Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday, August 27th.

     What's for lunch on Monday, August 27th? Spaghetti with meat sauce and a bread stick.
Here is a breakdown of what I ate today.

  • Spaghetti with meat sauce
  • 1 bread stick
  • 1/2 pint white milk
  • 3 strawberries
  • 2 orange wedges
  • 3/4 cup mixed veggies
  • 5 slices pickled beets
     Total Vegetables: ~ 2 cups
     Total Fruits: ~1 cup
     Today's lunch was a common meal served in cafeterias across the country. Everyone is used to the familiar glob of noodles covered in a somewhat watery spaghetti sauce.  The noodles and the bread stick were both whole wheat, which fulfills the USDA requirement that half of all grains must be whole.  As with my meal last week, about an hour later I was hungry again.  I really started to feel bad for the football players sitting across the cafeteria from me, as they have practice after school.  I wanted to know just exactly what a person like a football player needs, so I did a little research.  
     I know that the USDA has a handy little website called, formerly known as  There, there is a tool that anyone can use, called Daily Food Plan.  The Daily Food Plan breaks down how much of a certain food group a person should eat in any given day. Here, you can select your age, height, weight, gender, and level of physical activity.  
     I decided to use a 17 year old male, weighing 210 lbs. and standing 6 feet tall., with more than 60 minutes of activity a day.  To me, this represents the average football player. The results from the Daily Food Plan were not surprising to me in the least.  
  • 3,200 calories a day
  • 10 ounces of grain a day, at least 5 ounces whole grain
  • 4 cups of vegetables a day
  • 2.5 cups of fruit
  • 3 cups of dairy
  • 7 ounces of protein
With our new school lunches, we knock out a portion of each suggested daily consumption.  
  • 850 calories
  • 2 ounces of grain
  • 1 cup of vegetables
  • 1 cup of fruit
  • 1 cup of dairy
  • 2 ounces protein
     With the limit of calories for a 9-12th grade lunch set at 850, many of those 17-year-old football players or other athletes are simply not getting enough energy from his or her lunch to preform their best at practice.  With only 26.5 percent of daily caloric intake coming from lunch, where is the energy athletes need for practice coming from?  I will interview a couple student-athletes in my school in the next coming weeks to find out.  

Here is the link to the Daily Food Plan from the USDA.
Here is the link from the USDA comparing current school lunch regulations and the previous regulations.

Until next time, stay full!



  1. Our school serves even LESS. You have more items at least!

  2. Yes, our school does really good about giving different options. One of the benefits of a bigger school, I guess.