On Thursday, Congress voted for a bill that keeps a mere 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce found on pizza on the “vegetable” list, blocking the school lunch reforms the USDA and the Obama administration had proposed. First, I find the inability of Congress to do what’s right for the future leaders of our country instead opting to protect their own personal status and greed absolutely appalling. Lobbyists: 1, Children of the United States: 0.
The Portland Press Herald reported, “The Senate sent the measure to President Obama on a 70-30 vote, shortly after the House consented to the bill 298-121.”
I have said it before. I simply cannot understand how we can provide free and reduced lunches as a national government program (to 31 million children) and then not be absolutely certain the food in those lunches are adequately giving those children what they need. I promise you that children do not need French fries and tater tots more than twice a week, nor do they need pizza on a regular basis.
Regardless of what children want, exposing them to more fresh vegetable options is not something we should be turning down in lieu of no restrictions on sodium or starch and counting pizza sauce as a vegetable serving.
Poor nutrition can impact grades and a child’s ability to concentrate. Yet we can’t even be adult enough to say that perhaps French fries, tater tots and pizza aren’t the best thing to feed our kids for school lunch day in and day out. Moreover, children (and adults) with poor diets are more likely to become obese and have health problems later on. I’d rather spend the money keeping them healthy rather than treating their diabetes and obesity-related diseases and health problems later.
Top photo by the lovely Brooke McLay here on Family Kitchen, who loves pizza in moderation, as do I.
Get more control over your kids’ nutrition with these 10 Fun Healthy Lunch Recipes!