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Unflattering images of MPS lunches cause stir online

Posted at 7:09 PM, Sep 08, 2021

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Public Schools is responding following concerns about meals being served for breakfast and lunch at some of its schools.

Unflattering pictures of some dishes are making the rounds on social media.

MPS officials said they are aware of posts made on social media showing unfavorable images of meals served in schools, but they add that some images don't show the full meal.

"It was a hamburger patty and carrots. That's all that was shown. We had a bun, we had condiments and we had a fresh, I believe it was a plum that day,” said Renee Slotten-Beauchamp, Operations Manager for the Department of Nutrition Services.

The district stressed that all meals fall within United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, guidelines.

Some school board members told TMJ4 News they have been seeing posts and hearing concerns from families about food quality at MPS, and addressing the issue is top of mind.

"It's essential for us to be able to convince kids this food is healthy and tasty,” said board President Bob Peterson.

Rae Chappelle, a fifth-grade teacher at Allen-Field Elementary, said she has concerns about the sugar content of some breakfasts.

"Today, our breakfast consists of a package of graham crackers and some really sugary craisins [cranberry raisins],” Chappelle said.

She said she wants kids to come into her class following a warm meal.

"Sometimes, there's that sugar high. Then there's the crash afterward,” Chappelle said. "I see the crash from not eating breakfast at all, or eating an unhealthy breakfast."

Wednesday's breakfast is what the district calls a "breakfast kit." Officials said they are looking to begin serving alternatives soon, such as hard-boiled eggs and pancakes.

"We will be transitioning. Not saying we're not serving those, but we won't be serving those as often,” Slotten-Beauchamp said.

The district says it doesn't have an exact date for the breakfast menu change.

Brianne Thornton, UW Health Dietitian Q&A:

Q: What does a good breakfast consist of and why does it matter?
A: “Breakfast is really important to get the nutrition we need for our brain to function, energy to learn. A balanced breakfast really includes a good source of protein, whole grain, and a good source of fruits as well to nourish our bodies.”

Q: What can happen if you skip breakfast?
A: “If we don’t have breakfast our energy can be down and so can our focus as well so we aren’t able to focus in our classes.”

The MPS meal menu can be found here.

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