How Healthy Do Students Think School Lunch Is?

Daniel Shiraki, Student Life

School lunch is healthy as per government rules, but is it considered healthy when students compare it to their regular meals?
According to the School Nutrition Standards, school lunches for secondary education students must offer fruits and vegetables. Students are required to take at least one half-cup of fruits or vegetables with every school lunch from that offering. All school lunches also must have at least 51% of grain, less 570 grams of sodium, no trans fat, and no more than 10 percent of calories can come from saturated fat, all within less than 1,080 calories.
“I would say that the food that the school serves us is probably healthier than what I would normally eat, but I don’t normally eat all of the school lunch, so I don’t think I’m eating it as healthy as it should,” Justin Camerlingo (9) says.
The US Department of Agriculture recommends that Americans eat at least two cups of fruit a day for adults. School lunches serve around a cup of fruit on average.
“I don’t think school lunch is healthy because they don’t serve as much fruit as I would normally eat,” Jasper Xue (9) says. “I probably eat more fruit than what most people eat, but for me, school lunch isn’t healthier than my meals because of that reason.”
Schools typically have an optional one cup of vegetables for students. The CDC states that the recommended amount of vegetables to eat a day is around 2-3 cups.
“I don’t think that school lunch isn’t even close to how healthy my meals at home are,” Jesse Jongs (9) says. “My mom is very health-conscious, so normally I eat an abnormal amount of vegetables and other healthy things like that.”
Mason Nagata believes school lunches are “bland,” so they must be healthy.
“What I mean by that is that school food is free from a lot of unhealthy seasonings and oils that are normally used in foods,” Nagata adds. “I don’t really know what seasonings are healthy, but school lunch is probably free from a lot of what would be unhealthy seasonings.”