Do you think that healthier foods in schools is a good idea?

cafeteria food - long available and reflective of how society eats, it is beginning to change.  Is it a good thing, does it fight obesity?  We wonder how this will last and affect change in the futures of our children
@Willowlady (10666)
United States
January 27, 2007 4:37pm CST
In my local paper a Columbus, New Jersey school is saying no to junk food in their school cafeterias. Trays of carrot and celery sticks with low fat ranch dip and orange slices along side beef hotdogs with whole wheat buns. This is to combat obesity in children! They are choosing to bake and not fry also. Your thoughts!!
14 people like this
93 responses
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I think if the kids are growing up eating healthier in school, they might be more likely to grow up and eat healthier as adults. Of course, it is also something that has to be addressed at home. But it seems as if a lot of parents have been complaining about school lunches that this should come as a bit of good news. I can say the school my children are in is already in that mode of practice. They encourage healthy foods but still offer the junk foods they are used to...with a difference. Instead of the normal chips, they give them the baked chips and Cheeto's with they have hoagie days. And they have it on wheat bread also. :) They also have been including more veggies. It is a nice change. But also as a treat and teach moderation, they are given a day once a month as birthday celebration and given a sweet. But little do they realize that when it is Popsicles...the popsicles are made of pear juice because it comes in rainbow colors. Now, I personally do not agree with all the food dyes...but, one step at a time. Right? The only reason I know all this about the school is because I volunteer in the kids lunch room. :)
3 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Proud of you my friend! It is a good thing to be in on the one step beginning. Thanks for constibuting to this discussion!!
2 people like this
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
27 Jan 07
I think that it is a great idea, but how many kids are going to eat the food? For the picky eaters or kids that won't eat healthy, they will pack their lunches and get their fill of junk food. I wish all school systems cooked healthier and got rid of all friend foods and "junk" foods. Unfortunately, many cannot afford to.
2 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
27 Jan 07
If they start them young perhaps they would discover good food and go home and ask the parents for them in their homes. Could be a good thing. Change is often difficult so we will have to see if this good idea eventually becomes the norm!!
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jan 07
This is one of the very best idea i ever think.also i think that school should have better option for games also
1 person likes this
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I normally don't let my son eat in the cafeteria. I would rather pack hislunch so I know eaxactly what goes in his food. I work at a warehouse that stores all the food that goes to his school and I would rather him not even eat some of the healthier things on the menu. It would be nice for the school to offer the healthy lunches, but on the same note a parent could pack a really healthy lunch for their child the night before. It is a pain, but it is cheaper to pack a lunch than to buy it evrry day. For games? DO you mean having more things to do at recess or PE?
2 people like this
@BittyBiddy (2905)
• Ireland
28 Jan 07
I think healthier foods in schools is a great idea. A lot of parents these days are so busy working and trying to make ends meet that when they get home they don't have time to be cooking healthy dinners, so they may resort to frozen food or quick food. At least if the schools are providing healthy food then the kids are getting that little bit of goodness into their systems. Some of the schools here provide breakfasts too which is a great idea as a lot of kids were going into school without having had anything to eat.
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
29 Jan 07
Think that another of my saying comes to mind...where there is a will there is a way. The tired parents could prepare many things over the weekend for ease of fixing for evening meals through the week. Agreed that school with healthy foods would in some cases fill a gap. Thanks so much for responding my friend!
2 people like this
• Ireland
29 Jan 07
I agree with you and I know some parents do that. I used to make up shepherd's pie and lasagne and I would freeze them in portions to use during the week. But there are a lot of parents out there that don't even know where there kids are at the weekend, let alone cook for them. Sad, but true.
2 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
29 Jan 07
So true and am glad you were one that could care for the children. My hat goes off for you my friend!
1 person likes this
@sweetlady10 (3620)
• United States
28 Jan 07
It is a good idea to give children fresh veggies. Now a days obesity is a very big problem. So, trying to avoid junk food is a really good step.
