I never bought school lunch as a child. My mother was an obsessive baker who was never far from her kitchen. I still remember her every Sunday standing in front of her Bosch mixer, making loaves of fresh bread, batches of delicious cookies, cakes stacked three layers high, from-scratch biscuits and pots of thick gravy...my childhood was pretty tasty.
Unfortunately, my kids are not so lucky. My wife and I try to make our children’s meals nutritious, but homemade lunches just aren’t a huge priority in our busy schedules. I didn’t think much of it until I went to a special parent guest day at my youngest’s cafeteria. We were served hot dogs, fries, a giant slice of cake and a very small portion of veggies, next to a box of chocolate milk. It was hardly a balanced meal.
In many school districts around the country, the state of school lunches is even worse. Now the current White House administration under Trump is seeking to further repeal any nutrition guidelines that were in place to begin with.
Top Chefs Speaking Out
This isn’t happening without some push back. Many professional chefs and food critics have spoken out against the state of school lunches in the US.
Daniel Giusti, an incredible chef who reached fame in the culinary world for his five star Copenhagen restaurant, is one such kitchen wizard. He has started working in cafeterias around Connecticut to address meal plans for students and point out the frustrating lack of funding for kid’s nutrition (about $1.20 per student, when you include labor, materials, resources like electricity and other factors).
Jamie Oliver, the UK chef and TV presenter, filmed in LA for his show Food Revolution and got quite a bit of push back from the local schools. Though districts in the region said they met food standards, students who showed off their meals were less impressed and questioned what those requirements really meant when put into practice.
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this issue. Lack of funding, loopholes in regulatory standards and a genuine problem with poverty that affects many American families make it difficult to see an end to the plight.
But it is heartwarming to see these chefs coming together to shed light and even work towards a workable solution. Certainly our children deserve the effort and we should all be pushing for those changes.
Kevin Jones is a full time professional fitness expert. When he isn’t in the gym, he is offering practical research, fitness plans and nutritional tips to the world. Kevin regularly contributes to many fitness and health authority websites. With a passion for family, fun, and fitness, Kevin has found a way to manage and combine these three aspects in an effective and successful way. Connect with him online; LinkedIn - Twitter