The Raven

The Raven

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We Are What They Eat

President Obama presented a bill, H.R. 4870, that would make nutritional meals in schools a priority. It would rid them of the junk, unhealthy foods and replace it with healthy foods that would help children feel their best and be able to focus. With less sugar in their systems the children can settle down and not bounce all over and scream and holler. Many children go to school hungry and cannot focus in class. Hunger makes one tired, irritable, sick, weary and causes headaches. I know myself, when I am hungry or eat junky food, I feel lazy and sleepy; my work suffers and my mind feels foggy. When I have a glass of O.J. and some cereal and fruit, I feel eager to start my day and my productivity is good.
There is a domino effect- poor food, and or lack of food, makes for unattentive, students. Unattentive students get bad grades. Students who get bad grades can't get into college. Students who can't get into college can't get good jobs and they continue to live in poverty and become victims of gangs and drugs. This contributes to an unstable, dangerous society for all of us. The Republicans think this bill is unecessary, but, as I mention in my last article, they are planning to vote "nay" on anything the Democrats propose. It seems we should give this idea a chance- teach children to take care of their minds and bodies and fuel them with good, nutritious foods so they can have a chance to make better decions. Maybe gym classes should offer activities like Yoga to help calm the more overactive students. Instead of competive sports, offer self-improving activites that teach children to believe in their strengths and not be embarrassed and kill their confidence when they fail to hit the ball, or make the hoop. All these are essential to contribute to a happy, confindent youth who will then be less likely to end up on a wayward path of self-destruction. 
Call Congress ToadyKey Provisions
  • Pilot Program: The Healthy School Meals Act directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to conduct a pilot program in which the secretary provides selected school districts with plant-based protein products (center of the plate entrée items like vegetable burgers) and nondairy milk substitutes to evaluate free of charge. The USDA will conduct an evaluation of the pilot program and will be allocated $4 million for program implementation.
  • More Plant-Based Commodities: Following the pilot program, the USDA will purchase plant-based alternate protein products and nondairy milk substitutes to make available to schools through the commodities purchase program and provide training materials regarding nutritional benefits and preparation of these products.
  • Incentives for Schools to Offer Healthy Plant-Based Meals: School districts where at least two-thirds of the students are offered plant-based entrées on each daily lunch menu will receive supplemental commodity assistance of 25 percent of their total commodity assistance, which can be used to purchase additional plant-based foods (including fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains) through the USDA commodities program.
  • Increased Availability of Cow’s Milk Alternatives: An increasing number of children cannot drink milk due to lactose intolerance, allergy, or preference, and are therefore falling short nutritionally. Therefore, schools participating in the School Lunch Program shall offer a fluid milk substitute that meets USDA nutritional standards for calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients. Students will no longer need to provide a written note to choose a milk alternative, and schools will be reimbursed for meals that include a healthful milk alternative.
“To my mind, work will help people live fairly. That is why in my picture I depict people working in the garden. They have worked hard and their harvest is rich.”
Mariam Marukyan,13

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