Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Interview with an athlete..

     Today, I had the chance to talk with a fellow classmate of mine, Tanner.  Tanner is a wide receiver for the Beatrice Orangemen football team, and also participates in track in the spring.  When asked about the new school lunches, Tanner had an opinion similar to many of the other players on the team.

The lunches sucked.
     I asked Tanner a couple of questions about what he eats during the day, and how practice goes after school.  "Yesterday for lunch I had a pork rib sandwich, small salad, juice box, and half a cup of fruit. About 7th period everyday I have a snack or something so I don't get hungry," Tanner told me matter-of-factly. Now, Tanner isn't the biggest guy on the team, standing at 5 foot 18 inches and 140 lbs., so for him to be hungry after lunch and a snack is quite ridiculous.  Tanner told me that practice starts at 3:45, and goes until about 6:30 in the evening.  "When I get home, I'm extremely hungry.  If dinner isn't ready when I get home, I get upset. "
     I also got the chance to ask Tanner if he plans on bringing his own lunch, like many of the football players do.  "Yeah," he said, "getting enough food at school can cost quite a bit, my brother paid like six bucks for his lunch today.  Since I bring a snack, I might as well bring my own lunch, too."  I myself have noticed many students bringing their lunch, and when I ask them about it, they all have similar replies.  What they serve us isn't enough.  So, I just pack a lunch, and bring more food. 
     Again, I visited the USDA website,, and decided to put Tanner's height, weight, and level of activity into the Daily Food Plan tool.  I received the same results as yesterday, even with a different height, weight, and level of activity.  A 140 lb, 5' 8" male with more than 60 minutes of activity a day needs 3200 calories daily.  I understand that many calories a person consumes in a day also come from their breakfast and dinner, but there are simply not enough calories in a lunch for a football player to keep energized when they practice.  With only 850 maximum calories coming from his lunch, he needs those snacks to give him energy to preform in practice.
     To me, the bottom line for many student-athletes is that they don't get enough calories from their lunch to give them energy to preform.  

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  1. I must say Travis that you have a very well-written blog. As a teacher, I understand and see the same thing happening in our schools. More and more students are bringing their lunch with them instead of eating school lunch. Maybe you should interview your Grandma, she would know all about this topic!

  2. Thank you for your support, and thanks for the comment! Interviewing my grandma would be a great idea, I'll make sure to keep that in mind, so watch for a post about it soon!

  3. I am a newly retired teacher. My grandkids are involved in athletics this year and they decided that they would come eat lunch at my house. (I live right across the street from the school. Every noon, they come over and get enough food to tide them over through football and volleyball practice. I enjoy having them, but feel bad for the other students who don't have this option.

    1. That sounds like it is a great solution for you and your grand kids! But, like you said, not every student can do that. Thanks for the support, Retired teacher!