You Are What You Eat

Something I distinctly remember from my time at my public high school in North Carolina was being very hungry for the second half of the day. This was because school lunches served small portions of distasteful food. The picture above is one my brother sent me of his lunch the other day. He spends seven hours at school and three hours on the bus, and during these ten hours, this is the only food he gets.

This is one of the principle differences I noticed when I switched from the French school system to the American school system. In France, we had a balanced meal with protein, vegetables, fruit, a dairy product, and bread and all in reasonable portions for growing teenagers.

Nutrition is critical to physical well-being, and schools are setting a poor example of a balanced diet. If we invest into providing decent lunches to public school students, we are sure to improve their health and likely their ability to learn effectively.

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3 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed this post because I think a lot of us forget how poorly nutrition is handled in the public school system after being out of it for a few years even. I think that you make a good point in saying that improving nutrition in school meals can have an impact on kids’ abilities to learn, and that this is a relatively easy fix for improving kids’ focus and energy at school so that they can perform at their maximum potential. Overall great job.

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  2. I think this is an important topic as well, but I think there are so many factors surrounding it that maybe a longer post would do better to delve into both sides of the problem. If it was an easy fix I think it would be changed immediately, but I have a feeling creating nutritional school meals could be increasingly expensive or difficult to maintain. I’d love to know more about why it is so bad and how it could be fixed and the implications of the improvement.

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  3. It’s a logical thing to point out that something which is an easy fix would, in theory, be made better immediately. But I think poor quality of school meals, like many other things, is simply accepted and change isn’t seen because people don’t advocate for it. Everyone knows that public schools serve awful lunches, but I rarely hear any effort being made to change it. Students are in school 180 days. If the amount of money spent on meals doubled from $2 a day (which is the cost of meals at my old public school) to $4 a day, we should be able to provide much better meals and it would only cost an extra $360 a year per student which is a small number compared to the over $10,000 spent per student per year on average.

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