Thursday, April 15, 2010

Good Job Jaime Oliver, but...

My friends I graduated with have gone on to pursue their dreams of becoming Registered Dietitians through extensive hours of internship. Jill found an article that hit the spot on how I was feeling about this "Revolution" Jaime Oliver has started. It is great what he is doing but there are many aspects I think he doesn't take into consideration. Not all schools have crappy lunches, and they are regulated. Changes have started a long time ago, but, change takes time.

We have talked about school lunches many times in class and it is such a touchy subject. Here is a big issue (among many others):
Parents come in and complain that the kids don't have any nutritious foods to choose from. But, if you follow the kids home, they are served the same if not worse than what the school is serving. The change needs to start at home, first. Otherwise, kids end up not eating and throwing the healthy foods that they get from school out. Wow, did that make sense? I'm not saying schools can't change first, just don't complain that your kid isn't getting proper nutrition because of the school lunch program-- look at what you give them at home, then you can raise your standards for school lunch. Hopefully school lunches have improved by the time you fix your own problems.
Sorry, long rant. Feel free to read this article.

IFIC Nutrition Blog | Food Blog, Nutrition Advice, Food Facts - PSST ... Mr. Oliver ... We Started the School Nutrition Revolution Before You Got Here

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Dasha said...

I think you're absolutely right when you say that healthy eating habits need to be taught in the home, but when you have a ton of kids eating both breakfast AND lunch at school, there needs to be an awareness of what kind of food you're feeding them. I understand that there are a lot of issues involved with revamping school lunches, but seriously, french fries counting as a serving of vegetables?! I'm not a dietician but I'm pretty positive that all the fat and sodium in those puppies cancels out any nutritional value potatoes may have.

I personally think that what Jamie is doing is awesome. I don't really understand why the article you linked to is so upset about him not handing out accolades to school lunches that are improving, since the whole premise of his show is to help a program that is struggling, as Huntington's so obviously is. And he's always praising the lunch ladies for how hard they work, how important their job is, etc. It remains to be seen whether his whole foods approach to school lunches is sustainable financially, but there's nothing wrong with at least trying, right? And even if that aspect of his goal doesn't end up working out, I'm thinking that at least a few parents watching the show will think twice about giving their kids chicken nuggets for dinner every night. So even if his project isn't perfect, what he's doing is still raising awareness about issues that everyone in this country should be concerned with, which I think is definitely a step in the right direction.

Sorry for the novel of a comment :)

Jill said...

Well said Maren, you already know how I feel about the subject. :) But I agree that people should not blame a child's obesity on school lunch. That particular program in Huntington definitely needs work, so props to Jamie Oliver for taking on the challenge of helping them. I think that they should move to a nutrition based system, as opposed to a food based system. Then they couldn't count french fries as vegetables. :)

The reason the RD who wrote the article is so upset, is becuase the show makes it look like all schools everywhere in America are like that (i.e. counting fries as a vegetable), not giving any credit to the great things that are being done everywhere. Now parents watching the show may not let their child eat school lunch, when their school very well may be in one of the 1200 plus school districts in the country that serve fresh fruits and veggies every day, low fat, low sodium, and whole grain choices. It just would be nice to give America SOME credit for good things already being done. :)

The Smiths said...

It's the same with teaching kids too! Parents wonder why their child acts out or is showing disinterest in learning...hmm...are you encouraging it at home and are you there for them when THEY need you? ALL GOOD HABITS START IN THE HOME! Period!

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