Circ activation contest

Aiming for healthy kids by replacing junk food

2010-12-20T00:00:00Z Aiming for healthy kids by replacing junk foodJerry Carter, Letter to the editor Helena Independent Record
December 20, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Last week, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act — first major bipartisan bill enacted since the election by a deeply polarized congress. The act will replace junk food in school lunches and vending machines with more healthful options.

Several jurisdictions have taken similar action. The Hawaii, California, New York and Florida legislatures passed resolutions recommending vegan school options. Last year, the Baltimore City public school system became the first in the nation to offer its 80,000 students a weekly meat-free lunch. According to the School Nutrition Association, 65 percent of U.S. schools now offer vegetarian lunch options.

In the past, USDA has used the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. Not surprisingly, 90 percent of American children consume excessive amounts of fat, and only 15 percent eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. These early dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, raising the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Those who care about our children’s health should demand healthful plant-based school meals, snacks, and vending machine items. Additional information is available at healthyschoollunches.org, choiceusa.net, and schoolnutrition.org.

Jerry Carter

Helena

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(21) Comments

  1. Anjasmomma
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    Anjasmomma - January 06, 2011 9:58 am
    This really should not have been a debate. Can the lunches provided by the schools be more healthy? Yes. If they can why shouldn't they be? Oh yes..because the kids won't eat them. That rationalization doesn't make sense. As parents do we only feed our children what they would prefer to eat? No we don't. It would be ice cream for every meal. Healthy food does not need to be equated with disgusting and it's a shame if that's the message that is being sent. It would be extraordinary for our children to be able to get a hot meal in school that didn't resemble a fast food meal.
  2. Purple
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    Purple - December 28, 2010 12:28 am
    helenros said: "What is so horrifying about feeding the kids better lunches? Ever look at a school lunch menu? Hot dogs, fries, chicken nuggets, pizza, all sorts of fried and processed stuff. And the fruit and vegetables likely land in the trash. If the school lunch menus were better, maybe we wouldn't need to pack lunches for our kids. And what percentage of Helena kids are on free or reduced-price lunch? I think between 35% and 40% of Montana students qualify. That is a lot of hungry kids."

    Most of the additional costs is wasted money. Its like the old saying - you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

    The same applies to the students - you can provide healthier foods for them, but you can't make them eat it.

    What is it about liberals and their - LETS JUST THROW MORE MONEY AT THE PROBLEM - mentality?

    Since the 1970s, liberals have been shouting and screaming to give the schools more and more money. Well, they got their way and guess what, each year the students leave the school DUMBER than those who left the school the year before. It has already been proven their is correlation with the amount of money spent on education and the quality of education provided.

  3. The Big L
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    The Big L - December 27, 2010 1:58 pm
    Who suffers with our holier than thou attitudes and perspectives? The children. Something is wrong with that. Yes, we all pay for other peoples lack of morals and resources. That's also what got us through the first Thanksgiving.
  4. helenros
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    helenros - December 27, 2010 9:27 am
    What is so horrifying about feeding the kids better lunches? Ever look at a school lunch menu? Hot dogs, fries, chicken nuggets, pizza, all sorts of fried and processed stuff. And the fruit and vegetables likely land in the trash. If the school lunch menus were better, maybe we wouldn't need to pack lunches for our kids. And what percentage of Helena kids are on free or reduced-price lunch? I think between 35% and 40% of Montana students qualify. That is a lot of hungry kids.
  5. exlogger
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    exlogger - December 23, 2010 4:17 pm
    After school we had a neighborhood football and basketball game until the evening stole the light. When darkness rolled in it was time for kick the can....

    My mother would have a plate of cookies for all the neighbor hood kids after a night outside where we had just burned over 1500 calories.

    Lets text all our friends for an evening of fun and excitement. Break out the mountain dew and chips, we are going to have a tournament on our PCs. When the tournament is done we we'll fire up the PS3s for an online adventure with world of war craft.

