Oftentimes, parents assume that they are providing their children with optimum nutrition by having them take a lunch prepared at home rather than allowing them to eat the lunches prepared in the school cafeteria. However, recently released studies indicate that this may not be the case.
According to research covered in New York Times’ blog Well, home-packed lunches are less likely be as nourishing as the meals provided in schools that adhere to the current nutrition guidelines under the National School Lunch Program.
Perhaps unfortunately, the National School Lunch Program has come under increasing attack. For example, Andrew Heiberger says the program’s requirements for only whole grains and less salt were recently reversed in a spending bill that the Senate approved on December 13.
Despite attacks against the program, many wellness experts advocate it and state that it shouldn’t be continually undermined. Instead, they argue that more schools should participate in it. Almost 32 million of more than 50 million young people who attend public schools at the elementary and secondary level consume school lunches, and most of these lunches are provided by the program. For more than half of these children, 50% or more of their daily caloric consumption comes from this lunch meal.