A mother says it is very disturbing to see a growing number of
schools rather than parents taking the lead on nutrition.
Schools have been offering lunch for decades, and breakfast has
been a more recent addition to school menus. Now, some schools are
offering dinner. There is even a push in Congress to get schools to
provide meals during holidays and weekends. Meanwhile, some school
board members are pushing take-home snacks, citing concerns that
children don't have enough to eat after school. That is the case in
the Columbus, Mississippi school district, one of
the largest in the state.
Julie Gunlock of the Independent Women's
Forum says there is no reason why schools should be expected to
provide meals for children.
"It's a very depressing sign about our culture, having the idea
that parents either are not doing this or that schools think that
they can do it better," she says. "Either way, it's a very sad
commentary on the culture in America."
Gunlock says children benefit most when their parents take a
greater role in their nutritional development. This includes areas
such as sitting down for a family dinner, limiting a child's
television consumption and making sure they get enough sleep.
"What are all three of these things? They are things that
parents ostensibly should be doing," she says. "These are not
school lunch programs. The data doesn't show that healthy school
lunches and snack packs help a child stay healthy. No, what helps a
child stay healthy is actual interaction with their parents."
Gunlock adds that no one is suggesting children should starve,
but it's important that we look at the real solution.