Nutrition Education at Punahou

Step 1 (Introduction):
I have chosen to study nutrition education at Punahou, because this is very important for every student to learn about. Many students, including me, were very mad when we came back to school realizing that there was not more soda or Icees at the snack bar. I picked this topic because many people complain about how different the food is at Punahou, but they don’t rno_junk_food.jpgealize that they are trying to help us. I wanted to dig deeper into this subject, and learn more about what kinds of food were taken off the menu. I would also like to inform my classmates and other students as to why the other foods were taken out. I have been told by many people that all the food at the snack bar is made from scratch now instead of having processed foods, like all the foods in the past years have been. I have gathered some information from people regarding some of the changes that have been made, but I would like to gather more information as to WHY these foods were taken away.

Pohai- This is good start. It is clear why you have chosen this topic. I do have some insights that can help you with your project if you'd like to talk to me about this. I do have a question about your focus. Are you going to research "are all foods at the snack bar healthier than choices before?" Or are you going to focus more on the drink choices and "are juice drinks healthier than soda"? It will help if you narrow this down and clarify. And what do you hope to accomplish with your project? Are you trying to inform yourself more? Are you wanting to convince others that these choices are better for them? Again, clarifying this will help you in your work. Also, did you not look for graphics to go along with this? I'm sure there is lots out there...

Step 2 (Research):
Article 1:
Summary: In this article, a mom that works for, Harvest Health Foods, was interviewed about what she thought about school lunches. Her first response to this question was, "Disgusting. It's absolutely disgusting." In 2006, 30.1 million children consumed school lunch everyday, made by The National School Lunch Program. Anne Cooper, the author of Lunch Lessons: Changing the way we feed out children says, "It's all frozen, processed foods. Google any school district in the country, and you'll find menus filled with pizza pocketsorganic.jpg, corn dogs and chicken nuggets." When frozen foods started to become more prevalent, big buisnesses startd using slogans like, 'why cook when you can easily use all these frozen, prepared foods?' For many public school, buying unhealthy foods, filled with preservatives, high fructose syrup and partially hydrogenated oil, is cheaper and much more affordable, but not at all healthier. A school in Kent County, MI is trying to make the effort to use less processed foods, and providing children with healthier options, like baked foods, lean meats, and more vegetables.
Response: Reading this article helped me to realize that some public schools don't have a choice of what they eat for lunch. They have a limited supply of money which only allows them to feed their students with processed and packaged foods. But it made me feel better at they end knowing that schools are making an effort of trying to provide their students with healthier choices of foods.

Further Questions:1. Why don't schools in Hawaii grow their own food for their students?2. Why don't schools make their food from scratch?3. I am still wondering what the state is doing about providing schools with healthier lunches.

Article 2:
Summary: Some types of food that are processed, and are very high in sodium, is anything canned, such as soups. A sentence in this article that stood out at me said, "Many processed foods are made with trans fasts, saturated fats, and large amounts of sodium5-canned-soupchicknoodle.gif and sugar." From reading the last article, I learned that most foods in our cafeteria are processed foods, and it got me worried because all of the contents of processed foods listed above, are all bad for you. Processed meat is one of the worst type of processed food that you can eat. Eating processed meat, such as: hot dogs, bologna, sausage and ham, you can increase your risk of getting: colorectal, kidney and stomach cancer. Processed foods may be very convenient to you because you just need to warm it up in the microwave, but the amount of sodium and fats in these foods are very unhealthy.
Response: I used this site to further my knowledge as to what processed foods really are. I learned that processed foods are just like the foods that we used to have in our cafeteria, such as chicken nuggets, and pizza pockets and are also like foods that we have in our cafeteria now such as, hot dogs. I also learned that most processed foods are very high in sodium. This is because foods with sodium in it don't spoil as fast. I learned that even though processed foods are very convenient, because they take such a short time to prepare, but it is healthier to take the extra time to make food from scratch.

Further Questions:
1. Why does the USDA not be more strict towards school lunches?
2. Why does the school administration not check in with how much nutrition is actually in school lunches?
3. Why is ham and turkey still served at schools if they are put into the category of "processed meat"?

