Kids should never go hungry, ITA with that, but providing larger lunches for every other kid in America isn't the answer. I'm pretty sure that any family whose child qualifies for free meals at school will also qualify for SNAP and TANF. Schools with an after-school care program also get funded for healthy after-school snacks so that's three "meals" per day. Also, if there is leftover food from a government-funded school lunch program that other kids don't eat, it's supposed to be put up for grabs, so that hungry kids *can* get more to eat if they want or need it. Of course, that might mean eating more fruits & vegetables, but oh well. My daughter always brings home parts of her "home lunch" on the days when the school serves pineapple or mandarin oranges, because she loves those & eats a bunch of them instead of whatever we've sent. There's no reason another hungry child at school can't do that, too. Otherwise it just gets thrown out.
"No more hurting people. Peace."
-- Martin Richard, age 8, Boston, MA
Rest in peace, Martin.
In this case, I don't think it is up to the school district to decide what my child is allowed to eat and not eat. It's overstepping boundaries.
I do agree that 850 calorie lunch is sufficient for most but I'm not 6'9" and a football player either.
Again, I am fine if schools want to close campus (so kids can't leave and eat fast food) and only serve nutritious healthy foods. I just don't think forcing a calorie count on kids is the way to manage the situation. I think saying "You can have as much fruit, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins as your body needs" is a much healthier approach to the problem, particularly for kids who have special requirements either because of activity, home situation, or pure metabolism. My brother was the "eat 3000 calories a day to maintain 150 lbs on a 6'2 frame" type. I can only imagine how malnourished he would have been if someone put a cap on the amount of calories he could eat. I think teaching kids to nourish their bodies as needed with healthy food does a lot more good in the long run than just trying to slap a one size fits all calorie restriction on them.
One of the problems we have is we severely under-estimate the amount of calories we are consuming. We're not eating as much as our body needs; we're eating as much as our mouths want to taste.
You said your brother eats 3000 calories a day just to maintain his weight. How often is he eating? As somebody else pointed out, an 850-calorie cap is on par with the recommended 2000 - 2500 calories/day guidelines for adults eating 3 meals a day.
Recommendations are fine. Aligning with providing healthy choices as I mentioned earlier and not boxed crap is what we should aim for.
And what Alissa said...too bad too sad for those kids too poor to bring their own snacks.
I know there is a difference between how filling calories are depending on the nutrient content of the food. If kids are eating healthy foods instead of junk, they may well come below 850 calories anyway. My point is that I think the calorie cap is the wrong way to approach it, the approach should be based on focusing on healthy food not calorie counting. The end results (reduced calories) may be the same, but I think calorie counting is the wrong way to approach the issue.
I know some high school kids that would be starving to the point of not being able to function if they had a cap on calories. My nephew, who just left for school in Mass. must eat 4 or 5 thousand calories a day. I just think that we would be better letting them eat however much they want, and then make sure it is good, nutritionally dense food.
Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson