Make Lunches Great Again: Trump Administration Rolls Back Obama Era School Lunch Restrictions

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

School lunches are about to be made great again.

Early in the first term of former President Barack Obama, several restrictions were placed on school lunches that strongly regulated what schools could serve students. This change was due in large part to the work of former first lady Michelle Obama who championed health and fitness as one of her initiatives.

Although the goal of these Obama era restrictions was to increase the health of American students, many schools found the regulations to be burdensome and ineffective.

Now, the United States Department of Agriculture, under theTrump administration, is pushing those restrictions to the side.

Julie Gunlock from the Independent Women’s Forum explained to Fox News why these regulations needed to go.

Watch:

“These reforms that went through in 2010, pushed by Michelle Obama, were well-intentioned, but in reality, kids were not eating the food and we saw that there was a major food-waste problem developing in some of these schools. Kids were taking their entire trays and throwing them in the garbage. One study said that 60 percent of vegetables, 40 percent of fruit was just being tossed. In one [Los Angeles] county, the school made an arrangement with a homeless shelter to give the food because they had so much left.”

Gunlock explained that these new reforms will give back “flexibility” to school cafeteria workers and allow them to choose what they feed the students, rather than a bureaucrat from Washington D.C.

Under the new pulled-back regulations, students will once again have access to school lunch classics like chocolate milk. Although students may be hyped to hear the news, some still have concerns about childhood obesity in America.

Gunlock explained that the current restrictions go far beyond junk food, placing bans on butter, salt, and meal staples like corn and flour tortillas.

“I understand that obesity is a problem, but kids not eating at school, at all, is also a problem,” explained Gunlock. “We need to give more control to the local folks. The people on the ground trying every day to make appealable food to serve these children.”

Gunlock also noted that childhood health decisions should be made by the parents, not government officials.

What do you think?

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Phyllis Softa
Member

There is nothing to make USA a better country than return to feeding our children junk food?? I am 67 & recall being taught 8 food groups in 2nd grade & importance of including all in our daily diets.The 8 were revised to 4. Yes, there were students back in the 50’s & 60’s that still selected the sugary drink over milk & potato chips over veggies But those folks now find themselves with obesity, bone fx’s & osteoporosis. Encouraging repeating of mistakes is smart HOW?

TOM
Member

I am just shy of your age. As I recall, in elementary school the only drink choice was milk, plain white whole milk. In junior high school, they call it middle school now, there may have been soda in the sandwich line, don’t remember, but there were other better choices in the hot food line as there was in the sandwich line. High school I could not say as I did not eat in the cafeteria. But I have survived without becoming obese or have bone problems.

Cherl
Member

If anyone ever visit the schools after lunch they would see wasted food. It was terrible. My grandchildren have begun buying lunch again. Every First Lady decides on a project…. this one was a major fail. Not enough common sense approach

Sam Dorman
Editor

This headline is making IJR great again.

Phyllis Softa
Member

How so, Sam? How was it not great before? Not sarcasm. Just attempting to understand your reasoning, or determine if you were joking. .

Sam Dorman
Editor

Hi Phyllis, yes I was joking. IJR is a great company 🙂

John Gagliano Jr
Member

I actually agree with this move.

Cecil Vermillion
Member

As usual when the bureaucrats get involved the well intentions fly out the windows.

Nancy Spitzer
Member

If they really want to make the kids healthy they should not be removing all the fat. They should be removing bad carbs and sugars. Ever notice the more fat they remove the fatter we get. Are bodies are starving for fat that our brains need. Everyone should study the Keto diet especially if you are a type 2 diabetic or need to lose a lot of weight. Dr. Fung is great.

Cindy Amberson
Member

How about we start by putting physical education back into the curriculum I have kids in school, in elementary school they were luck to get 2-3 days a week and in junior high it is an elective. When I was in school it was a mandator 5 days a week through at least sophomore year

TOM
Member

In elementary school there was an attempt at formal P.E. because of Kennedy which did not go over well. But we had recess in the morning and afternoon plus after eating lunch you could play on the playground. From 7th to 9th grade P.E. was a required class every day.

Chrissy
Member

It’s true, the government doesn’t need to be in your kids lunch bag. It’s true lunches were not being eaten or tossed. Telling a single Mom, already struggling, that she can’t send a bag of chips to school because it’s a bad choice is dangerously close to communism. If a parent wants to let their child eat Oreos for lunch, that should be their right. Obese children are fighting many battles; genes, lack of exercise and meals served at home probably bigger than a treat at school lunch time.

Phoenix
Member

Were cold lunches brought from home actually impacted? I’m pretty sure it was just what was provided from the schools. If I wanted my kid to eat a bag of chips, oreos, or a stick of butter for lunch then I just needed to provide that on my own.

The healthy lunches was one aspect of what she tried to do. Her Let’s Move campaign tried to also address physical activity. Her attempts weren’t perfect, but I can appreciate her trying to fix a big issue for kids.

Erica Fry
Member

I’ve heard of incidents where parents have been told they cannot send certain foods with their kids lunches. The most famous was the case where a teacher or lunch room monitor actually took the oreos away from a little girl and threw them away. As far as I know, however, these were isolated incidents of schools taking the ball and running with it to extremes.

Chrissy
Member

Yes, they actually were. Lists were sent home of “approved” items that could be sent to school. Infractions were confiscated and Moms contacted. In our school district anyway, maybe you lucked out. The reason given was other children would feel bad if they couldn’t have Oreos, etc. I get it, but it took away my right as a parent to feed my children what I felt was appropriate.

Phoenix
Member

If its by district then it is not under a HHFKA. The actual act itself impacted only food sold by the school including vending machines. Nutrional lunch suggestions and whatnot would have been sent out, but any punishment for non compliance is your own school district brain child.

There is a lot – A LOT – of issues with how this was executed, but policing and penalizing for foods sent by parents was not a component of it.

Phyllis Softa
Member

Did you see the list? What was on it? Where is your school district? I would assume that you voted for the school board members that sanctioned the actions?

Phyllis Softa
Member

If you wanted to SEND oreos and chips NO ONE was stopping YOU. The changes were in the meals SERVED & PREPARED at school. As Phoenix pointed out, if that is what you want YOU provide it, the school will not. What was the school that stopped you from sending junk food for lunch? My friends are school teachers, principals and school nurses. My great-nieces & nephews are public school students. All have dispelled the crazy talk. Are you going to hold responsible those that mislead you?

Chrissy
Member

I get all the crazy talk I need listening to you Phyllis. I don’t need to add quotes from your principal friends and great- nieces and nephews. So basically you’re calling me a liar. No one misled me, I saw the list myself. Happy for all of you that you didn’t live in the district I did. Have a nice day.

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