While I’ve been relaxing with the family this weekend, this article is making the rounds on Twitter and the blog-o-sphere:
The article insinuates that the “new” and “healthy” food given to kids attending Chicago Public Schools is not being eaten and instead being thrown away.
I need numbers and data, people. I mean, do we even know what they were eating before and what they are supposedly not eating now? Where are the before/after comparisons? Here’s what I’m after:
1) What are the students not eating? The veggies? Or the “new” whole-grain items? (Both of which were presented in the article) I need more than just insinuation.
2) The article refers to Chartwells-Thompson as the sole “caterer” of Chicago Public School meals. But there are other vendors. Which meals exactly are being refused?
Look, I have to answer to hard facts on my students’ classroom performance — does this article really give me something that I can hold onto in terms of real numbers? Sorry, it doesn’t.
Interestingly, the article notes “CPS forbids the use of salt in the preparation of vegetables or other fresh food offered to students, although the district allows high levels of sodium in the processed foods it serves.”
Now that’s telling, isn’t it?
Has there been a radical change in menu items year over year? Not at my school. They are still throwing away what they threw away before because it appears to be same stuff. But my big takeaway from this article is that there needs to be nutrition education as a companion to menu changes. If you feed something new to kids, you can’t just plop it down in front of them and say “here you go.” When I change things up in my classroom routine, I give students a “heads up.” It would be nice if we tried to do that with them in the lunchroom too.
Buyer’s Remorse Over Healthier School Food? (Better DC School Food)