7

votes

Homemade School Lunch Ban

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 12, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Apparently some Chicago schools are forbidding lunches brought from home unless there's a medical excuse. I'm just curious if anyone has had to deal with this yet or has any thoughts about how it should be dealt with - protest or finding a friendly doc to write a note?

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/ct-met-school-lunch-restrictions-041120110410,0,5869022.story

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I'm currently home schooling my kiddo but he wants to go back to crappy public school in the fall to start freshman year of high school. If this was his school though, I would march him into school everyday with a sack lunch until they escorted the both of us out of the school! Then I would call my attorney. They've got no business dictating what my kid eats. They can't even balance a budget, what the hell do they know?

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I hear you @sherpamelissa. My daughter's lunch period lasts 20 minutes. She barely has time to eat the food that we send with her. I've noticed at home that she now gulps down dinner and breakfast. She never used to eat so quickly. We've talked to her about slowing down at least when eating at home. I think kids should get at least 30 min for lunch and perhaps as much as 45 min. It is frigging ridiculous! Not much value is placed on eating a good meal in our culture at large. It's all about cramming too much in every day.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on April 17, 2011
at 11:51 PM

My daughter has had the same experience with kids not recognizing the food she's eating for lunch. It's sad.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on April 16, 2011
at 10:19 PM

Go get 'em Jack!

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on April 16, 2011
at 09:19 PM

@Laura: Just watched the video. I love how the French understand that food is not just for filling up on, but that it's an important part of pleasure and socializing. Most of all, it should be done well. There's a reason I chose French for my second language.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2011
at 05:39 AM

Check out how they feed kids in school in France: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovO18E-hgew

B294438548c32ed878905baf6cd1b332

on April 13, 2011
at 04:07 AM

Yeah, hard to believe. Today my little girl went to school with a baggie full full of bacon. The kids eating goldfish and fruit rollups felt cheated, so she shared her bacon. :) Don't miss Ann Cooper's outstanding talk, too. I played parts of this one on the show: http://www.ted.com/talks/ann_cooper_talks_school_lunches.html

B294438548c32ed878905baf6cd1b332

on April 13, 2011
at 04:05 AM

Yeah, hard to believe. Today my little went to school with a baggie full full of bacon. And another baggie of purple grapes. The kids eating goldfish and fruit rollups were jealous, so she shared her bacon. :) Don't miss Ann Cooper's outstanding talk, too. I played parts of this one on the show: http://www.ted.com/talks/ann_cooper_talks_school_lunches.html

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on April 13, 2011
at 02:26 AM

I agree with education. Education is how all of us ended up following a paleo-based diet and at this blog. We started to read and educate ourselves. The first step for many (including me) was kicking the HFCS soda, food fried in terrible oil, excessive sugar. Unfortunately, with the learning process might pass through CV whole grains and low fat. The more that truly educated folks (like ourselves of course) continue to beat the drum, the more information will be out there to educate others.

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on April 12, 2011
at 08:14 PM

--agreed--on that one! I always tell people, "Follow the money trail."

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 12, 2011
at 07:57 PM

with all due respect, this is what happens when BIG AGRIBUSNESS RUNS OUR GOVERNMENT.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 12, 2011
at 07:57 PM

@Lori - I should have stated that better: Education for both parents and kids. We have a nutrition class for parents at our kids' school. Yeah, its not paleo but she as hell isn't Dorito-based! @Jack - very SAD :( I'm still going to stand by my education comment though.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 12, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Hear hear, Travis!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 12, 2011
at 07:56 PM

AMEN. very well said.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on April 12, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I wonder about that too, is it just here? Folks in other states or cities with kids: Do they have a ridiculously small amount of time for lunch?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 12, 2011
at 07:21 PM

Free lunch at our school is the packaged PB&J uncrustables and a milk.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 12, 2011
at 07:19 PM

Is this a Chicago thing? That would have never occurred to me. CRAZY!

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 12, 2011
at 06:41 PM

Lori - I agree with your comment but I still think educating is a better answer than force and a better answer than ignoring the issue. but as you'd probably agree, the 'education' would almost surely not be correct anyway. it's like a catch 22. so sad. i tell you. so SAD.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 12, 2011
at 06:30 PM

I LOVE that Jamie Oliver video - love his show. I really hope that his message is recieved by those that need to hear it, not just enjoyed by those of us that already live by it.

