Healthier lunches get mixed reviews


Times Leader Staff Writer

FOR THE first time in 15 years, school lunches across the country are being overhauled by First Lady Michelle Obama. While many applaud her for her efforts, many parents and kids are not as thrilled.

Childhood obesity and the threat of diabetes is at an all-time high. Action had to be taken to battle this epidemic.

The healthier meals served in schools is just one of many components of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign that President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010.

Some parts of the meal plan include lower calories, less sodium and fats and regulated portion sizes.

The new guidelines state that students in grades kindergarten to fifth grade are limited to 650 calories, sixth to eighth grade it’s 700 calories and ninth to 12th grade it’s 850 calories.

The new menu consist of students getting a balanced meal every day with a serving of vegetables, grains, fruits and proteins and dairy.

With less calories at lunch and different portion sizes, many students are still hungry, even after finishing his or her entire tray.

“We are not getting that much food,” states a fifth grade student, who has saved something, like a granola bar from breakfast, for later. “I’m still hungry during lunch.”

This student is not the only one feeling the hunger pains, as parents have approached school boards about students coming home, still starving.

In September’s school board meeting for Switzerland of Ohio, several different parents stood before the board about the lack of portions and that kids were not eating because he or she did not like it.

“I like some of the lunches, but there are a lot I don’t like,” says the fifth grade student. “We can have more food.”

One group of students and teachers have even made a YouTube video about their distaste for the new school lunches, venting their frustrations about the menu revamp.

The United States Department of Agriculture have made arrangements to keep this new meal plan in place for the next five years.

Van Dyne can be reached at