Sack Lunch Ban

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Jules's picture
Joined: 10/03/01
Posts: 797
Sack Lunch Ban

Some Chicago schools have banned lunches from home (unless a medical excuse is given). Reasoning: school lunches are healthier.

Sack lunch ban in Chicago

What do you think of this decision?

* Reasonable school response to some children's poor lunch choices
* Blatant violation of parent's rights
* Good way to ensure income for companies providing lunch services
* Combination

I'm admitting that if I had shackles, they would be raised. Wink The quality of many school lunches is way inferior to those I or the children would pack. In spite of the fact we home schooled, the kids occasionally attended classes and workshops and could eat at the school. I believe each may have tried once. When lunches are lean proteins, whole grain, fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats and devoid of sugars, I might reconsider my position.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3303

"Jules" wrote:

Some Chicago schools have banned lunches from home (unless a medical excuse is given). Reasoning: school lunches are healthier.

Sack lunch ban in Chicago

What do you think of this decision?

* Reasonable school response to some children's poor lunch choices
* Blatant violation of parent's rights
* Good way to ensure income for companies providing lunch services
* Combination

I'm admitting that if I had shackles, they would be raised. Wink The quality of many school lunches is way inferior to those I or the children would pack. In spite of the fact we home schooled, the kids occasionally attended classes and workshops and could eat at the school. I believe each may have tried once. When lunches are lean proteins, whole grain, fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats and devoid of sugars, I might reconsider my position.

I wouldn't even consider it if school lunches were extremely healthy. There are always food issues that i could potentially disagree on...there are always food choices that i might make differently for my kids and i should have the right to feed them what i think is best, not nec. what they think is best.

If their *only* reason is because they think its healthier, then i don't think that is their choice. That is my choice.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Were that the case here, I would put my kids in private school. I believe that all children have a right to eat foods that a family prefers ~ whether it is gluten free or meat free or pesticide free or appropriate to their culture .... whatever. I don't believe that a SD should be able to mandate what my kids can or can't put in their bodies during designated eating times. There is no way I would want my kids eating cheap, mass produced food the likes of which we don't eat at home and which does not align with our personal ethics (like factory farmed meat or eggs or whatever) 5 days/week.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

"Potter75" wrote:

Were that the case here, I would put my kids in private school. I believe that all children have a right to eat foods that a family prefers ~ whether it is gluten free or meat free or pesticide free or appropriate to their culture .... whatever. I don't believe that a SD should be able to mandate what my kids can or can't put in their bodies during designated eating times. There is no way I would want my kids eating cheap, mass produced food the likes of which we don't eat at home and which does not align with our personal ethics (like factory farmed meat or eggs or whatever) 5 days/week.

This exactly. But also, what about cost? They are forcing parents to pay for school lunches where bringing lunch might be financially better.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

No way! I would have a big problem with paying for a substandard lunch (which they are in many schools here) when I can provide something heathier for less cost that I know my child will eat. We also have a lot of allergies in the family so there are things that we don't eat or limit (perservatives, colours, nitrates, msg etc). I would not want DD to be eating these things on a regular basis when half the family have major reactions to them.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

If that were happening in our PS system, I would unify with other parents and contest it. I think it's awful that such a decision be left for one person to decide. And in the example of this principal's reasoning of seeing what they ate on a field trip is ridiculous. When one of my older kids went on a special field trip with their class, I always allowed them a special treat as part of their lunch that is not considered "healthy." But that doesn't mean the rest of the school year, they're not eating healthy.

And to see how many students are physically throwing away all of the food uneaten, is more alarming than to see them eat small portions of unhealthy food. Such control in that environment is obviously not working nor is it healthy to see them not eat the entire day because of what's forced upon them. It's also not teaching children to make healthier decisions on what they will put into their body when offered choices. It should be left to the parents to decide what meal plan is best for their own children. I would be livid to know my $2.25/meal per child was just being thrown in the trash because my kids hated what was on the menu that day with no other alternatives. I do think that example of one school who removed what they considered unhealthy food that was brought in for lunch, but returned at the end of the day to be a bit more reasonable. At least the student would learn not to bring that item any more and choose an alternative the next day.