    What did you think was going to happen with our kids? The digital playground has infected every living room and the government will use their wisdom to pass another failed regulation.
  6. Bret Lian
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    Bret Lian - December 22, 2010 4:30 pm
    Bust out your tinfoil hats and start praying folks! The big bad government wants your kids to eat healthy in school. What is the world coming to?
  7. Curmudgeon
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    Curmudgeon - December 22, 2010 11:17 am
    Purple said: "...now along comes QUEEN obama and takes that right away from parents. The snakes of this country are lose and coiling around private businesses and citizens rights. What is needed in this country is someone who will run the snakes out before they do so much damage that the damage is irreversible."

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    Thank you, I needed a good laugh to start my day!

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    (Surely you WERE jesting, were you not?)

  8. Purple
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    Purple - December 22, 2010 7:34 am
    Curmudgeon said: "When my daughter was a child, she was allowed no candy or sweets (except the contraband she could beg from other kids at school). But she could have all the fruit she could eat.Now in her early 40's, she has perfect teeth and a gorgeous figure. (Of course, that latter may be accounted for by her being a retired professional ballerina, having taken classical ballet from age 4.)Good diet and healthful exercise have nothing whatsoever to do with "lefties/progressives" or "righties/conservatives"."

    That was YOUR parental rights, but now along comes QUEEN obama and takes that right away from parents.

    The snakes of this country are lose and coiling around private businesses and citizens rights. What is needed in this country is someone who will run the snakes out before they do so much damage that the damage is irreversible.
  9. Purple
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    Purple - December 22, 2010 1:14 am
    Want to put an end to child obesity, return to the days when children were encouraged to run rampant in the playground.

    Cut the PC nonsense of protecting poor little Sam or Sarah because they cry that it isn't fair that during a game of tag, they get tagged more than they think they should.

    Cut the PC nonsense and reinstitute children playing dodge ball on the school playground during recess. Imagine how many calories they will burn off!

    And the thing is, running, jumping, and playing during recess cost us NOTHING.
  10. Curmudgeon
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    Curmudgeon - December 21, 2010 2:15 pm
    When my daughter was a child, she was allowed no candy or sweets (except the contraband she could beg from other kids at school). But she could have all the fruit she could eat.

    Now in her early 40's, she has perfect teeth and a gorgeous figure. (Of course, that latter may be accounted for by her being a retired professional ballerina, having taken classical ballet from age 4.)

    Good diet and healthful exercise have nothing whatsoever to do with "lefties/progressives" or "righties/conservatives".
  11. dietz1963
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    dietz1963 - December 21, 2010 1:36 pm
    Patriot, the "in/progressive" crowd needs society and/or government to do everything for them. Besides, as you know, food is just one part of the obesity puzzle. The other, EXERCISE! I can remember doing all sorts of junk food when I was a kid, practically ate everyday at McD's. But I walked/rode my bike practically everywhere I went. Playing outside was a way of life. How many kids do we actually see play these days? They're essentially glued to either cell phone or notebook....
  12. goofie
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    goofie - December 21, 2010 12:29 pm
    The school lunch program is typical of most "government" (what else would you call it, it's funded by my tax dollars) programs. Whatever the purpose in the beginning it has grown to something I suspect was never intended.(or maybe it was).
    We know our kids are going to get hungry while at school so send a lunch with them, you decide what they eat--then someone else won't have to.
  13. Purple
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    Purple - December 21, 2010 2:01 am
    Anyone else catch where King obama's FCC director is going to impose the leftist will upon the internet? Granted some of the things they want to regulate now aren't all that critical or important, HOWEVER, once they have their camel noses under the tent where does it end?
  14. Purple
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    Purple - December 21, 2010 1:59 am
    Curmudgeon said: "Unravel that twist in your knickers before it cuts off your circulation, PATRIOT. The government has nothing to do with your daughter baking a tofu cupcake.The program the Prez signed off on applies only to SCHOOL lunch programs, which get part of their funding from government. It has nothing to do with PARENTS who pack their child's lunch.Don't worry, there are no governmental black helicopters hovering over your local school lunch room.Relax."

