Wednesday, October 7, 2009

School Breakfast

Many, many children in my district qualify for free or reduced lunches and free breakfast. This year, since it takes a village, I am helping out with breakfast supervision some mornings, and I am appalled. All of the "food" is prepackaged and most of it gets thrown in the garbage. Maybe the kids have more sense than those who are supposedly trying to nourish them. Here are two of my observations. See if you can detect why obesity and malnourishment might be a problem in our country.

One day the children were given a package of two Pop-Tarts. Here is what it said on the label:
420 calories
22%of daily fat
14 gr fat
32 gr sugar
4.5 gr saturated fat

Today they had a packaged muffin:
310 calories
11 gr fat
2 gr saturated fat
65 mg cholesterol
310 mg sodium
48 gr carbohydrates
25 gr sugar

This is the garbage we are feeding them to help them learn? They shouldn't be fed any saturated fat. A breakfast of sugar and fat and more calories than I eat for breakfast going into little children? It's sickening to me. I'm hoping to find out where this food comes from. If these children are getting free "food" because they are below the poverty level - doesn't it defeat the point of charity when it's doing more harm than good? There is no kitchen in our buildings like the old days when lunch ladies actually spent mornings cooking lunch. But what's wrong with some toast, or an apple or cereal with milk? Any thoughts?


74WIXYgrad said...

I'm with you, Diane. Maybe the district should contract this out to someone who could deliver a warm breakfast without the empty calories.

Daniel Bell said...

There's no lunch ladies?! No cafeteria with hot lunches? What the hell? Where does our money go? And what corporate sponsor gets charity props and tax credits/deductions for "donating" crap to poor kids?

Ms Hen said...

Totally disgusting..but I knew this already. I pack my son his lunch... even if not a perfect lunch; better than what they serve..

JackiesMagic said...

We've been packing lunches for a couple of years now. And believe me.. making & packing lunch can be a chore, but, my daughter really gets hungry for food.. and the schtuff they serve at school.. leaves a lot to be desired.

I'm totally confused about the school lunch/nutrition program. It doesn't make sense. BUT GUESS WHAT? For every 1 kid that takes lunch from home, I'll bet 40 don't. They eat what is served. It's the parents fault. That's my thinking. Collectively, we just don't care enough.

Sandy's Notes said...

Years ago, when a woman was over weight, it was a sign of wealth. People were so poor they couldn't afford to eat and when they could afford it, they ate like queens and kings. Now being overweight is a sign of poverty and unhappiness. When you look at America as a whole unit, do you think we're happy?

When I was running the crisis organization, I would feel so sorry for the obese people that came into the food bank. Such a vicous circle they lived in. We didn't give them garbage food, or what I call "non-food" though, we gave them food that was as good as I could get it. You'd be surprised how many people cooked for themselves when they were encouraged to do so.

John Ettorre said...

Good for you for focusing attention on this, Diane. It's become so bad throughout the culture that even well-informed people can grow numb to the problem. It's a huge systemic problem. A recent documentary on this subject opened my eyes to how we've created an entire processed food industry built on federal subsidies that have created a situation in which heavily processed junk food is cheaper than nutritious natural foods. We need to change all this, and fast. And of course it'll only happen one person at a time, by focusing on what we're feeding ourselves and our families.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

This is horrible. If they have to do "easy" and convenient food, wouldn't a granola bar and yogurt be better?

Moohaa said...

My best friend is up in arms because her kids are offered yogurt and bagels with cream cheese (that the young ones have to spread on themselves) for free breakfast. That's it. No protein, nothing exceptionally good for them. Come on! A banana would be better!

Kathiesbirds said...

I think that you are right! That yogurt and fruit would be far better than poptarts and bleached flour muffins! How about a little old fashioned oatmeal cooked up with raisin and walnuts for the kids to add in! However, no child can think or concentrate on an empty stomach. I suppose Something is better than Nothing, but not much!