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Students Making Important Food choices

Isabella Martenson, Writer

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Every year, Chartwells and other companies try to make school lunches healthier and more appealing at the same time. The company’s goals are to change the school lunch stereotype of being less than appetizing and while still keeping the food healthy, but are they doing enough to regulate what the students eat?

To incoming 6th graders the food at Bedford is something to look forward to. The food at Bedford is supposedly a big step up to food at the elementary schools in Westport; but with the variety of choices, the cafeteria food can be overwhelming and unhealthy foods can be tempting. Because of this students can find themselves getting something “unhealthy.”

“Students have to make good choices,” said Susie Miller and Carmel Kearney, both nurses at BMS.

Isabella Martenson
While some make good choices by eating salads and fruit and whole grain options, many choose to eat pizza, chicken tenders, fries and cookies for lunch every day. A website called Nutrislice showcases all the available foods for lunch at BMS along with their nutritional value (the amount of sodium, calories, sugar, protein etc.) According to the Nutrislice website, one slice of sausage pizza is 460 calories and 1,010 mg of sodium.

According to the FDA, the daily value for sodium is under 2,300 mg of sodium, going by their calculations that’s a little less than half of the amount of sodium people should have each day wasted on one slice of pizza. Even though sausage pizza is only offered once a week, pepperoni pizza is offered every day and has 920 mg of sodium.

Although having a high amount of sodium once in a while is fine, according to the “Dietary Guideline for Americans,” diets higher in sodium can be associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.  

Although finding something healthy to eat at school lunch with all the choices and tempting foods can be hard for someone who’s picky, Chartwells is working to give picky kids at BMS lots of healthy choices. For example they’ve launched salad bars at every school this year, when talking about the salad bars the Director of Dining Services for Chartwells, Ms.VanCoughnett said, “The students love building it themselves, choosing what they like instead of being forced to take items that they later discard.”

Another healthy option at BMS are the Bento Boxes. Each box is filled with fresh, healthy and fun to eat options. They are a great “Grab and Go” option for students who don’t want to wait in line for a healthy lunch. The food in the bento boxes change every week from boneless chicken wings with celery, carrots, and ranch to sunbutter, apple slices and cheddar cheese cubes.

There will always be the students that want a burger and fries, but we strive to offer a wide variety of items so that students can make their own decisions.” concluded Deborah Vancoughnett.

 

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