WVA kids chowing down on faux junk food


Recommended Posts

Hum

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Dominated by doughnuts, pizza and foods-on-a-stick, the average school menu in West Virginia can read like the offerings at a glutton?s dream buffet.While the food choices may appear unhealthy, administrators say they are sneaking in nutrition to combat childhood obesity in a state where 13.7 percent of children were overweight in 2005.

In schools across the state, fat and calories are being cut by furtively supplementing hamburgers with soy and subbing applesauce for shortening in cake.

?We get a lot of criticism for serving pizza so often, but the cheese is low fat and the crust is whole grain,? said Richard Goff, director of the state Department of Education?s Office of Child Nutrition.

The faux-junk food push is the nutritional equivalent of making airplane noises while zooming a spoonful of food into a child?s mouth: a dressy distraction intended to get children to clean their plates.

One breakfast item sold to schools in West Virginia and across the country ? deep-fried Super Donuts ? are fortified with 5 grams of protein and 14 minerals and vitamins.

?Nutritionally modified junk food is big right now, and it is helpful,? said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy for Center for Science in the Public Interest.

?When companies improve the nutritional quality of foods they know kids will like, it does make it easier for parents and schools to feed children healthfully,? she said. ?It can be part of the solution, but it can?t be the whole solution.?

While the faux-junk food movement may be an appropriate stepping stone to healthy eating, some nutritionists say it could establish bad habits.

A Penn State study released Tuesday found that preschoolers who ate pasta sauce blended with broccoli and cauliflower ate 17 percent fewer calories per meal and didn?t complain about any difference in taste.

?I?d rather see parents blending veggies and sneaking them into dishes where they can, rather than going the fake food route,? researcher Dr. Barbara Rolls said.

Ann Cooper, director of nutrition services at Berkeley Unified School District in California, said she is appalled that a meal of chicken nuggets, tater tots, chocolate milk and fruit cocktail with high fructose corn syrup meets the nutritional requirements under the national school lunch program.

more

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Dick Montage

Agree with what they are trying to do - but still these kids will grow up wanting pizza, burgers and so on!

I see a major part of the problem being restaurants "kids menus". Burgers, nuggets, pizza, ice-cream.

Sorry, but a kid will eat what an adult eats (smaller portions) if that is what they are given. Don't like it? Don't eat then! But allow treats as exactly that - treats!

Link to post
Share on other sites
neufuse

how is this fake food? its just using different ingredients... last time i checked grandma's and mothers have beend doing that for centuries

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hum

^ It's 'fake' because it's less 'junky'. :laugh:

And no, as a kid I would not gleefully eat whatever the 'adults' were eating.

I rebeled many times.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Dick Montage

People rebel because they are allowed to. In a perverse way, wel welcome and encourage "rebellion"...

It's not rebelling by not eating your greens. If I didn't eat my greens - I wasn't offered a less nutritional yet more tasty alternative. And desert was not allowed if I didn't eat my main.

Kids need to learn to east what they are given - stop eating when they are full - not expect alternatives to be provided.

At the age of about 7 I was easting as an adult would (not portion size obviously). If I didn't eat my main, then the reasoning was "If you are hungry you will east it. If you don't eat it, you are not hungry - so no need for desert". I tried many foods but was forced nothing - the rationale on this was "Try it, and if you like it - eat it. If you don't, then don't eat it".

Sorry, but kids are creatures of habbit and conditioning.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.