Comments about ‘Kathleen Parker: Eating Michelle's lunch’

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Published: Tuesday, June 3 2014 10:45 p.m. MDT

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Ontario, OR

An astonishing number of parents are not going to provide nutritious (or any other kind of) lunches for their kids; hence, the school lunch program. Many schools also have free or subsidized breakfast for kids because so many come with empty stomachs. I have had breakfast with grandchildren at their school in a low-income area. Many poor neighborhoods have no decent produce in their local markets, partly because kids aren't being taught to eat it. Our schools need to educate children -- and parents, if possible -- regarding good nutrition. People who prepare lunches for kids need to learn ways of making good food look and taste good (it's an art). Kids need good eating time supervision and encouragement from volunteers and the coolest school staff. Left to themselves, kids will waste food and eat junk. Your snide political remarks, Ms. Parker, are inappropriate here. We should all be working together to help kids eat better and exercise more. Parents, of course, should lead the effort, but many, unfortunately, are not adequately informed, equipped, or inclined.


I'm tired of the racial overtones & GOP bashing when others don't buy into the Obama's & liberal pathetic agenda. There's no war on women or children by the GOP & if there were, blacks like me wouldn't support the GOP. If, as a businessman, my company produced substandard products like the Obama's & liberals consistently does,it'll fold or go bankrupt. When the left does it, one million excuses for the failure surfaces & eventually, & blames the Republicans or President Bush. Obama's been in office six years & still riding the same old "dead horse" namely "blame Bush." If MIchelle Obama's lunches are that terrible, give her tips how it can be better. If it's bad it's bad regardless who points it out. Let's rise above the pettiness and try to offer valid suggestions. Republicans will continue to criticize the Democrats work just as they will criticize the GOP's work. They will almost always be on the opposite end of issues thus; politics happen.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

"We can't all have a chef or send our children to private schools with meatier lunches, as the Obamas do."

Isn't envy a sin in conservative circles, Ms. Parker?

Attleboro, MA

It would be a needed and positive step for parents to take more responsibility for the nutrition of their own children. Or, how about parents insisting that CHILDREN make their own lunches with oversight from parents? What could be a better way to teach children about food and nutrition? Kids love hands on projects! Let's get big, bloated, expensive and ever expansive government out of our local school cafeteria! Slim, trim, and healthy can apply to school lunch AND the Federal Government. As it should.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

"We can't all have a chef or send our children to private schools with meatier lunches, as the Obamas do. "

That says it all. These arrogant know it all liberals make rules for everyone else but they never have to live under their own tyranny.

Carson City, NV

Parents could help tremendously with this if they would not only fix their children's lunches, but involve the children in fixing them. My granddaughter now knows how to read labels on cans and jars at the store, she looks up calories on line with me, she has become much more aware of what she his eating and the cost to her body. We also completed our first 5K walk the first of May. So she is also more active. Parents! The school can't fix this by themselves. Our children must eat better and exercise more. They have to do both! Take some time and go for a walk with your children, it will be good for you also. Interesting, when you watch Biggest Loser, most of the heaviest parents, have overweight children. Be careful the message you send to your children.

Bountiful, UT

Love the article! I agree. Mrs. Obama's goal is a worthy one BUT I believe that some wiggle room is needed. I have seen a lot of waste as well. The lunchroom should not be another source of government waste. We need to allow the local communities to adjust the menu while choosing versions of local favorites that have less fat, salt, and sugar. I have to say, the WORST hospital food I ever tasted was in a suburb of Illinois. (I was recovering from delivering my second son.) The hospital nutrition ladies brought in fabulous looking meals. Unfortunately, they were all low fat, low salt, low sugar. Other than the protein item, I could barely distinguish the flavor of the other items from the bland dessert. Of course, that may be how they get people to leave quickly!

Casa Grande, AZ

"We can't all have a chef or send our children to private schools with meatier lunches, as the Obamas do."

Isn't envy a sin in conservative circles, Ms. Parker?

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

The overreach continues.

Highland, UT

I have eaten many of Michelle's dumpster-worthy school lunches. I understand the school lunch program was implemented after WW!(?) as soldiers in the draft were to skinny for battle. I don't know when school breakfast came on the scene.

I wonder if the "who should be responsible for our children's lunches" debate in the US is a "chicken or the egg" argument? Do kids eat school lunch just because it's there, or do kids really need it? In rural areas, I bet parents use it out of convenience more than necessity, urban areas, kids really do go hungry.

I grew up in Canada. Until Hight school, our only option was the brown bag from home. Then it was cool if you had money in your pocket to BUY something from the High School cafeteria - cinnamon roll Monday, Chocolate chip cookie Tuesday, and meals that were delicious, abundant and worth the MONEY we paid. There were no subsidies or free lunch. It was a for-profit program for the school to pay its cafeteria expenses and earn some $$ for the school besides.

Escalante, UT

Seems to me if parents took care of THEIR responsibilities and fed THEIR children nutritious food, the onus wouldn't be on the schools or government to do THEIR jobs!Also,if the kids are given healthy food at school and refuse it,they'll soon get over their spoiled little tantrums when they get hungry enough...parents need to be parents or don't have kids!