    Wrong oh dudet! It is Queen obama's anti-obesity project which is causing additional MILLIONS [or is it BILLIONS] to be spent.

    There is no such a thing as a "free lunch" let alone a free ride in this country.

    If you lefties love this so much why don't just you lefties pay for it?


  15. patriot
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    patriot - December 20, 2010 11:12 pm
    for saywhat, no mention from me on a conspiracy. Government intervention into our daily lives is a fact. Am I responsible for the irresponsible, must I pay for their ignorance if they can't figure out what to feed their children for lunch. I dobn't need to have some government bureaucrat instruct me on the benefits of eating healthy or what to pack in my daughters lunch. And it is about me and my children and their future, if you find it necessary for the government and some obscure bureaucrat to dictate your daily menu then I feel for your ability to make basic daily decisions.
  16. dolphind3
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    dolphind3 - December 20, 2010 9:55 pm
    saywhathelena, I said it is not his job to be the food police for others and keep your nose out of other peoples busines, I never once said anything about my kids or don't tell me what my kids should eat. Sounds like you are just looking for anything negetive, I too believe in healthy choices for kids but there are poeple out there that believe that the only healthy choice is to eat vegan. Do you remember the guy just before thanksgiving hat wanted everyone to eat tofurkey? Look like I said before I respect their right and choice to eat like that but I draw the line at them trying to force iot on other people. When I went to highschool we had one of the best salad bars I have ever seen and I know that there are more choices than burgers and nachos now. Oh and saywhat.....don't call me out on something that I never even said
  17. Curmudgeon
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    Curmudgeon - December 20, 2010 3:05 pm
    Unravel that twist in your knickers before it cuts off your circulation, PATRIOT. The government has nothing to do with your daughter baking a tofu cupcake.

    The program the Prez signed off on applies only to SCHOOL lunch programs, which get part of their funding from government. It has nothing to do with PARENTS who pack their child's lunch.

    Don't worry, there are no governmental black helicopters hovering over your local school lunch room.

    Relax.
  18. saywhathelena
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    saywhathelena - December 20, 2010 3:05 pm
    My goodness Patriot not everything is a far left conspiracy to take control of your life. This is a publicly funded school with a lot of students getting their lunch on the public dime. We all know that eating habits are formed early in life and these kids are getting fed corn dogs, pizza, nachos, and hamburgers. Is it really such a bad idea to rethink about what we are feeding these kids and make some better choices? This might shock you and dolphin, but this isn't about just you or your children. I too provide a healthier cold lunch for my kids, but they sometimes want to eat school lunch and I wouldn't mind seeing some yogurt or healthier choices. Healthy food can be cooked so that kids will not only eat it, but like it too. You are such a negative nancy about nearly everything!!
  19. Agent Smack
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    Agent Smack - December 20, 2010 1:52 pm
    Sure, go ahead and add a vegetarian menu. No big deal. But you seem to think that the ONLY healthy menu possible is a vegetarian menu. Which makes you wrong.
  20. dolphind3
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    dolphind3 - December 20, 2010 10:46 am
    Sorry Jerry but there are other healthy food options besides vegan and I really resent you thinking it is your job to be the food police for others. If you want to eat that way I have no problem with that so maybe you should learn to keep your nose out of other peoples business
  21. patriot
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    patriot - December 20, 2010 10:17 am
    Will American families ever stand up to government and declare, "enough is enough"? The far left wanting greater government control of our daily lives. Are parents incapable of reading the menu of school lunches, I guess the answwer is yes. I pack my daughters lunch everyday with healthy food which by the way is much less expensive than buying lunch at school. If a child has an ill informed parent, is it my responsibility to pay for the government through my taxes and provide healthy meals. Childhood obesity is a concern but so are ignorant parents who can't figure out how to pack a lunch. The government needs to get out of our daily lives, it simply can not legislate intelligence. If my daughter wants to bake a tofu cupcake and likes it she has a right to do so, but the government should not tell her to do so.

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