After a Louisiana second-grader sent a widely-published letter to Michelle Obama complaining that her new school lunch rules ruined his “Taco Tuesday,” he got a surprise in the mail: a couple of presidential dog trading cards and a note from the first lady saying, in essence, that he’ll get over it.
All things considered, he’d probably rather have “Taco Tuesday.”
Richard “Trip” Klibert, a 7-year-old student at St. Joan of Arc School in LaPlace, wrote, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Dear Mrs. Obama,
Thank you for trying to make my school lunch better, but you have ruined Taco Tuesday. Please bring back the old taco shell. I miss them. Also, the pizza is terrible. If you would like to try the new tacos, I will buy you lunch.
The first lady’s reply came with “an autographed Obama family picture and trading cards of the family’s dogs,” according to the Times-Picayune, which reported:
In Obama’s letter, she explained that new child nutrition regulations were implemented as part of her “Let’s Move!” initiative started in 2010 to reduce childhood obesity. The new regulations took effect in 2012 with the goal of including more whole grains, vegetables and fruits in school meals while reducing fat and sodium.
She explained that she wants students nationwide to have access to healthy food in their daily lunch meals. She also acknowledged that adjusting to new things can be difficult and thanked Trip for his feedback.
“Trip was so proud and excited that she took the time to write him back,” the boy’s mother, Katie Klibert, told the newspaper. “I think he may prefer the old tacos and pizza over the whole grain, but now he knows the reasons behind the change. This was such a great learning experience for him. It’s all good at lunch now.”
The first lady’s “Let’s Move!” initiative has not been the rip-roaring success she imagined. Schools are reporting that they’re throwing out as much food as kids are eating, and many districts are returning to their old lunch menus.
In districts still adhering to Obama’s standards, vegetable consumption has actually decreased, significantly, according to a University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity study.
“The percentage of students selecting vegetables significantly decreased from 68 [percent] in 2012 to 62 [percent] in 2013,” the study said, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
2014 saw an even greater drop, plummeting 10 points to 52 percent.
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