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Trump Takes Aim at School Lunch Guidelines

Getting children to eat healthy food is an age-old problem. Only a few years ago former First Lady Michelle Obama launched a “healthy” school lunch program that her critics called a disaster as photos of mostly processed foods on school lunch plates circulated the internet. Under USDA guidelines these foods were supposedly “healthy,” but kids complained they not only were unappetizing, but left them hungry.

Now it appears that the Trump administration is looking to rollback Michelle Obama’s signature school lunch campaign. As reported by NPR, several major changes are in the works. One will be to allow the schools to serve more highly processed grains. Another ends an initiative to reduce the sodium levels of school lunches. This will allow more flexibility for school administrators and it is likely that many children, especially those conditioned to prefer fast food, will prefer the saltier fare.

Regardless of your opinions on regulatory burden, it is pretty clear that obesity is a major issue confronting today’s youth.  Although her intentions were good, Michelle Obama’s program was undermined by the commercial food industry, which wants you and your children to stay hooked on their processed garbage. Similar complaints have been lodged by sceptics of the Trump administrations plans.  

A major problem with Michelle Obama’s plan was that it originally was to focus on healthy foods, but she altered her campaign to concentrate on exercising more — an idea that doesn’t hold water. The truth is when it comes to losing weight — and keeping it off — your diet is far more important than exercise, although physical movement is the leverage agent that allows you to truly optimize your health and fitness. This goes for any age, child or adult.

So, what can you do to encourage kids to eat healthy food, including making school lunches better? Begin by serving them real, whole foods at home, both fresh and cooked in appetizing menus. Surprising as it may seem, kids actually do appreciate real food, so if you do this, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Then either pack your child’s school lunch with these good foods, or ask your school system to revamp its lunch program.
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