By the Schools of Thought Editors
(CNN) New federal guidelines are requiring school lunches to be healthier, but many kids say something is missing: Quantity, and more importantly, taste.
In this video from CNN affiliate WDIV, a student's pictures of unappetizing school lunches have led to a brown bag movement in his school.
CNN Student News asked its audience of middle- and high-school students and teachers if they've noticed changes in their school lunches this year, and if those changes were for the better or worse. Here's a sampling of their responses:
Jonas: I have seen a huge difference in my school's food this year. I don't have enough food to eat and as an athlete, I need all the energy I can get. I feel sluggish and tired. I feel I was better off with the old food. Don't get me wrong, people do need to change their eating habits, but the government doesn't have to tell us how to eat.
Maddie: I completely agree with limiting school lunch calories. People are consuming calories, but not working them off. This can cause obesity... and I cringe at the percentage of American obesity be 2030.
Alivia: At our school we have to take fruit and milk even if we don't eat or drink them and just throw them away. This is partially a waste because some people just throw them away, but on the other hand it is good to tempt kids to try fruit and get that in their system for the day.
Ryan: Our school lunches have changed for the worse. Do they really think that one piece of pizza and an orange plus milk would feed us? Well it didn't feed me; I would still be hungry right after lunch was over, so now I bring my own lunch. That way I won't be starving at my football practice.
Mr. Hartrick's 2nd period class: We think that school food is not enough to eat because sometimes the school food is not very appetizing and some children will throw their food away and be hungry later. Most students bring their lunches nowadays because they don't like the food that the school serves. In a way the school is losing money because less kids are getting school food.
Jared: I think it's a perfect amount of food but the food is too bland. It needs some spice or something.
Jordan: With time, students may end up getting used to it. Of course with a sudden change in food portions, we're bound to feel something different (empty stomachs). Suggestion being: Just be patient, you'll grow and adapt to what's given.
Andrea: I teach high school. Due to the new restrictions many students have quit buying school lunch, and either bring food in with them in their book bags or don't eat lunch at all. We have many students, particularly athletes, who are starving by mid-practice because their school lunch wasn't enough to keep them full through practice. Students are also choosing to spend money in the vending machines rather than pay for food that they don't like and don't want to pay for. The quality and taste of the food has been affected along with the change in portion size. On average, a teenage boy can burn up to 1,000 calories in a day. Limiting school lunch calories is not a smart way to ensure academic success...How can a student perform well when he or she is hungry? School used to be the one place a child was guaranteed NOT to go hungry. Since these changes, we see many – and I'm talking TONS - of kids going hungry.
Elizabeth: It depends on the person to be obese, not the government to decide for you.
You can read more responses on the CNN Student News blog "From A to Z with Carl Azuz" here.
Has your school seen changes in its lunch menus this year? You can share your thoughts in the comments section below.