Start The School Year Off Right
For millions of elementary, middle school, high school, and college students, the beginning of a new school year is just around the corner. This also means it is time to get back to eating school lunches. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what side of the spectrum the food lies.
On the positive side, schools that offer the nutritious and well-rounded meals to students (and faculty for that matter) provide viable options for a midday meal. Alternatively, individuals can bring lunches of their own making that also provide healthy options. This type of daily structure and routine is often key to an overall healthy lifestyle. Of course this can be challenging with children as they tend to be pickier eaters but it is all about finding something healthy that they enjoy.
The negative side to school lunches is that some schools do not provide healthy options upon it's hungry crowds. Now of course there are mandates that schools have to provide certain levels of nutritional value in their meals but there is no mandate on what the people are allowed to purchase. For instance, a child could order French fries or mozzarella sticks every single day for lunch. Don't expect the government to help out either. Just last year, Congress tried to pass off pizza as a vegetable because it has tomato sauce (see article). Really? A vegetable? Come on guys, at least claim it's a fruit, since that what a tomato technically is.
Where does the solution lie? I am a firm believer that healthy eating start at a young age and is instilled upon children from the beginning. This of course does not hold all the way through for the rest of one's life as people change and evolve but it definitely helps start one off on the right foot. Pack a lunch for your child (or for yourself!), teach them the value and benefits from eating healthy. As a young adult, you are smart enough and mature enough (hopefully) to make good decisions about what you eat. Read up on nutrition basics if you want to learn more.