Jules's picture
Joined: 10/03/01
Posts: 797

This is wrong on so many levels that I honestly am having trouble conceiving that a school district would think it's okay to mandate a ban on home lunches.

Some families may not have the resources or knowledge to contest such an action. To me school lunches are not far behind fast food. The ingredients don't meet my rigid personal guidelines. And that would be for 1/3 of my child's meals.

Posted in on the preg.org facebook page also. Feel free to touch in on the subject there as well: http://www.facebook.com/pregnancyorg

j

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

OMG. I would be so livid. I have yet to see a healthy lunch in any government facility. I can't believe that they would rather have students pay for a lunch and then throw it away than allow the parents to decide what their own kid is going to eat that day. What a waste. Sad

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4106

I'm curious as to how they could force the parents to pay for these lunches. What happens if parents refuse to pay do the kids just go without lunch every day?

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I'm curious as to how they could force the parents to pay for these lunches. What happens if parents refuse to pay do the kids just go without lunch every day?

The article said they would do without.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

I just came here to post this debate-- glad someone beat me to it Smile

Heck no. No. No. No. No. I send my kids with brown bag lunches every day (actually, that is a lie. I send them with bento boxes and reusable storage containers and insulated sacks...no waste Wink packed lunches)

And sometimes I pack a cookie.

But I assure you that their lunch is healhier than whatever the school is providing them....

Oh and I have four kids. To buy them school lunch would be $10/day x 5 days/week= $50 week or $200/month? I don't think so.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4106

As lawsuit happy as our country is I'm surprised that no one has found a way to file a lawsuit over this if it has been effect for 6 years. I think most lawsuits are frivolous but I think I would consider filing if my kid was having to either go hungry every day or pay to eat their food.

Its weird how in this other incident the school wouldn't let a mother not give her child a lunch, but in Chicago this school is getting away with letting kids go hungry.
http://www.wpbf.com/education/22646374/detail.html

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

Where we live there are no sack lunches except for on field trip days. There is no possibility I could pack a lunch for less than the cost of that lunch, so it's financially prudent. There are a lot of benefits, actually. Kids serve it to each class themselves, wearing proper attire, from kindergarten age. There is a nutritionist for each school and kids get involved with the lunch prep from early ages. One of the big things in the education system is getting rid of likes/dislikes and just eating what there is. My kids come home with knowledge of veggies I've never even heard of, and they eat them.

I think in general the lunches are pretty healthy, although I have some concerns (white bread/white rice every freaking day). But the reason we can do it here and I doubt it could be done in North America is that kids don't have the kind of allergies they do in NA. If a kid in a school has a documented allergy they will either change the menu or give that child an alternative. In my child's future elementary school there is only one child (of 650) with a shellfish allergy.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

Now you've piqued my curiousity. Why do kids in NA have so many flippin allergies? Curious.....

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

Good question.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

No way, for all the reasons PP have stated. My kids would be in private school ASAP.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4087

"Jules" wrote:

When lunches are lean proteins, whole grain, fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats and devoid of sugars, I might reconsider my position.

Our school lunches do incorporate these things. Blum 3 I've had some of it; the schools use the same vendor as the hospital where I had Weston & the food was really quite tasty; I've also eaten lunch at school once or twice when I've been there volunteering for something. The kids who get hot lunch generally eat most of it, there's very little waste at our school; in fact, it seems the kids who bring lunches from home take more uneaten stuff back home than the hot lunch kids throw out. None of the elementary schools here have a kitchen, the food is provided frozen by a vendor & heated in steam cabinets on site. The kids also get fresh fruit every day & sometimes a bag of healthy chips or crackers to go along with it. Could I feed Tiven for less than $3 a day? Probably, but being vegetarian and with no refrigerator or microwave available, our options are a bit limited since Tiven doesn't like any of the "lunch meat substititutes." And when you factor in the time to pack it & the stress of her peeking in & squealing, "I don't want to eat that today!" the cost IMHO is negligible.

