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rubyanne's Message:

I don't know why having a salad bar is a problem. At my school the salad is pre-made but my kindergarten students will choose it if they don't like the lunch. I also worked at a school with a salad bar and kids ate it. I think schools worry too much about what kids won't eat so they offer unhealthy choices. Limit the choice to healthier food and children will have no choice but to eat it.

My son has a salad bar that he really likes at his middle school. Of course most students choose pizza, hamburger, or other greasy foods that are offered daily.

I don't understand why people are even arguing over helping our children eat healthy! What is so wrong with Michelle Obama wanting healthier foods in our school? I know people argue that it is the parents responsibility to teach their children healthy eating but at my school most students get free or reduced lunches. That means students have to eat what is provided for them.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
tdaugher2001 12-03-2010 05:39 PM

In my Middle School I found gum one day in my salad. I told my students about it. That was when I found out that the students called it the "Saliva bar", because many spit in it as they pass. That changed my eating habits.

Quatro 11-30-2010 11:36 AM

I had lunch duty one year with K's and they did a much better job than the P who ate right from the bowls. He made my stomach turn.

dramacentral 11-28-2010 02:06 PM

Providing healthier choices ensures more freedom, not less.
As for taxes, as a previous poster pointed out, we're paying them anyway. Might as well accomplish something with that money.

sapphire43 11-28-2010 12:53 PM

Oh, and don't forget the ice cream machine some brainiac installed in the cafeteria!!! I teach middle school and we have to leave our building, walk across the street and down the sidewalk to the high school, get into line and feed about 85 students, all in 25 minutes. That 25 minutes includes the time it takes to get the kids from class to the gym to line up and walk across. I have lunch duty every day (oh, joy) and have been keeping a tally. The average time that the last student has in line to eat? 6 MINUTES. Yes, 6 minutes from the time he gets his tray until the time we have to line up to leave the building. That's an average over the course of the four weeks I've been keeping tabs. On the rare occasion we have a salad bar, the lines barely moves and the time remaining to eat is even less. YIKES!

Random 11-28-2010 06:54 AM

With the right attitude from adults, kids can and do enjoy eating fruits and vegetables. In my class, every Friday, we eat fresh raw fruits and vegetables. Kids are happily sampling broccoli, blackberries, pomegranate, peppers, mango, green's exciting and they love trying them out. Some of these kids are "picky eaters" and while they're allowed to say no thanks, everyone has found at least one thing that they enjoy every week. The vast majority of the kids are eager to sample everything.

Parents are so happy that we're doing this.

For our Christmas party this year, I'll be serving a raw veggie platter. I'll also give kids sticks to make fruit kabobs. We'll have one sweet treat: ginger cookies that we will make ourselves. Even though they're not great for you, they will be real food with raisins, molasses and fresh ginger. Each child will only get one cookie, since we talk about "sometimes" vs "always" foods.

I think that schools and teachers have a lot of power when it comes to encouraging children to eat healthy food! Yes, it should be done at home...but that doesn't mean that it SHOULDN'T be done at school.

ovrjoyd4u2 11-27-2010 07:13 PM

has the right intention.

So I respect that.

However the problem would be to limit or totally eliminate the UNHEALTHY choices:

chicken nuggets (processed)
chili dogs
corn dogs
etc., etc., etc.

Also limit the snack purchase to ONE item. baked chips, ice cream (juice bar or lowfat fro-yo)

Using more whole grain/wheat bread and eliminating chocolate milk altogether.

It is a shame that there are so many peanut allergies, because a pb sandwich could always be the back up choice for those who do not like the primary selection. Maybe it would be a grilled cheese sandwich.

90% of what is served turns my stomach.

cid0926 11-27-2010 01:05 PM

We are spending tax money on the garbage being served in lunch rooms now, why not spend the money on healthier foods? I have seen the school menus of various schools. Please tell me the nutritional value of a cheese crisp (tortilla and cheese). There is no excuse for serving greasy, unhealthy foods to students. I hear all the time about the expense of healthier food and the time constraints or the number of students, but I went to bigger schools myself with the same instructional/lunch period times, yet I was certainly served better food than what I see today. There has to be some sort of compromise between the salad bar concept and the single choice option many schools offer.

I am not a big fan of government mandates, but I also see that when left to themselves, many parents/kids do not make the best choices. As well, many schools/districts do not make the best choices when it comes to what they put on the menus. Perhaps mandating healthier choices has become a necessity.

anna 11-26-2010 07:23 AM

This cry of a" loss of freedom to put out junk for kids to eat" does not make sense . Every political party has their turn to "ruin this country by taking freedom away."

The republicans provided plenty of government intrusion in our lives and will do so again. Funny how conservatives prefer some government intrusion such as farm subsidies,bank bailouts,bank deregulation,big tax breaks,abortion rights restrictions,gay marriage bans....the list goes on and on . Government interference is only bad when it harms a conservative cause.

Trying to change what poor children eat in our public schools is hardly a harmful government practice.

Children,the elderly,the poor,teachers...I guess it's open season on those without much of a voice

Mr Sensai 11-26-2010 03:14 AM

Because we live in America, and in America we have freedom. Freedom from the government dictating every aspect of our lives (I'm not saying Japan does this, and America has been doing this more and more). That means the freedom to make bad choices as well as good choices.
I guess we have different views on what freedom is.
Swtogirl 11-25-2010 08:29 AM

Why not? Unless it has to do with the constitution or a law. I mean healthy lunches are mandated here and it works fine IMO.
Because we live in America, and in America we have freedom. Freedom from the government dictating every aspect of our lives (I'm not saying Japan does this, and America has been doing this more and more). That means the freedom to make bad choices as well as good choices.
Mr Sensai 11-25-2010 06:15 AM

Those of you that think salad bars should be fully funded should ask yourselves, fully funded by whom? You! That's who. You will need to pay MORE taxes.
So what? Since when is taxes a dirty word? Americans have a VERY low tax rate compared to many countries. This notion that taxes are too high in America is silly to me.

My point is it can't just be a mandate
Why not? Unless it has to do with the constitution or a law. I mean healthy lunches are mandated here and it works fine IMO.
newspedteach 11-24-2010 05:50 PM

I'm well aware of the federal government control on public schools as a whole .

Can we not think for ourselves?
When I wrote the above, it certainly wasn't directed at any poster. It was directed to all of us as a Nation. Sorry if you took it a different way.

I still maintain that some are missing the point somewhat.

I don't think there is ONE single poster here who does not want children to eat healthier! Is a salad bar the answer to that? I sure don't think so. We have iceberg lettuce salads all the time (just about zero nutrition, as a pp has already mentioned) with ranch dressing, which I'm sure it loaded with fat and chemicals. My point is it can't just be a mandate. Eating healthier, making school lunches more healthful, and changing children's habits and mindsets cannot be done by installing salad bars in public schools. While we have a responsiblity to model good habits in general, families should be the ones involved in setting these habits for their children. I don't think more government involvement and mandates is the answer.

To the poster who asked about the lunches kids bring from home...unless there is a terrible excess of sweets, etc., and/or the contents effect the behavior of the child, I don't think it is any of our business to tell parents how to pack their kids lunches. However, if the lunch contents are adversely affecting the child, I would definitely talk to the parents about what I have observed (not in an accusatory way). I think a school as a whole has a right to have rules about healthy party food vs. cupcakes and sugar laden birthday treats.
anna 11-24-2010 03:44 PM

Thank you so much FLteachESE!!! I appreciate your knowledge and willingness to share

FLteachESE 11-24-2010 03:39 PM

I finally found the website that has the charms and what is great is that it is a website that is all about achieving a healthy school environment

Carolyn 11-24-2010 01:43 PM

Perhaps she could help them as they spill it all over the floor and slip and slide all over it.

AD 11-24-2010 01:42 PM

We have a salad bar at our elementary school. It is offered as a choice everyday to all students. I can count on one hand how many of my kiddos have chosen salad bar this year.

I guess I'm not sure how offering a salad bar is going to help!

me41 11-24-2010 12:54 PM

It is possible that it is a state issue. Illinois is an educational mess. We have brought up the concept of offering fresh food to the powers that be and have been told that their hands are tied. Once in a while fresh fruit is donated by local stores, but the state provides canned only.

grav_def 11-24-2010 12:48 PM

Many of the schools I work at have very high free/reduced percentages, and they ALL have salad bars. And it works. I'm not sure where the funding is coming from (I did some Googling but got nowhere, though I did discover that Whole Foods offers a grant to provide salad bars to schools...some of you might want to look into that).

