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New USDA School Lunch Guidelines

I’m skeptical about these new school lunch guidelines. Sure the photo in the article shows fresh fruit and vegetables and what I can only guess is whole wheat pasta, but I wonder if that is what is really going to be served. Since I now know that pizza is considered a vegetable as are french fries, I can only imagine what will earn the name “fruit.”  Gummy bears? I would guess that sliced peaches in syrup are going to be the fresh fruit option more often than not. And one can only be slightly optimistic about the fact that milk options will be low fat or skim…but they’ll likely still be chocolate or strawberry.

It’ll be up to the kids to make the right food choice, and up to us as parents to teach them how to do so. While I know that my Ben won’t be choosing Dora yogurt, I can pretty much guarantee that if given the choice, chocolate milk and french fries would be his lunch every single day. We can do our best to help our children make good choices, but wouldn’t it be better if they didn’t have to? Wouldn’t it be better if fruit, veggies, proteins and non-flavored milk were the only choices?

These new guidelines are a step in the right direction but it’s a baby step.


  1. Phitness February 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Enforcing new foods to school lunch’s is not a bad idea, but honestly I don’t feel its going to make a significant difference in childhood obesity. To tackle obesity you have to educate. You have to educate the parents as well as the kids in school. Talk to your kids of the better choices of foods and tell them why they are better. The kids will still have an opportunity to choose foods from home, outside of home, or even the vending machines. Educating the kids will help them make the better decision on their own. Eating healthy is a lifestyle. You can’t force it upon others.

  2. Another Mom February 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    While pizza will be a “vegetable” because of the tomato sauce, and french fries because they are potatoes, there are limits on the amount of saturated fat and calories that can be served at each meal. So the french fries would most likely need to be baked to meet fat restrictions (shall we call them french “bakes?”). There will also be a limit to the number of servings of starchy vegetables served each week, so that will limit the number of potato products (as well as peas, corn and lima beans). This chart is a little cryptic but pretty helpful:
    You’re very right, Green Mom, that it’s up to us as parents to teach our kids. I always smile when my kid asks for a piece of fruit, but still have to be strong in saying “No” to a second cookie, when it’s just easier to say “Yes!”

  3. christine February 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    The state of school lunches in the USA leaves something to be desired thats for sure. x

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