Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's for Breakfast: Pancakes & Peaches

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

This breakfast may look innocent enough. But if you give it a moment's thought, you'll notice that it's just one huge helping of carbohydrates and sugar--sugar in the juice, sugar in the canned peaches, and I'm guessing sugar in the pancakes as well.

Sugar is the No. 1 culprit in the childhood obesity epidemic. It raises triglycerides, raises "bad" LDL cholesterol, lowers "good" HDL cholesterol, leads to elevated blood pressure and atherosclerosis. Sugar and simple, starchy carbohydrates stimulate insulin production, the hormone responsible for fat storage in the body.

A big part of the problem are the federal government's wacky "Dietary Guidelines for Americans," which promote consumption of carbohydrates in grains and do not place enough emphasis on healthy proteins and fats. Compounding the problem are the prevailing calorie requirements in the federally-subsidized school meal program, which encourage schools to pack meals with sugar and cheap, processed carbs.

To top it off, federal funding for the program is nowhere near enough. Most schools can't afford to pay for more expensive, healthier foods.


  1. You guys don't have it so bad - believe it or not, this is a weekly lunch in our district,with the addition of one cheese stick and a packet of goldfish cookies. This lunch persists despite parental complaints and negative attention in the local newspaper.

    I'm with you that the funding is low - but I am convinced that foodservice operations can do more with what they have. A much more pressing and pervasive issue than funding is the misplaced concern that "kids won't eat" healthier foods.

  2. Right on, Michele. Whole grains and beans are among the cheapest of foods, but they're healthy and can be delicious.

    When we do frugal cooking at home, we make soups, stews & stocks, brown rice, dried beans & lentils, and whatever veges and fruits are in season. But cooking from scratch costs more in labor--and there has to be a functional kitchen.

    The "kids won't eat it" argument is ridiculous. When I was a kid, if we'd called the shots we would have been eating Pop Tarts every morning. But Mom called the shots--and it was porridge, eggs, wheat toast with nut butter, etc. The grown ups need quit pandering.