Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A "Cold Cut" in the lunch room

Diet Sodas, baked chips, hundred calorie packs, and reduced portions; these are all the settings the Papillion La- Vista South students were introduced to at the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year. It was quite a shock for many of them. As complaints flooded to other classmates and teachers, the reasoning found for these changes was said to be because of one of the greatest growing problems in America today; obesity.

As Papillion La- Vista South's staff saw this as a great decision, the students could beg to differ. Of course there were many complaints of their favorite choices being lost, but the most common quote heard in the lunch room by many seems to be "I'm still hungry".

As parents find out about the "change-up" in the lunch room, some were for it and others weren't. The parents for the decision were happy, of course, that their student would have the opportunity to make better and healthier choices.

The parents against this were appalled by the sky rocket of their son's or daughter's lunch bills. As the famous student quote, "I'm still hungry" increases, so do their lunch bills. Students who aren't full at the end of their meals often go back into the lunch room. Some go in two, three, or up to four times to buy other lunch items.

Some people are saying that their children are buying things they really shouldn't need such as juice, or tea. But the beverages have been reduced down to smaller portions also. Students can't seem to be satisfied with only a 12oz. bottle. The school must realize that these are high school students we are talking about. This is a time when these teenagers are learning to become more independent and make their own choices. These students know that obesity is a rising problem in America and that it is in their hands to deal with it as they will. With that, these students should be expected to be capable of making the right decisions, or the better choices on their own. They won't always have these "limited options" in their daily lives. Students need to learn from their choices in order to become an adult. Isn't that what high school is all about?

As this problem continues, many people argue the point that without the unhealthier foods there, students won't be tempted to eat as unhealthy and be influenced to make better choices with their eating habits. But how do they know that on their way home from school their teenager isn't going to go through McDonalds? Or even make a Taco Bell run?

As a student of Papillion La- Vista South High School, I hear the ideas and thoughts of many students. And though maybe this may help us to make healthier choices, it's actually taking away our right of choice. The choice doesn't seem to be offered as it once was. Teenagers are taught all through high school of how to make their own, smart choices. As society doesn't sympathize for people to make the "right" choices, neither should our school. I believe that every student should have the opportunity to be able to decide what they would like to eat during their lunch period.

-Omega

37 comments:

darth.vader said...

I completely agree! Not only have portion sizes decreased, but I’m puzzled at the reason the prices haven’t decreased with them. Not only am I left hungry, but broke aswell…

The Professor said...

Despite all the healthy lunch choices in the cafeteria, I noticed that an enormous amount of students walk out of the lunch line with trays covered with pizza, hamburgers, cookies, and ice cream. Limiting our portion sizes only effects those students who pay for the normal lunch, not the students who pay for the extras. The extras also tend to be the unhealthiest items in the cafeteria. I think that is ridiculus to penalize those students who buy the normal lunch, by giving them smaller portion sizes. Kids will still grab all the extras at lunch, which will be felt in their parent's wallets.

Lance51 said...

Agreed 1000%. What the school has done I could classify as cruel and unusual punishment, lol. People think that they did this to "help the student body be healthier" or some other lame excuse. I bet thats a downright lie. They probably got a grant or some other form of payment for it. I know that the pop machines were always sold out. I remember retailing a bottle of pop at about 28 cents. Figure they can fit about 50 pops in one machine, and they have what, 10 machines in the school? They make roughly 75 cents a pop, 37.50 a machine, $375 a week. You don't just drop that kind of money like that.

For those too lazy to read above: School = stupid for taking out the good pop.

makemeasandwich said...

thank you so much for writing about our lunch room. i hate how the price of lunch has gone up. Half of the kids in our schools don't even have jobs so why rise prices! Oh its only 10 cents, YEAH!!!!! TEN CENTS MORE OF MY MONEY, OR YOUR PARENTS MONEY, OR MAYBE EVEN YOUR FRIENDS MONEY! WE'RE ONT MADE OF MONEY!!!!! STOP THE MADNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sassy pants said...

obesity is a major problem in our country. clearly students arent making healthy choices in the foods they eat then. right?
and did junk food seriously make you feel full at the end of lunch? or did you still go back in for more?
and what about all those fried potatoes, cookies, ice cream etc.
they still have plenty of unhealthy choices omega.
i once read an article on a sugar free elementary school. where the principal took out all unhealthy foods and didnt allow sweet treats to be brought in for birthdays. the test scores in the school raised drastically, and less students were getting sick.
so if thats the outcome why wouldnt we have healthier choices??

sassy pants said...

heres a link actually to that article.
check it out

http://forums.yellowworld.org/archive/index.php/t-16709.html

Mr. Keller said...

