Healthier school lunches a priority for Fil-Am parents

Posted at 06/09/2014 9:14 AM

DALY CITY, Calif. – First Lady Michelle Obama is unfazed when it comes to fighting for healthier lunches for school children in America.

But recently, she said that without changes in diet, one in three children would become obese and one in three would develop diabetes.

Her campaign has already issued significant changes in schools set for July, which include serving more grains and proteins in school lunches.

Fil-Am parents Leo and Kiara Resplandor have a nine-year-old son, LJ, who goes to a public elementary school in Daly City, Calif.

They support the First Lady’s campaign to have healthier school lunches but they ultimately feel that it’s the parent’s responsibility to make sure their kids have healthier eating habits.

“It always starts in the house,” said Leo. “Everything starts in the house. It’s a big priority for us. Other than that, every once in a while you got to give them a little something. Of course, healthy food is better than junk food.”

“And as Filipinos because we make our own food,” said Kiara. “We cook our sinigang. We cook our pinakbet and everything. It’s really important we continue to do that at home.”

Their son eats lunch at school Monday through Friday but they make sure to go over the menu before he leaves for school.

“We check first the menu and we always suggest to him his options for lunch,” said Kiara. “I think you should get this or that so it would balance it out. It’s always about having that conversation with your children before going to school what things they are going to eat because you are given an advance notice when they are going to have for the month.”

LJ said he was taught to look at the menu to find which food choices are healthy.

“Some of it is junk food, some of it is vegetables,” said LJ. “We have three kinds of pasta like spaghetti, pasta, marinara sauce. That kind of pasta we have vegetables in it.”

Although LJ said he doesn’t always enjoy the healthy choices in school.

“It’s okay,” said LJ.

The Resplandors said they will help combat child obesity by making sure their children know what healthy food to eat.

“It’s very important to watch what they eat because that’s what you put in your body,” said Kiara. “And in the long run what habits from eating one thing to another and habits develop that’s when you don’t even realize you are eating unhealthy foods. It’s very important for the kids to know.”