I know some nutritional guidelines are necessary, but honestly I don't think childhood obesity is going to be fixed by dabbling around with the quantities of tomato sauce and potatoes schools can serve kids.
I don't think it will "solve" obesity either - but for a lot of kids these meals are their MAIN meal of the day - they aren't getting good food at home - at the very least schools should be aiming to provide them the healthiest meal possible from the program.
Why? If our assumption for funding this program in the first place is that this is the main meal of the day, shouldn't we be making sure it's the highest calorie, most fat laden, save-you-from-starvation meal possible? I somehow doubt that kids who are actually not eating food except what's served at school are the ones who are also becoming obese.
This is the government using a program intended for one purpose for another one. It's the other kids. The ones who can afford food just fine, but who are being fed high fat, high calorie meals, junk food, soda, and all sorts of other crap at home who are the target for this. As I mentioned earlier, given that schools can't afford to have one set of meals for the kids on government assistance and another set for those who are buying their lunch themselves, the government can manipulate what is available for the rest of the kids to eat by manipulating the nutritional requirements of the food paid for via the program.
And that's well beyond the mandate of the funded school lunch program.
It isn't just about the nutritional value of the food that is being served to these kids but about exposing them to vegetables and how tasty healthy food is.
It's not the government's job to do that though.
If the message that lawmakers and schools are sending to them is "pizza and french fries are everyday foods" and "you wouldn't like vegetables anyway" - how will they ever develop healthy diets?
And if the parents who are sending their kids to school are upset at the choices, they can complain and try to get the meals changed. But what's going on is a bunch of busybodies in DC realizing that many schools don't offer a lot of healthy foods, and most kids don't choose to eat them anyway, and the parents aren't complaining, so they feel like they have to step in and force people to eat healthier foods.
It's not the government's job to do this. It's especially not the federal government's job.