Technology extends Mom’s wisdom into cafeteria choices

Oct. 30, 2002, Imagine the future in cafeterias across the U.S. if parental choice limits what a child can choose at lunch. A new smart card being pioneered in Australia brings up the foods a child is banned from buying and lists spending ceilings.

The system was developed by Australia’s dairy farmers and the Federation of Canteens in Schools with the intent that it will limit foods high in fat or sugar, or other foods that should be limited for allergic or health reasons. Food choices are tracked, and the children can be rewarded for making better choices.

The denial of choice to students is one tool to combat childhood obesity – which is rising significantly – but other groups feel the better option is to educate students to make personal commitments to disciplined and healthy eating – card or no card.

Schools can rent the software for about U.S.$66 per month.