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Are Your Children Coming Home From School Hungry?

Used to be we were worried about kids going to school hungry, but could recent attempts to combat childhood obesity be reversing that trend?

A recent question regarding whether or not to ban chocolate milk in nearby Decatur schools fired up local readers about the low calorie requirements at schools.

"This just drives me nuts. I had lunch with my sons the other day & added up the calories of their school lunch - it was just over 200 calories. These kids are starving at school," one Patch reader commented. She went on to say, "Last year, I packed lunch - until my son (who's in the 5th percentile in weight - meaning in the very low end for his height) had his yogurt taken away because it wasn't healthy enough - its yogurt for gosh sakes! And, this kid is skinny as can be! And - I PACKED IT for MY KID. Yeah, there might be overweight kids, but what about the ones who really need to gain weight, have active lives & fast metabolisms?"

Another commenter said a check of WebMD revealed the recommended daily caloric count for an active male age 4 to 8 is 1,600 per day.

"That 220 calorie lunch is already not enough for our kids. Don't take more away," she commented. "Sorry, I think I'm sensitive on this topic... I have to watch my 48lb 7-year-old get crushed by 90 lb. boys at football all of the time!" 

Well, it appears Patch readers in Georgia are not alone in these views. A video, making the rounds on YouTube, was made recently by students and teachers in Kansas. In the video, the students sing, "We are Hungry," to the tune of "We are Young."

Do you think recent moves to cap calories for student lunches is taking it too far? Is the health of students being compromised as a result?

Mary Lou October 04, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Doh!- There are plenty of ways to help ensure a child's safety, like there USE to be..block parents for one..a system in place for kids to communicate with their parent when their child has arrived home safely, etc..and pedophiles I would imagine..have a much larger chance of exposure and chance to kids these days via the internet and computers these days that so many kids live on..when outside being active would actually protect them more so from them. In a 2 parent or 1 parent working family...a kid gets home of average about 2 hrs of less before a parent can get home to be with them and then they themselves take the time to go outside with them. If they are not old enough to stay by themselves, I am assuming they are sent to daycare til the parent retrieves them. There are ways to set up safety measures so your kid can get some exercise in..and that wasn't the only part of my comment offering a partial solution, but see you just chose that one part to reply too. What about the reduction or out right cut of recess time for kids while at school ? what are some of your ideas to implement some exercise in addition to healthier options for food? cant overlook the importance of exercise as well in the problem with overweight and or obese kids.
Tammy Osier October 13, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Funny you should use that as a point maryLou. I was talking wit ha friend the other day who was telling me that they took the basketball goals down in her subdivision. Complainers didn't like the idea of their younger kids (on a nearby playground) being exposed to the teenagers. My question, and hers, was "where are the parents (aka complainers) to monitor their kids?????" Her answer- at the pool or tennis court. Parents have to find some way to be responsible for their own. But in the meantime, now the teens have no outlet. Kind of like cutting off their noses to spite their faces . Rest your case. It was a good one.
Athens Mama October 13, 2012 at 02:42 PM
If someone took away my child's yogurt, they would face a lawsuit by me. Honestly. The best diets include small, healthy snacks throughout the day. It's CRAZYLAND where students aren't allowed to eat small snacks, especially if they are participating in demanding sports programs. The school lunches are good, except that there is too much oil. I think it is best to send lunch at least 3 days a week and then let my child eat the school lunch 2 days a week. Breakfast at home is almost always healthier that the breakfast served at school. Sugar and fried foods first thing in the morning are enough to cause brain (academic) disfunction.
Tammy Osier October 13, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Question is, Athens mama, where does this happen? It doesn't happen in any school I've ever worked in. But in the event you find out where it does, then I think people should shout it from the roof tops. But, in the end, parental responsibility is the key.
Tammy Osier October 13, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Personally, if any of you want to stand up for something, find ways to get involved in the processes of the decision making where it concerns exercise and programs that promote it. When cutting funds to schools, those are the first programs to hit the chopping block. Got to get the word out on how exercise affects learning and the mental capacities and coping skills for children. I believe there is a correlation.

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