As a rule of thumb, I normally don't comment on posts. However, I feel compelled to state my opinion on this subject. I totally understand the frustration that students feel with the changes to the Pepsi machines and lunchroom choices. I suppose if it were me, I would feel just as upset. When I was in high school, we used to get chocolate shakes and fries everyday for lunch. I think the best way to go about this is to allow healthy choices alongside the good old unhealthy choices. Students are old enough to decide what to eat. The problem I see is the lack of healthy choices in our vending machines and soda dispensers. It would be great if the school installed milk dispensers alongside the soda dispensers and found a way to put healthy options in the candy machines instead of just candy. Maybe students would buy it and maybe they wouldn't, but at least there would be a choice. I am concerned about what students are eating. This is the first time in my teaching career, that I can recall, that I have allowed food in my room. As I listen to the crunching, smacking and devouring of garbage day in and day out, I wonder ifI made the right choice. I want my class to be a place where students feel comfortable and welcome, but I also don't want it to be a place where students can refuel on garbage for 50 minutes. Wouldn't it be great if the schools provided a vegetable tray or fruit plate during one class a day, say 3rd hour? Difficult to pay for? Yes. I am pretty sure that if our parents would rather contribute a few extra dollars of money to healthy snacks than to see their children eating the overpriced candy bars and chips in class daily.
Well...I feel better now. I am going to go upstairs and eat some Doritos and wash it down with a Dr.Pepper. PEACE OUT!

Cheese Pizza said...

well sassy pants....


I, along with many other people, can speak from personal experience that the new healthy choices at lunch are not satisfying, tasty, or cheap. They feel so empty when you eat them and they always leave me hungry still. Not only that but they also taste kind of like cardboard....i miss my little debbies more and more each day.. And if all that wasn't bad enough, healthy food is also much more expensive. That would be why if you go to a healthy food store, everything is so expensive. so now not only are we buying more items for lunch to fill our bellies, but we are also paying more for these smaller portions, too.


Oh and by the way, if you are going to give us a link, you might want to be sure that it is something that is credible. I really am questioning the validity of this "article" you read because when i went there, it was a forum...and then the link on the forum took me to a place that doesn't even exist.....soo.....

Cheese Pizza said...

P.S. I think fruit trays would be the bomb diggity mr. keller. i love fruit.

but i am quite dissappointed that you are letting students eat in your class this year. I only wish i could have had that privelege.

Omega said...

Well sassy pants, if students aren't making the right food choices on their own then how is reducing their options going to help? By making them more hungry? There are many people in the world who aren't making the right food choices but for every single person the "right choice of what food to eat" is different for THAT person. Not all people are obese. They just want to get full, and smaller portions are not helping them. Which then results in costing them more money.

People don't have money to just throw around. My mom has to give my brother three dollars everyday to make sure that he doesn't go over that amount. But he is a 15 year old growing boy who weighs about 130 lds who just claims that he isn't full with such small portions. And as the professor said, people who get regular lunch each day are being punished for the reduced portions.

And also, on that same link you gave me, people are leaving opinions such as "I don't think my school experience would have been the same without my typical lunches consisting of funyuns, grandma's peanut butter cookies, multiple neopolitan ice-cream sandwiches and fruit punch."

In that school that the article is about, on your link people are saying that the elementary school was also telling bus drivers to confinscate any one of the kids lunches that consisted of a sugary snack. Don't you think thats crossing the line?

This is just like our issues on cell phone use, teachers tell us that we can't do it but people do it anyway. Just like with these junk foods, i'm sure the students at that elementary school didn't eat unhealthy foods THERE but how do we know what they ate when they got home?