041107_dateline_schoollunch_hmed5p.hmedium.jpgArticle 3:
Summary: In this article, the Dateline crew went into different cafeterias and they were surprised as to how many USDA guidelines the school was violating. The show convinced all the workers how bad the food in the cafeteria was, and they later changed it. The next year when the students came back to school, they were violating the USDA guidelines again. There were many schools on the mainland where kids were absent from school due to food poisoning. In New Jersey, 7 students and 1 teacher came down with a case of salmonella poisoning from the cafeteria food. In Saint Louis, 45 students and a teacher got sick from eating the cafeteria food also.

Response: From this article, I learned how different the food in the public Schools are much different from the food in our cafeteria. I also didn't realize how many schools were violating the USDA guidelines. It was kind of scary learning how many students and teachers got sick from eating the food at the cafeteria. This also got me to wondering how safe the food is at public schools on Oahu. I am very well educated about how healthy the food is at Punahou, but I am wondering as to how healthy school lunches are at public schools.

Further Questions:
1. Will the decline in the economy contribute to the decline in healthiness in school lunches? 2. How safe are the foods at public schools on Oahu? 3. Was there ever a case of food poisoning at Punahou?

Article 4:
fslc_lg_54.jpgSummary: In the Fast Food Era, companies were paying schools to provide their students with their product. They said that they would sell them the product for only a small amount of money, and pay them money for however much their product is liked at their school. Also in the era, food from McDonalds, and Burger King, such as whoppers, were being sold at schools. After this era, there were skyrocketing rates of childhood obesity, it was scary. After this scare, schools began to create partnerships with local farms and community institutions. Every benefited from the partnership, the farmers, community institution and the schoolchildren. The farmers benefited from this partnership because, they had increased business from the schools. The community institution benefitted from the partnership because, they benefit from the dollars being kept in their region. Lastly, the school children benefited from this partnership because, the food was fresh, it had a great taste to it, and they gained nutrients from the local produce.

Reflection: I was excited to read that schools are beginning to see that the types of foods that they are serving to the kids are unhealthy, and they are taking action. The partnership that they created with the farmers and the schools was also great to hear about. Schools were getting healthy produce from the local farmers, and they were also helping them out at the same time. It was scary reading about what types of foods were being sold in our cafeterias before we were starting to become healthier. All of the foods that were being sold were either high in fat, high in sodium, high in cholesterol, high in calories, or all.

Further Questions:
1. Are public schools able to afford the partnership with the farmers?
2. Have any schools in Hawaii started to start a partnership with the local farmers?
3. Has Punahou ever sold food at the cafeteria that other schools sold in the Fast Food Era?

Article 5:


Summary: This site has an interview between Allison Elwell, a news journalist, and Catherine Moraes, the head of nutrition and the Toronto District School Board. Ewell stated that, most of the popular foods at the school that she works at were: deep-fried chicken, burgers with fries, onion rings, and pizza. Moraes said that they are encouraging kids to buy healthy food by lowering the price for nutritious food, and raising the price for unhealthy food. An example of this is, a bagel with cheese, a piece of fresh fruit, and white milk is $2.65; whereas a chicken burger, onion rings, and a large coke is $5-$5.50. What the school board is doing is very successful, because instead of just telling students to eat healthy because fried food is bad for them, they are impacting the kids budget. Moraes states that, they want to ban bad food straight up, but they need to offer balance in the cafeteria's. They can't just take all of the bad food from the cafeteria, because the students wouldn't eat there as often. Moraes says that, they are trying to change the eating habits of the kids in small increments.
Reflection: This article caught my eye because I really wanted to know how the school board was getting involved with making cafeterias more nutritious. I gained a deeper understanding with how they have to do this. They can't just take all of the bad foods out all at once, because they would lose sales, so they take it out in small increments. I also thought that it was very interesting with how instead they tell students that one type of food is bad for you, they play with the prices.
Further Questions:
1. Why did Punahou just take out all of the bad food all at once, and not in small increments?

Data Table:

Nutrition Facts information
What Is It?
How can it affect your health?
Trans fat
The common name for unsaturated fat with trans-isomer fatty acids.
Eating foods that are high in trans fat can increase your risk for coronary hearts disease.
Sodium is used for seasoning, and as a warm-climate food preservative.
Having too much sodium chloride in your diet can result in raising of your blood pressure.
A complex mixtures of animal plants in animal based foods.
High amounts of cholesterol in your blood stream can result in a form of cardiovascular disease. This can result in a stroke or even a heart attack.