But then again, we also have a district-wide "no junk foods" policy, so kids aren't allowed to bring unhealthy chips, cookies, soda, candy, cupcakes, etc. in their lunches anyway. Those items are confiscated & returned to the parent at the end of the day. I guess from a health standpoint it's a wash. Blum 3 We also have a vegetable garden on site that the kids help with, and at least once a week one or two classes eats something from the garden.

LiveFreeOrDie's picture
Joined: 09/15/05
Posts: 115

"blather" wrote:

Where we live there are no sack lunches except for on field trip days. There is no possibility I could pack a lunch for less than the cost of that lunch, so it's financially prudent. There are a lot of benefits, actually. Kids serve it to each class themselves, wearing proper attire, from kindergarten age. There is a nutritionist for each school and kids get involved with the lunch prep from early ages. One of the big things in the education system is getting rid of likes/dislikes and just eating what there is. My kids come home with knowledge of veggies I've never even heard of, and they eat them.

I think in general the lunches are pretty healthy, although I have some concerns (white bread/white rice every freaking day). But the reason we can do it here and I doubt it could be done in North America is that kids don't have the kind of allergies they do in NA. If a kid in a school has a documented allergy they will either change the menu or give that child an alternative. In my child's future elementary school there is only one child (of 650) with a shellfish allergy.

I love this. Love it.

I would get behind banning bag lunches if it were for similar purposes.

Strange_Cat's picture
Joined: 02/08/02
Posts: 41

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

I'm curious as to how they could force the parents to pay for these lunches. What happens if parents refuse to pay do the kids just go without lunch every day?

According to the school report card, 99% of the students at Little Village Academy are low income, so they would qualify for either a free or reduced price (40 cents) school lunch. So likely, this is not costing the parents anything to have their children get the school lunch. CPS has this year enacted a policy that breakfast will be served to all children in the district as well. I guess they feel they have the right to dictate to all children what they can and cannot eat the entire time they are at school.

I think it's ridiculous to deny the sack lunches.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

I would come unglued! How do they meet all of the religious requirements? If I follow a Kosher diet at home, how is the school ensuring they are too? It's not a medical reason, but it is valid.

I would have a major issue with the whole thing and have no problem filing suit against them.

Andy1784's picture
Joined: 09/18/08
Posts: 1372

I would freak out at the school. Just thinking of the quality of lunches I would see when I was in school makes me shudder. Granted that was a long time ago but from talking to some of DH's little cousins that hasn't changed much. I would also consider suing over this.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4087

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I would come unglued! How do they meet all of the religious requirements? If I follow a Kosher diet at home, how is the school ensuring they are too? It's not a medical reason, but it is valid.

San Francisco doesn't serve any pork or shellfish, so that covers both Jews & Muslims, and there's always a vegetarian option so that covers most of us in the Buddhist/Taoist/hippie range. And any day when something like a cheeseburger is offered that a Jewish child couldn't eat, there's always a vegetarian option. Obviously Passover would be a problem, though.

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

I would not be happy with something like this. Tuckshop is way too expensive and from when I was at school not very healthy. It was a treat not an everyday for us and at nearly $10 a day per child so not going to happen. I can't believe they would allow a child to just not eat if they couldn't buy lunch, there is something very wrong with that idea. Most teachers I know keep bread in the freezer and some vegemite or jam around so that oif a child forgets lunch or their parents didn't send lunch they can still eat.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"blather" wrote:

Where we live there are no sack lunches except for on field trip days. There is no possibility I could pack a lunch for less than the cost of that lunch, so it's financially prudent. There are a lot of benefits, actually. Kids serve it to each class themselves, wearing proper attire, from kindergarten age. There is a nutritionist for each school and kids get involved with the lunch prep from early ages. One of the big things in the education system is getting rid of likes/dislikes and just eating what there is. My kids come home with knowledge of veggies I've never even heard of, and they eat them.

I think in general the lunches are pretty healthy, although I have some concerns (white bread/white rice every freaking day). But the reason we can do it here and I doubt it could be done in North America is that kids don't have the kind of allergies they do in NA. If a kid in a school has a documented allergy they will either change the menu or give that child an alternative. In my child's future elementary school there is only one child (of 650) with a shellfish allergy.