2 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Agreed, how many though will go home and stuff bad food in their mouths in front of the computer or tv game and then all the good food at school would be negated. It is a good start though. Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
@olaff123 (434)
• Namibia
28 Jan 07
Yes, but at least they had a proper meal at school. I don't have children, but when I look at the amount of 'unhealthy' food I eat, just because I don't feel like cooking after work, that one good meal will probably help a lot already. I assume many parents also feel the way I do some nights, just a quick meal instead of an elaborate healthy one.
2 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
1 Feb 07
Good food is not time consuming to fix. We think that cooking has to be a process. Also fixing up a large meal on Sunday could be divided up for late or busy nights. Where there is a will there is a way!! Thanks for responding.
@AskAlly (3627)
• Canada
28 Jan 07
Well obesity is at epidemic proportions. I think that if the school is promoting healthier choices it's not a bad idea. I also feel that they should be implementing madatory fitness classes. One hour everyday for all. Not many kids seem to be overy active anymore.
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
28 Jan 07
We are all becoming more sedentary. Our eating should reflect that and it does not. With the school preparing for that stupid proficiency test all the time, the really don't study the actual subjects anymore! Time is a factor, however money is the biggest motivator. Would be great to have physical activity as a norm for schools and all of us. Thanks for responding.
2 people like this
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Oh Boy. I so Glad someone else sees what I have been saying for a long time. If the kids are given healthier meals and lot od exercise the school would see a raise in preformance and would not need to teach to the tests.
1 person likes this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
1 Feb 07
Yeah, our schools have slipped for so long and it might be time for all of us to get involved to renew the focus on our children and the standard reading, writing and arithmetic!! Thanks much for responding.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Feb 07
I think it's a great idea for schools to serve healthier meals! Our kids have been served enough rehydrated beef and pink wiennies. I don't believe it will improve the experience of a school lunch though; it will still be gross, and over priced. lol
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
2 Feb 07
Actually only if they tried to cook it too much. Whole foods need not be difficult or long cooking. I remember some good foods. Perhaps a uniform application in all schools would be the key along with trained cooks for those school kitchens! thanks much for responding.
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
1 Feb 07
I think it is about time, if kids are learning to eat healthy in school, hopefully it will carry over to at home, the schools can not tell kids to eat healthy and then feed them junk - sorry - but french fries are no different then potato chips. If they must have them - then let them be baked.
2 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
1 Feb 07
So true! Potatoes fried in whatever form..duh! There are more choices in preparation in this day and age and it should benefit our children!! Thanks so much for responding!!
1 person likes this
@14missy (3185)
• Australia
28 Jan 07
I think it is a good idea to have a selection of healthier foods at school canteens but isn't it ultimately up to the parents to ensure their children eat healthy diets? It is no good having health foods only at school and then feeding your kids junk at home. I think it should be an education issue that shows kids what is healthy and what is not and they need to decide on a lifetime choice not give them no choice.
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
29 Jan 07
So true what you say. Education is key and perhaps the kids would help the parents to become better also that way. junk at home and good food at school would be an odd balance that would be achieved. Thanks much for responding.
1 person likes this
@Khokhonut (702)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I don't think it's a bad idea for the schools to offer healthier choices in their lunches or snacks that the school offers. What I do think is wrong is the school banning certain things that the students themselves bring. A friend of mine sent a cereal bar with her son for a snack only for it to be taken away and him told that it was "junk" Another friend sent a similar snack (the exact snack escapes me at the moment) for her daughter to be told it was processed and therefore no good for her !!! I would be livid if that were my child. The school can (and should) take care of what they offer, but should leave the rest alone.
2 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I undertand your point and also have the thought that we sometimes go somewhere and we are not permitted certain items. This would kind of fall along those lines. Thanks for sharing and responding to this discussion!!
• United States
28 Jan 07
I think that is a fantastic idea, and say bravo for them!!! Junk foods are out there enough at home and fast foods. The children will concentrate better too. Great idea. Hats off to them.
