School Lunches Result In Better Students
School lunches unlike homemade lunches give access to a nutritionally balanced meal everyday to students and teachers. Homemade lunches can have such a variety that students could have one of the healthiest meals one day, but the next day they bring it a donut with some chips and a fruit punch. Clearly it’s known how different homemade lunches can be and a parent and student could both believe that saying homemade lunches not being nutritional enough is obnoxious and just judging off what’s wanting to be seen for the argument. It should also be known that the goal of the argument is to present the idea that school lunches, given the variety and health benefits, are a better choice for students and teachers since their being provided a well-balanced meal everyday whereas the homemade lunch is uncontrollable. Also, school lunches being improved each year really just provides a strong backbone to the argument.
School lunches have multiple goals in their paths. Their goals are to satisfy students’ hunger, provide proper nutrients and to do it all with a great variety. Homemade on the other hand has one known goal and that being to satisfy hunger for students. Most students and parents don’t go through lunch prep at home and think they need food from each of the food categories, but they think about what’s going to make them not hungry anymore. Overall, school lunches are given known thought to what is being put out for students and homemade lunches are not.
There might be underlying reasons hidden behind these school lunches, but what are they for exactly? There for the students/ teachers and their health/ academics, but lots aren’t aware of that goal. The nutrients being provided are there to satisfy most daily health needs throughout a day given the unknown circumstances of students personal lives. In the “School Nutrition and Meal Cost Findings” summary, the USDA says, “Virtually all daily lunch menus met the daily quantity requirement for milk. Nearly all daily lunch menus met the daily quantity requirements for fruits (95 percent) and meats/meat alternates (91 percent). Roughly 8 in 10 daily lunch menus met the daily quantity requirements for vegetables and grains (81 and 80 percent, respectively).” Being able to provide these percentages of foods weekly for students and staff is unbelievable. These stats are the proof of a true well-balanced lunch meal. Now that it’s known that these school lunches have the nutrition in them, it’s easy to see how the ones consuming them are receiving the daily vitamins/ minerals/ nutrients/ etc. for a positive healthy lifestyle.
Having the great daily health needs from the school lunches ends up causing the students to do better in school and with their health. One can easily connect the retrieval of the nutrients to the health of the student. If a student was to eat these lunches multiple times per week, given the consistent nutrition, they will be on track to living a healthy lifestyle. It won’t be one’s clear path to a healthy lifestyle since it’s only one meal of the day and it’s always going to be uncontrollable what students eat outside from school, but it helps students out tremendously. Having that healthy lifestyle, while still being in school, can also positively affect your mood and mindset. If someone is getting their daily health needs and has the energy and drive in life then that would mean these school lunches are indirectly causing a person’s life to be a little bit better and happier.
The second causal component school lunches connect with is student performance in the classroom. The article, “The Impact of Nutrition on Learning and Behavior: A No Brainer” the National Institute for Student-Centered Education says, “The brain needs a variety of nutrients to be able to function optimally. To focus, remember and regulate our emotions we need protein, unsaturated fats, complex carbohydrates and sugars (in grains, fruits and vegetables), as well as a host of trace elements such as iron, potassium, and selenium.” These nutritious lunches provided by the school helps with student performance tremendously. Students continuing to grow and develop need a good lunch plan for success. Without the proper consumption of essentials like amino acids, vitamins (A,B,C,E), iron, proteins, complex carbohydrates, etc. humans wouldn’t be able to function to their max potential. That’s the idea around these school lunches. They are giving the students and teachers the chance to reach their maximum potential. One example of direct effect these nutrients have on the brain is with complex carbs. Not getting enough complex carbs can result in low blood sugar which then results in the hippocampus (part of the brain) being affected and given that the hippocampus plays a central role in learning that would mean the lunches packed with these nutrients play huge roles in how students do academically. Once again, it’s not this one meal that will control the success of one’s self, but it’s one that can play a huge role. It’s known that lots of students don’t eat breakfast before school or class because of how early school is, so in lots of cases these lunches are students’ first meals. School lunch programs understand not all kids eat breakfast so they make sure to fill up these lunch meals with nutrients as if they were the first meal of the day, while still maintaining a good portion so students are not over eating.
Stating that school lunches are more nutritional and more well-balanced often brings up occasional questions like what’s in the foods, what’s so healthy about these lunches, how many calories contained, what are the effects, etc. The one spot not detailed on was the caloric measurements of these lunches. These lunches could most definitely acquire lots of nutrients while having an insane amount of calories, but that’s what makes these lunches twice as special. They keep the calories intake to a fair level so that students get the calories needed while not over doing it. School programs also keep track of the calories being put out so that it’s different by grade. On Action For Healthy Kids, the article, “How Does School Lunch Work?” says, ”Kindergarten through fifth-grade students get 550-650 calories. Sixth through eighth-grade students get 600-700 calories. Ninth through 12-grade students get 750-850 calories.” These lunches are approximately ¼ – ⅓ of the calories generally consumed daily. School lunches put out a perfect amount of calories, with the nutrients inside, to the students and staff so that they can stay focused and energized for the whole day.
These school lunches have multiple hidden objectives that aren’t thought of by parents and students when making lunches. Given these hidden objectives of school lunch programs a reaction follows. Like every action there is a reaction and the reaction is the students maintaining a healthier lifestyle and overall better academic life.
School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study . (n.d.). Retrieved April 3, 2020, from https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/resource-files/SNMCS_Summary-Findings.pdf
Cuninggim, P. (2014, May 6). The Impact of Nutrition on Learning and Behavior. Retrieved from http://nisce.org/blog/features/impact-nutrition-learning-behavior-brainer/
How Does School Lunch Work? (2019, June 7). Retrieved from https://www.actionforhealthykids.org/how-does-school-lunch-work/