A nutritional guide to school lunches

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Kirsten Carl, In-Depth Editor

Cardboard pizza, mystery meat and styrofoam lunch trays have taken over pop culture as a cliche on high school life in America. This theme is present in coming-of-age blockbuster films such as High School Musical, Mean Girls and Twilight. So what makes the lunch room so special in the movies? Maybe it is the drama of dropping a spicy chicken wrap on a peer which ends in a dance party like Troy and Gabriella, or possibly the  challenge of finding a seat at the lunch table on the first day of class. It is time to investigate the actual food on these cliche trays, as well as the nutritional value attached to them.

Fiber Foods

Some of the best options containing the highest fiber count at Warhawk Nation include the baked chicken on bun and spicy chicken wrap, which both contain 5 grams of fiber; and chili beans contain 6 grams of fiber per serving. Fiber assists in keeping the body’s blood sugar regulated, and it helps assist in digestion. These menu items are all great options to keep a healthy and happy lifestyle. 

Fruits and Vegetables

Other essential sources of nutrition are fruits and veggies. Options from the lunch line include baby carrots, fresh fruit, sliced cucumbers, corn, chilled applesauce, steamed green beans, banana, apple, broccoli, chilled pineapple and chilled peaches. Fruits contain healthy sugars and carry minerals such as potassium and Vitamin C, both of which are important for teenagers in the growth process. 

“It’s very important to eat healthy food, which is why the line won’t give you lunch for free unless you add a fruit or vegetable.” Libby Cammiso (’22) said. 

Protein Foods

Finally, protein is another great source of nutrients for growing teenagers. Foods such as the baked chicken on a bun (24 grams of protein), spicy chicken wrap (30 grams of protein) and chicken tenders (18 grams of protein) contain high levels of protein. These options are all offered in the lunch line, and are great options for increasing amino acid levels in the body, as well as muscle growth and rebuilding.