Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chicago bans school lunches

No more brown paper sacks.

I was pretty shocked to read this article “Chicago school bans some lunches brought from home.” What?!

I grew up in a school that didn’t have a cafeteria, so the whole school lunch deal is a little foreign to me, but I couldn’t imagine not grabbing my lunch from the fridge each morning, before I headed out to meet the school bus. However, some students won’t have that luxury anymore. 

I read two articles about the banning of school lunches and these are the key points:

-       The school thinks they can protect students from their own unhealthy decisions
-       Families that don’t qualify for free or reduced priced lunches, will have to pay the $2.25 daily cafeteria price, moms and dads think they can prepare an at home lunch that costs less than this
-       At least 30% of a child’s calorie intake is consumed at school
-       The school feels that this action will help with childhood obesity problems
-       If children had special dietary needs or allergies they would be allowed to bring their own lunch

We all know that teachers and schools have a great influence on children. I mean that is where they spend a huge chunk of time each day, however when did it become the responsibility for schools to decide how our children should be raised?

Steps like this concern me. When will the school district decide that they should adopt Meatless Mondays, because someone fancies it will be a good idea?

I know that the lunches that my mom, and later on myself, packed contained fruits and vegetables, usually a dairy product, and I won’t lie there were cookies and fruit snacks in them too. I think I turned out just fine. 


  1. I was on the opposite side of this coin. Our family was very poor. We struggled to make ends meet. We kids qualified for the free lunch program at school, and I was always eternally grateful to have a hot meal provided for me at lunch.

  2. I agree with you. Some of the meals served around here arent very healthy, so I think a packed lunch every once in a while would be a healthier option.


  3. This outrages me! No government official or otherwise should have the right to say my child can not bring their lunch from home.

    We don't qualify for free lunches and therefore my children will take a sandwich or leftovers from the night before which is cheaper than the school lunch.

    There is no way I could stand for this. What about the children who hate the schools lunches? They don't eat? Go hungry all day? Don't study or pay attention as well due to hunger? This is just outrageous!

    Can you tell that I hate the government deciding such small issues? They are crowding in more and more everyday and I try harder and harder to push them out!

    *off soapbox now*
    Great blog glad you commented on mine so that I could follow yours.

  4. This is wild! Thanks for posting as I had not seen/heard about this article before now. I don't like this idea simply because many will tell you that school lunches are actually very unhealthy (if they're being honest about the quality of meat school's can afford) so it seems to me that many students bringing lunches from home are most likely bringing healthier meals. Now I'm in no way knowing the free reduced lunch program - ANY lunch is healthier than none at all, however, I do disagree with students being disallowed to bring their own meals. Perhaps the family doesn't qualify for free reduced lunch but that doesn't mean they can afford the $2 EVERY day, especially when they could save and send leftovers or 'cheaper sandwich' options. Wow - life is crazy these days. What's next?!

  5. Holy cow... seriously? That's retarded, especially because HSUS will see that as a step into that school for the meatless monday and eventually meatless week. Geez... come on people...

    In high school we had open campus lunch and they've gotten away from that... but geez!

  6. This totally irritates me. Umm, 30% of calories consumed at school--a kid that wants to binge all day is going to do it even if you give them the "perfect lunch" and I totally agree with you on the MM comment.

  7. Aside from hyjacking a parent's right to feed their child as they see fit, there are so many other considerations here that I find it hard to imagine this would stand up legally. What about a parent's right to feed their child culturally appropriate foods or, foods that meet religious beliefs or requirements? Many foods are altogether taboo or taboo during certain time frames in many cultures. How this school board could ever meet those requirements for all the cultures that are representative of their student body is beyond me. It sounds more likely that they are trying to subsidize a school lunch program by forcing participation rather than relying on their cafeteria to serve up foods that students or their parents would them want to eat on a regular basis. As a parent, I would absolutely challenge this, and I'm sure many will.

  8. In our small town school, the lunch provided by the cafeteria is really awesome! Mostly homecooked meals and very little pre-cooked. So we are lucky to have that option for only $2.50 per day. My kids WANT to eat the school lunch!

    That being said, I don't think anyone has the right to judge what a parent decides is right for their children to eat. I hate to see kids who eat chips and a soda for lunch, but you can't force them to eat healthy! Offer the option at a reasonable price, and it is up to individual to decide--not the principal!

    I realize it may have something to do with the reduced price lunches being funded with government payments. But if the child doesn't eat, they don't receive those payments either.

  9. I am a food scientist and have worked on some of the breaded, fried "meat" products that are sold to institutions including schools. Almost would rather have a meatless meal. (And that from a beef lover!) The only upside I could see is they could reduce outside allergens. I'm sure they'd pretty much eliminate peanuts from everything since that can be a debilitating allergy.

  10. So glad you left a comment on Country Farmgirl, or I never would have found you. I appreciate your blogging very much. I cannot agree more, the fed is taking too much upon itself, can't do a good job in anything, and they still want to take away more of our freedom to think and live. It's not the government's purview to do anything but protect us as a country so that citizens are free and safe to pursue their livelihood. Schools are just that, schools. They, nor the government, are there to determine what is best for each individual. It is still, and must remain, solely the parent's right to raise and feed their children, and NO ONE ELSE! The only reason this is taking a foothold as acceptable school and government practice is because too many parents seem to like the idea of someone else making the decisions for them. Vigilance is key here. Good thing most of us do not wish to give up our rights, OR our responsibilities! There! One more Soapbox done!

  11. I just can't figure why kids bringing their own lunch if they choose to is bad. Don't we have more important things to worry about in our educational system?

  12. I think this is just another way for the government to regulate our kids. If I want to pack my kids lunches, I think I have the right to. I just totally disagree with this! :( So sad it is coming to this!! :( Erin


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