Sitting around the couch on Fox & Friends recently, during a discussion of children’s displeasure with the food selection under the new school lunch nutritional guideline, Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist, made a statement about First Lady Michelle Obama putting on weight.
The women seated around him to not take kindly to the comment.
All in all – school lunches have become a political food fight. House Republicans spoke out on the floor about the new nutritional guidelines, and passed a measure that will allow schools to delay implementing the whole-grains only requirement. Many schools had complained that whole wheat pasta doesn’t hold up well in the cooking process, and the Agriculture Department will allow extra time for manufacturers to come up with a better product.
The guidelines will at least in part into effect until July 1, 2016, but schools have begun making the change. Taken from the USDA website, these are the new standards for schools.
Nutrition Standards for Foods
● Any food sold in schools must:
• Be a “whole grain-rich” grain product; or
• Have as the first ingredient a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, or a protein food; or
• Be a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit and/or vegetable; or
• Contain 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of one of the nutrients of public health concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber).*
“The thing to remember about school lunches is that they were designed to provide kids with about a third of their calories that are needed. One in six kids are hungry, even here in Houston. So that may be the only meal that children are getting during the day,” Kristi King, a pediatric nutrition specialist at Texas Children’s Hospital.
King says as kids are getting used to the choices available they are increasingly expressing satisfaction with the more nutritious offerings. “Which is great because that means they are getting more fruits and vegetables,” says King.
As for the crack about Michelle Obama needing “to drop a few” pounds, that speaks to everyone’s sense of body image, an area that many people, male and female, have trouble with.
“Even as young children, through adolescence and even us as adults, body images are very, very important,” King says.
And good manners dictate you don’t publicly say discourteous things about someone’s weight, even if she does happen to be the first lady.