Moochelle not going to be happy with this!

Michael Sears photo

Students strike against new federal school lunch rules

Journal Sentinel: By 7 a.m. Monday, senior Nick Blohm already had burned about 250 calories in the Mukwonago High School weight room. He grabbed a bagel and a Gatorade afterward; if he eats before lifting, he gets sick.

That was followed by eight periods in the classroom, and then three hours of football practice. By the time he headed home, he had burned upward of 3,000 calories – his coach thinks the number is even higher.

But the calorie cap for his school lunch? 850 calories. “A lot of us are starting to get hungry even before the practice begins,” Blohm said. “Our metabolisms are all sped up.”

Following new federal guidelines, school districts nationwide have retooled their menus to meet new requirements to serve more whole grains, only low-fat or nonfat milk, daily helpings of both fruits and vegetables, and fewer sugary and salty items. And for the first time, federal funds for school lunches mandate age-aligned calorie maximums. The adjustments are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 touted by Michelle Obama and use the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The changes are hard to swallow for students like Blohm. On Monday, 70% of the 830 Mukwonago High students who normally buy lunch boycotted cafeteria food to protest what they see as an unfair “one size fits all thing.” Middle schoolers in the district also boycotted their school lunches, with counts down nearly half Monday. They’re not alone in their frustration; schools across the country are reporting students who are unhappy with the lunch offerings.

The sub sandwich line at Mukwonago High used to let students pile veggies on a six-inch French bread bun. Options now include a fist-sized whole wheat roll or multigrain wrap, and the once popular line is now mostly empty.

The healthier food is less the issue than the portions. “A freshman girl who weighs 100 pounds can eat this lunch and feel completely full, maybe even a little bloated,” said Joey Bougneit, a Mukwonago senior.

But Blohm is a 6-foot-3-inch, 210-pound linebacker. He’s also class president, and takes several Advanced Placement classes. If schools want students to perform well, he said, they can’t be sitting in their chairs hungry.

Skimpy on the nachos!

Last year’s fare featured favorites like chicken nuggets and mini corn dogs in helpings that were “relatively decent,” Bougneit said. But health-conscious regulations have changed that. Last week’s super nacho plate, for example, offered just eight tortilla chips.

Adding to the dissatisfaction is a 10-cent price hike on lunches because the USDA, which oversees the National School Lunch Program, forced many districts to raise full-price lunches closer to the $2.86 it reimburses for students who qualify for free lunches. That means the leaner, greener lunches at Mukwonago High this year now cost $2.50 instead of $2.40.

Now it’s worse tasting, smaller sized and higher priced,” Bougneit said.

In a clothing store bag the size of a backpack, Blohm lugged his homemade, linebacker-size lunch including a bag of raw carrots, two ham sandwiches on wheat bread, two granola bars, an apple and three applesauce cups – an estimated total of 1,347 calories.

How long will the students keep boycotting the lunch program? “I’ve already told my mom we might be packing my lunch for the rest of the year,” Blohm said.

Clay Iverson, Mukwonago’s varsity football head coach, said student-athletes are bigger, stronger and more athletic than ever before, and their food intake needs have evolved. “Everything has been accelerated, and maybe nutrition hasn’t been,” he said.

He worries that if players’ stomachs are growling by the end of the school day, they’ll go home and binge on anything they get their hands on and undo any of the benefits of the lighter, healthier school lunch. Teens need a push to make healthy eating choices, Iverson said, but they’ve got plenty else to worry about during the football season.

“I wonder if the people who made the decision had to go through a day like Nick Blohm.”

I can guarantee you that the government control fanatics in DC making these decisions never walked a day through Nick’s shoes. 

h/t Anon


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8 years ago

Everyone should bring their own lunch. I never bought one when I was in school. What’s next, a government moniter showing up at your door to oversee what you’re packing for lunch?

Dr. Eowyn
Dr. Eowyn
8 years ago
Reply to  sparrow59

Actually, they did — in NC.
On Jan. 30, a preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School in Raeford, N.C., was forced to eat three chicken nuggets for lunch because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious. The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. After consuming the approved nuggets, she was sent home with her mom-packed lunch and a bill from the school for $1.25.

8 years ago

not whining but: when I went to school, I skipped lunch because I
didn’t have any other ‘allowance’ for expenses’ aside from the two
shirts and two pair of pants in the fall and undies for Christmas…
and I always had practice after school(football,basketball,wrestling , gymnastics or theatre)before getting home for dinner and homework
to maintain the honor roll average.We all managed without energy
drinks or bottled water because we had drinking fountains…
and we were told that growling bellies struck fear into the hearts
of our opposition.

8 years ago

Ah yes, rebellious youths.

There may be hope for this country yet. 🙂


Cathy Gardino
8 years ago

Moo-chelle needs to back the hell off!

8 years ago

I just don’t understand with all her travel, how she had time to get a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Science. She must be a super woman. I’d bet she’ll be as skinny as a rail by the end of the year.

8 years ago

Agree with Sparrow, my son hasn’t bought a school lunch in over 10 years! He refuses to eat what they serve and I am glad, even though I
do sometimes get tired of trying to figure out what to pack!!

Harriet Nelson
8 years ago

I loved the last comment…”prices up and the portions are smaller.” a good economic lesson there kiddies. It will get worst if we don’t defeat barry come November 6th.

Dave McMullen
Dave McMullen
8 years ago

FAIL.. like everything these two have done.

8 years ago

The decisions these people have made for these kids, is unreasonable. They did not think it out, and take any mitigating circumstances into account.
I think Moochelle and the ones who thought up this bull, should be arrested and thrown in jail on bread and water.

Kids take you lunch to school if you can. I just hope the food police aren’t waiting to scan your body for bootleg goods, and to rifle through your lunch with their filthy hands

8 years ago

i wouldn’t be surprised that at some point we will hear moocowchelle screaming “let them eat cake” when it is pointed out to her that the students have no bread to eat…