School bans lunches from home.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
School bans lunches from home.
18
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 5:19pm

I was so surprised by this article that I had to share it and get your opinions. When I saw the headline, I thought that allergies would be the reason for the ban. It seems that it's actually because of nutrition.

Chicago School Bans Some Lunches From Home

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-school-lunch-restrictions-041120110410,0,2614451,full.story

At his public school, Little Village Academy on Chicago's West Side, students are not allowed to pack lunches from home. Unless they have a medical excuse, they must eat the food served in the cafeteria.

Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.

"Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school," Carmona said. "It's about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It's milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception."

Carmona said she created the policy six years ago after watching students bring "bottles of soda and flaming hot chips" on field trips for their lunch. Although she would not name any other schools that employ such practices, she said it was fairly common.

A Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman said she could not say how many schools prohibit packed lunches and that decision is left to the judgment of the principals.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Thu, 04-14-2011 - 3:02pm
Well said! I know there was a time not so long ago when we could have qualified for free or reduced lunch. When DSS was starting Kindy and was in 1st grade and I was making less than 9 bucks and hour and so was DH but you know what... we toughed through it and I packed my son's lunch every single day. It may have been tuna fish alot of times but he had fresh fruit and he had yogurts and he had 100%juice, milk or water to drink. He ate well and I didn't spend tons of money on groceries b/c I didn't have it. I lived with in my means and bought what was on sale. It can be done if you want to do it.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Thu, 04-14-2011 - 12:21pm

We now homeschool.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Wed, 04-13-2011 - 8:20pm
I can see this point of view too. It seems the more I read and the more points of view I read the more I 'see' so to speak. I'm a special ed. parent, my son has dyslexia so I attend annual IEP meetings. But reality is even for something as important as an IEP meeting some parents choose not to attend or just can't due to their life. So I can definitley see your point about parent education where healthy lunches are concerned.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Wed, 04-13-2011 - 8:16pm

Here is another blog take on the subject....I agree w/ several points this blogger makes.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2011
Wed, 04-13-2011 - 2:17pm

Thanks for sharing my link. While on one hand I was playing devil's advocate, I do believe in this situation it is best for the children. I am very passionate about how we feed our children and would never take something like a ban lightly. I am sure it was born out of sheer frustration. You can only handle seeing a child being poisoned with junk food for so long before you react. I believe that's exactly what the principal did, react to protect her students.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2011
Wed, 04-13-2011 - 2:14pm
Unfortunately Rose, I do understand the situation first hand. Not inner city chicago but right in my backyard where I was a teacher. In this situation I whole heartedly support a student receiving one healthy meal a day. This has nothing to do with control or supression, but simply putting a child's needs first. I don't think you could argue that a child deserves a well balanced meal vs. a bag of potato chips and soda for lunch. But maybe you think that's their choice? Maybe they'll want a beer when they get home, too. Should they have that as well?

While it's lovely to believe we should just have "parent education nights", I've been in an empty room on numerous occasions for those, too. Unfortunately when you work two jobs, long days and still fight to make ends meet, the last thing you want is to head over to school to hear people preach about how to feed your own child. That's the reality. So it came down to at home, make your own choices, at school a child will be fed a well rounded meal.

When given the choice, the majority of american children would pick a bag of chips, a candy bar, and a sugar laden drink over a regular school lunch. There is no question about that. But is that alternative what is best for them? As adults we are responsible to make decisions for the children in our care, in this case the Principal has done just that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Wed, 04-13-2011 - 1:03pm

There seems to be some good conversation and debate going on around iVillage about this. Thought I'd post the link in case anyone is interested in checking it out~

Chicago School Bans Home Lunches: OK or Outrageous?
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Tue, 04-12-2011 - 8:37pm
Parental involvment is key b/c no matter how much you educate, if you parents won't get involved and do it then it is a dead end street.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Tue, 04-12-2011 - 4:34pm

I used to love visiting that blog; I'd completely forgotten about it.

Yes, I agree completely on the education part. I think that's what attracts me to Jamie Oliver's show - the fact that he is there to teach the students, families and school staff about nutrition and cooking. In an ideal situation, schools would take this approach, rather than mandating "no lunches from home". (Of course, that brings us to a whole other discussion about funding, parental involvement and so on.)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Tue, 04-12-2011 - 4:18pm
I agree. People should be educated, given help and given guidelines. I read a blog by Mrs. Q, a teacher who ate lunch in her school cafeteria ever day for a year and blogged about it. She wrote her opinion on her blog as well.

http://fedupwithschoollunch.blogspot.com/

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