Yep, ITA with this. I don't think requiring kids to buy lunch is that bad as long as they are nutritious and financially feasible. My kids sometimes buy lunch and it is way easier and I ave foudn that they try things at lunch around their friends that they wouldn't at home. And when I pack their lunches they eat the samedamn thing. So I am not as outraged at the idea as most of y'all.

That siad, it wouldn;t work here for the allergy reason adn also for the mere fact that American don't like to be told what they can't do. Sometimes parents go into a frenzy over being told "No" in school it seems just for the simple fact that thye were told No. lol I can see though telling parents certain things not to pack....no candy, no soda, etc. in order to help make the packed lunches healthier. I've seen some of these kids packed lunches and they are not healthy.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

I just read some of your posts....suing? Really? Oy vey.

carg0612's picture
Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 1554

The article said that if a parent can't pay (or, I'm assuming a little here) the child doesn't like and won't eat the meal presented that the child will go without.

Huh, this sounds counterintuitive considering the argument is to provide the children with healthier meals. So the child eating nothing is a healthier alternative to what the parent would pack???

In our school I can prepare my kids lunches more cheaply than them purchasing lunches. They've changed the menu to include healthier items but my kids only like 2 or 3 of the offerings per month. When they have what they like they buy - otherwise they pack.

I do pack a healthy lunch (ok, well most days anyway) with a protien, dairy, fruit or veggie and usually a fruit roll-up as their treat. Our rule is that they are required to leave their trash/leftoevers in their lunch bag and if they don't eat all the healthy stuff they don't get a fruit roll-up next time. So far it's worked pretty well.

I know the school can't enforce those kinds of rules but I guess I feel it's MY job as their mom to ensure they are getting a healthy meal - not the school's job. They are there to support healthy choice, not be the primary care giver.

My day care implemented a rule that I actually liked. They said that if your child comes with his/her lunch that is not "balanced" (according to federal standards) they will offer your child a supplement (such as an apple, orange, whatever food-type is missing) and then charge you for that piece of food.

It seemed to work (at least it did with my ex-husband who couldn't manage to pack a decent lunch until he kept getting charged for fruit and cheese).

Not that that's right either - it was just a creative way to try to get parents to take responsibility for what they pack their kids.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

"culturedmom" wrote:

I just read some of your posts....suing? Really? Oy vey.

Yes.

"carg0612" wrote:

The article said that if a parent can't pay (or, I'm assuming a little here) the child doesn't like and won't eat the meal presented that the child will go without.

And this is why. In CA, a free education is defined as meaning no cost. If the school requires something (e.g., a pencil, paper, notebook) then the school is required to provide it. It can be a suggestion and most students do have materials. Nonetheless, a kid who shows up with no paper or pencil is given one.

This requirement holds with PE as well. A student cannot be penalized if he/she cannot afford the PE uniform.

Getting to lunch: If the school is going to require students to receive the lunch from the cafeteria, then they better be the ones paying for it. I can make my daughter's lunch cheaper than $2.00 a day. When there are 4 children at home, that's $40 a week. That buys a lot of lunch meat, bread, apples, peanut butter, yogurt and other items I consider to be healthier. Not to mention, something they will actually eat.

I'm not going to allow my children to skip lunch 14 out of 20 days each month.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4087

To those of you who say kids would go hungry if they didn't like what was presented, what about the opportunity to try new things? Isn't that an important concept? I see the bag lunch kids bringing the same thing day after day after day, PB&J alternated with turkey or something like that, where the hot lunch kids are eating at least 15 different things every month. IMHO a lot of the "I don't like it" comes from parents feeding the problem (pun intended!) by allowing the child to not try new things & only eat what they want. I had a parent recently tell me she was grocery shopping & her kindergartner grabbed some kale & said, "Let's buy this, it's yummy!" because she'd tried it (sauteed with garlic & fresh lemon juice, all grown in our school garden) at school, this parent never thought a 5yo would eat kale.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

"culturedmom" wrote:

Yep, ITA with this. I don't think requiring kids to buy lunch is that bad as long as they are nutritious and financially feasible. My kids sometimes buy lunch and it is way easier and I ave foudn that they try things at lunch around their friends that they wouldn't at home. And when I pack their lunches they eat the samedamn thing. So I am not as outraged at the idea as most of y'all.

