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    Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    I stumbled across this article on slashdot tonight:
    FOXNews.com - Big Brother in Iowa? School District Monitors Kids' Lunch Choices
    Slashdot Your Rights Online Story | Big Brother In the School Cafeteria?

    Interesting. I know DSM uses the pin number too, but I don't know if they are tracking them too.



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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    I dont know if I consider monitoring if a kid eats salad bar, hot lunch or brings their own lunch as being big brother. I guess I just consider it as a way of seeing just how many kids are eating what the school has to offer. I know my daughter eats salad bar each time a lunch she doesnt like is offered.



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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by cyadict View Post
    I dont know if I consider monitoring if a kid eats salad bar, hot lunch or brings their own lunch as being big brother. I guess I just consider it as a way of seeing just how many kids are eating what the school has to offer. I know my daughter eats salad bar each time a lunch she doesnt like is offered.
    yeah, I guess I don't see why monitoring meals is a big deal. Seems like it's more to check on the school than it is to check on the kids. The pin number thing seems overly complicated, though. Don't kids have lunch cards anymore?


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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    When the kids go to the lunch room, their teachers are with them and have a sheet with all their pin numbers on them in case the kids cant remember the number. There are no lunch cards for the kids. My daughter says this way is a lot better because there is no card to misplace like most kids do.



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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Janny View Post
    yeah, I guess I don't see why monitoring meals is a big deal. Seems like it's more to check on the school than it is to check on the kids. The pin number thing seems overly complicated, though. Don't kids have lunch cards anymore?
    My old school started using the computerized pin # system back in the mid to late 90's. It actually did speed up the lines.




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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by cyadict View Post
    When the kids go to the lunch room, their teachers are with them and have a sheet with all their pin numbers on them in case the kids cant remember the number. There are no lunch cards for the kids. My daughter says this way is a lot better because there is no card to misplace like most kids do.
    Ok, so there's no chance of a kid not being able to eat lunch if they forget their number.

    I guess I don't see a problem, then.


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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by isuaggie View Post
    My old school started using the computerized pin # system back in the mid to late 90's. It actually did speed up the lines.
    yeah, it makes sense now. I was confused by this line from the article
    My children have to memorize a four-digit PIN if they want to eat lunch at school,
    Made it sound like if the kid couldn't remember his/her PIN, they didn't eat. Appears to be making a mountain out of a molehill.


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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    I don't think this is "Big Brother" at all... Just thought it would make interesting conversation.



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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    I could see it being hard for the 5 year old mentioned in the article but the 7 year old will have it down in 2-3 weeks.




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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Janny View Post
    yeah, it makes sense now. I was confused by this line from the article

    Made it sound like if the kid couldn't remember his/her PIN, they didn't eat. Appears to be making a mountain out of a molehill.
    Fox kind of has a track of turning things that aren't really bad, or a big deal into a HUGE deal.



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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    Another thing new this year, that I like, is allowing the kids to choose what kind of fruits and veggies they want as they go through the serving line. Looking at Ankeny's menu, for example on the 16th, my son can choose either a banana or applesauce for his fruit and in addition to having peas for a veggie.

    I don't have a problem with the PIN number.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Janny View Post
    Don't kids have lunch cards anymore?
    Not the kind that I had in school that I had to present every day to be punched. Prior to this year, my son, who's in 3rd grade, had a credit card looking thing that the his teacher kept that would be scanned by a computer if he was eating hot lunch that day.


    Last edited by garn91; 09-09-2010 at 01:22 PM.

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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    Seems like a good idea - but families should clearly have the option to opt-out.

    Side question - since when are 5 and 7 y/o's given an option of what to eat? Going back decades to when I was in elementary, you got in line and got what you got. There were no options.

    In high school we had standard lunches, then an ala-carte line - which I'm sure was a nutritional nightmare.



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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    It's a little disturbing that they are tracking indiviual's food choices


    I mean I'm pretty sure ISU tracked what was consumed at the dining centers, but in general terms, not in a way that is tied to an individual

    That allowed them to track food consuption and get some nutrition ideas without tracking an indiviual's consumption


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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post
    Seems like a good idea - but families should clearly have the option to opt-out.

    Side question - since when are 5 and 7 y/o's given an option of what to eat? Going back decades to when I was in elementary, you got in line and got what you got. There were no options.

    In High School we had standard lunches, then an ala-carte line - which I'm sure was a nutritional nightmare.
    At least in the elementary schools, new this year is that all students, regardless of grade, can choose to through the salad bar if that's what they want. Last year it was only 4th & 5th graders who were able to go through the salad bar.



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    Re: Ankeny Tracks Kids Food Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by garn91 View Post
    At least in the elementary schools, new this year is that all students, regardless of grade, can choose to through the salad bar if that's what they want. Last year it was only 4th & 5th graders who were able to go through the salad bar.
    I probably came off overly critical there - after reading your first post, I suppose it really depends what choices they are given. Veggie A or Veggie B, this fruit or that - seems fine.

    As I said above, my only experience was in our high school's ala cart - which was pure crap. Pizza, fries and the like. There were a few "better" items - but rarely if ever bought.

    I don't think such options should be given to kids in that 5 -7 range.

    I don't have kids, but I am a bit concerned about these things if we ever did. Watch the movie "Super Size Me" - had alot of good info on some school districts outsourcing their food programs. And often to a near mall food court type of fast food selection. That movie is also a good motivator for those who want to go on a diet.


    Last edited by DaddyMac; 09-09-2010 at 01:34 PM.

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