You Can Lead A Horse To Water …

As reported by my kids- Michelle Obama is in our kid’s cafeteria at school. She’s there placing piece of fruit on every kid’s tray.

You buy lunch? You MUST have a piece of fruit on that tray. Which ends up where? If they don’t like it, in the garbage. Waste. But I’m sure they’ll eventually come around and started eating that yummy mixed veggie concoction.

And there are more problems.

Following new federal guidelines, school districts nationwide have retooled their menus to meet new requirements to serve more whole grains, only low-fat or nonfat milk, daily helpings of both fruits and vegetables, and fewer sugary and salty items. And for the first time, federal funds for school lunches mandate age-aligned calorie maximums. The adjustments are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 touted by Michelle Obama and use the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The changes are hard to swallow for students like Blohm. On Monday, 70% of the 830 Mukwonago High students who normally buy lunch boycotted cafeteria food to protest what they see as an unfair “one size fits all thing.”

The lunches cannot exceed 850 calories. Which is fine if you’re a slug, or perhaps a non-athletic teenage girl who weighs 100 pounds. Not so much if you’re a 180 pound (or more) football player.

By 7 a.m. Monday, senior Nick Blohm already had burned about 250 calories in the Mukwonago High School weight room.

He grabbed a bagel and a Gatorade afterward; if he eats before lifting, he gets sick.

That was followed by eight periods in the classroom, and then three hours of football practice. By the time he headed home, he had burned upward of 3,000 calories – his coach thinks the number is even higher.

Not everyone has the same dietary needs. Duh.

One thornier complaint is that the new lunches are too little for active teens now that the calorie range for high school lunches is 750 to 850. Rachelle Chinn, a freshman from Clarence, Mo., who plays softball, said school lunches are now so slight it once left her with a headache.

“The fruits and vegetables are good at first but once they wear off, I get hungry,” she said. “It’s just not enough to get me through the day.”

Her mom, Chris Chinn, now packs her protein-heavy snacks like peanut butter crackers and granola bars. Chinn, a critic of what she calls the “one size fits all” standards, said many athletes aren’t getting enough to eat. Similarly, Katie Pinke in Wishek, N.D., gave up on school lunches for her strapping freshman son Hunter and packs him meaty sandwiches.

Hunter is a 6-foot-5-inch, 210-pound football player who, based on his size and active lifestyle, needs more than 4,700 calories daily to maintain his weight. He said lunches topping out at 850 calories aren’t enough.

“I think it’s kind of ridiculous that people say how much we get to eat when there are a lot of kids that are big,” Hunter said. “When we can’t have our meat and bread, for a guy especially, it’s not fun.”

But shut up and put that piece of fruit on your tray. And suck it up when your tummy starts growling; just think about your poor overweight classmates.

Who need Michelle to put them on the right track.

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2 Comments on “You Can Lead A Horse To Water …”

  1. Steve B Says:

    So, in other words, these new health standards are putting an even greater financial burden on households that may have relied on school lunches as an inexpensive alternative to packing a lunch. Now, they’ve got to step and and provide an alternative if they want their kids fed “properly.”

    Because, I guess, Michelle Obama is a credentialed nutrionist and personal trainer, yes?

  2. Car in Says:

    This new deal is worse on so many levels.

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