IDK...those who are worried about funding, taxes, etc., it seems to me like we as a nation (or community) have a choice: Do we want to spend our money on tax cuts for gazillionaires and useless wars, or do we want to spend our money on things like feeding our children good food? Saying we can't afford it is like...well, it's like the parents we all complain about who have designer clothes and $300 cell phones but claim they can't afford a box of pencils for their kid. That is exactly what we're doing on a national level, IMO.

me41 11-24-2010 12:27 PM

It would be wonderful to offer fresh choices, but it is not feasible in my school. Most of our school is free lunch, so we are required to pass out the free canned stuff the government supplies. It would be amazing if they supplied fresh food - even apples and bananas but that does not happen. We do not have the money to provide the fresh salads.

Michelle Obama may have wonderful ideas. Her daughters go to a lovely private school. I bet no one eats hot Cheetos and pop for lunch there.

jumpinjack 11-24-2010 12:10 PM

You are absolutely right. Get rid of the government intervention and the regulations and guidelines which cost us sooooo much money, and let us do it ourselves. Don't you all think we can do more for ourselves with less money? As soon as the government gets involved costs rise.

Those of you that think salad bars should be fully funded should ask yourselves, fully funded by whom? You! That's who. You will need to pay MORE taxes.

I agree. Let's just serve healthier and homemade foods. The prepackaged microwaved foods are so unhealthy.

We have salads at our school, but they come from a plastic bag. I can't stand the smell of this stuff. Imagine the chemicals!

WriterGal 11-24-2010 11:48 AM

Salad bar or not, I wish wish wish that something would be done at our local schools that even approached the kind of healthy solutions you all are talking about.
For lunch, in elem school it's very common to give them pizza and tater tots (not fried...baked - ha ha we all know they were fried before they were frozen) and an ice cream for dessert. If kids have cash or their parents put $ into their lunch accounts they can buy all the cookies, brownies, chips, ice cream and chocolate milk that the darlings want.
We pack lunch for our children b/c of this, but I always put a few $ in their accounts in case something happens and lunches don't get made. I got a note last week that we were $10 in the hole for my 8-year-old - apparently every morning before school he was buying doughnuts, which is the healthy and nutritious breakfast they're serving.
I had to go in and request that he not be allowed to buy snacks.
I did the same thing last year and the same thing the year before that.
So - for everyone is scoffing at mandating healthy foods, there are plenty of school systems that haven't changed over yet. And plenty of parents and school employees who would love it if someone would force the foods depts. to do so. I live in NC, by the way.

rubyanne 11-24-2010 11:22 AM

At my school the salads are pre-prepared. It is served with hard boiled egg for protein, crackers, and choice of fruit and milk.

My son used to live in a town that used local fruits and veggies from nearby farms. Each month there was a different local food that was in season and served for lunch. Sometimes it was apples or greens. It didn't cost a lot for the schools and it was a community effort helped by the local farms. The school also had garden plots that people in the town could rent for the season. It was really cheap and got families that did not have access to garden space (this was in a city) a way to garden. The school also had a plot for students.

There are ways to make food healthier even if it isn't a salad bar. My school started using brown rice and chicken breast as one of their meals. Usually it is chicken nuggets and fries. Also my school offers several choices of fruit so students are much more likely to eat it. Last year students had one choice and it was usually a wrinkly apple . Of course kids didn't eat it!

I know cost is a concern but there are ways to make food healthier without a high cost. Make what is in season, use whole grain, only offer white milk, and cut down on greasy foods. In the end society will be paying for it through medical costs for diabetes and other food related health issues.

kali 11-24-2010 11:02 AM

I agree with what you said. We have to look at the expense of this. At my school, the kids are eating organic hamburgers at $1 each and fresh pineapple at $4.99 lb, and we have laid off two teachers in two years and are not done yet. So I think it is important to remember that most people support the idea of these wonderful ideas such as, having organic foods and fresh salad bars in all of our schools, but, you are not thinking about the schools who cannot afford to have computers and libraries and perhaps that being the motivation to question such an idea. How do you spend more money than you have and think that is ok? Our lunch program is in debt because of unpaid milk and lunch bills and they are working on no real spelled out budget!

Carolynn 11-24-2010 09:49 AM

Okay, that's fine. I'd be all for it if I also saw an announcement that Michelle Obama intends to put 10 books in each school per child. That would get me excited.

WestCoastTch 11-24-2010 09:15 AM

When I was a kid, I LOVED salad bars. When we'd go out to eat, my brother and I would head there first and eat nothing else. Our salad dressing of choice was always vinegar and oil, which my mom helped us with. If this was a choice in my cafeteria as a kid, I'm sure I would've loved it- maybe not the unsanitary part, but I've always loved salads and being able to select my own food.

