February 5th, 2012
Menus in most schools lunch and breakfast programs have a high percentage in fat and cholesterol, and not enough nutritional value. Unless something is done to encourage healthier eating habits in today’s children, we will see a larger number of children facing obesity and other severe health problems. Some issues we may face when attempting to implement healthier menus will surface and one of the issues could be the cost of eating healthy.
The U.S. Dietary guidelines recommend eating more potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin D, and calcium. Potassium, the most expensive of the four listed nutrients, could add up to an additional $380 to the average person’s food cost per year. Another challenge we are faced with is the fact that some children have become so used to eating unhealthy that they do not wish to change their eating habits. These children will prove to be a little more challenging than the other children and could possible take additional time to accept the changes in the schools new healthy breakfast and lunch menus.
There are speculations on certain children’s religions not allowing them to eat certain things on certain days, or children with health conditions that prevent them from eating certain things that could be on the new healthy menu. Rest assured that with cooperation from the staff and parents this will be only a minor challenge but a challenge none the less. With simple coordination from the parents, the staff can provide these children with a healthy alternative to whatever the menu has in store.
If the menus are not changed in the near future, our children can be faced with numerous health issues consisting of: Diabetes, hypertension, and multiple other chronic diseases. The health of these children should be of top concern for all staff and family. The benefits of this program are to insure a healthier menu so that the children can eat healthier. With eating healthy comes great benefits, being healthy is the main benefit of course followed by a reduced rate of becoming obese and lessening the chances of heart problems.
With a menu of high-fat foods such as French-fries, cheeseburgers, mac and cheese, and pizzas the biggest concern is the lack of vegetables. A daily salad bar could prove to be an enormous asset to any school cafeteria. A salad bar could provide a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods. Instead of serving pudding or jello, we could change that to serving a frozen low-fat yogurt. Find an alternative to cooking foods without the use of fattening oils and stop utilizing a deep fryer to cook. Another great benefit to promoting healthier eating