COWETA, Ok. - A Coweta mom is outraged after seeing what her son is given to eat for school lunch.
Crystal Skinner said, “This is not OK. How are kids supposed to be doing good in school when this is all they’re getting for lunch?”
Skinner had lunch with her third-grade son at school, but she was stunned when his neighbor opened his plate: a bag of Cheez-Its, a box of raisins, a few carrots, and a cup of yogurt.
Her son told her that was the “cold plate” option for the day. He said it’s what’s normally in there and admitted to eating it himself up to three days a week.
The mom’s first thought was, “Where is the rest of your food? This is not OK.”
Coweta Public Schools Director of Nutrition Vickie Middleton said, “New FDA guidelines says we are to offer a half a cup of fruit, half a cup of vegetables, half a cup of grain, a whole cup of meat and a cup of milk or juice.”
She explained that students have to take three out of the five components and says that students could take a fruit, a milk and a juice, and the lunch would be three out of the five and still qualify as a reimbursable meal.
2 Works for You sent the picture of this lunch to registered dietician Dr. Jennifer Jackson. She said, “Cheez-Its is not an acceptable whole grain component since the ingredient is wheat flour and not whole grain.” However, she went on to say that yogurt is an acceptable meat alternative.
Looking at the picture, there is a grain, a vegetable, and a fruit. But the box of raisins in the picture is only one ounce. To get a full half cup serving of fruit, the school would have to put four boxes of raisins in the plate.
Skinner said, “I just don’t think they are putting enough time and effort into what they’re actually serving the kids. It’s like they’re just trying to follow the guidelines and just throwing stuff in there, not concerned about what the kids really want to eat or whether they will eat it or not.”
Coweta Public School stands by their claim that the lunches meet regulations - something Skinner doesn’t argue with but wishes something could be done.
The mother said, “I was unaware that this was going on at the school. That’s what hurt me. If i knew, i would’ve been sending a lunch to school with him every day instead of saying the school is going to feed you right for lunch. After seeing that, my heart hurt.”