What food would you most like to banish from school cafeterias?
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I would rather have more education on healthy choices than a ban on anything. The problem I have with bans is it becomes easier to ban than to think. Were I am a group of parents got together an got laws passed making the schools responsible alergic reaction. Schools solution, ban. All our school ban all nuts including peanut butter. Easier than actually dealing with it. Now their is a class at our school were gluten is banned. Eg no bread products...
My kids have learned from a young age what is healthy, how to read a label and so forth. They pey have an oppurtunity for hot lunch 8 timrs a month. They can pick any 4. The rest of the time they make their own. They know to include a protien, carb and veggies or fruit.
My knee jerk reaction to the question of what food to banish from school cafeterias is peanut butter. My son is deathly allergic to it, along with several other foods.
When I stop and take a moment to think, my answer is far different. Except for very young children in daycare or preschool (possibly Kindergarten as well) who have snacks during the school day and have a great deal of physical contact with each other, I don't believe that food bans are a benefit. Unless a child who is vulnerable to airborne protein particles is present, I would not ban any food from the typical school.
Instead I strongly believe that all food should be confined to the cafeteria, and that students should wash their hands upon leaving. Food should not be in classrooms, period. Not as treats, not as snacks, not as rewards, not as manipulatives, not for any reason. There are far too many dangers. Stringing macaroni on yarn endangers the child with celiac disease. Cheerios just introduced a peanut butter flavored cereal identical to the original, which could be potentially deadly if used for counting. The list goes on.
Don't ban foods, just keep it in the cafeteria.
I think the majority of foods that are feed to kids need to be banished. My son takes his lunch because almost everything they serve looks like slop.
Not so much as banish, but create healthier and alternative options of what they are currently serving. Bread products using whole grains, for example. I would like to see a variety as well. Most every option of everyday of the week is wheat and dairy based. It is VERY rare my kiddo gets to eat school lunch. It's only on the rare occasion that, say, chili comes around that he can.
I agree with the poster "Homa" below. I think that we can spend time focusing on what we are serving kids at school and what we shouldn't.. but the problem is so much deeper than that. We really need to focus on how we can make everyones food better for us and the environment.. then the rest would be a no-brainer.
Not sure I'm a fan of the question's phrasing, but to be honest I'd like to see the meat and milk lobbies out of the decision making when it comes to school food. It is cruel and sad. I've even heard that milk allergic children have to be served milk in some schools just so they can toss it or else the lunch doesn't count in the numbers game. Even ignoring the cruelty aspect, the meat served in schools is unsafe, case in point: http://grist.org/food/meat-wagon-dont-have-a-downer-cow-man/ From the allergy perspective, however, I think I read that a huge percentage of food allergy related deaths are peanut and tree nut related, so eliminating those would save the lives of children.
i think they should stop serving soda and french fries , not healthy for kids to get into these eating habits.
Why does ANYTHING need to be "banished" from school? Are you really that paranoid to let your kids experience and/or learn something new that you need to have it forcefully removed?
soda should be banned from schools. i know its not in the cafeteria but they're in the machines in the schools. there is no nutritional value and part of the problem kids are obese nowadays.
I would ban several things from school cafeterias. The first would be green beans. I wouldn't ban them for health reasons, I just think serving canned green beans to elementary school children is a waste; they NEVER eat them. The last time an elementary school kid ate a green bean in the school cafeteria was sometime in 1955- unfortunately all records of the event have been lost due to a sloppy joe explosion in the suspect school. Since that time nearly 70 tons of canned green beans have been served to and thrown away by elementary school kids. Look at any photo of any elementary school cafeteria- the ubiquitous green beans can always be seen- untouched- on every diner's tray. I say "ENOUGH!" Send those green beans to starving nations, to people who would benefit from them; keep those green beans out of our landfills!
I would also ban all pizza from school cafeterias- again because school pizza sucks. The sauce is little more than ketchup, the cheese is rarely completely melted and the "crust" is usually a half cooked, biscuit like consistency. I can make better pizza with a piece of toast and some cheese whiz.
And you wonder why my kids brown bag it. Don't rely on your child's school to teach nutrition. School cafeterias have a long standing tradition of serving overly starchy, half cooked CRAP. My 7 year old's typical lunch: Some sort of sandwich (turkey, roast beef, peanut butter etc), a yogurt, a fruit, milk, popcorn and an occasional "treat."
We also allow NO TV or video games during the school week. Playing outside is an encouraged option!
Leave the schools to teaching your kids how to read and do math- oops, we taught her that stuff too....
I say meatloaf. I have never had good meatloaf from a school cafeteria. It always looks like slime. Meatloaf day always seems to be the day everyone brings their lunch from home.
I think most of the obesity problems come from lack of activity. When I was in school (way back in the stone age) we would have a "fun" food on Friday, like pizza or a hamburger. We had very few obese children when I was in school. Don't get me wrong, I think a healthy diet is very important, but never letting a child have a little bag of chips (like Fritos or SunChips when they serve chili) is going to make the kids go nuts for chips when they are old enough to go out and buy their own food. Just use common sense and moderation.