You can't connect the students testing grades to the food they are eating.
1. If an ELEMENTARY school is putting such harsh restrictions on these young students, then they must be a pretty strict school. Which most likely means that they have a strict education
2. Obesity can be caused by genetics but more commonly starts at the home. Its not the foods that are causing this, its the parents that let their kids eat and then sit around and play video games all night.
3. If the elementary school is FOR SURE positive that their food choices effected how well their students did in school then what are they going to do next? Send someone home with them to make sure they go to bed at seven??

I'm just saying that because some people can't make the right choice FOR THEM, doesn't give the school the right to take every student's choice away.

sassy pants said...

awesome. you win.
keep complaining about the expensive healthy lunch let me know where that gets you. for me personally i live with something that forces me to be healthy. i guess all these healthy choices just make me feel like im not the only one missing out on "the good stuff"
good blog omega.
happy snacking.

ea6b607 said...

I am perfectly ok with offering "healthy choices", bu that is not what we are getting. I am not part of the majority in our country in that I am in the bottom 2% of my weight class. That said, drinking only skim milk is not in my best interest for my health. In this way, they are no longer offering options but are indeed forcing "choices", which for some people might not be healthy at all.

Rambunctious Mongoose said...

I like but also dislike the new lunch room format. For me, the healthy choices arent that big of a deal. I just get regular school lunch with an extra entree everyday, and it fills me up just fine if you just get all the veggies and fruit that are available for school lunch everyday. I dont spend money on the extra snacks and stuff, it is an absoulte rip off, in my opinion.

As Mr. Keller said he is now allowing food in his classroom for kids to eat, as well as many other teachers. If kids are complaining about not getting enough food or are still hungry, why don't they just bring their own food to school everyday to eat, that is a lot cheaper to buy and the grocery store. The biggest rip off in my opinion is the prices in many of the vending machines. I'm not so much against the lunch prices rising as I am the vending machines. It is ridiculous to spend $1 on a Reese's. That is just crazy to make someone spend that kind of money on candy. That is what makes me the most mad out of all the rises in prices.

peace.to.all. said...

Mr. Keller.....

Just because certain people aka a couple of cross country runners, eat unhealthy, doesn't mean the rest of us eat unhealthy. And by the way those runners have the metabolism of baby gazelles, meaning they can eat all the candy they want and not be affected by it like the rest of the human population. I know from personal experience that there are plenty of people in my class that eat healthy. Granted there are those cross country runners too. But just because certain people eat unhealthy, the rest of us shouldn't be penalized for their choices. They may be stupid choices but it's their choice. You may be able to influence them somewhat, but ultimately it is still their choice.


And by the way enjoy those doritos while you can. Before you know it chips won't be allowed in this school.

Chihuahua said...

I would rather the healthy choices in the lunch room to be good. Why do we have to have food that tastes gross, costs a bunch of money, and doesn't appeal to the student body. Our whole school looks forward to Chicken Tender Thursday because it tastes good. On the obesity note, most of the students in our school are in some kind of sport or athletic event. I would love to see vegetables that actually have some flavor, and variety. I think the school going healthy is a good thing, but they way the school is going about it is not the best approach.

dragonfly said...

I disagree. If teenagers still have the choice to choose what foods they eat and they made the right choice then we wouldn't have obesity. Teenagers need a push in the right direction to be healthier. And if the students are still hungry afterwards then maybe they should learn some self-control. I know that I am still hungry after I eat but if i wait for a little while and maybe drink water that feeling goes away and then I'm not overeating. Another thing. Its not like the whole cafeteria has changed healthy. There is still pizza, fries. hamburgers, and cookies. So at least the students are getting a choice to be healthy

sprinkled doughnuts said...

Well i pretty much agree with Omega. If we were given just healthy foods some students wouldnt eat at all. And isn't it better for people to eat unhealthily than not eat at all?

Also we are HIGH SCHOOL students. We are different from elementary. They can't make their own decisions about food. WE CAN! If we become obese, it was our choice. I think we should have a mix of healthy and not so healthy foods, not just one or the other. That way the students have a CHOICE. That is what high school is about. Teaching us to become adults and make our own decisions.

Bulbasaur75 said...

