School lunches are undergoing many changes. School officials are beginning to take a look at what our children need to remain healthy. Daily moods and behavior can be severely affected by poor food choices. It may be difficult, however, to offer healthy foods with school lunches while other students are munching on chips. All children are not going to be participating in this project. This brings up many questions about the rights of parents. When health is an issue, schools want to see a change. In reality, as full ban may be impossible, as packed lunches cannot be monitored the same way as school provided lunches.
The students eating at school on a daily basis are sure to benefit from a junk food ban. Vending machines can also be removed from schools, or healthy items can be added. Junior high and elementary schools are not usually tolerant of things like sodas. The younger kids have more supervision at lunch and may have more rules. Most parents are pretty agreeable when it comes to avoiding allergens and extremely sugary items. Complaints about school lunches are likely to be minor, as most parents like to have someone take over meal planning.
School lunches are often used out of convenience. The daily packing of lunches can be a lot of work, especially when parents have multiple children. Unfortunately, parents are not very involved when it comes to what is served by the school. With everything else working parents have to deal with, lunch often becomes an afterthought. A ban on junk food is a positive step. It can help kids stay healthy during school hours, and take some of the burden off of parents.
There are more obese children than ever before. Some countries do not have these issues, however, the United States has an excess of overweight children. Fast food is quickly becoming available across the globe. Processed foods have large amounts of fats and sugars. These convenience foods increase the calorie intake, while offering limited nutrition. Fast foods are often a part of family dinners. After a long day of work, school, and sports parents often get home too late to cook.
Many kids also arrive home to an empty house. With both parents away at work, there is little supervision of snacking. Parents often buy chips, cookies, and crackers that are prepackaged for easy access. These foods have little food value, and are high in calories. Kids may also be sitting around on video games for several hours after school. Obesity
Is caused by a combination of poor diet, and sedentary lifestyles.
Kids are naturally more active than adults. They like to run and play. Even with higher energy levels and faster metabolisms, kids are still gaining extra weight. When schools provide healthy lunches, kids are able to receive a proper diet during the main part of their day. Even if the home diet is not adequate, proper meals at school can help fight obesity.
9. Poor Learning
Kids need feel their best if they are going to learn properly. A poor diet can contribute to learning complications. A diet high in sugar or fat may leave students lethargic or out of focus. Too many sweets may raise energy for a short period of time, and then cause a sugar crash. Kids my feel drowsy during class, and have a hard time retaining information. Severe nutritional deficiencies may lead to difficulty learning, as well. When you do not feel your best, it is hard to do well in school. Students that are also receiving inadequate nutrition at home may be at risk for things like diabetes and anemia. Anemia causes issues with the red blood cells, and is caused by a lack of iron. The telltale signs of this disease, are lethargy and feeling chilled.
Diabetes causes trouble with insulin and be life threatening if not treated immediately. The school should not be adding foods that contribute to these, or any other diseases. There are many foods that contribute to healthy brain function. Fish is often called brain food. A meal high in protein can also keep kids in better condition. Iron deficiency can also cause issues with the proper transmission of dopamine. This has a negative impact on cognitive function. Concentration is affected when vitamins E and B are left out of the diet. Thiamine, zinc, and iodine also cause issues with concentration.
Certain things needed to be added to the diet on a daily basis to help kids perform their best. Carbohydrates and amino acids are necessary for proper reasoning and perception skills. Overall intelligence has been known to improve when nutrition is improved.
Children naturally have a ton of energy. Recess is often worked into the school day for younger kids. This helps them to get their energy out before having to sit still in a classroom. A child that is hyperactive throughout the day, even after exercise, may have some issues with their diet. Many kids bring sugary snacks to school in their lunchboxes. Some parents even allow sodas to be consumed during the school day. Kids are smaller and may be more sensitive to the effects of sugar. Large amounts of sugar can make it difficult for a child to sit still and concentrate.
Many children are medicated for disorders that involve hyperactivity. It is astounding to see how many pills that school nurses hand out on a daily basis. It is easier to give a child a pill than to adjust their diet. This is a sad reality of today’s culture. It may be unrealistic to have children sitting still for the majority of the day, as well. Changes need to be made in classrooms to allow for more activities, as well. A poor diet, however, can make a child present with symptoms of hyperactivity. Before medicating any child, a full nutritional assessment should be done.
Healthy foods provided by the school can help to regulate the behavior of kids in the classroom. Teachers are sure to see a difference when kids have a diet without junk food. The entire student body benefits when proper nutrition is given. It only takes one hyperactive child to disrupt an entire classroom. The school should do their part to prevent these issues.
When it comes to remaining healthy, junk food and processed foods are a big problem. When you provide plant based foods and proteins, it is much easier to determine what is in the food. Processed foods contain a lot of additives. Some of these are chemical preservatives, and cancer causing dyes. Allergies, especially nut allergies, have been on the rise in recent years. Scientists are unclear why this increase in allergic reactions has taken place. Schools often issue allergy questionnaires to parents when kids are planning to eat meals at school.
It is often difficult to discern what is safe for kids with allergies, due to the many ingredients in junk food. A packaged cookie or chip may contain traces of nuts. This can easily be overlooked since the product is not a nut or other allergen. Junk foods are processed in factories with many different types of food. These foods all touch the same equipment. Unless the snack comes from a nut free factory, there is a risk of cross-contamination. This risk is eliminated when fresh foods, like fruits and vegetables, are served.
Children are also developing allergies to the additives in junk foods. Cereals are a big issue, as they often contain massive amounts of color additives. The red dyes are causing the biggest problems. Reactions can range from mild to severe. Extreme behavioral changes can be one of the symptoms of a red dye sensitivity. The additives are so numerous in processed foods, it can be difficult to pinpoint what is causing allergies and behavior issues.
6. Risk of Diabetes
Diabetes is another disease that is on the rise. Diabetes results when the body produces too much insulin. This complication can come on suddenly and be life threatening. Students with blood sugar issues must be checked throughout the day. They must also adhere to strict dietary standards. The amount of sugar in our foods far exceeds the amount that is safe for most adults. When kids are subjected to these foods, the effects can be devastating.
Diabetes can be caused by a genetic issue, as well as from dietary inadequacies. No matter what the initial cause, an improvement in diet can limit symptoms. Sweets are not a regular part of the diet when diabetes is present. Junk food at school can be an unnecessary temptation for kids with diabetes. It can also contribute to the development of the disease.
Diabetes is also a health risk that goes along with obesity. Kids are not able to function properly when their diet is full of junk food. Their lives can be put in danger when diabetes is present. Instead of playing and having fun, they have to be on constant alert for blood sugar changes. A good breakfast and lunch at school can help lower the risk of this disease.