Do you feel that your daily school lunches provide students with a balanced meal?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Do you feel that your daily school lunches provide students with a balanced meal?

View Results

It is a well known fact that students who are hungry are not able to focus on learning. Even in North America many people live below the poverty line, with that number being listed as 14.3% in the United States as of 2009. Canada's number was slightly lower at 10.8% but that is based on figures from 2005. The implementation of school lunch programs at some schools are a necessity to make sure students are receiving adequate nourishment.

The problem of increasing rates of childhood obesity is another alarming concern facing society today. It is, therefore, not enough to provide our children with school lunches we must make sure that those lunches are balanced for nutritional requirements. Unfortunately, a large percentage of teachers feel that is not the case. More than twice as many teachers as not believe that daily school lunches did not provide students with balanced meals.

The first question that comes to mind is: are the students able to choose from a cafeteria style setting or are provided lunches done according to a set menu? The answer to this question may be part of the problem. If students are able to choose, they will almost always select the chicken nuggets instead of the roasted chicken breast. Hands down, no contest. They wouldn't be kids if they didn't. Taking unhealthy choices off the menu can help solve that problem.

The other concern is cost. Anyone charged with providing meals at home for their family knows that the packaged, processed food which is not the healthiest choice is often the less expensive one. Feeding a school full of children on a daily basis with nothing but the best would be cost prohibitive. From a logistical standpoint there are other obstacles. For example, providing children with fresh vegetables as opposed to frozen has a number of problems. There is the potential for more waste due to spoilage, the difficulty of different storage requirements and the cost factor, which all adds up to frozen vegetables being a more convenient choice.

It is difficult to know what the solution is. Continued education for students and parents about good nutrition is a start but more needs to be done. We know what needs to be done, we are just struggling with the how.