School lunch, think again! By, Ning Ning Shi

Maybe school lunch is not as healthy as people thought.

Over the years, the National School Lunch Program has provided 26 million children with free or reduced meals. While many might think the government would organize and supply healthy meals for students, the outcome is different from what was expected.

According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine’s 2008 school lunch report card, most schools served unhealthy lunches that were high in cholesterol rather than serving high nutritional foods.

An article from About.com featuring Pediatric information says that most school lunches include pizza, chicken nuggets, french fries, cheese burgers, etc. These foods that can be ordered from a fast food restaurant, are given to students. These students need to be mentally and physically healthy to have a better education and fast foods aren’t doing the job.

If parents are aware of these facts they would probably be concerned since it’s already a struggle to get their kids to eat well. “ I bring lunches from home so my mom knows exactly what I’m eating,” says Sophomore, Katherine Eglezos.

Even though the cafeteria has made some improvements with different selections of side dishes, progress in meals should occur. Instead of fried foods, bake foods should be used because of less oil intake. Decrease of sodium in meals as well as an increase in vegetables can be helpful when it comes to avoiding getting certain diseases. For example, 25.8 million children and adults in American that are diagnosed with diabetes. Fish can also be a lunch choice in school since it’s beneficial from its richness in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

The United States first standing lady, Michelle Obama supports the healthy eating campaign since she, herself, has two daughters. Just like normal mothers, getting her kids to eat well is her priority. As a result, her actions persuaded most parents to look at foods digested by their kids.

For people who feel the need to make school lunches healthier, there’s now a petition to support the Healthy School Meals Act of 2010, an organization that encourages and plans healthy lunches option in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. There are now millions of students joining to support!

“I think my daughter’s school needs to serve healthier meals,” says Chen Jin Hua, a parent of a high school student. “My daughter is a proud supporter of the the Healthy School Meals Act and hopes that her school can be too.”

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