New Zealand

School Lunch: Hangi, Roast and Tacos Fail on Government School Lunch Program Grades

Some tips that may help encourage empty lunch boxes.

Even Friday’s hangi, cauliflower, chipotle tacos, and even hummus and salad wrap were among the 80 dishes rejected because they weren’t healthy enough in the government’s free school lunch program.

Currently, there are 790 schools in the Kaola Kaako Healthy School Lunch Program, which can offer students a free lunch. By the end of the year it would have expanded to 964 schools and clubs, accounting for more than 25 percent of school students.

There are strict guidelines to ensure that these lunches are healthy. Paul Goldsmith, an education spokesman for the Nationalist Party, asked if the focus on health has sacrificed children’s tastes.

“Of course, we want our diet to be healthy, but you also want them to be eaten.

“Every parent knows that you have to balance your natural desire for health with your desire for lunch that you can actually eat.

“My parents wouldn’t have done well with the marmite and chip sandwiches I got, or with marmite and lettuce on bad days.”

The list of dishes that violated nutritional guidelines during the first semester of the school year included a variety of bread rolls, sandwiches, wraps, and other school lunch staples, as well as unhealthy options such as pizza bread, burgers, and nacho. It was.

Friday’s Hangi Ranch was rejected because it was 75% unhealthy.

Packed lunch for meals in school programs. Photo / Bevan Conley
Packed lunch for meals in school programs. Photo / Bevan Conley

The butter chicken was no no, as was the creamed corn basket with zucchini and corn fritters, carrot salad and pasta salad. Some roasted dinner options were rejected because they were not healthy enough.

Some meals were rejected due to the wrong amount. The guidelines stipulate a maximum of 50g for filled rolls and a maximum of 120g for meat-based meals.

All fat is also expected to be trimmed from the meat and chicken used.

Sushi was allowed unless fried food was included.

However, the cheese and lettuce sandwich was rejected because it was “protein-free.”

The program was scrutinized for questions about its cost and the number of remaining lunches and partially eaten lunches.

Goldsmith said $ 676 million will be allocated over the next four years while schools seek further help to address issues such as helping children with autism and ADHD. , Said the government needs to justify the need to provide a widespread lunch program. ..

Education Minister Chris Hypkins said he admitted that there was food loss from leftover meals, but schools reported that it diminished over time as children became accustomed to eating the food provided to them. did.

Education Minister Chris Hypkins announced an extension of the Kaorakaako project at Welcome Bay School in March.Photo / George Novak
Education Minister Chris Hypkins announced an extension of the Kaorakaako project at Welcome Bay School in March.Photo / George Novak

He said there are school-wide standards to ensure that lunch is healthy and that it is important to allow children to try new foods and develop good eating habits. ..

“Highly processed foods are cheap, convenient and delicious. Many parents, including myself, understand the difficulty of feeding their children healthy foods.”

Lunch providers must meet strict nutrition and quantity requirements.

The guideline signaling system requires that at least 75% of meals be “green items.” Health foods such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and low-fat proteins such as chicken, seafood and legumes.

Cooking containing “red items” was not allowed. Examples of red items included chips and candy.

Only milk (preferably low fat) and water can be used as drinks.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Education began monitoring several schools to find out how many children did not eat the lunch offered and why.

The school will be asked to record which lunch was not eaten and work with the supplier on the menu. The Ministry of Health said that since the first phase, most suppliers have adjusted their menus and their dishes meet the guidelines.

The school did not need to record the number of extra or uneaten lunches daily or weekly, but was asked to provide an estimated percentage at the end of each semester.

School Lunch: Hangi, Roast and Tacos Fail on Government School Lunch Program Grades

SourceSchool Lunch: Hangi, Roast and Tacos Fail on Government School Lunch Program Grades

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