Should schools regulate what students bring for their lunches?
Children spend much energy in school, should replenish it to feel good, stay active and reach academic heights. A time window between breakfast and coming home after lessons is way too long, so young people need to have a snack at a break.
Nutritionists claim that a growing organism should receive exclusively healthy and natural food to reach its full potential, form all organs and systems correctly. Many children make unhealthy choices due to the popularity of fast food and wrong eating habits, which causes school administrations’ concern. To change the situation for better, some educational institutions check lunches brought from home and replace them with healthy food if there are harmful products in a package.
This approach seems to be reasonable and beneficial. However, some parents do not like the fact that they should pay extra for school meals, think that educators’ task is to teach children and not look into their mouths. There is a heated controversy between advocates and opponents of lunch checking. Experts from professional assignment writing service have analyzed the key arguments of both parties and outlined them in the article below.
Advantages of lunch control
Not all parents have time to slice salads and cook soups. Most of them pack sandwiches for kids. Also, students may be given money to buy sweets, pizza or hamburgers on the way to school. Moms and dads accustomed to junk food usually do not care about the fact that it contains many elements with long shelf life which are not processed normally by a human body and deposited in organs. Sugar, salts, sodium are particularly harmful. Not only they create deposits but also prevent absorbing other nutritive elements. As a result, students’ metabolism and immune system suffer, chronic diseased develop.
Our country has alarming obesity statistics. This problem ceased to be characteristic only to 40+ people working in offices, like several decades ago. Today, even small kids who should be active and have good metabolism have extra weight. Of course, the main reasons for this are unhealthy snacks and a sedentary lifestyle.
If not tracking calorie content, young people consume much more food than their organism needs. But the thing is that junk food is devoid of dietary fiber, so it satisfies hunger for a very short period of time. At the same time, salts and sugar have a strong impact on taste buds, may act like drugs and intensify hunger. Kids allowed to bring unhealthy lunches to school may eat candies or chips at each break and never feel fullness, while layers of fat cover their bodies, become a reason for psychological and health problems.
Opponents of lunch checks are not right when claiming that food is not related to academic activities, so it should not concern a school administration. Scientists have long proved that nutritive elements may affect brain’s work. In particular, sodium and sugar provoke very unhealthy processes.
If a person eats a chocolate bar at a break, one usually feels energy surge, becomes hyperactive and even anxious. But this effect is very rapid. Over several minutes, attention weakens, it becomes harder to focus, listen to a teacher attentively, perform tricky assignments. By the end of a lesson, a student is tired and exhausted, needs a new portion of fuel for a brain. One becomes a prisoner of a vicious circle which brings no satisfaction. Unavailability of a sweet drug may cause a depressive, lethargic state.
It is worth remembering that rapid sugar surges are bad for health and may result in diabetes. Therefore, it is much better to eat soup or porridge in a canteen. Such food is processed slowly and brings long-lasting energetic effect.
Disadvantages of lunch control
Lack of pleasure
Students work hard in school and sometimes want to reward themselves with food. Not all healthy meals are tasty. Would anybody regard an apple or a boiled chicken as a prize? No. In contrast, sweets may raise mood and inspire a person to study devotedly.
A school turns into prison if educators control all students’ moves and choices.
Kids need fresh emotions, get tired of the same vegetables and soups in a menu. Without lunch control, they could buy something new in supermarkets and make their lives a bit brighter. This does not mean that junk food should be consumed every day. Buy a muffin quite can be eaten once a week.
Some educational institutions replace home-packed lunches with school meals for free, while others demand a fee. Parents report that the meals they packed for kids were rejected even if there was only one unhealthy product. It seems that canteens try to organize a kind of shady business and force students to eat their food.