Opinion

Michelle Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Leaves Kids Hungry

JedediahVia Jedediah Bila at Breitbart News

The public school lunches mandated by Michelle Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act are making news, and not in a good way. Students have taken to social media to complain that the lunches are leaving them hungry and dissatisfied, posting photos that feature the less-than-desirable food options.

As many of you know, I love my healthy food. I live for it. But there are a few key problems with this program:

1) Once again, the government is imposing a one-size-fits-all approach. What will satisfy a sedentary teenager won’t do it for a football player. Active kids will need more calories, more healthy fats, and more energy. Calorie-cutting food options simply won’t work for everyone. Athletes aside, some kids don’t need to be on low-fat anything; they burn food up like crazy. Others may struggle with weight. Government is (once again) quick to forget that individuals have different needs depending upon lifestyle, metabolism, genetics, and more. We’re not robots; we’re people. And as a result, we are all different.

2) Cutting calories isn’t automatically synonymous with healthier food. Based on some images of the school lunches, this health food nut isn’t impressed. Half of a kiwi and a burger of some sort isn’t terribly balanced if a healthy meal is your goal. Three mini tomatoes and what appears to be a hot dog of some kind doesn’t scream healthy to me either. The program may have cut calories, but I wouldn’t call this stellar nutrition. What did taxpayers pay for again?

3) The Washington Times reports:

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a wide-ranging audit of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act nutrition standards last week, finding 48 out of 50 states faced challenges complying with Mrs. Obama’s Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

The new standards led to kids throwing out their fruits and vegetables, student boycotts, higher lunch costs, and odd food pairings such as “cheese stick with shrimp” in order for schools to comply with the complicated rules.

The National School Lunch Program saw a sharp decline in participation once the healthy standards went into effect during the 2012-2013 school year. A total of 1,086,000 students stopped buying school lunch, after participation had increased steadily for nearly a decade.

Does that sound like success to you? I didn’t think so.

4) There is a way to make healthy food appetizing, and this isn’t it. I’m not opposed to better whole-food and organic choices that don’t have processed junk in them, including veggies and fruits. However, food needs to taste good or kids simply won’t eat it at school. Also, they’re kids. If you want to offer tasty, healthier snack options, fine. But give the kids a snack! (P.S.–Low-fat milk is not a snack.)

5) I didn’t see the food options featured on WhiteHouse.gov reflected in the images posted by students. However, even the items listed on the White House’s website are concerning. On what planet does one ounce of turkey with half an ounce of low-fat cheese constitute a submarine sandwich? A chef salad with one cup romaine, .5 oz low-fat mozzarella, and 1.5 oz grilled chicken? 1.5 ounces? Are they kidding me? No wonder these kids are starving!

6) The program cost over $11 billion in 2012. That would be one thing if kids were getting awesome, healthy food they loved. Instead, they are walking away from lunch lines more than ever. Many are going hungry, while others turn to vending machines. And it’s costing you a lot of money.

My advice? Parents, speak up. Loudly and clearly. Go up to schools and insist on speaking with administrators. Utilize social media to express your concerns. And don’t stop until you force a change.

Check out my commentary on this issue on Fox Business.

Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila

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PaulE
7 years ago

Another wonderful example of the Progressive mindset at work. Someone in Washington decides that they know best what food options and portion sizes should be served to virtually all students. No alternatives are allowed to the Progressive mandate. The program is then given a ridiculous amount of money in order to “make it happen”. All without any input being considered from anyone outside the Progressive enclave. Upon execution of the wonderful Progressive ideal, it is suddenly discovered that not only does it NOT produce the results intended according to Progressive ideology, but it has “unintended consequences”. In this case the “unintended consequences” are hungry children less prepared to be alert and attentive in class due to a one size fits all solution rammed down their throats courtesy of the Washington elite.