That siad, it wouldn;t work here for the allergy reason adn also for the mere fact that American don't like to be told what they can't do. Sometimes parents go into a frenzy over being told "No" in school it seems just for the simple fact that thye were told No. lol I can see though telling parents certain things not to pack....no candy, no soda, etc. in order to help make the packed lunches healthier. I've seen some of these kids packed lunches and they are not healthy.

I agree that some of the lunches that kids take are not healthy. DSD wants to eat all sorts of unhealthy things in her lunch (lunchables, pizza pops, pop, pudding) and her mom just lets her (I would change that if I could). I would be fine with a junk food ban (especially in elementary school). I think that is a great idea. In fact all of our schools have changed the vending machines to only have healthy options. But I still want to have the ability to send food that I choose for DD as most of the options that we give her are healthier than the school options. Some of the things we saw in DSDs lunch program were not healthy or good kid options (pizza perogies for example). I would rather pack a lunch that I know DD will eat than pay for something that she will just toss.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4106

"Spacers" wrote:

To those of you who say kids would go hungry if they didn't like what was presented, what about the opportunity to try new things? Isn't that an important concept? I see the bag lunch kids bringing the same thing day after day after day, PB&J alternated with turkey or something like that, where the hot lunch kids are eating at least 15 different things every month. IMHO a lot of the "I don't like it" comes from parents feeding the problem (pun intended!) by allowing the child to not try new things & only eat what they want. I had a parent recently tell me she was grocery shopping & her kindergartner grabbed some kale & said, "Let's buy this, it's yummy!" because she'd tried it (sauteed with garlic & fresh lemon juice, all grown in our school garden) at school, this parent never thought a 5yo would eat kale.

So what if they HAVE tried it and don't like it? The kid just goes hungry. I am not that picky but I can remember the BBQ Turkey meat that our cafeteria served for lunch in High school and those things were the nastiest things on earth. It was turkey meat pressed into a roll that they would cut off slices. We had a choice of that or a salad if we didn't like what was being served that day, or bring your own lunch. Lots of kids don't like salad. So I'm guessing a lot of kids would have gone hungry every time they served that if you weren't allowed to take a lunch.

I ate a sandwich for lunch in elementary school almost every day, we didn't even have a cafeteria. Somehow I managed to try new things at other times.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

Ridiculous.

I read this article today and I understand their intentions, but the school lunch isn't neccessarily healthy and usually made mostly of processed foods. It also alienates any parents who live organically, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, etc.

The article said lots of kids just don't eat lunch because they do not like what is offered. To me that is worse for their education. Blood sugar levels will drop and their ability to absorb information is completely depleted.

Also, since when does the state get to tell me what to feed my children???

I understand that some parents may not think about what goes into a lunch, but I would have to say most of us do from what I have seen. And really is it so bad to include a pudding cup once a week along with carrots and a turkey sandwich? or god forbid even a bag of pretzels or chips or a cookie once in a blue moon?

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4087

Perhaps the better thing for most of you to do, instead of packing your own child's lunch every day because the school lunch is unappetizing, unhealthy, and uninteresting, would be to work to change your school's lunch options so that all the kids in your school could benefit from a good lunch every day. Dirol

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1683

"Spacers" wrote:

To those of you who say kids would go hungry if they didn't like what was presented, what about the opportunity to try new things? Isn't that an important concept? I see the bag lunch kids bringing the same thing day after day after day, PB&J alternated with turkey or something like that, where the hot lunch kids are eating at least 15 different things every month. IMHO a lot of the "I don't like it" comes from parents feeding the problem (pun intended!) by allowing the child to not try new things & only eat what they want. I had a parent recently tell me she was grocery shopping & her kindergartner grabbed some kale & said, "Let's buy this, it's yummy!" because she'd tried it (sauteed with garlic & fresh lemon juice, all grown in our school garden) at school, this parent never thought a 5yo would eat kale.

