Illustration by Mytam Le

Opinion: School lunches need to be healthier

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Thousands of students depend on their school for a healthy, nutritious lunch every day. However, throughout the years, the district has continued to fail in meeting students’ necessary nutritious and caloric input.

One major concern for students is the lacking caloric content of the lunches offered at school. The chicken salad, a typical meal at school, floats around 200 calories per serving, which is a devastatingly low calorie count for the developing bodies of high school students. This will cause students to feel tired, out of focus, and moody during the day. The group most affected by this is student athletes that attend games or practice after school and cannot perform to their full potential due to the lacking caloric content in school lunches.

The quality of the meals served at school, which lean on the unhealthy side, is also alarming. The menu contains burgers, or dressings, or other meals that contain with high amounts of fat and that should not be served in an environment where healthy diets are promoted. It is extremely ironic and hypocritical that these unhealthy meals are being served by the school when they slap food pyramid posters all over campus. Students should not have to choose between going hungry or eating something that actively disrupts their diet,  and can lead to medical conditions like obesity or high blood pressure. In an increasingly health- conscious generation, unhealthy school lunches with no healthy alternatives have no place in school.

When in-person school was still a thing, the school started rolling out a new menu of “multicultural” meals that students can get as an alternative to normal school lunches. However, these meals are not much more than doctored- up versions of existing meals. Meals like nachos with sour cream have already been done before in the cafeteria, but just without the sour cream. To combat the situation the school is facing, the school needs to approach the problem with more creative and effective solutions. One of the easiest things the school can do to start off is changing food caterers. Giving students a breath of fresh air from the menu they have had for years will regain the trust of the student body.

The youth today are adapting to become healthier and more conscious of their health. The school must keep up with that trend to truly provide a healthy and capable meal everyday for this generation of students.

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