by Jan Stürmann, Center for Investigative Reporting
Once children walk out the door in the morning, what they eat is out of their parents’ control. Day care workers, school cooks, fast food vendors and friends can all throw roadblocks into a healthy diet.
Controlling what a child eats when he or she leaves the house is one of the hottest topics in public policy this year, as the federal government toughens standards for school lunches. In the latest effort to tweak school meals, some congressional Democrats are proposing expanding the program to holidays and weekends.
As part of our ongoing coverage of childhood nutrition, the Center for Investigative Reporting documented one Oakland child’s eating day, from morning until evening. With the help of his mother, Janea Evens, we followed second-grader Jahmere Evens from home to Rose’s Day Care in Oakland, where Charlotte Guinn feeds him breakfast, and into the school day as he avoids the traps of an unhealthy diet.