I do have my children try different things. DD2 is a very picky eater even after trying things multiple times. She doesn't like pie or most sweets. We got pizza last week and she said she would rather have something from home. She is influenced by her friends and does want to try new things but doesn't always like it.

DD1 has decided to go vegetarian. We tried cooking with tofu and ordering it out, but she just doesn't like it. No matter how many times I try asparagus, I'm just never going to like the taste.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

"Spacers" wrote:

Perhaps the better thing for most of you to do, instead of packing your own child's lunch every day because the school lunch is unappetizing, unhealthy, and uninteresting, would be to work to change your school's lunch options so that all the kids in your school could benefit from a good lunch every day. Dirol

I still would rather pack my own child's lunch. I don't want to enforce my POV on anyone else as a requirement for how they should raise their children. My LO has only had sugar once (his birthday), only ate canned baby food a 1/2 dozens times or so and has been introduced to a huge variety of foods at 20 months old. this was my choice and I don't think that my choice is the only healthy choice out there.

I think giving kids options and healthy choices is great, and schools should have these choices, but to insist everyone operates on the same POV is silly to me.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3303

"Spacers" wrote:

Perhaps the better thing for most of you to do, instead of packing your own child's lunch every day because the school lunch is unappetizing, unhealthy, and uninteresting, would be to work to change your school's lunch options so that all the kids in your school could benefit from a good lunch every day. Dirol

Great suggestion..however its far easier for me to pack my child a healthy lunch then to take on a cause like this.

It takes movers and shakers to change things I know...but I'm going to have to leave this one up to someone else.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3303

oh yeah and my kids try stuff all the time.

Last night for dinner we had a coconut curry shrimp.
Night before that salmon
Night before that we had burgers (great grilling weather that day!)
and I could go on and on...they get a pretty varied menu of foods.

And we are constantly trying new stuff all the time. I hear "I don't like that" all the time as well...but we insist they try and we never take anything off the menu simply because one of the kids claims to not like it.

Our packed school lunches aren't unhealthy but they do get pretty routine and aren't varied a ton. Its convenient to work around the same healthy lunches. We are busy and this is simply one way to help reduce stress for us. Its silly to assume that because kids bring the same lunches to school on a regular basis that they aren't being exposed to new foods.

Joined: 05/23/05
Posts: 174

Yeah, not a good idea!

I let DD buy a hot lunch from school every now and then, but I can't imagine that being a daily thing! Even though the lunches are relatively healthy, I make them a lot healthier, and DD likes mine better. Yes, kids need to try new things. But to be realistic here, when the school offers lunches for $2.25, they will have a very limited menue, they will probably have 8-12 different items and repeat them throughout the year, so how is that helping her trying something new? I give her a bigger variety of food to try!

Also, many times DD asks for a specific lunch, it's not fair that she will never get the option to chose her own lunch at school!

There are many other things that will be a problem for me! But I do see where this is coming from. I saw the lunches that DD's classmates bring to field trips, or to class even. There is a kid who brings only juice and a bag of chips for lunch every single day! Another kid brings in a pack of white castle chicken rings with juice, and a pack of oreos almost daily. When she doesn't have the chicken rings, she has tons of junk food in there, like a pack of chocolate chip cookies, some doritos in a ziplock bag, oreos and juice! It's disgusting, actually! And yes, I'm judging! No kid should have junk food for lunch every single day! These kids are 5 and are in school from 8:30-3:30. But I don't think that my own daughter should get food that is less healthy, just because some other parents are not doing their job of making sure their kids are eating healthy! Call me selfish, and I am when it comes to my daughter!

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3303

I don't even get why if one were to push to make school lunches really healthy and awesome that it would have to come a long with a ban of sack lunches. I think more people would naturally want to participate if the lunches were really that good...and if they weren't, well then i wouldn't want my kids to be forced to eat it.

I don't think there is any reason why a culture of healthy eating can be built within a school that still includes an option to bring from home.