LOU Montana
Pueblo, CO

Kathleen Parker you have lowered yourself to the same level of stupidity of the GOP. At all cost and no matter what the issue is disagree with anything and everything the President and his party does.

How can anyone in there right mind object to good nutrition? Then there is the GOP who is suppose to support Good Old Fashion Values. Well??? Isn't making kids eat healthy food "Good Old Fashion Values"? Caving into to children and letting them have their way with a nutritious meal is not "Good Old Fashion Values".

Come on Kathleen pick your battles but don't lower yourself to such stupidity!

Springville, UT

I am astounded that Republicans/right wingers have their knickers in a twist about Mrs. Obama's effort to promote better eating and exercise. They has mocked this effort, tried to turn it into a nefarious activity, and otherwise bad mouthed Mrs. Obama and her cause. I really don't know what is the point of Parker's op-ed piece here, except to perhaps knock it in a more discrete way. The fact that commenters here are saying stuff like "liberals... tyranny" and take other cheap shots speaks to the petty, negative and self-loathing cynicism of the right wing. Mrs. Obama's cause is no different than Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign (which was pretty weak with little follow-through) or Laura Bush's literacy campaign. All of these efforts have been about enhancing the lives of Americans and helping educate folks. There is nothing wicked, evil or coercive about any of it. Spare us the drama.

West Jordan, UT

My issue with this argument is the same issue I have with a lot of arguments. Everybody wants to complain that their children hate school lunches, but nobody wants to do anything about it. For the same price my children would pay to eat school lunch all week I can provide a balanced lunch from home including all of the food groups necessary. My kids help make it so they know what their getting. We're all happy. While I know this isn't a possibility for all, it would definitely cut down on waste for most.
For those who must eat school lunch every day, and the parents who support them, start coming up with ways to fix it. Adjustments can and should be made to provide healthy, affordable meals to children. Childhood obesity runs rampant and part of the reason is people would rather complain than get up and do something about it. Perhaps if we encourage people to stand up we could solve two issues; lack of exercise and school lunches.

boneheaded, but not a smidgen

"let them eat cake".

Clovis, NM

We spend billions on obesity awareness and cafeteria lunches that kids won't eat. Why not go backwards in time? I graduated in the 70's and my yearbook shows few overweight students. I see three differences in lifestyle: Mandatory PE, real cooking classes, and sack lunches.

My children stopped having mandatory PE after 7th grade. High school PE was reserved for varsity sports. Kids need mandatory PE including some non competitive sports options.

My children had the option of taking "teen living". The cooking class had a budget for food prep like microwave popcorn, ramen noodles, and jello. Well equipped kitchen areas were practically untouched due to no food to cook. They need to learn to cook real food.

My children could pack a lunch rather than eat in the cafeteria if they liked. It was often tastier than cafeteria food. Too expensive? Why not a 15 minute period before school where kids can pack a sandwich, fruit, and veggies to be eaten later plus a voucher for milk. At least they would probably eat it.

We need to stop advocating and start providing workable solutions.

Salt Lake City, UT

For an interesting school lunch cultural "compare and contrast" homework exercise, try viewing Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" program on his visit to Lyon, France (the series is on endless rotation on CNN, so the episode will come around again). Bourdain has lunch in a French elementary school. The menu is four-star, healthful, with fresh local ingredients, prepared and individually served by a cook who dines with the students. The plates are spotless at the end. I can't say that this is representative of all French schools (Lyon has a foodie tradition) but, in concert with the fuss about French parenting awhile back, it speaks to the fact that children are not inherently fussy eaters who will only consume fast food or packaged convenience foods. They are taught both good and bad eating habits. Bringing it back to Ms. Parker's column, I suspect the French kids eat well at home and it translates to accepting good food at school. In the US, I suspect too many parents default to pizza and Hot Pockets for meals at home. Their kids are naturally going to reject grilled asparagus with saffron couscous at school.

Los Angeles, CA

The conservative bashing of the First Lady for trying to get kids to eat more nutritious meals is especially mendacious. I don't know why trying to get kids to eat vegetables has becone a controversy--oh wait, I do. It's because Michelle Obama did it and anything an Obama does is going to make Republicans freak out. If Laura Bush had done it (as she did with literacy) everyone--both liberal and conservative would have praised her beyond measure but because her last name is Obama the GOP go haywire and use terms like "fascism" as though they never took a government class. After all, wasn't that Mussolini's first step? Getting the Italian kids to eat nutritious meals?

King George, VA

This is really very simple. If I, Joe Q. Taxpayer, am going to subsidize food fed to children, and the choice is healthy food or junk food, I will opt for healthy food every time. I don't serve my own kids at home junk food, why in the world would I serve junk to someone else's kids. If the kids aren't eating it, then its time for adults to take charge and start teaching the kids about the difference between good food and bad food. There's a reason the kids aren't in charge. Its time for adults to be adults!

Saint Louis, MO

"Food is love". I'll write that one down. I will also add "gastro-fascism" to my vocabulary. Whole wheat tacos in the Southwest and no fried chicken in the South, not common sense. Children have under developed taste buds. I hated broccoli then. Didn't Elvis thrive on peanut butter and bananas? In reality, this isn't about nutrition. It is all about control and "one size fits all". The info on "added dumpsters" is frankly horrifying. Actually, children could live on French fries and pizza. The adults of today did it fine.

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