Thursday, October 20, 2011

You Say Potato...

A blog about kids and running wouldn't be complete unless we talk about food.  Food is fuel and I'll add my voice to the many who worry that American kids are running on fumes rather than high quality energy.

Earlier this week, the USDA proposed cutting white potatoes from school breakfast menus and limiting their place on lunch menus.  Immediately the National Potato Council (did you know there was such a thing?) came out fighting.

They pointed out the many nutritional benefits of potato consumption (yes, they're full of Vitamin C) and stated that cutting potato use in school cafeterias would not encourage students to consume more of other vegetables anyway.

By Tuesday, the Senate had "saved the potato" and called the proposal "well-intended".

So let me ask you... 
Do you see a vegetable on this plate?

In most school cafeterias, the answer would be yes.  Those french fries count as a vegetable serving since at some point in the past they played the role of "potato".  I just think this is stretching the truth a bit.  I'd have no problem at all if there was a baked potato on that tray.

One of the entrees that often appears on my kids' school lunch menu is "Texas Chili Fries".  Hmm... let's figure this out... fries are the vegetable, there is beef in the chili and the cheese is a dairy product.  Add a fruit cup for dessert and it's a well-rounded meal. Yikes! 

I also take issue with the Potato Council's position that students won't eat other veggies if potatoes are not offered. Katie once came home from school and told me that she wanted to get fries and carrots but she was not allowed.  Apparently, lunch only includes one vegetable so she had to choose. My head nearly exploded when I heard this.  

How often do your kids buy lunch? How often do you pack their lunches?
Does it seem like our kids are eating bar food at school? 





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