Unhealthy/Limited Food Options


Here at Cathedral Catholic High School, we are blessed to have a great kitchen staff who prepares food for us to purchase everyday. With Moose running the kitchen, and students helping out in the lines, the cathedral community is given a reliable food service. We are all very thankful for this privilege, but many of us feel that the school kitchen lacks healthier food options. With a wide range of student athletes on campus and many students who have dietary restrictions, many feel that Cathedral should offer a greater variety of food options on campus. Even for the students who have no specific dietary needs, shouldn’t Cathedral be promoting healthier eating and the importance of proper nutrition?

Cathedral provides food to students through the kitchen and vending machines. The kitchen serves food like pasta, pizza, chicken tenders, french fries, burritos, bowls, and most recently sushi. Those food items are accompanied by slushies, soda, coffee, and other soft drinks. The vending machines of course have chips, candy, and soda. While all of these options are favored among everyone, they lack the nutritional value that teens need. High consumption of junk food among teens leads to poor school performance, lowers energy levels, increases obesity risk, and increases levels of depression. Most of us understand the negative benefits that junk food has on teens, so why do we still continue to promote this way of eating? Shouldn’t we be promoting healthier options so that our students will avoid the negative effects?

The benefits of eating healthy are much greater than the few minutes of joy that junk food brings. When teens try to incorporate a more balanced diet into their life, they will become more focused, increase their energy levels, build their immunity, and create strong habits for adulthood. Teens should be focusing on maintaining a healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, starches, proteins, and dairy. It is also important to recognize key nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin D. There are many resources available to teens to learn more about how to achieve a more balanced diet. Books, blogs, and even talking to an adult can help you get on track to eating healthier. Cathedral should be encouraging students and providing support. Since we are on campus five days a week, most of the day, Cathedral should consider providing more education and resources on how to live a healthier lifestyle.

Although all of us enjoy eating fries, pasta, pizza, and cookies, these are not beneficial food items to fuel our bodies. Rather, students should be eating foods like salads with protein, sandwiches, and rice bowls. The kitchen should be focusing on these items, rather than the less healthy options. As for students with dietary restrictions, like vegetarians and vegans, there should be a greater effort on providing more options for them. Senior Kelli Jackson, a pescatarian, shared that she has a hard time finding nutritious lunch and snack options at school. She says “It is important for me to be fueling my body with food that will benefit my performance in school and on the crew team. I sometimes find it hard to do that with the food at school, especially since mostly junk food is served.” I think that many of us can agree with this statement, and wish that something was done to improve the situation. Do you feel that you would be better mentally and physically if changes were made?

It is important to keep in mind that we are all responsible for what we put into our bodies. Practicing self control and making healthy choices is an important part of growing up. As high schoolers, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves and take care of our health. Maybe next time you’re at the lunch line, get a fruit cup instead of that snickers bar.