School lunch news: California poll, Kansas high school video, and praise for OUSD

Staff Photojournalist Jane Tyska
Photo by Jane Tyska/Staff

A recent statewide poll released by The California Endowment, a health foundation that promotes nutritious school lunches, found that 82 percent of students and 91 percent of parents surveyed support the latest changes in school lunch nutrition standards, overall. The changes include a greater variety of produce, more whole grains, portion size guidelines and calorie limits.

After hearing summarized arguments for and against calorie restriction, about 64 percent of students and 56 percent parents said they thought the calorie limits should continue, the California Endowment reported.

Students who made headlines with this music video parody, “We Are Hungry,” seem to feel differently. They argue that active students, especially those who play sports, simply need more fuel. (Some student-athletes at Berkeley High told me the same thing a few years ago, when I was doing a profile on Ann Cooper, who transformed the district’s lunch offerings.)

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Another reason for summer school: national security?

Staff PhotojournalistRetired military officers think so.

The nonprofit Mission: Readiness (affiliated with the public safety-related group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids) put out a report this week arguing that summer inactivity was contributing to the obesity crisis and high dropout rate — which, in turn, poses a threat to the economy and the military’s ability to recruit.

What do you make of that link? I wrote about it in today’s Oakland Tribune.

While we’re on the subject: In case you missed it, summer programs at Global Family Elementary School, Roosevelt Middle School and Madison Middle School were featured in Sunday’s paper.

Along with the story, you’ll find a video of the new summer science classes at Global Family (free STEM courses are in place at 17 Oakland elementary and middle schools this year) and a very practical feature on how to make s’mores without a campfire. (As my friend Sandler found out, solar ovens are great for melting chocolate, but don’t do much to marshmallows.)

photo by D. Ross Cameron/Oakland Tribune