Step 3 (Interview):Interview with: Marcia Wright
Director of Food Services at Punahou School

How are the foods this year different from the types of food in the cafeteria in the past?
All the foods in the cafeteria are made from scratch now. There is a much healthier line of food. All of the soda has been taken out from the snack bar, and replaced with a healthier solution, Juicy Jax. The icees have also been take out, and replaced with a fruit punch slushee. There is a more variety of rice that is served so you don't only have to choose white rice. You can either have white rice, or brown rice. There is a salad bar in all of the cafeterias to give the kids a choice as to what kinds of vegetables they want to eat.
Is the Juicy Jax and the other drinks really a better alternative?
Yes, it is a much healthier alternative. It is made with 100% juice with no preservatives. There are no additives in it. The three flavors, watermelon, Passion Orange Guava and Cherry, have a base of pineapple juice. They are fused with CO2 to give it the same fizz as soda has. The slushees are made from 100% juice. It is a fruit punch slushee. The iced tea that is served in the snack bar is unsweetened. The vitawater that is served in the snack bar has not sugar in it. The main question that was asked during the elimination of the soda was, "if you took soda out, what would it be replaced with?" The Juicy Jax was used as an alternative to the sodas, and the vitamin water.
What kinds of foods were taken off the menu this year?
90% of all processed foods were eliminated from the menu. All of the foods and snacks that didn't pass the USDA guidelines of calories and fats were taken off. The foods that were high in fat, preservatives, additives and calories. Processed foods were taken off the menu. The meaning of processed foods is, foods that are already made and mixed with preservatives and chemicals so that they can last for a long time without spoiling. Processed foods are really high in sugars fats and sodium. Foods that didn't pass the USDA guidelines because of trans fat, sodium, sugar etc. were taken off the menu. The USDA is the United States Department of Agriculture, and they make the decision of what types of foods are okay to be in school cafeterias, and what foods are unhealthy.
What process was being done in the process of eliminating foods from the menu?
First, we took out all of the foods that were high in fats (mainly trans fats), calories, sugars, sodium, additives and preservatives. Next, for all the foods that were eliminated, they had to find an alternative for that food. Such as soda. They had to replace the soda with a drink that they thought kids would like to drink, but was healthy at the same time. Next, they had to make sure that they still had items on the menu that kids can enjoy some of the times. One example of this is, they got together with Pizza Hut, and they formed a pizza that they could make in bulk, and was healthy for the kids. The made a pizza containing, low fat cheese, fresh tomato sauce, and whole wheat crust. They also served fish sticks one day that was processed. This was because even though the fish sticks contain preservatives, it was passed by the USDA.
How were new foods on the menu chosen for this year?
The new and healthier foods on the menu had to be "makeable" with the resources provided to the cook. The foods had to be easy to make, and they had to be able to made in bulk. Since the food has to be able to feed kindergartners to seniors, the food had to be able to last, and not run out. The foods also had to pass the USDA regulations of the fat content and the calorie content in the food. We also wanted to keep some of the choices for the academy as last year, such as teri burgers, hot dogs, and baked potatos. "We couldn't take away all of the good stuff from the kids."
How is the younger kids food different?
The menu choice for the little kids is very different. First of all, the kids are not served any more. They have to freedom to serve themselves now. The only rule is, whatever you put on your plate, you have to eat. They are also provided with a salad bar, with the same kinds of selections as in the academy cafeteria. What is expected from them is, they have a balanced plate with the proper nutrients that they need. They go through the line and they need to have, fruits or vegetables, starch and a protein. They don't have a sandwich bar like they academy side, but we are trying to serve sandwiches for the hot lunch more frequently.
Is there absolutely no processed foods on the menu?
No, we still need to give the kids some freedom. Once in a while we will serve the kids with some type of processed food. But, we still have to remember that it passes the USDA regulations. The first kind of processed food that we will serve is, fish sticks. This fish stick is going to be much healthier than the fish sticks that we served before. The other type of processed food that is served every day is, teri burgers and hot dogs. Since this was on the menu everyday last year, we decided to keep it the same way this year for the academy students.
What was done for the breakfast part of the menu? Is the main breakfast part healthier?
We got rid of all the "bad foods" on the breakfast menu. Every morning, students have a choice of, brown rice or white rice, eggs, and two choices of meat. On some days, there will be waffles, pancakes or hash browns. Some types of bad foods that were taken on the menu is the loco moco, egg mcmuffin sandwiches and the hash brown sandwiches. All of the cereals that were high in sugar were replaced with sugars that had less sugar, such as cheerios. A bread bar was opened up to give students more of a choice on the types of breads that they want. Some types of breads in the line is, bagels, english muffins, and biscuits. None of the items are pre-buttered, so that students can butter their own.
Has anything been done for the kindergarten classes?
Yes, they have mostly the same changes as everyone else. All of their food is not made from scratch and none of the food is processed. What has not been done yet is, being able to provide them with a salad bar. They are still served since their food is sent to their classrooms. The only thing that is different in their menu is, the kinds of snacks that they are served. Their unhealthy snack last year, such as chips, have been replaced with fresh apples and carrots. Another thing that has changed is the juice that they are served daily. They used to be served Juicy Juice boxes, but they have now been replaced with healthy, 100% juice.
How are the milk dispensers a better choice?
The milk dispensers are first of all more convenient for the kids. They are also a better choice because kids are given the choice for 1% milk, 2% milk and skim milk on a daily basis. In the past years, students were given a choice from one kind of milk, or juice on somedays, on a daily basis. The milk dispensers help reduce how much waste we put out in the cafeteria. The amount of waste that we put out daily in the cafeteria was 6 ounces last year. This year, we put out 4 ounces of trash daily. This has been a rapid reduction not only because kids don't have milk cartons anymore, but also because kids are given a choice of what they want to eat now. Many kids didn't like the vegetables or the fruits that were being served to them, so they just threw it away. But this year, the kids are expected to eat what they take, so they are throwing away much less food now.
Do the little kids have more freedom now that they can choose their own food?
I would say yes, and no. This is much more convenient for the kids now that they can choose their own food and take whatever they want, but there is still a regulation of how much of one thing a child can take. I wouldn't say that they have more freedom as to what they get to eat, but they have more choices to choose from. They don't have more freedom because they are expected to eat what they take. Because of this privilege that the students have, they need to have regulations. There is also not more freedom because students can only take so much of each item that they are provided with. They need to have one type of starch, vegetables, fruits and protein. Some students may say that being able to choose what they want is better then being served, but other kids say that they don't like being regulated on how much of an item they can take.

