away, many alternatives have been added, such as, cheesy garlic breadsticks, Aquafina FlavorSplash and M&M cookies. None of the items offered exceed 500 calories and over 60 percent of all items are under 300 calories, enabling kids to choose from different healthy options.
“When I came to school the first day you could really notice the change, the portions were smaller, they had different food and water that we weren’t used to. I didn’t mind it at first, but the quality of the food has really gone down. I feel like nobody here really got a good say in it and that it violates us in some way because we come here to eat and we pay money to receive the best quality food, cause some of us aren’t able to get it from home and so it just seems abnormal to me that no student was able to represent us,” said sophomore Sarah Frost.
While the overall uproar regarding the new lunches has mostly fallen on the fact that students didn’t have a say in the decision, it should be stressed that kids are encouraged to voice their menu requests to administration so as to ensure options everyone is content with. The program’s mission is not to make school life miserable, but students need to speak up if they’d like to see more change. The main objective of Let’s Move certainly isn’t to upset students, but rather to help prevent the epidemic of childhood obesity within America.