High School Lunches Hard on Budget and Calories?


Ethan Rios, reporter

I like to consider myself an individual that values the importance of worthwhile investment. Every day, when I buy myself a Dr Pepper and a bag of Munchies, I like to grasp onto the fact that I in fact saved a 1.50 that I would’ve otherwise used on a single measly salad (it’s a mystery how I’ve been able to maintain the chizeled form of a Greek god). But who can blame me? The idea of purchasing an entree that’s overpriced is simply…not affordable and unappealing.

But it’s not only me that has this stigma, in fact, it represents a substantial amount of students at Lake Travis that don’t have the budget to purchase the healthy alternatives that could potentially serve to suffice their daily nutritional needs.

In fact, according to the article ‘Exactly How Many Calories You Should Eat at Lunch’ from Women’s Health Magazine in 2016, it’s stated that in fact, one’s diet should consist of a 750 calorie lunch. Please keep in mind that this is taking into consideration a diet set on losing weight, meaning the amount of calories an average individual could be even higher.

Whereas, according to the official Lake Travis menu, an average salad listed –The Vegetarian Salad– only provides 410 calories and, is priced at $5.00. Meaning that, in addition to a drink and a bag of chips, fruit, yogurt, etc, a lunch at the school cafeteria could average nearly $10.

To the ordinary student, these prices are just not worth the investment, meaning that, instead, one is going to purchase the choice that fits within their price range, such as the ‘Southwestern’ or ‘American’ options.

These foods, although in budget, serve virtually little to no nutritional value, and yet, hold nearly double the amount of calories than the salads served. Meaning that, students find that these foods see more appeal in them.

In addition to this, it’s important to realize that those who are perhaps less privileged and come from families of a lower socioeconomic class are quite literally forced to resort these unhealthy alternatives due to an inability to pay for these items, and the reduced lunch program not covering them.

However, what’s most important to realize is that the existence of the school store, a place in which virtually every item is a dollar, is being used as a platform by students as an alternative to the expensive prices of the school cafeteria. Meaning that, in fact, a culture revolving around atrociously unhealthy food for lunch has developed.