Digging Deeper


Review on new school lunches? 'The kids are hungry'

Just when they thought they had caught a break from the government, farm kids are back to feeling picked on.

Last year, farm country cheered when the Obama administration backed off proposed child labor regulations that would have kept kids under 16 from working on the farm.

Those same kids and their parents are now criticizing new USDA regulations on school lunches that are limiting calories, adding fruits and vegetables and cutting back on meat. While the complaints are coming from across the country, as this story from the New York Times attests, farm kids and their parents say they are especially affected by the changes.

The new regulations, as I wrote about last week, were supposed to be about fighting childhood obesity. But many parents now say the new system will actually add to the problem. The kids will stock up on junk food just so they can get through the day, said Tracy Zeorian, a mom from Nebraska, via our Harvest Network.

“How is this helping with the obesity problem? The kids are hungry. By the end of the day, all they can focus on is their growling stomach. Seriously? Is this what the government and USDA want? A bunch of hungry kids not learning anything because all they can focus on is their growling stomachs and lack of energy?”

Stacey McCallister, a dairy farmer from Missouri, commented on our Facebook page that he doesn’t like the one-size-fits-all plan.

“My kids are active in sports and also work on the farm, they naturally burn more calories than a kid who doesn’t go outside or never have their Xbox taken away from them. So active kids are going to be hungry and burning more calories.”

What do you think? Are you packing more lunches these days? Are you worried your kids are hitting the vending machines? Share your experience with the Harvest Network.