Today a school in Chicago made news for banning lunches from home, forcing all their students to eat school lunch. Um, wow. This sounds bad.
But can we be sure that home lunches are healthy and satisfying? Here are two recent examples from my students:
Lunch example 1: Two donuts.
Lunch example 2: A ham sandwich on white bread, a donut, a banana, a bag of hot chips.
Should the “two donut” kid be forced to eat school lunch? I’m asking that rhetorically because I really don’t have an answer.
We need to know what Little Village Academy is serving for lunch. Is it anything like the lunches offered at the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC)? You guys saw the amazing lunch I ate there last month. Should AGC’s students be required to eat school lunch?
I’d also like to note that the article mentions kids need to get permission to send home lunches with a medical excuse. How easy is it to get a note from your child’s doctor for them to eat home lunches? Remember how I had to get a doctor’s note allowing my son to the lunches I send from home (that I post on the blog)? I got a note faxed to my day care in less than 24 hours.
One reason I’m not totally up in arms about this article is that home lunches are banned in France. In some schools in France you have to meet with the principal to opt out of the school lunch program. School lunch is mandatory because it is part of the education. Months ago I posted this video about the French school lunch program (CBS). Watching it still chokes me up — really you must watch it.
I have to say I get really excited when school food makes the news and riles people up! Now let’s try to channel that emotion to change school lunch so that being forced to eat it is not a punishment.