Maybe somebody mentioned this, but...

I remember eating a tray of pre-prepared salads as part of the lunch program as a kid. It wasn't a choice, it was the lunch that was offered that day. It had lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and kidney beans. There was a little packet of dressing included. There was another little tray of something... I can't remember what it was, maybe fruit, cheese and crackers. I mostly brought my lunch, but I loved salad day.

How do people feel about offering pre-prepared salads more often instead of the salad bar? If that is all there is, maybe more kids will feel compelled to try it. I'm not sure why there is such angst over offering so many choices to kids every day. The menu changes daily, the staple being milk. If there was an overhaul at our school to switch to healthier meals, I'd be thrilled.

Mr Sensai 11-24-2010 04:26 AM

I think salad bars are a great idea for USA schools. I have seen what passes for lunch there and was shocked.

Not saying they should copy Japans system (the students serve the food here too) but here is a small clip about the lunch program here.

choosejoy 11-24-2010 04:20 AM

Wondering what your school's policy is...if any. I have a student who brings a couple of cold corn dogs and a bag of chocolate candy bars everyday for lunch.

apple annie 11-24-2010 02:24 AM

I am all for offering healthy choices. I am all for encouraging children to eat responsibly and with good manners. What I do not appreciate is every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the political arena using the schools and our nation's children as their personal laboratories for every experimental program they come up with just because they have a captive audience. How well has Michele thought through this program? Why has she not been required to provide us with a data driven report on why this program should be offered, and how it will be maintained in the long term? How long does she intend to follow through and be involved in it? Who will fund it and for how long? And has she figured out the logistics of how it will work in an actual school? I wonder if she would put on a hair net and a pair of plastic gloves for a week or two to figure out how to get 400 or 500 kids through the lunch line every day without sneezing all over the lettuce. Has she performed her pre-assessments, determined a baseline, and developed some meaningful post-assessments? Has she even written a performance based objective? What is her plan for progress monitoring? And is her job on the line if students fail to meet AYP in the lunch line?

OK now I am just being a smart a$$. Maybe she DOES have all this stuff figured out, but if so, nobody bothers to report that handy bit of information.

grav_def 11-23-2010 11:41 PM

Nearly every school I sub at has a salad bar out every day (I think it might be a state law; they're in many different districts), and I've never seen a problem. No one is serving the kids; they help themselves (although the duty teachers might hang around that area a little more). A lot of schools have older students helping out, too--4th and 5th graders who are trained to help pump out the salad dressing and stuff.

A few kids skip the salad bar entirely; a few others load up their trays with 700 orange wedges or something. Most kids take a scoop of carrots and maybe a couple of slices of apple, and sit down and eat it all. I ALWAYS have kids asking permission to go get seconds from the salad bar whenever I have lunch duty. Honestly, I can see why people might be skeptical, but it works. I wish you could come observe a lunch period at one of these schools to see how great it is when kids are getting excited about healthy food!

Tea"cheer" 11-23-2010 10:30 PM

Here's an article that shares a little bit about the salad bars. Though my public school is not wealthy in the slightest, I have the feeling we are not low-income enough to be one of the 6,000 schools getting one.

Tea"cheer" 11-23-2010 10:10 PM

Yes. I actually am a member of a committee right now that is trying to make changes like this. It started as a committee composed of a few teachers and a few hospital staff workers that were concerned about childhood obesity. We now have parents as members as well. I certainly am not saying we should fire some teachers so we can have salads. I'm just saying that if a salad bar was offered at my school, I would find it to be a good thing.

I am thinking that perhaps this thread belongs on the politics board. It seems as though that is the direction it has taken.

thinkhappy 11-23-2010 09:05 PM the government is already in the lunchroom. As a matter of fact, I believe the whole joint is under governmental control, lol I simply meant that if a salad bar were required, that the feds need to chip in for the added expense. I seriously doubt this will come to pass because of cost, and also because the First Lady does not have the power to decree such a thing.
It is my prerogative to think (for myself) that salad bars are a good idea for schools.
It baffles me that when some people are faced with an opposing or differing opinion, they immediately jump to phrases like (and I am paraphrasing here), "think for yourself." That demeans the other poster by implying that they are either thoughtless or stupid.

The OP has a great point. K-2 probably has no business with their booger picking fingers in a salad bar. There would need to be some concession made for the lower grades.

newspedteach 11-23-2010 08:32 PM

Mrs. Driver--you said it!

