Change in Diversity Needed for School Lunches


Elenes Anika, Staff Writer

School lunches here at FVS have remained below standard. This isn’t said with malicious intent, but simply to bring light to the quality of food in which we are consuming. 

Imagine a student going through half the day of learning and slowly yearning for those 35 minutes to have a delicious lunch to keep themselves awake and alert, only to walk through the lunch line seeing only a plain cheeseburger available. Students attending Thunderbird Highschool deserve a broader variety of choices to pick from. 

First of all, these cheeseburgers sometimes are the only available meal to have for some. Of course, a simple cheeseburger isn’t the only food choice available, but the main lunch meals served do run out, and those poor students at the back of the line are left with the scraps. Now, if instead of cheeseburgers we were left with a healthier choice then it wouldn’t be as unfavorable, but unfortunately, that is simply not the case. Eating even one cheeseburger a day isn’t necessarily recommended, but now imagine eating one every day, 5 days a week. 

According to Marham. pk the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced recently that fine meat is carcinogenic and red meat is a potential cause of cancer. Needless to say, one burger every now and then is debatably harmless, but eating one on a regular basis? Potentially very harmful. In addition, “According to the FDA (Food and Drug Authority), adults should not consume more than 2300 mg of sodium in a day. In contrast, there is more than a thousand mg of sodium in a single burger.” If grown adults are not recommended to eat burgers then why are we as kids getting fed them?

Now not only is it physically harmful but emotionally this can take a toll on anyone’s mental health. Obviously, this type of eating might lead to weight gain which is in no way a bad thing, but when that’s met with troubling matters such as eating disorders, it gets tricky. According to, nearly 15 percent of the patients at the inpatient eating disorders treatment program for children and adolescents at Rogers Memorial Hospital trace triggers for their eating disorders to school programming. Many students dealing with either binging or similar problems may feel inclined to reach for the cheeseburger. The fruits offered are not of the best quality they can be, and the sizes are unsatisfactory. Basically, it’s a choice between small fruits or a normal-sized meal, and most will choose the latter.

Many may believe that cheeseburgers are a simple option for a lunch meal, and of course, there is still the basic chicken salad that is also readily available. However, even the salad is not the best in terms of flavor or health. The matter of fact is that school lunches are not healthy at all. They aren’t as enjoyable as many hope and it is hard to keep up with a good lifestyle when these are the options students are faced with. According to almost 25% of the School going children take ultra-processed food with high levels of sugar, salt, and fat, such as pizza and burgers, from fast food outlets more than once a week.” This isn’t normal nor should it be seen as such.

These lunch plans can be greatly improved, and there are many ways in which we can do so. According to healthier school lunches can improve academic outcomes and reduce authorized absences related to illness. Healthy school lunch initiatives have been associated with increased free National School Lunch Program (NSLP) participation. Here are a couple of ways the lunches could meet expectations. First of all, providing bigger and better fruits and vegetables is a great start. Reducing saturated fats, trans fat, and sodium is also key to a healthier meal. Although it may be costly, adding in a salad bar could be very impactful and would benefit many. 

In conclusion, the school lunches are in no way completely inadequate, but of course, there are certain flaws that could easily be fixed. Let’s all try our best to advocate for ourselves, and ask for better lunches. Not just for us, but for future generations to come.