Are Healthier School Lunches Beneficial to Students at HHS?

Are Healthier School Lunches Beneficial to Students at HHS?

Adam Pogacnik, Sophomore Staff Writer

Over the last decade, schools have begun incorporating healthier options for lunches, and many students have mixed feelings about it. 

The purpose of having a healthier lunch is ultimately to better students’ physical well-being, and provide choices that will benefit them. This is done by making sure a student gets the proper and recommended amount of vitamins and nutrients, while also helping them to cut back on unhealthy choices—junk food (“Using the Meal…”). This is shown to benefit students’ comprehension throughout the school day as well.

According to an article published by the School Nutrition Association (SNA), The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 required the US Department of Agriculture to update their nutrition standards for the first time in fifteen years. Schools are now required to offer more fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains, while also limiting sodium, calories, and unhealthy fat in their lunches (“School Nutrition Standards”).

When asked her thoughts on healthy school lunches, Hubbard High School sophomore Gianna Rotunno responded, “I feel that healthier school lunches are a good thing when they are actually healthy and not ‘cheap healthy.’ In some communities, many kids rely on school lunches for their full meal of the day, therefore I feel the lunches should be healthy, so that students are provided with the nutrients they need.”

A popular argument mentioned surrounding this topic is that “unhealthy” lunches simply taste better. But is this always the case? Hubbard High School freshman Eli Barr had this to say about what he thinks is more helpful to the student: “I would say healthy lunches are more beneficial. Lunches can be be healthy, and they can also taste good. Although it might not taste as good as something more unhealthy, it’s overall helping you eat better and providing you with benefits.”

The question is, do most students feel this way, or is an unhealthy plate of food more rewarding-looking than the benefits of necessary vitamins and nutrients? Was this a decision made more for the benefits of schools or children? And lastly, what are your thoughts on this issue? Should schools change this requirement or continue to enforce it?