My issue, is not that we want the kids to eat healthy, but that there are so many schools that need more money. How can they put in a salad bar when the federal government cuts the budget for education, which hurts the state, that hurst the counties, and in turn hurts the children. We are laying off teachers and have no money for programs that will help the children succeed but lets make a push for salad bars.

You posters that are for the mandated salad bar idea are missing the OP's point...I think....why do we need MORE government mandates in our schools? This is a DISTRICT issue. Our district has also gone to much healthier meals. We don't need federal mandates by the first lady or even the president to do this. Why do you want more governmental control? Can we not think for ourselves? Those of you complaining about the unhealthy meals in your schools: have you ever gone to the administration, school board, etc. and advocated for this? What about getting parents involved? Fellow teachers?
AprilD 11-23-2010 08:15 PM

It can be done. We've had a salad bar for quite a few years now, w/ teachers helping to supervise the kids' portions.

I also think that (while our First Lady might not totally understand the situation) having such healthy choices are much better for our kids. Our kids are dying from the diets they injest these days. We have fat, unhealthy, diabetes prone kids. Why oh why would anyone make snarky remarks about kids eating heathier?

thinkhappy 11-23-2010 08:07 PM

I too would like a cash bar.

We had a salad bar when I was in school, and that was many moons ago. It worked fine. Sometimes we have salad for a lunch choice at my school now. I believe it is a good idea. It does not need to be elaborate, and there are choices that the kids would most likely enjoy. My 9 year old loves carrots and all kinds of fruit. If it were available, I'll bet lots of kids would like it. If the k-2 crowd cannot handle it, they could have a ready-made salad or fruit choice.

I believe this should be a fully funded program (if anything comes of it).

Nanny 11-23-2010 08:01 PM

We had a salad bar at our school for a couple of years and it was a nightmare! The K and 1 & 2 children paid no attention to the sneeze bar and instread, "ducked" under it and instead of using the utensils, hands would end up scooping up the ingredients and an occasional "licking" of the fingers in between. They did indeed get half cups of bacon bits, cheese, croutons and ranch dressing! I think more than anything, it was the novelty of being able to fix it themselves. There is no way an adult would have touched the salad bar after they filed through!

aeiouteach 11-23-2010 07:54 PM

I love, love, LOVE your idea! Bring on the cash bar!

MrsDriver 11-23-2010 07:14 PM

they would put a salad bar in my school. The kids fight over the prepared salads. I think for my school a salad bar would do well.

My issue, is not that we want the kids to eat healthy, but that there are so many schools that need more money. How can they put in a salad bar when the federal government cuts the budget for education, which hurts the state, that hurst the counties, and in turn hurts the children. We are laying off teachers and have no money for programs that will help the children succeed but lets make a push for salad bars.

Swtogirl 11-23-2010 07:05 PM

Oh, wanted to expand on my previous post. Every lunch, they offer three different fresh vegetable sides, two fruits, and one or two cooked vegetable sides. Kids get one entree and up to three sides.

Since the improvement in the menu, MUCH less food gets thrown away.

klarabelle 11-23-2010 06:58 PM

That is gross licking the spoon, but you can put dressing in a pump bottle.

I like the idea of a salad bar/salad being served at lunch. Way back in the 60's we use to get a small salad with our meals, not all but some foods. Not sure why they no longer include salads.

I think Michelle Obama has a good suggestion, alot of times parents just give in to their children and don't make them eat healthy. Imagine the surprise on a parent's face when their little one asks for a salad for dinner...I think the salad is a good start.

schwateachn 11-23-2010 06:44 PM

We used to have salad bars in our schools. One day after bringing my class into the cafeteria I turned toward the salad bar just in time to see a first grader licking the ranch dressing spoon. Ewwww! I got to him in time before it went back into the tub. It made me wonder about how many things I never caught!

Swtogirl 11-23-2010 06:43 PM

Our school (middle) is participating in some grant and has redone their food and it is all really healthy--handmade pizza with whole-wheat crust, etc. They changed our salad bar to a boxed salad. This might work in elementaries, though I can't see K kids eating salads as their main meal.

kidsrme11 11-23-2010 06:35 PM

This is a very interesting thread. I love to hear all the different views. We have a salad bar every third week and I love it. A large group of kids eat from it. I think if we did it more often and more kiddos would try it and our percentages would continue to increase.

I would also love to know about the feet charms. We're just beginning fitness clubs, etc. We could use a central kind of motivator.

