School kids across the country will be happy to know that President Trump is undoing some more Obama era damage. This time, it has to do with kid’s school lunches. Michelle Obama directed the implementation of new nutritional standards for school lunches in 2010 and kids have been complaining ever since. I can’t blame them. The stuff slopped on their plates barely can be called food. You may recall the trend of posting pictures of the disgusting meals using the #thanksmichelleobama. These poor kids.
The program, called the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, cost around $4.5 billion. For that tidy sum, schools were restricted in what they could serve to children. Sugar, fat and sodium content were regulated and meals had to contain certain levels of whole grains, protein, fruits and vegetables. Sounds like a great idea on the surface, but when schools complied with the new restrictions, the products were downright nasty. Most food ended up right in the garbage.
As reported by the Washington Post, a study by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that 60% of veggies and 40% of fruit went straight from the plate to the garbage. Healthy eating is great for kids, if they actually eat it. But kids would rather go hungry than eat what they were being served. It seemed that this program was benefitting no one. Schools lost money that could be spent in other areas, kids went hungry and taxpayers paid for a failure.
Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture is easing up on the rules, effective July 1. The rules regarding sodium and whole grains are being relaxed and the best part, 1% chocolate milk is coming back. Chocolate milk is a staple for elementary school! I fondly remember snack time with the cartons of chocolate milk. So delicious and a sweet break to boring schoolwork. It certainly didn’t make me obese!
Relaxing the rules will not only allow more palatable food into schools, but will save schools a boatload of money. While there was some funding from the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, it didn’t cover it all. School districts had to come up with an additional $1.2 billion in 2015 just to cover the cost of the new meals. That money absolutely should be used elsewhere, or better yet, given back to the taxpayers!
I’m all for kids being served nutritious food, but they can’t benefit from what they won’t eat. It isn’t like the school is going to say “sit there and eat your green beans or else!” Hopefully, these changes will result in happier kids who are properly fueled up for learning and extracurricular activities. Kids are growing constantly and proper nutrition and calorie levels are important. I just hope the kids who have been exposed to Obama’s rules don’t equate healthy eating with gross food, or the program will have backfired in an even worse way.
The Trump administration has a lot going on right now and I am really glad they found time to change this instead of keeping the status quo. Schoolchildren everywhere should now start #thanksdonaldtrump!