Well, echoing Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, how about flavored milk?!? I am pretty sure soda pop is gone at this point, but what in the world are we doing with fluorescent pink colored milk? Not to mention chocolate milk. It's dessert. Let's not sugar up our kids then send them back to class for focus and learning, eh? Hear, hear!
Lima Beans and over-cooked Broccoli.
As a teacher, I have observed first hand that the kids are constantly throwing away lima beans and soggy broccoli, which they will never eat. It's a terrible waste of food and dollars to see all of those vegetables in the trash can. I say serve students kid friendly vegetables like raw broccoli, carrots and celery with ranch dressing. The kids would eat that.
Everything in moderation... Right?! Rather than banish I think we as parents need to teach our children to make healthier choices and encourage schools to have healthier options for our children. Let's face it, our kids are going to be tempted with "junk food choices" their entire lives, in and out of school. Banishing particular foods from schools doesn't prepare them for when they are exposed to those foods through other venues.
Althought we have many food allergies, I would have to say the starches, which pretty much consumes most of the school lunches at our schools. I was horrified when I went to have lunch with my daughter and they served 1 main dish with a side of rice, corn or mashed potatoes. It's sad to see that there is very little protein, which is what is most important to keep their brains active and alert in school.
As far as the allergic items, I pack lunch for both of my children and it is something that is always a concern but we have taken (what I feel) are enough precautions with the school to protect my son. Although it is not as safe for some children with food allergies, I feel our situation does not merit removing any particular food items from the cafeteria. It would be nice if schools considered other allergy-friendly items, especially considering that most of them are so much healthier than the culprits.
as the mother of a child w/ life-threatening anaphylaxis allergy to them, i am going to have to say peanuts. unfortunately, they are rapidly becoming a major contender for top cause of death of children in schools. dogs, cigarettes and swiss army knives are all things that are strictly banned form most schools these days and i highly doubt any of those things have ever killed as many children in schools as peanuts now have. nobody can predict when a moderate allergy might turn into one w/ a life-threatening reaction. nobody can predict when a child w/ no food allergy history might suddenly have an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts. i just don't think they are worth the risk to even allow in schools anymore.
as a mom of 5 children that i don't want to be obese or have diabetes, i have to say next on my list is sodas and sweet drinks. my oldest boys are in 6th grade and their middle school has a slurpee machine in the cafeteria. i have promised each boy a $20 bill if they go the entire school year without ever giving in to the temptation and trying one. they've never had soda, never had a slurpee, never had commercially prepared, sugar laden fruit juices. i think a place of education is the last place that should be promoting diabesity.
I saw a girl walking to class with her state provided "breakfast" the other day. It was a corn dog and chocolate milk. Not exactly what I'd choose for a healthy (or even semi-healthy) meal. I don't think any kid ever needs to eat one again for the rest of eternity.
Milk was actually the food that caused the most problems for my son at school. I don't think we need to banish it, but I'd love to see non-dairy options for those that are allergic to milk. Specifically, I'd like to see hemp milk and coconut milk as choices!
Get rid of sodas and sugar-heavy drinks. You think something like a juice is good for you but many are LOADED with sugar.
All around healthier options would be great, BUT there are some things that absolutely do not belong in a school. Thankfully most schools have removed these things, but not all of them.
3. Potato Chips
PIZZA. My kids are not even old enough for school yet but got served Pizza once a week at the daycare they were at (we have switched and the menu is much healthier).
Soda pop. There is absolutely no nutritional value in it and sugar crashes mid-afternoon are not good for growing and learning minds...
I agree with Lexie - healthier options of stuff kids like, for example pizza with low fat cheese, veggies and whole wheat crust. Also, kids love treats and there's got to be a better way of giving kids a healthy alternative to junk. Our school gives the kids apples, and they inevitably end up in the trash. Instead, they could make baked apples. Same with pudding, it can be made wholesome by using stevia instead of sugar and maybe using coconut milk instead of cow's milk for kids who have to avoid dairy.
My children have never bought school lunch a day in their lives. My oldest is in 4th grade and there are many reasons why, nutrition being number 1. The foods are filled with sodium and fat. Serving chicken nuggets on a Tuesday and then popcorn chicken on a Friday and then a chicken patty the following Monday, is NOT my idea of a healthy lunch. Have you seen the junk in these frozen chicken nuggets? I would love to see the chicken nuggets gone.
Like Beth states, adding items in would be wonderful. I appreciate that our schools serve fruit and vegetables at lunch time however have a salad area so children can pick green peppers, tomatoes etc to add to their lunches. We are suppose to be teaching our children healthy eating habits, but when they eat lunch 5x a week at school, parents like myself have no choice but to pack a lunch they know is nutritious.
To me, it's not so much about banishing items, but adding items in. You can have the cheese pizza, but you need to bring in more of an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables. I think sodium content also needs to be evaluated as a lot of the "empty" foods being servevd (like gravy) have no nutritional value and have a tremdnous amount of sodium.
PB & J! I would love if elementary school cafeterias would stop serving PB & J. I can't tell you how many kids in elementary school come out of school wearing part of their lunch on their faces and clothing. Not comforting, when you have a child with a life threatening allergy to peanuts. So I vote PB & J--hands-down!