Caf dishes out larger portions

Sam Klein, Opinions Layout Editor

The food portions have increased in the cafeteria because of new policies. New options include a wider variety of higher-calorie food tailored toward students. Photo illustration by Ethan Roubenoff.
The food portions have increased in the cafeteria because of new policies. New options include a wider variety of higher-calorie food tailored toward students. Photo illustration by Ethan Roubenoff.

Crop harvests vary from year to year. And it seems so too does the food in the cafeteria.

A campaign that Michelle Obama launched last year had an impact on what food is allowed to be served in school cafeterias, according to the website letsmove.gov. These policies include more whole grains, more fruits and vegetables and restrictions on portion sizes. This year, students have noticed more options in the cafeteria due to increased portion sizes.

“They seem to have a lot more kinds of drinks, like fizzy drinks, and different varieties of chips,” sophomore Yoyo Morocz said.

Junior Eli Goodman said he prefers the food availability this year.

“It’s good because it gives you some more options,” Goodman said. “It really looks better.”

New options this year include energy drinks, Clif Bars and a wider variety of chips. According to Teresa Vidette, the high school’s kitchen manager, the new additions are important because of the increase in energy they provide to students

“They have a full day of school, they have hours of homework, they have an hour of sports. They don’t get to go home, some of them, until four, five or six o’clock at night,” Vidette said. “So they get most of their meals here in the afternoon. They need to bulk up on those foods so that they have enough energy.”

The availability of food this year affects what some students decide to purchase at lunch.

“It’s really easy to want to buy the bad, sweet food,” sophomore Andrew Toksoz-Exley said. “When there’s that available as well as healthy food, you don’t want to choose the boring food like the fruit, you want to eat the pizza and the salty food.”

According to Vidette, the portions were previously not determined by age, which is no longer the case.

“They did not go by weight, or they did not go by age. So for example, a kindergartener was getting the same amount of food as a fifth grader,” Vidette said. “It went K-5, and then it went 6-8 and then it went 9-12. Between 8th and 9th, there was possibly a fifteen-calorie difference. That’s not much. Portions have changed immensely.”

Toksoz-Exley said the portion sizes this year are better than in years past.

Vidette said that the cafeteria provides students with healthy lunch options, and the students have control over what they choose to eat for lunch.

“We have open campus here,” Vidette said. “You can go to CVS and buy a regular bag of chips.”

Sam Klein can be contacted at [email protected]