Thanks PTers.

dramacentral 11-23-2010 06:08 PM

Generally we've seen very positive results. We especially notice a difference on a day when we don't offer the school lunch - for example the school catered a "special feast" from a local restaurant and afterwards the kids were cranky and either irritable and hyper, or lethargic, depending on the child. Some of this was probably due to the break in routine, but we had a field trip the other day in which the normal healthy lunch was served at a different time than usual, and there weren't any behavioral issues due to that disruption. Birthdays and other occasions involving sugary desserts produce really off-the-wall behavior, exacerbating the impulsivity and irritable overreactions that many of our students can display on a day to day basis. I would love to do a more formal study on this.

School Time 11-23-2010 05:12 PM

We use the gym and the food is made at the high school and brought down daily. The gym is very small, we have about 150 kids in there at one time and it is totally full. Not a realy gym. No room for a salad bar, no room to store one if it is portable. We store folded lunch tables in the library (formerly "the court"--not an enclosed room) and in the gym while the kids are there. Not in the wall, but folded and free standing. So where would we put the salad bar?

FLteachESE 11-23-2010 05:09 PM

In regards to our program- we have only had 6 behavior referrals so far this year. And, yes, we have a large number of behavior children who are PITAS.

Tea"cheer" 11-23-2010 04:52 PM

I would be so curious to know if teachers noticed a difference in behaviors. I would LOVE to have your lunch program!

anna 11-23-2010 04:34 PM

love your post dramacentral

dramacentral 11-23-2010 04:29 PM

Our school went to a lunch program this year with fantastic results. The food is healthy and organic. We have very picky eaters (including kids with sensory issues) as well as kids with diabetes, food allergies, the ketogenic diet to treat seizures, and all sorts of other things, and we weren't sure it would work, but it has. Kids regularly choose items from the salad bar, including the kindergarteners. As for getting through the line and managing the stuff, if our kids with motor impairments can do it, I think almost any child probably could. The new system took some getting used to at first, but now our kids are done with lunch in the same amount of time that it used to take in previous years and we don't have a problem getting anyone served on time.

And to the previous poster who made fun of Mrs. Obama's weight - I think we have enough problems in our society with belittling women and making it all about appearances. This is about health and nutrition, not size.

Tea"cheer" 11-23-2010 04:21 PM

I can see where having a salad bar option could be a bit of a struggle time-wise. However, I still think it is a wonderful idea! I always have at least half of my class choose salads when it is one of the lunch choices. Though I do agree that parents should be teaching their children about healthy food choices, I see no reason why it should not also be happening at school. Perhaps there will be children that will go grocery shopping with their parents and ask them to buy salad ingredients because they found that they liked them at school.

anna 11-23-2010 04:00 PM

FLteachESE.. thank you for responding

rubyanne 11-23-2010 03:50 PM

I think choice is fine but why not healthier choices? Why does it have to be several kinds of grease, fat, and starch? Our school started offering a lot of fruit choices at least. I was happy today to see brown rice and chicken instead of chicken nuggets and french fries for once!

subczy 11-23-2010 03:40 PM

michelle needs a bit more salad bar herself. lol

subczy 11-23-2010 03:39 PM

the food ladies have to serve all the selections to the kids as part of the federal food program. They will loose thier funding if they don't. they know much will get wasted...that is whey the government offers at least the school is being responsible in OFFERING it. It is always the child's choice to eat it or not.

rubyanne 11-23-2010 03:33 PM

I don't know why having a salad bar is a problem. At my school the salad is pre-made but my kindergarten students will choose it if they don't like the lunch. I also worked at a school with a salad bar and kids ate it. I think schools worry too much about what kids won't eat so they offer unhealthy choices. Limit the choice to healthier food and children will have no choice but to eat it.

My son has a salad bar that he really likes at his middle school. Of course most students choose pizza, hamburger, or other greasy foods that are offered daily.

I don't understand why people are even arguing over helping our children eat healthy! What is so wrong with Michelle Obama wanting healthier foods in our school? I know people argue that it is the parents responsibility to teach their children healthy eating but at my school most students get free or reduced lunches. That means students have to eat what is provided for them.

funkster 11-23-2010 03:06 PM

Our kids wouldn't eat or take the salad offered in the cafeteria. Then we put in a school organic garden. We grow our own lettuce, carrots etc. A chef came in and taught the kids how to make a healthy salad dressing. The kids gobbled up the salad. We don't have it every day, but when our own salad is served the kids all eat it!

subczy 11-23-2010 03:04 PM

HAVE salad bars. The kids love them. I know her platform is obesity but come on. The kids have a TOTAL of 20 min to eat. That includes walking to the room going through the line and sitting and lining up at the end. Perhaps if they didn't have to eat so freaking fast that would help.

jakshom 11-23-2010 03:03 PM

responsisbility. How to eat healthy. Guess parents can't teach them, so the teachers have to step in again.

