By Erin Timony, 15, San Diego, CA. Media Arts Center San Diego.
As time goes on, many people are starting to realize that since food is the fuel that makes us run, providing our body with the proper fuel is the key to feeling energized, healthy and alert. Health activists such as Michelle Obama strive to create a world where this ‘proper fuel’ is as easily accessible as possible. In schools across America, this goal is beginning to become a reality. New rules regarding what foods school cafeterias’ are allowed to provide to students are being put into action. For example, students must be offered fruits and vegetables every day of the week, only fat-free or low-fat milk can be offered, calories must be limited based on age, and saturated fat, sodium, and trans fat must be extremely limited. Several schools in City Heights are even taking action beyond these rules through programs encouraging healthy eating.
“If you just look around at lunch, almost everyone will be eating the greasy cafeteria pizza,” said George Matthews, a senior at Westview High School in San Diego. Matthews believes that schools should be more informative about the food they serve. “Schools should try to increase awareness about how eating junk affects your body. I think a lot of students don’t know what they’re doing to themselves by not giving their body the nutrition it needs. Of course eliminating the junk food all together would be best, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon,” he said.
Fresh, healthy food, such as these organic peaches, are a great example of an optimal snack. “A peach is always my favorite thing to have before a game,” says Madison Oakley, a star player on Westview High School’s JV Soccer Team. “Since I’m on the JV Soccer Team, it’s super important for me to always have enough energy to give soccer my all. Which is hard to do especially when you’ve been working hard at school all day. So eating the right stuff gives me enough strength to do what I need to do. If I eat unhealthy food I won’t have nearly enough power to get me through.”
Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego is on the right track with their healthy cafe, known as ‘The Nest,’ on campus. As she enjoys an apricot from The Nest, Ashley Parker, a junior at Canyon Crest, tells us about why she is a fan of the café. “I think the student café we have on campus is an awesome option. You can buy fresh fruits, salads and smoothies every day,” said Parker. The Nest is not only a great spot for students to enjoy healthy food, but a place for students to enjoy beautiful art made by Art Conservatory students at Canyon Crest and live music from student bands. “I feel like every school should have somewhere like The Nest,” she said.