It’s difficult to overstate the importance of a healthy school lunch program. Everyone from teachers to researchers to medical professionals have said time and again that kids who eat a nutritious school lunch not only have less trouble focusing in class, they also tend to carry over their good eating habits into adulthood, leading healthier and more active lives. In other words, nutritious school lunches have an immediate and long term positive impact on the kids who are given them. Every single politician in America wouldn’t hesitate to extoll the virtues of a good lunch program. But how healthy are America’s school lunches, at least compared to the international competition? If you believe the researchers at sweetgreen, though, the United States still has a lot of ground to make up when it comes to fueling our kids for the school day.
On paper, the National School Lunch Program is awesome. It’s designed to provide kids with low-cost, nutritionally balanced meals that are based on constantly updated guidelines from the USDA. The sole purpose of the NSLP is to get food to kids of every social status with minimal fuss. Of course, the prohibitive size of the United States means that when the lunches finally end up in front of the kids, they look like this.