Comments from Ms. Y:
Pohai-This is a good start. You have found some great resources. However, it seems you have not yet finished reading them and/or summarizing. I'm also confused by the format of your interview. You haven't stated who you spoke with and her answers are presented in a paragraph and then followed by some questions. It would be good to organize this a bit more. Let me know if you need help.

Step 4 (Action Plan):For my action plan, I am going to show a short clip from the movie Supersize me. This movie is about a man, Morgan Spurlock, who eats McDonalds everyday for 30 days. In the beginning of the movie, his health is 100%, his cholesterol is good, he doesn't have diabetes, and his height and weight are in good proportion to each other. But, by the end of the movie, he develops many types of health problems, such as high cholesterol, and diabetes, due to all of the fried food that he has been eating. I am going to show one clip of when he goes into the different doctors, and he receives the information about his health being 100%, and then I am going to show the clip of him going back to the doctors after and receiving the news of his health declining.
The clips that I am going to show:7:55-8:48 (When he receives the information from the doctors that his health is 100%, and also what might go wrong with eating McDonalds for so long.)15:44-16:02 (The rules that he has to abide when eating there).51:19-52:26 (Examples of how bad the food is in our nations schools)

Final Comments:
Pohai- Your revisions to your project have turned this into something great! Nice job taking the time to reexamine and complete your work. Your topic choice is definitely of high interest to our campus this year. Your responses and questions asked for each article are insightful and show that you were really thinking about what you were learning. Your interview will help our work on the Sustainability Steering Committee so I hope it is okay with you that I share your wiki with others. As for your Action Plan, I'm sorry that you did not have enough time to show the clips that you wanted. I think that the class would have really enjoyed seeing them and they are such an effective way to make a point about the effects of eating unhealthy food. I think it would have been good to do one more step besides the showing of the clips to our class. Again, since so many people on our campus are unhappy with the changes this year (although many people are happy with them too) it would have been good to extend your learning to them. Perhaps making posters to put up in the cafeteria / snack bar would have helped the cause (they wouldn't have to have your name on them). Or do you feel like helping the "cause" after your work or do you still feel we should have kept the offerings of the junk food? It would be interesting to hear your thoughts at the end of this project. Overall, nice work, Pohai!