Recently you may have heard of a new movement in the school lunch programs, referred to as Meatless Mondays. Using a marketing dichotomy targeted at adolescents, Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative that encourages eliminating meat from your diet every Monday of every week.
I have a problem with this idea of eliminating one food group in meals served to school-aged children for the following simple reasons:
- I think the aim should be to teach children to make healthy eating decisions every day. Healthy, square meals include moderated servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and meat. I don't like the idea of trying to teach children this concept, by eliminating one of the food groups on one day of the week. We all, and especially children, need all of the food groups EVERY DAY of the week.
- Budgets drive school lunch menu decisions, and we'd all like to see meal options improve in schools, however eliminating a major protein source from the meal is not the answer. Students need nutritious meals to fuel their activities throughout the day and that includes a meal with meat.
- Ounce for ounce, meat provides more vitamins and minerals than any other food products. Nutrient dense food products like beef, which provides zinc, iron, protein and Vitamin B12, should be included in a healthy lunch.
These are the three reasons that I don't agree with the promotion of Meatless Mondays and I am some of you have an opinion on the matter. Pro or con, let me know what you think about this initiative in schools across the US. Leave some comments and good discussion!
All my best,