ByArya Vaishnavi

Apr 10, 2024 09:54 PM IST
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Shockingly enough, the kits which were being served in schools contained even higher levels of sodium

Consumer Reports (CR) is urging the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to remove Lunchables food kits from the National School Lunch Program. In a statement released Tuesday, the organisation revealed that the popular lunch kits contain high lead, sodium, and cadmium levels. CR tested two Lunchables kits served in schools, along with 12 store-bought versions and similar food kits, to compare their nutritional profiles. The findings drove the organisation to file a petition to stop Lunchables from being served in schools.

Consumer Reports finds Lunchables contain high levels of sodium, lead, and cadmium

Consumer Reports reveals alarming nutritional profile of Lunchables

These findings made it clear that these pre-packaged food kits are not fit for consumption by anyone, let alone children. According to the test results, CR also found that “all but one also tested positive for phthalates, chemicals found in plastic that have been linked to reproductive problems, diabetes, and certain cancers.”

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Tests revealed that the store-bought variants of Lunchables kits contain 460-740 mg of sodium per serving, which CR says is “nearly a quarter to half of a child’s daily recommended limit for sodium.”

Shockingly enough, the kits which were being served in schools contained even higher levels of sodium. The Turkey and Cheddar Lunchables for schools contained 930 mg of sodium, while the Lunchables pizza kit for schools had 700 mg of sodium.

Brian Ronholm, director of food policy at Consumer Reports, said, “Lunchables are not a healthy option for kids and shouldn’t be allowed on the menu as part of the National School Lunch Program.”

“The Lunchables and similar lunch kits we tested contain concerning levels of sodium and harmful chemicals that can lead to serious health problems over time. The USDA should remove Lunchables from the National School Lunch Program and ensure that kids in schools have healthier options,” Ronholm added.

Meanwhile, when CR tested similar kits from Armour LunchMakers, Good & Gather, Greenfield Natural Meat Co., and Oscar Mayer, it found lead, cadmium, or both in all. Additionally, the tests also revealed that at least one type of phthalate was found in every kit, except for one- Lunchables Extra Cheesy Pizza.

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