Mountain Dew Kickstarts, endless muffins, and buffalo chicken pizza are just some of the food choices in the RHS cafeteria. All of these items are accessible for students at anytime in the day making it so much easier for eating problems to arise. Eating this type of food everyday is extremely unhealthy and should not be tolerated by the school. And, there are no prices on any of the snack choices or home baked items, making it easier for students to become more addicted to the food. This creates an endless supply of junk food at seemingly no cost. The RHS cafeteria options create horrible eating habits and should add more healthy alternatives for the students.
The cafeteria is open for the entire day, and students are able to buy almost anything they want at anytime. Students are expected to be able to monitor themselves and what they are eating; however, when it is available as soon as your brain wants it, that makes it very hard for students to override their impulses. With these cravings being met instantly, students are more susceptible to buying more and more of these snacks. Some students begin their school day with a Mountain Dew Kickstart or a Diet Coke, simply because they are displayed right next to all of the breakfast options such as muffins, hash browns, and bagels. If the cafeteria was only open at breakfast and lunch and served food designated for those times, students would have a much better chance of making smarter choices.
The tiny fruit basket jammed in between the Snapples and the cookies is practically invisible to a teenager’s eyes. The choices that students make are based on impulsive decisions, which is also part of the problem about the cafeteria being accessible all day. If there were more healthy options for students such as vegetables and dip or oatmeal, students would be less likely to choose the red velvet muffins. While we do not serve fast food chains like other schools do, there is definitely still room for improvement.
Another problem is that the school pays big name brands such as Nesquik, Mountain Dew, and Coke lots of money in order to sell their products in the cafeteria. This raises the price to ridiculous amounts such as four dollars for a bottle of chocolate milk. On top of that, the prices are not listed on the items, so most students do not know how much they are spending for a snack in between periods. The pin number is also a huge problem because the students are not physically handing them six dollars for a muffin and a chocolate milk. Instead, they put in a number that magically pays for their food. Most of the times, students have no idea how much they are spending on food and that needs to change.
The cafeteria has an array of sweet and salty food with absolutely no limits.. The only thing students need to do is put in a pin number, which automatically drains invisible money from their accounts. Cookies, muffins, chips, pizza, soda and coffee are just some of the daily options RHS students have to choose from. The RHS cafeteria should take better care of students’ health by providing healthier alternatives alongside the current options and should put prices on the individual items or read out the balance after a student has paid. These are just some of the strides that RHS could take in becoming a healthier school altogether.
Graphic: Nicole Kye