Archive for Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Congressman Huelskamp criticizes new school lunch standards; USDA says requirements are healthier

September 11, 2012


— U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, on Tuesday blamed the Obama administration for "leaving kids hungry" with new school lunch standards. But the federal government says the standards are producing healthier meals.

The standards, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, are designed to "raise a healthier generation of children," according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

"That's really what this is all about," Mrs. Obama said earlier this month in a school message to students. "It's about ensuring that all of you have everything you need to learn and grow and succeed in school and in life," she said.

According to the USDA, the changes that took effect this school year ensure students are offered both fruits and vegetables each school day; increase whole grain foods; offer only fat-free or low-fat milk; limit calories based on the age of children being served; and increase focus on reducing saturated fats, trans fats and sodium.

Huelskamp, however, said when traveling through his district he has heard complaints from many Kansas parents about the school lunches.

“Parents who purchase school lunches for their children or taxpayers who support free- and reduced- lunch programs have the expectation that what kids eat are meals – not mere snacks," he said.

On the USDA website, the agency gives examples of the changes made under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. For example, under the old system, an elementary school lunch would have had cheese pizza, canned pineapple, tater tots with ketchup and low-fat chocolate milk. Under the new system, the lunch would include whole wheat cheese pizza, baked sweet potato fries, grape tomatoes, applesauce, low-fat milk and low-fat ranch dip.

The new requirements raised standards for the first time in 15 years and will affect nearly 32 million students who participate in school meal programs, the USDA said.


Tracy Rogers 1 year, 7 months ago

How much do you pay for your kid's lunch? Probably about $2.50 or so I'd guess. Go to a restaurant and see what you can get for $2.50.


somedude20 1 year, 7 months ago

Fat parents seem to have a better chance of creating fat kids. Fat Republicans love to hate Obama (the kind of fat chaps that stay at the Olive Garden for 3 hours to get their all-you-can-eat money's worth) and Chunk loves cheese whiz and Twinkies. Happy Chunk Day!


repaste 1 year, 7 months ago

Anyone here have any info on Ottawa Ks school lunches? I've heard they have made some popular changes?


repaste 1 year, 7 months ago

Cutting the same crappy pizza slice in half and saying you made it more healthy is nuts. In Lawrence our kids are fed the very bottom level of quality food, from the freezer to the table, and as Autie captured above, 12 minutes to eat.


autie 1 year, 7 months ago

I did a stint in Youth Friends with a six grader once. I went to lunch with him and his cohort....Holy cow they herder those kids through to get their crap and they literally had to eat as fast as they could just to clear out for the next round behind them...all so they could go sit in the gym for a half an hour...ridiculous. I got to walk home at lunch and eat what Mom made.And yes, Michelle is most correct, rid the programs of the empty crap calories and let them eat their vegetables...or look like me waaaay ttooooo early in life.


Lawrence Morgan 1 year, 7 months ago

Have the kids start photographing the food and compare it with food served at school in other parts of the world.

Click on my blog:

I personally am very glad that it's more healthy.

I do think, though, that many kids don't spend enough time eating well, as Katara points out. Adults have the same problem - we rush through food to get to the television set, or whatever comes next.


LJ Whirled 1 year, 7 months ago

Wait for the new Federal "wiping" standards, and perhaps "wiping aides".

You know, don't you, that kids are not wiping their backsides in the healthiest and most sanitary way? That must pose a risk of the spread of infectious disease among "the children".

Surely, we must need Mrs. Obama to come wipe us, lest we be unhealthy.

It's gotta be the next step, and it'll be easier now, since we're already bent over.


mom_of_three 1 year, 7 months ago

Let's face it. Some kids in high school have bigger appetite than others. So they just need to purchase more or bring more. but I am glad its getting healthier.


Phillbert 1 year, 7 months ago

When Tim Huelskamp was in school his only meal was a block of government cheese the size of his head. He also walked downhill both ways, because no socialist government bureaucrat was going to tell him to walk uphill and get more exercise.


Katara 1 year, 7 months ago

I think a lot of the kids think they are hungry still because they are so rushed during lunch period. There is just not enough time for the kids to sit down and eat a well balanced meal.

I remember reading a long time ago that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send the signal to your brain that it is full (I don't remember the reason why - sorry) but when the entire lunch period is 20 minutes long and a child has to wait in line 5-10 minutes to get their lunch/or milk, it doesn't allow the body enough time to send the full signal.

Kids rush and gulp down their food because that is the only way to finish their food in that short period of time and when you do that, overeating happens.


Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 7 months ago

I always cooked food for scratch for my daughter and granddaughter and they helped from a very young age, using blunt school scissors to cut lettuce into pieces for the salad. They loved helping make bread from scratch and over time we made twelve different kings. The really cool thing though is they still cook that way in their homes. Their friends would not eat what I cooked when they were invited over because everything looked strange to them, and everyone knows that cheese is supposed to be bright orange. Well, the sour dough bread that I am so proud of, since I use recipes from the Alaska gold strike times, got me in hot water with SRS because someone called them and said I was poisoning my child! They sent someone over to investigate and the woman laughed when I explained it to her. I gave her a loaf of fresh baked bread, just happened to have some them. She shared it with her co-workers and they loved it. The woman who complained was furious. She simply had never heard of sour dough bread, and it was the word sour that she was relating to. I have heard women on food stamps, and I am glad they got them, but not the way they used them, state that it was insulting and degrading to expect them to cook, because it was beneath them. I don't think you are going to change that attitude anytime soon. I wonder how many middle class women feel the same way? I do know that many men are excellent cooks and excellent fathers who are very happy when they cook something for their children and they love it. I have seen it happen. This is like the Middle East, it is not going to be solved any time soon.


tomatogrower 1 year, 7 months ago

I went to school with my granddaughter the other day and the lunch was wonderful. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetable. Granted, if the parents just feed their kids high processed foods and junk food then, yeah, the kids are going to go hungry. Fortunately my granddaughter is use to real food.


kernal 1 year, 7 months ago

I suspect some of the kids who are complaining about skimpy lunches are skipping breakfast and expect lunch to cover both meals.


fan4kufootball 1 year, 7 months ago

From what I hear from people is that the lunch is really weird as well- like the vegetable and/or fruit served doesnt even compliment the main entree.


Timothy Eugene 1 year, 7 months ago

As someone in the schools I see this every day. The types of food has not changed. There have always been fruits and vegetables offered. It's about portions. They are tiny now and the kids are hungry. Kids who are hungry don't learn as well as kids who aren't hungry. Haven't you socialist Obama-bots learned that from your taking over of the education system? That's what you've been pushing for years. Now you are supporting the opposite of what you preach. This is just more Big Brother Big Government CRAP! I feel sorry for the kids. my school there is one kid, ONE out of the entire high school that would meet the standards of being obese. One. School lunches don't make kids obese. It's home....snacks, video games, lack of exercise...etc.


roadrunner 1 year, 7 months ago

OMG people! Its all about portions!!! We are WAY to used to gigantic portions that have contributed to the obesity epidemic along with the diabetic cherry on too of it!! And honestly, my kid goes to HS here and he can get 6 main dishes if he chooses to. No one tells him he can't have three sides or 12 desserts. So, at least at the HS level, the story about the big kid going hungry is just his own fault. But of course... Obama is a socialist who is FORCING people to eat their small portion of vegetables.... What a bunch whiners!


CheneyHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Our HS senior is 6'2" and is now coming home for lunch - simply not enough food. It's not a question of quality or healthiness, just quantity. Our middle son is a HS Fr and is 5'11". One is in FB, the other XC and simply can't get enough energy from lunch to get through the school day plus activities. Hopefully, there will be some common sense and middle ground to get this fixed. Keep it healthy, just be realistic on the amounts.


tolawdjk 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm guessing portion control has something to do with it as well.

People eat until they are "full" without understanding that many times "full" is too many calories, or made up with empty calorie fillers. If the meal isn't on a plate as big as your head its a "snack".


question4u 1 year, 7 months ago

This guy actually wants to go on record as advocating less healthy school lunches? is there anyone in the world who thinks that Huelsenkamp knows more about nutrition than the United States Department of Agriculture?

You'd think that at some point the people of Kansas would recognize the intellectual limitations of the politicians that they've endorsed.


asixbury 1 year, 7 months ago

The amount of food sounds plenty--just as many sides and options as before. The options are just healthy now. Why is this a problem? Oh yeah, Americans love to be overweight and unhealthy, judging by ridiculous concerns raised in the report above.


Tracy Rogers 1 year, 7 months ago

Kids don't eat the foods provided at school because for many of them, they have never eaten the good foods like fruits and veggies at home. How many parents even cook for their kids anymore? Many that I know fend for themselves.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 7 months ago

U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler you portray yourself as dumb!


olddognewtrix 1 year, 7 months ago

Huelskamp is a partisan fool.Kansas should be ashamed he represents the state.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 7 months ago

It would not shock me to find out that the schools are skimming off some of the food money and putting it into a general fund. This might be one of the reasons the food is so bad and portions are so small.


Phil Minkin 1 year, 7 months ago

This is from the American Heart Association:

Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. With good reason, childhood obesity is now the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking.


Hooligan_016 1 year, 7 months ago

Well, maybe if the kids ate their fruits and vegetables instead of throwing them away, they probably wouldn't be hungry.

/still won't eat lima beans


formerfarmer 1 year, 7 months ago

"The new requirements raised standards for the first time in 15 years and will affect nearly 32 million students who participate in school meal programs, the USDA said."

They are right. More kids than ever are bringing their own lunch to school because the hot lunches are so skimpy.


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