After the Hazelwood School District announced that it would step up its nutrition standards again this year in response to the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, I didn’t think too much about it, other than to be pleased that my kids would be served healthier food.
The district had made some pretty big changes a few years ago and I didn’t hear any complaints from my kids, so I assumed the new changes would be similarly received.
However, on the first day of school, my Hazelwood sophomore came home and complained that he’d been forced to take vegetables and milk that he didn’t want. And then, on the second day, my third grader raised similar complaints.
I wondered if my kids were just being picky, so I hit our Hazelwood Patch Facebook page to ask the community how other kids and parents felt about the changes.
Hazelwood West High School student Matt Meyerhoff started the conversation by telling us that people with lactose intolerance are forced to get milk, even if they can’t drink it.
Another reader, Rachel, posted that she is lactose intolerant herself, and that she would never make her kids get milk if they were lactose intolerant.
“I would sue the school for force or tell the kids to go ahead and get it, just don’t drink it and dump it out,” she posted.
Jennifer Johnson said she was happy to see more fruits and veggies on the menu, especially considering some of the other options offered.
“I think that having a pretzel for lunch is not a lunch,” she said.
“The pretzel has been a staple at Hazelwood lunches for quite a long time,” posted Meyerhoff. “Same with the nachos and cheese.”
Meyerhoff added that the school used to provide juice for those who didn’t want or couldn’t have milk, but that the only other option now is to spend an extra dollar to get bottled water from the snack line at Hazelwood West.
Tina Schreck posted that she understood that the fruit wasn’t exactly as fresh as it should’ve been.
“Also it seems that the portions are smaller (too bad the cost isn't too!),” she wrote. “Some of these kids are at the high school from 7 a.m. until 5:30 or 6:00, or even later. My elementary and middle-schoolers have both come home starving as well.”
She added that she is happy with the district’s choice to “go healthy,” but that “ it needs to be edible too, or nobody is going to eat it.”
“My kids will eat almost anything, so if they aren't eating I know it's bad,” Schreck said. “Guess I need to start spending our weekly lunch money at the grocery store since fourth grade to twelfth wants to take their lunch now.”
Did your kids come home talking about the new nutrition standards in the Hazelwood district this week? What did they say, and how do you feel about the changes? Is the district taking it too far, or do kids just need to get used to the healthier fare? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below!