Banning home lunches?

Okay, I just think this is crazy.

Chicago school bans some lunches brought from home

It doesn’t tell us much. Like, what kind of lunches is the school actually serving. But I don’t think I really care…this is just wrong.  It’s one thing to ban soda, or even candy or foods like that, from student lunches. It’s quite another to force all parents to accept the school’s idea of what healthy food really is and thus relinquish that aspect of their rights as a parent.

Quite a few bloggers are jumping onto this one–Mrs. Q of Fed up with Lunch doesn’t quite agree with me on this and doesn’t see as much what is wrong, although by part II of her posts on this topic she had come to see other points of view. And news outlets as far away as Los Angeles are reporting on it.

I send my kids some pretty weird lunches sometimes. I mean, they make sense to me and to my picky kids, but most folks probably wouldn’t look at a lunch of vanilla yogurt, dry cereal, and raisins, and say “oh look, that’s a nicely balanced lunch.” It has whole grains, protein, and a fruit, and she’ll eat it, and I have no problem with it. I don’t want some school telling me that their burger and tater tots are more balanced and nutritious than what I can give them from home.

What do y’all think about this?

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Posted on April 25, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. This is just ridiculous. My boys take their lunch to school every day (and one of them is in high school). That way, they are sure to have foods that they will eat and not waste as well as having a nutritionally balanced meal.

    Plus, with so many kids dealing with food allergies and food sensitivities, it would only make sense that their parents would want to send safe foods for them to eat rather than taking chances that the cafeteria’s options will meet their needs.

  2. What’s more: the ban completely ignores the question of what each kid eats at the rest of his/her meals — the dietary context, if you like. Lunch isn’t the whole story of a child’s daily intake, and CPS is on a fool’s errand if they think it is.

    (And yes, I’m aware that in all too many cases the children’s families are so poor that a subsidized school lunch *is* all the children eat for the day. Props to CPS, sort of, for wanting that meal to pack the best nutritional punch possible. But taking parents’ prerogatives away is plain wrong, and ignoring food sensitivities/allergies is asking for trouble.)

  3. Sue, that’s a good point–I know that, as a parent, I’ll look at the whole “Okay, we’re having this large-ish dinner that involves meat, and they had a buttload of cereal for breakfast, so let’s go heavy-ish on the fruit at lunchtime.

    I totally think that what the school serves should be as balanced, healthy, unprocessed, and nourishing as possible, and I also think the whole “a la carte” thing of serving this one “healthy” lunch and then having the option for buying pizza and chips and sodas is completely not a good idea–but to ban parents from the choice? Yup, sounds like we’re all on the same page.

    And both Michelle and Sue–you’re right, the food allergy thing is something they need to pay attention to, although it sounds like it’s also the one thing that can get parents back their own right to pack a lunch…

  4. I agree with everyone here – kids bringing lunches from home doesnt preclude serving school lunches to kids who cant or dont bring their own but most schools havent been noteworthy for providing truly healthy additive-free lunches. Arent parents (who want to be) the best to decide what their kids should have for lunch?

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