I did a post a couple weeks ago about how we feed our kids homemade lunches. You can read it here. I may get a little “ranty” today, but isn’t that what Friday’s are for? In that, I made just casual reference to the USDA’s new guidelines for schools. What I didn’t realilize until this week was that these guidelines use a one-size-fits-all approach and reduces calories to try and limit the obesity epidemic in children. So 750 to 850 calories at the high school level (or less in some cases. The old rules were 825 calories minimum) may be ok for those who don’t do activities, but are underproviding for those students involved in the rigors of high school sports. I was once a human garbage disposal of calories as were my brothers who tried to eat my parents out of a house while teenagers. The caloric and nutritional needs for kids this age is enormous. If you’re going to feed them, give them the macro-nutrients they need to grow. Elementary school students are being fed between 550 to 650 calories. ABC News did an article on this today looking at how these calories are comprised :
Under the new regulations, cafeterias are required to serve twice as many fruits and vegetables while limiting proteins and carbohydrates. For an average high school student, that means two baked fish nuggets, a cup of vegetables, half a cup of mashed potatoes, one whole grain roll and 8 ounces of fat free milk is the fuel that served to get them through their last four hours of classes.
As per my original observation, limiting proteins and fat is not good for growing kids as it does not provide any food satiation. Fat Head did a couple of articles this week hitting on this very subject as well (here and here), noting students protesting this new way of eating and bringing in their own lunches since they were still hungry, or felt hungry in the afternoon (duh, no protein or fat will do that to you).
So what’s USDA’s solution to fix the problem? Snacks! Good in concept, but if you’ve been to any school or child care provider, their idea of a healthy snack is very different than mine. No, it’s not sausage and cheese, nor is it beef jerky or full fat greek yogurt with fruit or a handful of almonds and walnuts. It’s cheesy crackers, pretzels or maybe some good old-fashioned fruit in heavy syrup.
Oh, and here’s a great quote from a pediatric dietician (from this article):
Despite students’ complaints over growling stomachs, the new nutritional requirements should actually be making them feel fuller, said Kristi King, a registered pediatric dietician at Texas Children’s Hospital and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The new rules double the amount of fruit and vegetables that are served and mandate that half of all bread products are whole grain. All three of those food types are chock full of fiber, which takes longer to digest, King said.
Are you kidding me? Even if you think whole wheat actually has value in today’s diet (it doesn’t by the way. Tell me what nutrients it brings to the table that a nutrient dense, whole food diet doesn’t? Is it Vitamin B? Fiber? Well B complex is in Chicken, Fish, Nuts, Eggs. Fiber: veggies are chock full of it. We’ve been duped into eating this genetically modified crap by Kellogg, Mansanto and big business at the expense of our health and company profits. Oh, and GM wheat can cause liver failure.. have a great day), how can a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition of Dietetics say with a straight face fiber is a great hunger satiator while removing fat and protein?
Back on task with the school lunch thing. It seems like the students and even some parent groups are fighting back. I’m glad the sheeple are maybe starting to wake up to the fact that USDA has no idea what it’s doing regarding healthy eating or nutrition. I personally feel pretty duped over the “whole wheat” thing after learning more about it (:cough: WheatBelly :cough:) and experiencing first hand what reintroducing it back in after eating “clean” will do to you. We’ll continue to pack our own school lunches, eat the way that makes us feel good and hope more people think for themselves, educate themselves and don’t just follow the conventional wisdom being thrown out there by these “dieticians” and Mrs. Obama.