My son has just started kindergarten in the Buncombe County Schools system, and [he’s] loving it so far. I went and ate lunch with him for the first time today to meet his friends and to start to get a feel for the teachers and the general environment in his school.
He brings his lunch because he is [a] vegetarian and kind of picky, so he is not eating the school meals. It seems that the school system is trying to have some healthy, fresh options in [its] menu, but there is still a lot of processed food that is loaded with preservatives and fat.
I was most surprised to see children drinking blue slushies at lunch! This is very alarming to me, as I have read a lot about food dyes causing hyperactivity in children. Why would you want the children to ingest these chemicals and then try and go sit still and learn?
I am also curious about chocolate milk being a choice in the cafeteria. I hardly saw any children drinking white milk. Why would they, if they could choose chocolate milk or blue slushies? There seem to be a lot of overweight children in the school, and these items are just empty calories for them — not to mention the items on the menu like sausage-pancake-on-a-stick, corn dogs and chicken nuggets.
There are some healthy choices on the menu, and some fresh fruit and veggies, but are the children really going to pick these when the other option is something processed that looks more appealing to them?
I know that many people in our area are concerned about fresh, local, organic food, and it seems like the school system has some of that available. I am surprised, though, that Buncombe County is not more of a leader in helping to teach our young people how to lead healthy lives!
— Elsa Berndt