Joined: 05/23/05
Posts: 174

"KimPossible" wrote:

I don't even get why if one were to push to make school lunches really healthy and awesome that it would have to come a long with a ban of sack lunches. I think more people would naturally want to participate if the lunches were really that good...and if they weren't, well then i wouldn't want my kids to be forced to eat it.

I don't think there is any reason why a culture of healthy eating can be built within a school that still includes an option to bring from home.

That reminds me of something else I was thinking about when I read this. Shouldn't we teach our kids how to eat healthy by choice? i.e., DD always asks me to pack those frozen juice things or fruit roll ups because her friends eat them for lunch. I always explain to her how they are not healthy, and she eat real fruit. I would hate for DD to eat lunch that's provided by the school, because she doesn't have a choice, and to miss learning how to make healthy eating choices. I know that she can do that for dinner. But it's not the same. I would hate for her to think that the only reason she's eating healthy at school is because "it's the rule". She needs to learn making healthy choices. Even though I pack her own lunch now, I know I will have less and less control over it as she grows, but I'm hoping that my choices of healthy food will make her chose healthy ones herslelf. I think it will really help her when she's an adult to make healthy choices.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"Spacers" wrote:

Perhaps the better thing for most of you to do, instead of packing your own child's lunch every day because the school lunch is unappetizing, unhealthy, and uninteresting, would be to work to change your school's lunch options so that all the kids in your school could benefit from a good lunch every day. Dirol

That sounds like a great thing to do but I can't see a public school raising the bar to that level. A "healthy" school lunch in most schools is a meat, veg, fruit and milk. Sounds healthy, but it's processed meat, canned veg, canned fruit and non-organic milk. We don't eat any of those things at home so I would not be ok with my child eating that at school. When public schools start serving meat rasied without the use of antibiotics or hormones, fresh veg, fresh fruit and organic milk then I'd be more than happy to allow my child to eat the lunches served in schools.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Yeah.........I guess the diversity argument may work for kids who don't eat much, but my kids are like Kim's ~ they eat everything. I don't consider 4 different forms of fried reconstituted potatoes to really be "diversity" Smile

If parents were really sending in garbage I can see why the school did it. I would not sue. I also have the luxury of seeking out other school arrangements. Honestly given the general differences between the districts near me and this district in question, I can't ever see it becoming an issue here. I hope that if it DOES help these kids in question to actually eat better they keep the program, or look at ways to keep healthier, cheap options available to kids who might not otherwise get anything. I am fully aware that my feelings on this one as it pertains to my kids are privilaged and perhaps elitist. If given a choice between snowballs and orange soda OR hot school lunch every day, I would hope that more kids get the latter.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3303

thought occurred to me...

i wonder how many people in this thread who are oppose to mandatory school lunch (no sack lunch)

are supportive of 'health food only' food stamps.

oh yeah....i went there.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

"KimPossible" wrote:

thought occurred to me...

i wonder how many people in this thread who are oppose to mandatory school lunch (no sack lunch)

are supportive of 'health food only' food stamps.

oh yeah....i went there.

+1 Kim.

Joined: 08/05/06
Posts: 441

To the OP, I can see situations where this would be a prudent move by the school. I know where I am the school lunches are very good and everyone I know who has kids in the school system has their kid buy lunch most days. These are very health-conscious, organic eating families and they praise the school lunches. There is no reason a school can't provide high quality healthy lunches, but you generally have economies of scale working in your favor. A large proportion of the kids have to be buying school lunches to get the price down to a reasonable level. So if you have that kind of shift happening and presently the teachers and administrators are seeing kids come to school with very poor nutrition that is causing learning and/or behavioral problems, I can see why they'd give this a try.

How is this different than compulsory uniforms in public schools?

Jules's picture
Joined: 10/03/01
Posts: 797

One other thing that bothered me is that the majority of the kids in this school districts live with poorer families. Many may not have English as a first language or have guardians that even speak English. While I might be savvy enough to circumvent this ban, other parents might not realize such a possibility existed. Something in me objects to bullying select segments of our society.

