To Eat, or Not to Eat – School Lunches Nutritional or Unhealthy? Reply

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Tyler Serrano

Lunch is a significant meal and is served to middle school students daily. Food boosts our metabolism and gives us energy for the rest of the day. But it’s probably one of the biggest frustrations at Stacey Middle School.

While students are advised to eat healthy, they can’t always do that with the meal choices that are supplied in our school’s cafeteria.

No doubt, schools face a daunting challenge to produce healthy, appealing meals on limited budgets. On average, approximately 374 to 400 students buy the cafeteria lunch every day.

Still, nutrition is an essential factor in our daily lives; it guides our bodies and brains to grow and develop properly, the way they are supposed to.

Our school claims that they try to make the school lunches healthy. I don’t think that chocolate milk in bags and iceberg lettuce is putting in much effort.

Chocolate milk is higher in sugar and calories than unflavored milk and has the same amount of sugar in a candy bar. One cup of typical low-fat chocolate milk contains about 160 calories and 25 grams of sugar, and those sugars add up when consumed daily. Also, salads can become unhealthy because most students add ranch dressing; a serving of 2 tablespoons of ranch can increase your calorie intake by almost 150 calories.

These “healthy” alternatives are not healthy.

Supplying water bottles, even the small ones, instead of chocolate milk can make a huge difference in nutrition with the meals. Also, instead of preserving food and letting it get stale, the food should be freshly made before being served. The quality and taste of the meal would be fresher and better flavored.

In addition to that, students have been dumping food in the trash for as long as they’ve been eating. Even if the food is eaten, students, and often even teachers, complain about the lunch choices almost every day. Have you ever heard, “These cookies taste stale…?” or just see a student staring blankly at their plate?

Eighth grader Harlow Shepherd says, “I think some of the lunches are good; some need to be improved… the school needs to change some of the meals because they aren’t very appetizing.”

According to the cafeteria servers, the most popular meal served, based on the students, are the hot dogs. The least favored meal are the chicken nuggets; they are often dry or extremely soggy and not flavorful.

Eighth-grader Samantha Henderson says, “I don’t like the hamburgers or the pizza. The cheese tastes disgusting.”

Most schools, in general, are struggling to make the meals healthy without making them  too pricey. The schools claim that the food is healthy, but that isn’t always true. The food and unhealthy drinks can lead to obesity, especially considering that some students give away their meals to others.

Overall, meals should be made fresh, and the schools should supply some water to the students. What the schools tell us are “healthy” is up for debate.

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