Banning home lunches

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.

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54 Responses to Banning home lunches

  1. Maple Fan April 15, 2011 at 3:39 am #

    There is NO WAY the school can tell me that I cannot provide a packed lunch for my child at school. I will respect food allergy requests, and I will do my best to provide healthy appropriate food for my kids although I am unemployed and a full-time student. I've seen what the school offers each day, and my son needs more than Bosco Sticks for lunch. And yes, kids pitch a good deal of the food they get from the school cafeteria. I've seen it happen over and over at all grade levels in various districts.

  2. Anonymous April 16, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    So, do we also say "My kid, my choice" to the mothers of the tots that weigh 75lbs by age 2? No. We say why didn't someone step in and help them?

  3. Anonymous April 20, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    This subject is not about good or bad food. This is about taking away the FREEDOM of chosing for your own kids.

    >>>>>>>"So, do we also say "My kid, my choice" to the mothers of the tots that weigh 75lbs by age 2? No. We say why didn't someone step in and help them?"

    You must agree that the line should be drawn somewhere, right? Please, let's use common sense here.

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