Students Struggle With Cafeteria Guidelines

Oct 30, 2012

Cafeterias across the nation are struggling to meet the newly implemented guidelines which aim to decrease child obesity. The new portions have some students focused on still being hungry after leaving the cafeteria, more than the health benefits coming from the changes. “No one’s really that happy about it cuz there’s not enough for really anyone. It’s not very good sometimes.” Some students, such as Colin Comeaux, the starting quarter back at Lafayette High School, even have to bring snacks to class just to make it through the day. “Sometimes I have to bring snacks to school. I have hypoglycemia. It’s really not filling. Amy Fremin, the dietitian and nutrition education coordinator at the Lafayette Parish school system, knows the changes during the next few years may be difficult to get use to, but it’s important for the students’ health to have these new rules. “These changes are based on the dietary guidelines for Americans.” Fremin knows even the basic changes are beneficial. “Some of the basic changes is that we now have to offer a fruit and a vegetable everyday and we also are looking at total percent of calories from saturated fat. It is such a dramatic effect on everyone when you have to start decreasing sodium and we also are not allowed to have any type of trans-fat in any of the menu items.” Fremin knows if we don’t make changes now, things will only get worse. “Obesity in children will prevail in adulthood years with chronic disease and health conditions.” The changes include healthy alternatives disguised as choices that kids recognize and like. “Our pizza is a whole wheat crust, the tomato paste equals a vegetable, its low-fat cheese, it’s turkey pepperoni. So it is a healthier option and I think it’s teaching the children that you don’t have to completely cut everything out of your life to be healthy. There is a balance.” Unless students in 

Cafeteria lunch from Acadiana
Credit Hannah Trahan
  Acadiana are willing to take advantage of the new healthy menu, changes are they may start bringing outside snacks to campus regardless if whether they are healthy, or not.