First lady Michelle Obama is taking some heat on social media, after high school students started posting unappetizing pictures of school lunches that meet new health guidelines. Using the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama, the students complain about how the food looks, a lack of seasoning and smaller portion sizes.
A collection of tweets on Buzzfeed includes mushy Spanish rice apparently in need of salt, a disappointing modified Thanksgiving meal, a scoop of cheesy baked beans and a meager chicken sandwich, plus a pool of applesauce. To the naked eye, most of these lunches look like school fare of yore (not that Spanish rice, though). Were it not for being served in industrial trays or in the form of an ice-cream scoop, not all of them technically meet the "gross" test. Still, the students aren't happy. And they're blaming the first lady's success in changing guidelines for the National School Lunch Program to offer fewer calories, less sodium, more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
This isn't the first time the #ThanksMichelleObama has made the rounds. Schools continue to experiment with better menus while incorporating their limitations. Some districts, such as Los Angeles Unified, have made-over their healthier menus several times, the latest trying to incorporate more locally sourced foods.
Some lunchroom makeovers have resulted in an alarming amount of waste, with kids throwing out carrots and bananas, or with a significant number of kids opting out of the meals altogether. Other schools found scheduling lunch to follow, rather than precede recess, upped not only the number of those buying lunches but also the amount of food being consumed.