I agree with Omega, this is completely pointless in my opinion. Food choices keep going down and prices are rising. I normally eat the regular school lunches everyday, and after. I am still hungry every time! I am eating all the healthy foods but it just doesn't fill me, and everything else is way to expensive, so how am I supposed to deal with this predicament? The only option is going in for more food. I have noticed more people eating the more expensive items at lunch like the subs and burgers and fries. Its because the school lunches just cant fill anyone up anymore and it isn't worth the increasing price to keep eating what isn't fulfilling. I don't have the option of buying the more expensive foods either, because I simply do not have the money. So I'm stuck either way and there is not a thing I can do about it. Someone help!

pretty fly for a white guy said...

I am going to sound a lot like a broken record but I agree with you. It is ridiculous that they are cutting portions and upping the price on these foods, not only that but limiting the choices. It sorta reminds me of the saying you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. I think that if they do this too much longer than they are going to lose a lot of money because kids will just get fed up and bring their own lunches.

There are better solutions, for one, I agree with Mr. Keller on that we should have something milk dispensers next to the soda and make it cheaper. That way it doesn't take away our choices yet it influences us to make healthier decisions. If we make these decisions on our own rather than feel like we are being forced to make healthier decisions than we might be more inclined to make helthier decsions throughout life.

cows go moo 3 said...

The students should have the choice of what they want. It shouldn't be only of healthy foods. We're in high school after all!

sunkissed said...

WOOW! I COMPLETELY agree with you. My mom has been getting so mad at my for running through my account money, but I can't help it!
Those little bottles of Fuze are lasting me five minutes in a lunch period! And teenagers should be making right choices for themselves, they don't baby you through college or life like this!
We need to learn now while we are in school!

Cheese Pizza said...

Oh snap....Omega dominates...

Omega said...

Sorry, just trying to put my opinion into something. Just like you are.

If you are eating healthy then good for you. I'm not trying to offend anyone, i just want everyone to have a choice and not to get so bitter about it.

But thanks :]

critter said...

so i am crazy enuogh to read all 23 comments ahead of me, but i wanted to know what everyone was thinking on this topic. and like many others i agree with this blog.
i remember coming home in junior high and constantly conplaining about the school's food. and of course my older sister doing her "job" would rub it in my face that she was in high school and the fact that they get so many choices and food that actually tastes good.
now that i am in high school, it almosts seems like him back in junior high. of course we do have many more choices, but i personally think that having all that junk food was really nice. especially when you crave sweets and cookies or ice cream don't sound all that great.

curlycue said...

Even though there alot of healthy food choices, people still go for all the fatty food, so in a sense it really isn't doing much. And I'm also curious why the regular lunch prices have soared?

Runningman18 said...

Ok for those of us who decided to smash the guys cross country runners I have a few things to say. One of the biggest things is carbo loading. If you look at a lot of the foods we eat they may seem like junk food, but have high carbs and that is one of the biggest things we need as runners. Gummy Bears are a great example they seem just like candy or junk food, but in reality are a great snack loaded with carbs that give our body the fuel it needs to run. Yes we may have high metabolisms, but we also work our rear ends off everyday to develope our metabolism to work this way.

LovableLoser said...

I can say from experience that the unhealthiest eating habits I've seen are those of cross country runners, not those of fat people (such as myself). If those cross country runners have the ability (that I'm very jealous of) to eat as much as they can and still lose weight, there's no reason to stop them. Unless America develops a totalitarian regime in the next 3 years, we're going to have to make these choices; why act like they don't exist?

Rambunctious Mongoose said...

I have a problem with peace.to.all's comment on how cross country runners are the ones that are eating unhealthy, its called CARBO LOADING. We burn all of those calories off in a matter of minutes on our runs and at meets. The food may seem like junk and not healthy to you, but to us it fuel for our run. Gummi Bears and Twizzlers are great examples of this. They both are high in calories and carbs, which we need both to succeed on our runs. With out this "junk" in your opinion, we would never have a chance of being as successsful as we have been all year.

The reason we have such a high metabolism, is because of all the running and physical activity that we do for our sport. We can't help it that we are running more miles in one day, than every other person in the school does in a week. It just happens to all of us that run. So don't go bashing on the cross coutnry team that we are eating unhealthy and that we are affecting the way everyone else eats. And by the way, the number 12 runner in the state, who happens to be the number 1 runner on our team, eats a Snickers bar before every race, and he seems to be doing pretty good.

John Connor said...

