We’ve all been told at one point in our lives to eat healthier. I myself have been told this more times than I can count. Recently there’s been a focus on providing more healthy food options for school-age children, supplementing standard fare menu items such as greasy pizza and mystery meat with more fresh fruits and vegetables. Like every other new idea it has its supporters and detractors, in this case arguing things such as the benefits of nutrition, kids' willingness to eat those healthy foods, and freedom of choice. Clear benefits accompany offering more healthy food options in schools, and schools should provide them.
Recent studies have shown offering more healthy foods in schools ...view middle of the document...
Joseph Hodges is a special education teacher. He’s taught elementary school students of all grades for over 23 years. Joseph has a unique perspective; not only is he a teacher, he’s also taught at schools that did and did not offer more healthy foods as an option for students. “Joseph, have you noticed a difference when children were given more healthy food options at school?”
I’ve noticed that students who were given more prepackaged foods that were not actually cooked, but rather warmed would probably take one or two bites and they would just throw those away. Uh what I’ve noticed with students that were given choices at schools that have salad bars, I’ve worked at both. Uh they do make healthy choices. I think they like having the variety, they’ll choose fresh fruits and vegetables. They’ll go ahead and eat those. They’ll uh, eat the uh, roasted chicken. They’ll just uh eat it overall and I think that they do enjoy having the choices and selecting and uh, I think it teaches them the value of uh, making better food choices and I do hear them mention that they would rather eat healthier given a chance.
Kathleen Peters has been an elementary school proctor for over ten years her job is to monitor the children during lunch and recess. “So, Kathy, you spend your time observing the children out of class? Tell me your observations when it comes to the kids that are eating more healthy foods.”
I’ve noticed that the kids who have fewer things in their lunch that are more healthy tend to finish their lunches and also during recess they play more actively with each other and they get their energy out of their systems during the recess.
When it comes to offering more healthy food options in schools there are two primary counterarguments. The first is one of the core principles of our society, our freedom of choice that students and parents should have the freedom to choose what they want to eat at school. This issue received widespread attention a few years ago when former Governor of Alaska and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin visited a school in Pennsylvania. While there, she gave a speech regarding the Pennsylvania State Board of Education’s...