I love that some districts have gardens and use that food in the cafeteria. And that many have healthy food options. I know in our district when the "big" kids were junior high/senior high age, a "Five Star Buffet" was offered. Choices included nachos, hoagie, pizza, and I can't remember the other two as well as some side dishes. It was probably no more or less healthy than fast foods and just not how our family usually ate. Typical from our house (kid packed with what they wanted) would be whole wheat pita bread and veggies with hummus, some home made trail mix, an apple, string cheese and water (usually they were making lunch and a snack).

Should there be an option for families? Sure. but to mandate that all children MUST eat the lunch provided by the district just isn't right.

zefroim's picture
Joined: 05/18/06
Posts: 126

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

To the OP, I can see situations where this would be a prudent move by the school. I know where I am the school lunches are very good and everyone I know who has kids in the school system has their kid buy lunch most days. These are very health-conscious, organic eating families and they praise the school lunches. There is no reason a school can't provide high quality healthy lunches, but you generally have economies of scale working in your favor. A large proportion of the kids have to be buying school lunches to get the price down to a reasonable level. So if you have that kind of shift happening and presently the teachers and administrators are seeing kids come to school with very poor nutrition that is causing learning and/or behavioral problems, I can see why they'd give this a try.

Considering the district, it probably benefits more kids than it hurts. But there is no way it would make sense for every public school.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

How is this different than compulsory uniforms in public schools?

There's a huge difference in what one wears versus what one consumes (or not consumed if they don't like or can't/won't eat particular foods offered.) How does clothing feed the brain to stimulate education?

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I love the idea that blather brought up of kids helping to make healthy foods and taking turns serving their classmates. Better yet if it was made up partially from veggies that they grew in their own school garden. How cool is that? Healthy, and fostering a real sense of community within the school.

But, if we're talking the same old crap that I ate as a kid served up by lunch ladies, I really don't see that it would necessarily be more healthy or community building. I think if health is the issue, then this school needs to do something else, like institute a junk food ban on packed lunches and snacks. It honestly sounds to me more like the school is looking for a source of revenue.

Jules's picture
Joined: 10/03/01
Posts: 797

Considering the district, it probably benefits more kids than it hurts. But there is no way it would make sense for every public school.

There is no way this makes sense for ANY school district. It may make sense for some children, but nothing that violates a parent's right to make choices for their child is acceptable.

It may make sense for a school district struggling with funding. Many profit from their own lunch services or receive a percentage of sales from venders.

But it is not okay to remove a parent's choice.

And Kim, yes I'll step out and say that food stamps should be for healthy foods only. Why? Many of the families that qualify for food stamps also qualify for medicaid. Healthier food does equal healthier bodies. It is a win/win situation for everyone (Except unhealthy food providers).

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"Beertje" wrote:

There's a huge difference in what one wears versus what one consumes (or not consumed if they don't like or can't/won't eat particular foods offered.) How does clothing feed the brain to stimulate education?

Oh I don't think so. I think it is a good analogy. Uniforms help kids not worry about the clothes and the money spent on clothes and that helps with learning.

As far as kids not eating what is served, my kids have choices for lunch. Today was roast chicken, brown rice, and green beans with a corn bread. But they have a choice of salads or if niether they can get yogurt in place of the entree. I also think if all kids are buyign lunch they will ahve more money and could probably bring in even healthier and better lunches.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3303

"CalBearInBoston" wrote:

To the OP, I can see situations where this would be a prudent move by the school. I know where I am the school lunches are very good and everyone I know who has kids in the school system has their kid buy lunch most days. These are very health-conscious, organic eating families and they praise the school lunches. There is no reason a school can't provide high quality healthy lunches, but you generally have economies of scale working in your favor. A large proportion of the kids have to be buying school lunches to get the price down to a reasonable level. So if you have that kind of shift happening and presently the teachers and administrators are seeing kids come to school with very poor nutrition that is causing learning and/or behavioral problems, I can see why they'd give this a try.

How is this different than compulsory uniforms in public schools?

I think if you could convince me that it was having a significant negative impact on the school, then I would possibly ok with it on a case by case basis. I would want to see a fairly obvious gain by the school itself to argue its necessity. I don't want them doing it just because they feel they know whats better for kids than their parents do...even if that is the case some of the time.

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