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: 08-30-2003
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 6:18pm

I should start my reply by saying that I homeschool so I'm one step removed from this issue... however things like this are the very reason I do homeschool. If it happened at a school my child attended I would be furious. I see two major problems with this policy.

The first, it sacrifices the children with parents who care to those who have parents that don't. You don't tear down the good to build up the bad. That is fundamentally evil. Yes, some children may start eating healthier but others will now be eating worse. (A lot worse if school food is like it was when I ate it!) What next, someone's parent teaches them reading the wrong way at home so you ban teaching reading at home? At a time that we complain schools cater to the average this is just one more case of averaging. If there is a problem it needs to be dealt with specifically and not in a manner that destroys the very thing you claim to be upholding.

The second, it interferes with the right of the parent. Nutrition is a lot like religion. We all have different views of what is right and wrong. My kids had bacon (nitrate free), eggs (free range) and kiwi for breakfast. Some of you will probably think that's very nutritious while others may cry at the saturated fat, meat and lack of grains. One of us may think a cookie after a healthy meal is fine while others may have a no sugar ever rule. There are no hard and fast nutrition rules. Even when there seem to be they change way to fast. It is a parent's role and responsibility to decide the nutrition for their family. Schools were designed to teach children. Not to parent children. Just as we wouldn't let a school tell our children when or to whom to pray they also have no right to tell them what to eat. This is a personal choice. If they are wrong give them information but we have no right to enforce our private views of nutrition on them. (Because trust me... unless you really like kale you would NOT be happy having someone like me as nutritional dictator. :) )

Rose

(Who hasn't posted in a really long time and may have a very out of date signature line)

Rose, Mom to Claire and Rachel

Lilypie 4th Birthday Ticker

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 8:40pm
Welcome to the board :) Or back to the board! Its great to have you here.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Mon, 04-11-2011 - 8:43pm

I see the logic behind this but as a parent who packs healthy lunches and whose child has only bought lunch 3 times this year b/c I pack for him every single day I would be furious!

I think it is much more realistic to provide information to the parents on how to pack healthy lunches and put guidelines and restrictions on what they cannot bring to school in their lunch boxes.

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Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Tue, 04-12-2011 - 12:20am

I read the article and saw the picture of the healthy lunch that was "nutritional tough love".

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Tue, 04-12-2011 - 8:18am
yes I saw that on a friends FB wall today. Yeah, give em' that food dye loaded strawberry milk and those pears drenched in syrup. Sounds healthy to me! not.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Tue, 04-12-2011 - 12:21pm

Have you seen this clip of Jamie Oliver on John Stewart talking about the new season of his show? He has a video of a bunch of kids bringing in examples of their school lunches. He's going through all this junky food then spots one kid and say "Yes, we have an apple!!!" And the kid says "I'm homeschooled." I laughed so hard!

http://www.grist.org/list/2011-04-08-jamie-oliver-has-really-pissed-off-los-angeles

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Community Leader
Registered: 05-28-2000
Tue, 04-12-2011 - 1:05pm
If you spend any time at a school cafeteria - you'll see tons of food being tossed because kids don't like it.

I can't say that the lunches I pack the boys are the best choices, but I feel much better about the yogurt or applesauce my kids take with their lunch as a side vs. fries / tator tots / cheez-its.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2003
Tue, 04-12-2011 - 2:45pm

Kelli,

Thank you for the Jamie Oliver link. I'll check it out tonight. :)

I read the blog post and must confess it made me want to cry. Do people really think that way? I summarize the post as saying: It would be horrible to be done to me but it's great if done to people who have different values then me. The author is basically saying the poor are too stupid to know better so someone has the right to control them. Do you realize how many times in the past this same logic has been used to surpress one group of people's views to another group of people. It's been used on women, people of color and now the poor. If we accept the right to control people just because they are defined as ignorant think of what else we are opening up to be controlled in their lives.

I am not saying child nutrition isn't a problem. It is. I'm saying we're attempting to fix a problem with a worse one. How can the poor fight for themselves if we define away their right to fight for themselves. The author says "Unfortunately it's hard for so many of us to imagine circumstances of poverty and what that truly looks like." Unfortunately I don't think she gets it either. My family was incredibly poor when I was growing up. The type of poor where one winter we literally lived on a huge bag of rice and another of beans. The type of poor where the truck was so rusted you could watch the ground pass by underneath it through the huge holes. Being poor does not make you too stupid to think for yourself. Being uneducated doesn't mean you can't make decisions. If there are people feeding their children poorly it's an arguement for education not power trips. Forcing someone to eat something will not change how they think or what they eat at home. If we want to fix child nutrition we can't try to mask the symtoms with force. We have to educate. Then if we are right, thinking people who have been given the knowledge will make the right choice. But if in turn whatever we are trying to push turns out to be wrong... then thinking people still have the choice to reject it.

Rose, Mom to Claire and Rachel

Lilypie 4th Birthday Ticker

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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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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