obama and school lunches

First Lady Calls for Better School Food

by Marian Burros
In a speech to school food-service supervisors, Michelle Obama highlights the positive but calls for improvements.

First Lady Calls for Better School Food

Food for thought: School food service teaches kids as well as feeds them.

RODALE NEWS, WASHINGTON, DC—In a few short sentences, First Lady Michelle Obama gave the women (and men) who are responsible for what children eat in school a shout-out that should keep them revved up for the rest of the school year.

Speaking in Washington on Monday to the annual meeting of the School Nutrition Association, she said, "I know that you don't always get a lot of credit and recognition for what you do—and you deserve it." She went on to characterize the school cafeteria as "one of the most important classrooms in the entire school," noting that kids don't stop learning at lunchtime. "Every day," she said, "with the food you serve, you're teaching them these critical lessons about nutrition and healthy eating. You're shaping their habits and their preferences, and you're affecting the choices that they're going to make for the rest of their lives."

Marian Burros reports on the First Lady's antiobesity campaign:
Your Family Can Lose Weight on the Michelle Obama Plan
Can Michelle Obama Shrink America's Waistlines?
White House Unveils Huge Solutions for America's Weighty Problem
Are You Part of the Food Revolution?
First Lady Praises Food Success Stories

THE DETAILS: Lessons learned in school cafeterias aren't always the best ones; there has been some pretty bad food in school lunches over the years. And, in some places, there still is: too much sugar, too much salt, too much fat. The only green vegetables may be canned green beans, which school nutrition directors say is the item on the lunch plate that kids are most likely to toss into the garbage. (Who can blame them?) Add to that the junk food that many schools offer in vending machines, in school stores, and during sporting events.

But Mrs. Obama chose to focus on the positive activity taking place in school cafeterias around the country, much of it in the last couple of years, with efforts to produce healthier, more appealing meals. Such efforts make up one of the key components of Mrs. Obama's new Let's Move campaign, which she hopes will abolish childhood obesity in a generation.

And, as she has at past events promoting Let's Move, Mrs. Obama said the blame for the obesity epidemic rests squarely on the head of the adults. "Our kids didn't do this to themselves," she told the audience. "They don't decide what food to serve—or what is sold at lunch. Our kids don't decide whether there's time for recess or gym. They don't decide whether they'll learn about healthy eating or nutrition in school. They don't make those decisions. We set those priorities."

Published on: March 2, 2010
Updated on: May 12, 2010

More from our Authors

Learn how much happier and healthier you can be WITHOUT sugar ruining your life!

Of course that we need better

Of course that we need better food in our schools. We must educate our youngster to have a healthy life style, right? Maybe such an idea should be discussed with colleges in Colorado Springs as well or maybe such an initiative should be launched at a national level.

I got my masters in public

I got my masters in public health online and I must tell you that I don't think it matters if it is online or not as long as you learn and do a good job.

I have to say that I

I have to say that I completely agree with this initiative. I have just graduated from an online Christian university and I have always supported a healthy life style. Eating right is part of having a healthy life style. You can't just eat fast food and expect doctors to do miracles for you.

I have to say that having an

I have to say that having an online masters in nursing has opened my eyes in many ways in regard to healthy food. Schools needs to be able to provide healthier food for young students. That way youngsters are taught that eating healthy is very important. Schools should get involved much more in this matter.

There is an entire movement

There is an entire movement around providing healthy food in our schools. Many people that have an associates degree in business would agree with such an initiative because it would also stimulate organic food providers and maybe farmers would be appreciate once again.


Download a FREE chapter from The Exercise Cure and learn how to get your daily dose of the world's most effective preventive medicine. Click here for your FREE copy!

Free Newsletter
Sign up for the FREE daily newsletter and get useful tips to keep yourself, your family, and the planet healthy and thriving.

  The Daily Fix
Authoritative reporting on the latest developments in health, food, and the environment

  Maria's Farm Country Kitchen Newsletter
Get cooking tips, learn about healthy living and even raising chickens—Maria does it all!

Your Privacy Policy