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Should schools ban homemade lunches?

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Old 04-12-2011, 12:36 PM   #1
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Default Should schools ban homemade lunches?

One school in Chicago has banned homemade lunches claiming they didn't like the idea of chips and sodas. Students are now forced to go hungry or spend money on school lunches. Kids were throwing it away because it didn't taste good. Remember Jamie Oliver's program last year? The school lunches were based on pennies per child. NOT NUTRITION! I do not agree with this at all. Sure the parents could pack a healthier lunch but at least the kid has something instead of going without.

http://moms.today.com/_news/2011/04/...hes-from-home-
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:42 PM   #2
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Just to clarify, the lunches are provided free to the students. 99% of the students in that school qualify for free lunch from the government, so no student has to pay to get the school lunch.

That said, I find it absolutely ridiculous to restrict parents from providing home-packed meals. It's very likely that a lot of parents would provide healthier meals than what the school provides.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:43 PM   #3
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Providing nutritious meals is VERY important to me as a parent, and I would be fuming if a school thought that their pre-packaged, (I am assuming) sodium and preservative ridden foods were a better choice for my child than what I wanted to give her. I think it's important for cafeterias to provide healthy options, but it's also my choice on what to feed my child.
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:47 PM   #4
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I guess it's one thing if the school lunches are actually healthy, but I'd be peeved if my kid couldn't eat a healthy lunch provided by me. (I should add that this riles me and I don't even have kids! )
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:54 PM   #5
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Whoa! I hadn't heard about this! My kid HATES school lunches, and I know if he got them, he'd only end up eating the crappiest part of it. The lunch I pack him isn't always as healthy as I'd like it to be, but I still bet it's way more nutritious and less processed than what he'll get at school. We could stand for more variety, but he gets fruits or veggies that I'll know he'll eat, not one's I'm sure he'd just waste.

Yuck!
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Old 04-12-2011, 12:58 PM   #6
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what if your child had special diet needs?
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:07 PM   #7
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That's appalling.

I disagree vehemently with the idea that all kids must eat the same school lunches. I don't care how healthy it purports to be--if I had kids, I'd want at least the option of sending them to school with home cooking.

What about kids with special dietary needs, as Cherrypie mentioned? What about kids who like their family's regional or cultural cuisine? What about picky kids? What about anyone who likes some variety and individuality in his or her life?

Sheesh. That kind of thing just ticks me off and I don't even have children. I can imagine how outraged parents must be over this.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nola Celeste View Post
That's appalling.

I disagree vehemently with the idea that all kids must eat the same school lunches. I don't care how healthy it purports to be--if I had kids, I'd want at least the option of sending them to school with home cooking.

What about kids with special dietary needs, as Cherrypie mentioned? What about kids who like their family's regional or cultural cuisine? What about picky kids? What about anyone who likes some variety and individuality in his or her life?

Sheesh. That kind of thing just ticks me off and I don't even have children. I can imagine how outraged parents must be over this.

I am in total agreement with you.
I would not feed my child anything that looked like the picture presented.
While I think it's a good thing to have lunches available to students who's families are in financial hardships and need some help - I think that's great to have, but to not let there be the option is ridiculous.
But im sorry, there was nothing appealing about the looks of that lunch and I'm not surprised kids threw it out. I would have thrown it out. I'd be more comfortable giving my kid a PB&J sandwhich, banana and some milk than that.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:18 PM   #9
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The parents know what is best for their child, As has been mentioned, what about allergies ? What about religious concerns with some parents ?
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:23 PM   #10
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The school does make exemptions for allergies and religious objections.

The policy has actually been in place for 6 years, and it seems like this is the first year there has been a significant outcry.

Oh and one more note for accuracy:

Quote:
One school in Chicago has banned homemade lunches claiming they didn't like the idea of chips and sodas.
The exact situation was that the principal saw kids coming to school with ONLY soda and chips for lunch, not a soda and chips in addition to something with nutritional value. Just a big ol soda and a bag of flaming hot cheetos.

So it seems we all agree this is too far. What sort of restrictions on school lunches WOULD be appropriate? A friend of mine is a Kindergarten teacher, and has had her share of kids bringing in a liter bottle of sugared, caffeinated soda and a bag of Doritos for lunch. Should schools be able to set any guidelines on what home-packed lunches can contain?
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:29 PM   #11
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I think that this crosses the line and interferes with parental rights. It might be appropriate to ban high sugar items as they can cause behavior problems but even that makes me cringe.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post

Should schools be able to set any guidelines on what home-packed lunches can contain?
As far as safety such as no knives, forks, etc yes but as far as actual food. No. They can give encouragement, send home ideas but at the end of the day it's not their place.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
The school does make exemptions for allergies and religious objections.

The policy has actually been in place for 6 years, and it seems like this is the first year there has been a significant outcry.

So it seems we all agree this is too far. What sort of restrictions on school lunches WOULD be appropriate? A friend of mine is a Kindergarten teacher, and has had her share of kids bringing in a liter bottle of sugared, caffeinated soda and a bag of Doritos for lunch. Should schools be able to set any guidelines on what home-packed lunches can contain?
This isn't school, but I recall being in community youth theater as a kid and one particularly hyperactive boy who was sent with JOLT (extra caffeinated soda) was banned from bringing any soda at all because of his behavior.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
So it seems we all agree this is too far. What sort of restrictions on school lunches WOULD be appropriate? A friend of mine is a Kindergarten teacher, and has had her share of kids bringing in a liter bottle of sugared, caffeinated soda and a bag of Doritos for lunch. Should schools be able to set any guidelines on what home-packed lunches can contain?
Jamie Oliver showed that last year as well in his special. ITA that the parents should be held to a level of responsibility. However, when schools are giving in to the HFCS lobby in order to curb spending, there has to be something done on that side as well.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:36 PM   #15
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A couple of things in the article not mentioned in this discussion:

1) anyone with special dietary needs (ie peanut allergies, gluten free) is exempted from this ruling.

2) the reason the school administrator pushed for this was that she saw the garbage people were sending their kids to school with (flaming cheetoes and a soda) and wanted to put an end to it.

With childhood obesity growing at alarming rates, I applaud any effort to teach kids to eat healthier and make better choices. I don't think the kids got fat eating school lunches alone. There have been several debates within the school system over the years trying to provide nutritionally sound lunches on a shoestring budget. In the end, most of the time the kids refuse the healthy options and want burgers, pizza and chicken nuggets. As for the cultural food aspect - the day they ran that article they served an enchilada as the entree in that mostly hispanic school and there are at least 2 entree choices for lunch each day in the school cafeterias.

When I was growing up, I had 2 choices - eat the healthy food my Mom packed for us (and this was in the days of brown bag lunches with no refrigeration) or sit there and be hungry. She would have been delighted if someone not only cooked our lunch but paid for it too. We would have been told to eat it and not waste food because there are children starving on the other side of the world who would love your food.
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