2 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Add my hat off to them also, my kids though do not get junk at home much so the standard til now school lunches would have been a treat for them. We homeschool so we do not have those worries. Thanks for responding!!
@CatEyes (2449)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Yes, Absolutley yes. I think it will make the children feel better, think better and not have a tendancy to be over weight. I wish they did this when I was younger; I was the odd ball who loved that type of stuff and hated hamburgers, frys and such. As a result I did not eat much and asked my mom to make me lunch.
2 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Me too, almost always took my lunch! I did like the shredded chicken sandwiches though and would have loved them on a whole wheat bun! Thanks for responding!!
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jan 07
Our local schools are now serving healthier foods. My sister-in-law works in one of the elementary schools and she is amazed at the types of food they now serve. Gone are the days of goulash and hotdogs.
2 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Yay! Nice to hear of proof that the changes are being made. I have a dim view of it overall, however, things do have to start somewhere! Thanks much for responding!!
1 person likes this
@crosa125 (1484)
28 Jan 07
some people they don't know what to feed their kids,i was in one of my neighbour's house and she made her kid a sandwich,guess what was it? saladcream sandwich?! then at least they can get a good food once a day!
2 people like this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Yes, once a day would be at least a contribution to their well being however home food like what you describe would probably undo any good done while at school! Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Feb 07
I definately think that healthy foods in school is a good idea. it's allready been proven that kids work better after a healthy breakfast and everyone physically and mentally feels better after a healthy lunch. that's my oppinnion anyway.
2 people like this
• Philippines
28 Jan 07
I think every school canteen should do it because it's a great idea. They should teach the kids the value of the food they eat so that they will grow healthier in the future, it also combats obesity because vegetables are high in fiber.
• United States
28 Jan 07
This is a very good idea. I am sure that the children are not too keen of this idea. It is better for their health overall, however, I don't know how much good it'll do with the way that parents just give into their children's cry for fast food these days.
2 people like this
@MakDomMom (1475)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I think healthier foods in the schools is a great idea. There is no reason that foods need to be cooked in all that oil all the time. It also reinforces and encourgaes kids to eat things that are good for them or to try them if they don't already eat them.
@NucknFutz (180)
• United States
28 Jan 07
This is an excellent option. I even speak for the teens enrolled in the very schools like she is discussing. I think that in addition to better foods, (and perhaps better-TASTING) there should be MUCH mroe mandatory physical activity. Im a physical person, and I would enjoy having some time to just let loose and have some kind of atheletic event. Not necessarily to compete or to win, but to just wake up. I find that going to work out and coming back to a homework assignment helps greatly!
• United States
28 Jan 07
I agree with you nuckn, I think that we need to place mandatory physical education back into schools. Increasing the activity and having healthier foods are two great steps in reversing the problem of obesity.
1 person likes this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
29 Jan 07
Big pluses for both of you. So good to hear that a teen has opined about the phys ed need. Explained very well. And I agree with you both for the return of phys ed in all our school! Thanks for both you responding to this discussion.
• Malta
4 Feb 07
We insist on healthy foods in the local school cafeterias. The only problem with this is that the students end up buying the junk food BEFORE or AFTER they leave the school from the nearby local shops. As a result the sales in the school cafeterias are lowered and the local junk shops benefits. Not much point in coming up with healthy eating policies when junk food is so readily available elsewere!
1 person likes this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
4 Feb 07
You make a point. Seems like there needs to be coopertion from the community as a whole.
• United States
4 Feb 07
i think its a great idea. in fact, when my daughters get old enough, if our schools arent serving healthier foods, then ill be making their lunches. children dont need to be able to make that decision because they wont make the right one and we know that they would rather have chips and a candy bar then something healthy that also tastes good (for those of you who think that they should have the choice). some kids parents dont care enough to feed them good healthy food as home, so atleast they will get some good nutrition at school.
1 person likes this
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
4 Feb 07
Thank so much for responding. I like the way you have expressed the ideas here in such a neat package. Bet you are a great Mom!