Although the rising prices are getting ridiculous, students do not need to buy the food. They can make a sack lunch that will satisfy their hunger for a lower price.

jigglypuff said...

well Runningman18 and Rambunctious Mongoose....

I completely agree with peace.to.all. And I am going to join this little argument.

I completely understand the carbo-loading and I know this because I am an athlete too. I run a heck of alot also. So don't act like I don't understand what it means. You aren't talking to an ignoramous here. My point here is boys, is there are better choices than candy and chips for carbs. And by the way I was talking about calories not carbs. Two completely different things that combine to fuel your body. There are healthier choices, than candy. And I will admit I have seen one of you eating healthy before, once. But when you aren't running for the fun of it, which is a little weird by the way, you are still eating unhealthy. And I know from experience that you not only eat a little unhealthy, but all the time. I don't care who you are having ice cream at least once a day is not healthy. Yeah I know about that too. So take my advice start eating healthier. If you start eating healthy now, you won't become fatties later in your lives. Because trust me your metabolism is going to slow down later on and it will all catch up with you. And keep commenting back because I could go all day on this one. Just wait....

And if you decide to ignore my advice. All I can say is our ten year reunion will be very entertaining and I will take many pictures.

Runningman18 said...

ok jigglypuff you say we are gonna be fat in 10 years, well I plan on going to college and running on scholarship so thats 4 years knocked off right there that I wont be getting fat, and running is a life time thing its almost addicting. So if you run enough while you are young it will stay with you for the rest of your life and it will keep you healty fit and in shape.

Rambunctious Mongoose said...

You make this way to much fun jigglypuff, I can go on all day with you. First off, I find it quite creepy that you know what Runningman18 and I eat everyday for lunch, and that I like to enjoy my ice cream sandwhich after a good lunch, I just find that a little weird. But if you are saying that we are eating unhealthy, then you are back to the original argument of school lunch becoming more healthy this year. Obviously you aren't paying close enough attention when you are stalking me and what I eat everyday at lunch, because I have school lunch everyday, ask the people that sit by me. I get the veggie, fruit, and bread options that they offer each day in the hot lunch line. The only thing I get is an extra entree everyday, which is still part of school lunch. If you are saying I eat unhealthy, then you are saying school lunch is unhealthy, and you can't say that is true, because it is getting healthier and healthier every year, just look at what they are offering as "extras" now. They also have to abide by strict laws and regulations saying how healthy and the amount of nutrients are in their lunches and what they offer, and the amount of fat content that is in everything that they offer in the hot lunch line. So I don't really understand how you can say I am eating unhealthy, by eating a school lunch that is getting healthier and healthier every year. I don't understand your argument, it has no substance at all.

Another thing is, that if you are going to go bashing on us on what we eat, and how it is unhealthy, have you seen what Michael Phelps eats everday? I don't know how up to date you are on your sports news, but the man won 8 gold medals, and the man had 12,000 calories a day, and it wasn't all healthy stuff. I'm not saying that we need to eat as much as him, because we don't work out nearly as much as him, but we still work out a lot everyday and consume a lot of calories and carbs. According to the Wall Street Journal, Michael consumes 12,000 calories each and every day. For breakfast, he starts his day off with three fried egg sandwhiches with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions, and mayo. He then has two cups of coffee and a five egg omlet, a bowl of grits, three slices of french toast with powdered sugar, and on top of it all he has three chocolate chip pancakes. Then for lunch he has a pound of pasta, two ham and chesse sandwhiches on white bread, and energy drinks. Finally, for dinner he has more energy drinks, a pound more of pasta, and a whole pizza. Thats a lot of food if you ask me, and much of that isn't that healthy if you ask me. So if you go bashing on us, why don't you go bashing on him? He did pretty good with the food that he ate, and so have we. We can eat whatever we want that we think will give us the edge that we need, so I don't think you have any solid argument against us and what we eat.

Anonymous said...

