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The $4.5 Billion “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids” Act

The Congress just passed a $4.5 billion “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids” Act, allowing the government to decide what children eat in public school cafeterias and vending machines, limit the frequency of bakery sales for fund raising, and let those kids who cannot afford certain meals have a meal after school before they go home. Here, I am not going to join the debate of whether the government should decide what kids eat. My point is running a managed services account in schools (K-12 and universities) has become a very challenging job. Whoever manages these accounts needs to be health conscious, creative, and good at menu engineering.

In particular, I like a quote of a superintendent mentioned in this Fox News video --- “you can put the piece and the carrot on the lunch tray; you can force them to do that, but you just can’t force these kids to eat it.” If the kids are not going to eat healthy food, are we creating more waste by putting healthy food on the trays? What are the reasons for the overweight and obesity problems of our next generation? What are the alternatives that may help our kids eat healthier? If you have a passion for the restaurant or food industry, will you consider working for a managed services company to run a K-12 account? Why or why not?

Relevant discussion: Selling fresh fruit and vegetables in vending machines --- will schools put more vending machines that sell fresh fruit and vegetables then?

Comments

  1. The “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids” Act that was just passed by the Congress is an act of good by the government. But the government simply cannot decided what children can eat in public school cafeterias and what is in the vending machines and so on. They cannot decide that because if a child is just given celery and carrots, and they don't like it; they will simply just not eat it.

    I believe that healthy diets are not formed at schools but it begins in homes. If a child is not brought up with a healthy diet and lifestyle, they will continue to eat the way they eat wherever they are, no matter if the only options are celery and carrots. But this does not mean do not put healthy options as an alternative for school lunches since there are kids with healthy lifestyles. To run a K-12 account is difficult. I have been in K-12 myself and though the choices were not healthy, but it was nice to see healthy options once in a while as well as the options that I have seen since kindergarten.

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  2. You can argue both sides of the $4.5 Billion "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids" act that was just passed by congress. On one side you can yes this act being passed is great because it will change how kids will grow up and how their eating habits develop. Another positive affect of this act being passed is that there are many kids who go school without having a meal and under this act everyone will be entitled to a meal at school. On the other side of this health act you can see the government should not be involved in what food is being served in schools. This should be nothing to their concern right now as they have many other problems to deal with. Also even though the food that is being placed on everyones meal tray will be "healthy" food that doe not mean the kids will choose to eat it. The bottom line is that kids are kids and yes they should eat healthy but also allowed to indulge in some kind of snacks or candy. Kids are kids and are supposed to experience things and have fun throughout their early childhood.
    Matthew B

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  3. I believe that the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids” act has good intentions but must be executed well in order to have the desired results of creating a healthier population of children. I feel that children and the general public as a whole are not as informed as they should be about how to eat nutritiously as well as the benefits of eating a healthy balanced diet. With that said, it may be beneficial to supplement this healthy food act with nutrition classes that teach the children not only healthy alternatives but also why it is so important to eat healthy. Also, I agree with you that the manager must be very good at menu engineering in order to keep the interest and appetites of the children. This manager must provide a menu that is not only healthy but also exciting, modern and most importantly the food must taste good. Too many people assume that because food is healthy you have to eat food that does not taste good when this is not the case at all. With all the different spice blends and cooking methods as well as the numerous trained chefs in this world, the nutritional value of food should not have an indirect relationship with the satiety and pleasurable flavor of said food.

    Marissa Donovan

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