This is the same methodology utilized time and time again for every single Progressive ideal forced onto the American public. The only difference is the targeted audience and the amount of taxpayer dollar squandered to put these “visions” into practice. The results however are always the same. Numerous “unintended consequences” followed by calls for more taxpayer money and layer upon layer of regulations to “address the small issues” inhibiting success. Progressives will never admit they are wrong or that their ideas are deeply flawed, since they are, at least in their own minds, all knowing. They need to “guide” the masses towards their vision of utopia, even if that means there are a lot of casualties along the way.

Jim Walsh
7 years ago

This is what happens when Elitist Politicians, and people who have no clue what “everyday, ordinary life” is like, decide what is best for the “common” people. Our kids are now grown. Both got scholarships to college and have graduated. I don’t recall but a few occasions where they purchased school lunches. They took a lunch every day. Usually a sandwich and a snack, and they are fine. Mom’s and Dad’s know what is best for their own children. Our government has NO RIGHT to dictate what our families should eat, drink or wear. Our rights have been slowly eroded to the point where we no longer have the right to make ANY choices in how we should live. We are becoming nothing more than a society of “automatons” who work simply to provide taxes for a bloated government who no longer listens to the voice of the people. If we don’t change things soon – get some people in Washington who know what it is like to live from week-to-week, and who actually care for the people of this country – then someone will soon be writing about the United States in the past tense!

James Muhlbach
7 years ago

I have been working for many months with one of the greatest long distance runners of all time, Jim King. We constantly agree that we need more calories to do what we do, and not less calories. When the government, or “M”, is deciding a specific calorie content for people in general, they do not have a clue! We are all different. I know that you know this, but others need to understand it as well.

James Muhlbach
7 years ago
Reply to  James Muhlbach

“Jim King runner” in a google search. (Didn’t come up with just his name for me.) We burn serious calories every day, as do many active children. No standard from “M” can fit individuals that are all different, and burn calories at different levels.

James Muhlbach
7 years ago

Thank you Jedediah! You give me hope for humanity! Smart people need to stand up and speak out, and you are doing it! Thank you again!

RBB
7 years ago

Who, or what gave the big-footed gallute (Mrs. O) the authority to dictate what our kids eat? I find no authority granted to the president’s wife by the constitution whatsoever. And I find no authority granted to any branch of the federal government to be involved in the education of OUR children.

Don Wyne
4 years ago
Reply to  RBB

And I don’t see any authorization in the Constitution for the existence of a “Federal Dept. of Education”. That comes under the 10th Amendment as a State Issue.

Bill C.
7 years ago

I don’t blame Mrs. Oboma. Our congress persons are the ones that are supposed to be in charge of the money. Where are they in all of this? This kind of fiasco does NOT get anywhere without the support of congress to pay for it. Why did they approve it? Why did they approve of Mrs. Oboma’s vacation trip to China? Let’s put the blame where it belongs. It will NOT happen without the money!!! Everyone please vote for the new guy running for office and we will send Congress a message that they will never forget.

Patricia
7 years ago

I was a teacher for thirty-two years and the school lunch program has always been a mess and a waste of money.

I observed the problem for the first time in 1981 when I was a college student completing my student teaching. I was appalled at what I observed at a low to medium income public school. Most of the “free” food and milk ended up in the trash can.

2012 – 2013 was my last year as a teacher. I was working at a middle to upper middle class public school. Once again, most of the lunches paid for by the government ended up in the trash can.

One thing I could never understand is why are the children of families who receives food stamps eligible for a “free” breakfast, snack, and lunch from the school? Why don’t the parents pack a lunch for them?

Sandi
4 years ago
Reply to  Patricia

Not only 1 free meal, but often 3 free meals and a back pack full of food for the weekends. I have often wondered what the parents did with the food stamps.

PJD
7 years ago

Hey M.O. and B.O. give the kids more food and then let them burn it all off while helping you two pack for your trip back to Chicago.

Don S.
7 years ago

Good points Miss Bila. Food has to look and taste good for kids to eat. Most kids are active and need constant nourishment. Making the little ones go hungry leads to black market trading and bartering. What a waste of guv’mt. resources. Just another example of nanny state gone wild.

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