Jigglypuff, WOW your is ignorance astonishing to me.
You obviously know nothing about the training, diet and sacrifice of some members of the cross country team. I am quite sure that you would know nothing about getting up at 6:00 am for the first run of the day and staying after until 5:45 for your 2nd run. I would like for you to take a look at runnersworld.com and read the article "Eat Like A Champion" under the meal plan section. Also take a good look under the Training and Nutrition Section as well. This will explain to you that to run at their best they need to eat differently than the rest of the population. I know that you do not understanding card loading (how could you) but slashing carbs can negatively affect a runners health. Here are some very important facts:
A training runner needs to eat 6,000 calories a day.
A 12 mile run (they do run this many miles on distance days) burns 1,500 calories. You have 1 hour after that run to recover fuel to your body. A snack needs to have up to 450 calories. A suggested snack for runners to refuel is chocolate milk, Hershey Kisses, Reeses Peanut Butter cups, M & M's, Star Bursts. Corn Chips are a great side with lunch. Of course followed by a meal high in carbs and protein in moderation.
Pizza is a great thing to eat after a race. It is the perfect balance of carbs & protein. You take a look at these foods they eat and judge them as the unhealthy. They need both lots of calories and lots of carbs. Most of the foods they need cannot be provided at school, they need to be prepared at home. You see these students only for a very small portion of their day. You don't understand the necessary balance. Some of the most successful runners on the team have a very calculated diet, they eat the same things day after day (how boring) to run for success. It obviously works!!!

muddy cleats said...

Why are people bashing the cross country runners? I think that they need all of thoses carbs to do what they do. But I don't see why they people are getting after them. It's not like our lunch choices are being limited because of the cross country runners.

jigglypuff said...

Okay.....

Well for those of you who decided to bash on me... First off you don't even know me, so don't go trying to tell me that i am ignorant and that i don't know what carbo-loading is. I am an ATHLETE, my entire life revolves around sports. There is not one day during the week when I don't have some sort of practice or a game. I'm not stupid and if you think coming up with an argument based on how much i know about how athletes have to live their daily lives than you are sadly mistaken. For the shear fact that I am an athlete too. Good try though. I certainly know that the cross country runners have to have a certain diet to fit the amount calories they are burning. And I don't blame them for eating all the time... I am merely saying that there are better ways to go about getting the calories and carbs they need.

And runningman18... you prove a valid point. But besides you, I know plenty of other people on the cross country team that stop running as soon as season is over. And i understand that you make different choices than they do... So good for you.

And Rambunctious Mongoose.... oh where to start.... well first off i am definitely not saying that the school lunches are unhealthy, because for one they have become healthier and healthier every year, like you said. I am saying that its the food you eat when you are not at school that is unhealthy. And granted there are some of the cross country runners that eat healthy.... I understand that!!!! But I know for a fact that some of you don't eat healthy. And by the way I am not stalking you... I barely have enough time to do my homework, let alone imagine the idea of stalking you. And it's nice you think so highly of yourself that you have someone stalking you. AND did you ever think that i just maybe could be one of those guys that sits next to you at lunch? I am a friend of yours and I must say the fact that you haven't picked up that it is me is kind of amusing... But anyways back to my argument... where was I? Oh yeah, I was to Michael Phelps, I was just wondering if you decided to read only the parts you wanted to hear out of that article or did you decide to read the whole thing... lesson #1 in arguing always know what your opponents points could be and shoot them down immediately. For example... Did you read that Michael Phelps burns at least 4,000 calories in one work out? Hmm... probably a little more than you do... Seeing as he does more than one work out in a day. And oh yeah, he is an olympic athlete... and you aren't. Coincidence...? I think not... So if you want to keep this going... be my guest. Did I mention how much I love arguing.....:)

peace.to.all. said...

Um... I was never bashing the cross country team. I know they are hard core athletes, so am i. I was merely pointing out the fact that they eat alot of junk food in Keller's class. That's it. End of the story. So quit reading so much into it. Geez. And by the way when i was talking about your metabolisms, it was a compliment not an insult. Again.. with the reading into stuff.. lay off of it.

squirtle10 said...

Haha wow I since some Tension between my fellow bloggers. Well I am glad our school lunches are getting healthier every year. I think that would benefit our society and student body as a whole. I think that some athletes most commonly the cross country runners are eating unhealthy but there are others too, like volleyball, basketball, and soccer players. But i think you have the few people who dont care about their health in EVERY sport. But just because Cross Country runners run for a couple miles a day doesn’t mean they have to eat a cow. I mean most football players eat a healthy lunch every day which is required for intense practices...