Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What's going on here?

Have you ever wondered what your child is eating at school? I rarely see parents eating lunch at school with their kids, so you may be surprised to learn that your kid isn’t eating the healthy meal you may think. One resource you should know about is www.nutri-cafe.com. This site gives the nutritional values of foods served by participating school districts, including Dallas'. However, the sugars are not included in these facts. Not to worry, there is a great link to see the amount of sugar cubes it takes to make your favorite drinks – it’s www.sugarstacks.com. These are great tools for showing your kids the nutrition facts of their lunch.

In Dallas during the 2009-2010 school year, they gave us a couple of entrees to choose from. To help complete the lunch, we picked up to two sides, and milk (flavored or plain). Juice is also an option, but you are not allowed to have a side with the juice unless it’s pudding! How bizarre?!? Here’s something else that is bizarre… All the kids who went through the lunch line were not required to buy the supposedly “healthy” lunch entrees. There was nothing preventing them from picking the junk food that is served alongside the main fare. What was uncommon was to see someone with a salad! There are four things you can buy for additional money: water, cookies, chips, and ice cream. You may only purchase one of the latter three. In a nearby school district I went to, you could purchase any combination of sweets without restriction. And you should see what some parents actually give their kids for lunch! I know one kid who gets a bag of chips, a juice box, and a cheese and cracker pack.

This is not how it’s always going to be though. Dallas ISD is completing a transformation this year that began in 2001. They have decided to change the menu to something healthier in the fall of 2010! Gone are the hamburgers, nachos, and fries. Bring in the beans, the salads, and rice. Elementary schools will see the biggest changes with high schools being effected the least.

Children are not the only ones who have problems with choices. Parents have neglected to teach their children how to take their kids to school in an Earth friendly way. Every day I see TONS of cars. While my parents do take me to school by car sometimes, it’s not uncommon for us to walk, either. What I don’t see is any bike riding! Are you listening dad? I want bike riding! If a child’s school is like three or four miles away, then I would understand taking a vehicle, but if you live only a mile away, you really shouldn’t be taking a vehicle unless you are carpooling or if you are handicapped.

Speaking of walking and biking, where do I get my physical education? It’s P.E. and recess. Recess is really something I should be excited about... if it happens at all. One six week period, I didn’t have physical education at all! That really made me mad. My health education is part of P.E. for me. To tell you the truth, most of my health education comes from home.

School is big opportunity to learn not only what we should do, but what we shouldn’t do as well. I look forward to going to middle school where I can learn about the environment and how to take care of it. -Will


  1. Wow, Will! I don't know how I missed it in July, but I just read your posting in "What Pigs" today. The one about lousy lunches at school. Well done! Good to see a young fellow participating in the family quest for good health. Faats

  2. HI WIll, Mrs. Friedel here! I just joined Urban Acres and got to "What Pigs" while perusing their website. I am very excited about all your family is doing to make the earth a better place, and I really enjoyed your piece here! You always were a terrific writer! Drop by and see me some time. I'm downstairs now in room #112. Oh, btw, I ride my bike to school now!