The worse is the students who have money and refuse to eat lunch. I BEG them to eat.

FLteachESE 11-23-2010 02:59 PM

I will have to check on that- Our coaches ordered them.

anna 11-23-2010 02:47 PM

FlTeachEse: where do you order your feet charms? I have been looking all over for those

FLteachESE 11-23-2010 02:19 PM

I agree with those who stated that revising their cafeteria food should happen first before putting in a salad bar. Also, I am curious as to where schools allow chips and ice cream can be bought in elementary school?

If you are wondering how schools can achieve healthy lifestyles and enforce healthy habits, I can help in that aspect. You have to have complete buy in by your staff in order for it to work.

We do not allow any fast food to be brought to our school. If we celebrate birthdays and parties, we do it with healthy foods. We do not allow cupcakes or chips or cookies, either. We model healthy eating by eating with the students and preparing healthy snacks and menus for parties. Our lunchroom provides the regular meals and premade salads sit IN FRONT of the food area so the kids look at it first. The kids are told they can have AS MANY fruit and veggies as they want, as long as they can eat it We have a huge variety of fresh fruit, then we have canned. We have baby carrots and lite ranch, cucumbers, cole slaw, broccoli, cauliflower,etc. the students see us eating and we recommend it and they try it and soon more and more are eating it. I have a very picky eater and in a study last year of Alabama I brought in pralines and he actually tried it and liked it. Today, we made sweet corn bread, made our own butter, and had apple juice. We make banana bread, carrot bread, zuccini muffins and once we did fruit fondue for a party. We used dark chocolate because it is healthy and we had pineapple, bananas, strawberries, and oranges. Kids who had never had pineapple before tried it and LOVED it. The experience makes it very interesting to the kids.

We eagerly promote running at our school. We get the kids running everyday before school, at PE, and in the community. We use our aides and our coaches and they assist out in the field as the kids run or walk. Before beginning games at PE they have to run 3 laps. We have 2 PE classes, 1 Health, 1 Mileage Club, and 1 Fitness class.
The kids earn feet charms to put on a chain bracelet for every certain amount of miles they run. They love it! We have 3 Wii's, 2 treadmills, 3 elipticals, boxing bags, rowing machines, resistances cords in our fitness portable.
We also have a school wide 5 k run/walk once a quarter. The kids get ribbons for finishing.

We have not added any time to our school day in order to do this. What we have done is have a staff who have promoted this.

kali 11-23-2010 01:43 PM

We have a fruit & vegetable bar and it is great, it comes with the hot lunch. We have items like apples, carrots, corn, blueberries, pineapple, string beans, cherries, pickles, home made wheat bread, and watermelon for example. There usually is something added to teach the kids to try new things (diced up papaya) They try to offer local and seasonal items when possible too. I will say this- it is not cheap! We also had to extend out lunch period too. For large schools this would be tough. Our teachers help their K and 1 students through the salad bar, a teacher hands out milks, and another teacher helps them through the line. After some practice it does get easier, but like I said, for a big school this could be near impossible. You would be better off improving school lunches. The restrictions that school cooks have are unreal and the guidelines make it hard to be creative.

Like some of you have said...there are bigger issues to focus on. I want all kids to have healthy food too, but I also want the norm to be that parents find it their priority to provide their children with healthy lunches and making sure that they can afford to pack their kid a lunch if they do not like what is offered at school. It just seems that schools are becoming parents and it is not healthy for families. One thing to improve hot lunches, it is another thing to focus on kids having dozens of choices, because they are picky!

SusanTeach 11-23-2010 01:05 PM

Our school has salad regularly, but yet the kids have to ASK for it. Now..... they'll dump a handful of french fries on their plates automatically, but the kids have to ASK for the healthy stuff!

She needs to just tell them to quit with the million choices and go back to just making 1 plate of food and the kids eat what they want - no chance of just having a corn dog and french fries. They'd get a corn dog, salad, applesauce, and milk.

Sore subject with me.....

