It is so true in this country right now; our children are fat and getting fatter. Many people blame this on the food that is served in the school systems. This is not entirely true, I know that when I was a child we played outside all day when not in school, then we played outside after school. I believe that activity plays a large role in controlling weight in children. I know that people argue, things have changed since you were a child. It’s not safe for children to be out running around the neighborhood. I can see their point, but neither is it a good idea to sit a child in front of the tv to play video games. I have worked in school food service for over 25 years now and I have watched the children that come through the lunch lines every day, over the years I have watched them grow heavier. Most of my experience has been in the elementary school but I have also worked in the middle schools and high schools. Over the years our school system has changed their menus to be able to serve children healthy meals. We now serve wheat breads, fresh fruits, variety of vegetables, and salads every day.
I must argue that most of the poor nutrition comes from home. Don’t get me wrong, there are children that eat healthy and are not overweight and I am sure that this also comes from the home. A child must be taught from birth how to eat nutritiously, we can try to teach it in our schools, and I am sure that will help but they must have the foundation from the parents. They need to learn from their parents to be active. I know that many students participate in sports, and this is a wonderful thing.
This year our school system has started to introduce different vegetables to the children. We offer bok choy, chard, squash, and several types of greens. At first the children were not amused; they wanted the green beans and corn. We still serve those but not as often now as we are trying to give the children new experiences and new tastes. Little by little I see them trying the different veggies and liking them. We hope to help children control their weight, but we need to work in a partnership with parents in order to be successful!