Kids’ Taste Test is Being Ignored

Published May 28, 2011

The food police prefer banning to blending and have targeted sugar and salt. Many school districts dropped flavored milk (chocolate or strawberry), even the low-fat varieties, because of small amounts of added sugar. They ignored not just the advice of nutritional authorities (who said the value of calcium, vitamin D, and protein in the flavored milk outweighed any possible harm from the sugar), but the kids’ taste-test rule. After a great many kids stopped drinking the plain white milk, districts began repealing the ban.

Reversing federal food edicts won’t be nearly as easy. (“School nutrition regulations come under fire,” May 14.) One of many restrictions imposed by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in December is a drastic cut in the sodium content of school breakfasts and lunches. Salt affects taste. Expect kids to apply their immutable rule and consumption of school meals to drop, even as the cost of those meals explodes. The feds expect localities to pick up an extra $5 billion in expenses to implement the food mandates. The word for all this is “unpalatable.” — Robert Holland, senior fellow for education policy, The Heartland Institute, Chicago