Congress Saves Money While Kids Forced To Eat Junk

Kids School Lunches

If Congress has it's way your kids will be eating more Pizza and junk food in school. Did you know tomato sauce is a vegetable (according to Congress) so that makes pizza healthy now? Crazy.

With all of the focus on money these days it’s no wonder certain important issues are getting pushed to the wayside. Take for example the very health of your children and the foods they eat in school. Believe it or not, our government is taking steps to not better your child’s health but rather save money and in turn worsen their health.

A great article was recently written by Rosie de Queljoe, a student of journalism at the University of Arizona, for their newspaper The Arizona Daily Wildcat. The article was referencing all of the craziness that’s occurring in our kids’ schools regarding school lunches. Rosie talked about how politics are playing a much bigger role in your kids school lunches than you probably considered before and that saving money is becoming more important than good nutritious fruits and vegetables on your kids’ plates.

Rosie went on to say:

“Recently, Congress stated that tomato paste, the basis of any good pizza, qualifies as a serving of your daily vegetables. Apparently, there is no need to eat your broccoli and carrots anymore, pizza will do just fine. Congress is taking the easy way out in finding healthy school meals that satisfy the regulation on the amount of vegetables served at lunch, while also saving the nation a few bucks.”

Did you ever think that Congress (Yes, the GOVERNMENT) would state that tomato paste qualifies as a serving of daily vegetables?  Whatever happened to the push for better nutrition and making sure school lunches are healthy? Now all of a sudden a pizza is healthy because THE GOVERNMENT says so??

I think in an effort to save the economy and keep major corporations from falling under, politics and government are getting too much involved in the health of your child by trying to save a buck. Our kids cannot continue to eat hamburgers, pizza and chicken nuggets for lunches and expect to lead healthy lives. That’s why I think government needs to step out of way and let local school officials and parents dictate what our kids are being fed in schools.

Now here’s the kicker. In this country, money can buy a lot of things and it can buy influence as well. Rosie brought up a disturbing point that some time after the U.S. Department of Agriculture started to make changes to school lunch guidelines in early January of this year, we started to see lobbyists fight AGAINST providing good nutrition for your kids!

“The pizza-loving lobbyists were left enraged and, according to The New York Times, spent $5.6 million lobbying against these new regulations.”

It’s hard to fathom any group of people spending millions of dollars to fight against nutritional guidelines that can improve the health of our young citizens. But in this country, that’s certainly OK.

The bottom line is we need to be more vocal on the local level about the types of foods that our kids are provided in schools. If you do not know what the cafeteria is giving your kids than ask your kids to tell you!  If that doesn’t work, contact the principal of the school and start asking questions today. It’s the only way we can start to make changes to our kid’s health as lobbyists and politicians certainly don’t care at all….unless it means more money in their pockets.

Also, at least for my children, some school provides a monthly school lunch calendar where you can see what’s for lunch for kids. If you continue to see junk like pizza, burgers and tacos and you don’t see alternatives like salads, fruits and healthy sandwiches, then it’s your job to speak up and demand change.

I think this final view from Rosie is very accurate:

“Congress’s attempt to be frugal in these hard times will result in ballooning childhood obesity that will blow up in their faces.”

Childhood obesity is running rampant and if we cannot affect change by lobbying with millions of dollars (which most can’t) then we need to institute change by holding our schools accountable on the local level. And one other thing….we can all hold our politicians accountable in 2012 as well so get ready to vote!


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