LAUSD – WE WANT FOOD FOR LUNCH
FOOD FOR LUNCH is a group of concerned LAUSD parents, residents, grassroots and community organizations from across Los Angeles who have joined together to affect positive change in the LAUSD lunchroom.
In response to what even the USDA is calling “the single greatest threat to public health in this century,” the obesity epidemic, and to combat health trends in this epidemic which will put 1 in 2 of America’s children at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime, we propose the following changes be made immediately for food served to children at breakfast and lunch:
We advocate for California-sourced, whole foods served daily for breakfast and lunch.
We want more unprocessed fruits and vegetables served with each meal.
We want foods with no added sugar to food or milk, and remove foods made with high fructose corn syrup.
We want filtered, non-bottled water as a beverage option school-wide.
We want food that is sustainably sourced and minimally packaged as well as a have a reduction of individually wrapped and packaged foods.
In addition, we want transparency from LAUSD Food Services in menu choices and food selection and a willingness from the School Board and Food Services to go through the challenge of transition as healthier changes are implemented in LAUSD breakfasts and lunches.
Our demands are consistent with the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and can be accomplished, among other ways, by adding a salad and fruit bar in every school, discontinuing dessert at lunch and pastries for breakfast, eliminating milk with added flavors and/or sugar, and by offering cold, filtered water in place of juice and sweetened beverages.
These demands are also consistent with motions and resolutions of recent years which have come before the school board, including the LAUSD Healthy Beverage Resolution of 2004, the Cafeteria Improvement Motion of 2005, and the Childhood Obesity Prevention Motion of 2004, the latter which states “Research has found a clear connection between good nutrition and student achievement, and schools that have implemented healthy food programs report fewer behavioral problems.”
We believe that the health-giving properties of food go beyond what is printed on its package. Processing removes or destroys the inherent nutrients and quality of whole foods that are vital to good health and obesity prevention, including fiber, enzymes and phytochemicals. Processed food, even “vitamin enriched” and “trans-fat free” is largely devoid of these essential nutrients which are present in whole, unprocessed food.
To continue the efforts detailed in the forementioned documents, as well as to uphold LAUSD’s Wellness Policy of 2006 (which states “The District employs a full-time produce buyer to purchase the highest quality fresh produce daily”), we demand the cooperation of both the School Board and Food Services to improve the quality of the food served to children in LAUSD by serving more whole foods and less processed foods with added sugars and fats.
Our demands are evidence-based and lead with the premise that the cafeteria is a place of learning and that good dietary habits learned in childhood will be carried into adulthood. A healthier food program at LAUSD schools will help accomplish the US Dietary Guidelines’ advisory committee’s priorities and protect our children from obesity and Type 2 diabetes.