Healthy eats in Founders

Founders has a plethora of healthy options for snack and lunch compared to other schools around the nation.

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Healthy eats in Founders

Bailey Bland '18

Bailey Bland '18

Bailey Bland '18

Bailey Bland, In-Class Writer

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Being able to buy a lunch at school is a blessing. This was made possible by the National School Lunch Act signed by President Harry Truman in 1946. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture: Food and Nutrition Service, the goal was to help provide students in both public and private schools with a nutritionally balanced and affordable meal. But it is clear many of these meals are not very ‘nutritionally balanced.’

According to an article by Western Governors University, there are five food groups that best benefit a student. These food groups are, “oily fish, seeds, and nuts… Berries and other fruits, even juices… Coffee and chocolate… Whole grains… Tomatoes, broccoli, spinach”. It is the omega 3 found in fish, seeds, and nuts that is desired. Omega 3 is excellent brain food, thus it being an important part of a student’s diet. Caffeine found in coffee, in moderation, helps with energy and also helps focus. Low-sugar dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants, which is why it is good for students. Founders Hall, unlike most school cafeterias, has healthier options such as granola bars, fruit cups, pretzels, salad, juices, and coffee. In addition, Xavier does not serve sodas and other carbonated beverages.

The healthy options at Xavier are certainly more numerous when compared to other states in America. In ATTN:’s article “Comparing the Best and Worst School Lunches in America,” they talk about what certain states did in response to the new school lunch guidelines by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (2010). Colorado, Ohio, Washington, and California are noted as going to great lengths to try and get healthier lunches to students. For example, Berkeley Unified School District has a fantastic school lunch menu including Balsamic Glazed Chicken or Tofu and Buckwheat Pancakes. These items are noted as being “preservative, additive, and dye-free”.

On the other side of the spectrum, some of the worst states include West Virginia, Washington D.C., Tennessee, and Texas. Texas is possibly one of the most “regressive … approach to school lunch”. In 2009, the Texas School Nutrition Policy was enacted, creating tough restrictions on “competitive foods”. But, in 2013, Texas then voted to “undermine the policy with a law that allows Texas high schools to continue the practice of selling junk food … as fundraisers during school lunch”. Out of all of Texas’ high school population, 15.7% are categorized as obese.

Luckily, Arizona is not as bad as places like Texas. On the Arizona Department of Education website, there is detailed information on regulations and standards, often citing laws directly. The (7-Day) Meal Pattern for National School Lunch Program notes what can and cannot be served. Different food groups, such as fruits, veggies, grains, and meats, have their own categories and, in cups, describe how much should be given to four different age groups.In fruits and grains, as an example: “Only 100% Fruit juice is allowed and no more than half the weekly offering for the fruit component may be 100% juice” and “All grains offered must be whole grain rich”.

During a normal schedule, lunch at Xavier is an hour long. This is a great amount of time for students to eat their lunch before their next class. A huge problem in many schools is that lunch time is very short. According to an article by Public School Review, the government recommends student receive a minimum of 20 minutes to eat their lunch. However, nutritionists say that this is still not enough time, since students need more time to eat and digest their food before the bell rings. Xavier clearly took this into consideration when making the daily schedule by setting aside a proper amount of time for lunch.

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