I hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. My children see this repeated on their tv shows quite often. So why is this considered a "breakfast" by government standards?
Schools included in the program get to provide free breakfasts to children. According to the school my boys are in, you get 3-4 free items on your plate. In order for them to get this free plate, they have to have a fruit or juice with it. Anything past that, you pay for. So if I wanted to add cereal and milk, its at least .50 extra. Not a lot, but for a 5 year old, how do you think they handle the money? Or have to memorize a pin to access their account. Fortunately for my kids, they are light eaters in the morning after waking up. But by 9-ish, they are ready to start eating. At school, they won't eat lunch until 11:15.
For each child that participates, the government reimburses the school so much money.
My kids are in Kindergarten. I can see this being okay for their age group. Especially as so many kids seem to be obese even at that age. But what about the older kids? So far as I could tell, this amount was for everyone. Do they hold all ages to the same amounts of food? If that's the case, what is lunch like? Thankfully, I make my children's lunches. But still. And then, what if they are super active? They will burn through this meal like a comet entering the atmosphere. So who sets the limits? Who decides how much is enough? I didn't see anything that explained what I wanted to know on the fact sheet posted to the government website that I linked above. I will make sure that I continue packing hefty snacks and lunches for my boys. They have a very high metabolism like me.
The lunch program looks to be the same only they provide just a slight bit more than breakfast. But there is the problem of whether a school is submitting fraudulent applications to boost their funding. Or if the school your child is in is following the guidelines set out by Michelle Obama, chances are good your child will opt out of eating anything at all.
Why? Well, look at the things approved for the menu. Are they things you make at home or eat on a regular basis? Is your child a picky eater? If a kid doesn't like something, they won't eat. Not until they are starving and they have absolutely no choice. I approve of someone taking action in making things healthier and trying to help in the fight against child obesity. What I don't approve of is going to such lengths that the above lunches are considered "enough" to satisfy a child old enough to tweet it.
As parents, its our responsibility to make sure that our children are taken care of. We might drop them into the hands of others for 7+ hours while we make a living or otherwise handle life, but at the end of the day its our job to care for them. We are to provide them the best in life. So make sure your child is eating the appropriate amount. The government may set standards, but those standards don't fit the needs of every individual. We know our kids. We know their needs. Let's keep them on the healthy living track that we know they need.