I chewed out (yeah, I know - I went back and apologized later) the cafeteria worker because she let one of my students (who's already ADD) buy 2 packs of cookies, a bag of chips, and an ice cream for himself! I was livid. I followed him over to the table and made him eat his entree before I'd let him eat the other junk. There should be a limit.

anna 11-23-2010 12:59 PM

I am sick of seeing all the junk that passes for food and drink in the school cafeteria. I say a salad bar ,fruit bar and fresh white milk is the way to go. Oatmeal and fresh fruit in the morning . If the kids don't like it,then they go hungry. I've always thought that the kids I work with are better off at school anyways.

leofenderfan 11-23-2010 12:11 PM

How 'bout a cash bar instead?

timeforbed 11-23-2010 11:56 AM

Huh. We had one for about two years and they took it away last year. They said it wasn't a healthy environment for food.

They do offer a salad and I'd say about 1/10 of the kids buy it.

acorn 11-23-2010 11:46 AM

Most schools here in the county I work in have salad bars. When I subbed that does not mean the kids choose to eat the stuff. I have seen K-2 eat mounds of imitation bacon bits and pepperoni. UGH.... Most do not choose lettuce . I have seen so much food go to waste in schools.

One day I was eating hot lunch and I requested that the lady please not place refried beans on my plate. She did this for me and the child behind me requested the same thing and the child received the response "Sorry dear, you have to have them on your plate." Waste

having a salad bar in a school does not mean the students will choose to eat from it.

Clarity 11-23-2010 11:26 AM

Answer: No.

Perhaps in the private-school-for-the-very-rich that her kids attend, they can have adults standing at the salad bar to serve the Richie Rich kids whatever they point to.

Most kids don't even LIKE salad or vegetables. How exactly are we supposed to FORCE them to eat it?

musicbug 11-23-2010 11:11 AM

Obviously you have forgotten the first rule of being a child.: Drown all offending foods (ie veggies in as much goop as possible). If you use a quarter cup of ranch dressing ( even if it is low or fat free) to drown two little scoops of iceburg lettuce ( that has almost no nutritional value) , a handful of carrots and a tomato or two. You aren't getting much. Especially if you are also eating the extra hot cheetos from home or the corner store too.

crockpotqueen 11-23-2010 11:06 AM

The kids are not taking and most of the time not eating the vegetable and fruit offerings that are provided. At my school, there are pretty good choices most of the time... canned fruits, little green salads w/ spinach and carrot shreds, grapes, other fresh fruits like apples and pears....There are several kinds of things for the kids to choose from each day and they can pick any two... but they don't.

I don't see how having a salad bar will make anything easier. It's just more to maintain and I suspect there would be a lot of waste.

I keep hearing all these things about what needs to happen in schools as declared by the feds... but where is the money going to come from for all this??? Extended school day? Extended school year? Who is going to pay for extending the hours of the teachers, custodians, secretaries, support staff, not to mention electricity, supplies, water and other upkeep issues. Adding a salad bar is yet another one of these ideas that sounds great but SOMEONE isn't thinking about the cost and the time/effort it will take to implement.

tcmje 11-23-2010 11:01 AM

We have a salad bar at our K-2 school. The kids manage that just fine. Honestly.

The real issue is the burritos COOKED in plastic bags, the unrecognizable "meat" or "meat" gravy, and so on.

And, our salad bar often has cut-up corn dogs or pizza - leftovers from the day before. So, kids can get a plastic-bagged burrito, cut up corn dogs, olives, pickles, and a river of Ranch. Oh, and their chocolate milk.


Candace in WA

blueheron 11-23-2010 10:44 AM

can handle serving themselves. What needs to go away are the daily supplies of packages of pretzels, fish crackers, puddings, the 12 different versions of hot pockets, and the chicken sandwiches that are large enough to feed a small nation. It doesn't matter if kids put fresh vegetables on their trays, if what they are consuming is chocolate milk and chocolate pudding.

momabaarjo 11-23-2010 10:00 AM

I think we have more important issues in schools! Maybe she should focus her attention on the issue of reading or something more important....

She has never been in a REAL school before...fingers in food, unclean hands, fingers in mouth then food, 30 minutes to get through the line of 75 first graders, sit down, eat, clean up...

Does she not know that the choices we put on salads can make it worse then french fries? What about the prep time needed for these choices...

Give me a break...this woman lives in lala land!

museumuse 11-23-2010 09:37 AM

Thank goodness for the sneeze guard.

apple annie 11-23-2010 09:35 AM

Saw the announcement on the news the other night that Michele Obama intends to put salad bars in every school. Just trying to picture the 125 kindergartners in my school trying to build a salad at a salad bar.

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