74d21696d69fe228a80b08a336f9f4fe

(20)

on April 12, 2011
at 06:24 PM

baconbitch, I agree with overall philosophy but it has been proven that "education" and "nutrition classes" do not work. A contest is a neat idea but I doubt it would change habits. The home environment is the most powerful influence. It's up to the parents to set a good example, feed their kids well at home, and pack healthy lunches. If a parent wants to send their kids with chips that is their prerogative and none of anybody's business.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on April 12, 2011
at 06:11 PM

She "felt the need" because, in her world, government appointed experts are always smarter than the plebes AND she her school gets $2.25 from the federal government or the parents (if the kid isn't on a free lunch) for every lunch served.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 12, 2011
at 05:36 PM

Honestly, school lunches are a joke no matter what. My daughter gets 15 minutes to eat most days by the time they march them all down there are let them get set up and then start eating. So obviously, being a smart little girl, she starts with her dessert and works her way back to her main item. If she BUYS her lunch, she can end up with as little as 5 minutes to eat. It is absolutely ridiculous.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 12, 2011
at 05:13 PM

that's amazing angelo. it's mind boggling. thank you for your write-up.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 12, 2011
at 05:04 PM

She "felt the need" because, in her world, government appointed experts are *always* smarter than the plebes.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:51 PM

Ha! "Eat what I cook or starve". OMG I love it.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:48 PM

all good points but getting a little huffy is sometimes the only thing people respond to. i cannot even imagine how they could agree to a conclusion of taking the freedoms away from everyone like this though. many of kids probably bring horrible lunches to school, and removing poisons like soda machines and candy bar dispensers is critical, but you cannot control people's personal eating decisions like this. it's extremely unamerican.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:47 PM

Dude - picky eater my ass. As I tell my kids, "Eat what I cook or starve." Yes, I'm soooo mean for making my kids eat healthy!

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14 Answers

9
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:27 PM

Absolutely proposterous. This type of mentality is that of moronic origin. If my child was subjected to a rule like this, I would fight this like a wild tiger. Parents can say to their children "Eat what I cook or starve" (shout out to bb for that comment), but if a school official has a problem with what my child brought to school, and essentially told them "Eat what I cook or starve", I would EAT them alive. I would win. Without question, I would win. Ah man now you got me all riled up Marina.

The Principal or whoever made the final decision might 'intend well', but that does NOT excuse the poor conclusion to decide to remove everyone's freedoms by forcing the kids into a eating program that is only 'healthy' by SAD standards. Being in a position of leadership as high as a Principal of an elementary school means that you must use more discernment than this. Remove the poisons like soda dispensers and candy bar machines from the schools. But I cannot support this decision. Definitely not. Personally, I would rebel against it very hard. You must let parents parent their children. Attacking the problem from the root is the correct path. And that is that they are observing that kids are bringing food and drink to school that is unhealthy. Educate the parents. Educate the kids. That's the answer.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on April 16, 2011
at 10:19 PM

Go get 'em Jack!

6
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:40 PM

I read that article yesterday and my first instinct was "WTF???" but then I see some of the lunches kids bring to school and man, I sympathize with the principal. However, a better alternative would be to hold some good old fashioned nutrition classes and perhaps, hold a contest for the most nutritious school lunch.

Here's the thing - there are food deserts out there and we are in an age when people simply don't have access to proper nutritional information and/or foods. I love what Michelle Obama is doing (politics aside) as well as people like Jamie Oliver in bringing nutrition to the forefront of people's conversations. The article is relevant and I hope it will be used to bring an elevated discourse about SAD.

Instead of lashing out about the principal's decision, it would be more productive to discuss why she felt the need to take such a radical approach and try to fix that problem.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:48 PM

all good points but getting a little huffy is sometimes the only thing people respond to. i cannot even imagine how they could agree to a conclusion of taking the freedoms away from everyone like this though. many of kids probably bring horrible lunches to school, and removing poisons like soda machines and candy bar dispensers is critical, but you cannot control people's personal eating decisions like this. it's extremely unamerican.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on April 12, 2011
at 06:11 PM

She "felt the need" because, in her world, government appointed experts are always smarter than the plebes AND she her school gets $2.25 from the federal government or the parents (if the kid isn't on a free lunch) for every lunch served.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 12, 2011
at 05:04 PM

She "felt the need" because, in her world, government appointed experts are *always* smarter than the plebes.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 12, 2011
at 06:41 PM

Lori - I agree with your comment but I still think educating is a better answer than force and a better answer than ignoring the issue. but as you'd probably agree, the 'education' would almost surely not be correct anyway. it's like a catch 22. so sad. i tell you. so SAD.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on April 13, 2011
at 02:26 AM

I agree with education. Education is how all of us ended up following a paleo-based diet and at this blog. We started to read and educate ourselves. The first step for many (including me) was kicking the HFCS soda, food fried in terrible oil, excessive sugar. Unfortunately, with the learning process might pass through CV whole grains and low fat. The more that truly educated folks (like ourselves of course) continue to beat the drum, the more information will be out there to educate others.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 12, 2011
at 07:57 PM

@Lori - I should have stated that better: Education for both parents and kids. We have a nutrition class for parents at our kids' school. Yeah, its not paleo but she as hell isn't Dorito-based! @Jack - very SAD :( I'm still going to stand by my education comment though.

74d21696d69fe228a80b08a336f9f4fe

(20)

on April 12, 2011
at 06:24 PM

baconbitch, I agree with overall philosophy but it has been proven that "education" and "nutrition classes" do not work. A contest is a neat idea but I doubt it would change habits. The home environment is the most powerful influence. It's up to the parents to set a good example, feed their kids well at home, and pack healthy lunches. If a parent wants to send their kids with chips that is their prerogative and none of anybody's business.

5
03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 12, 2011
at 05:30 PM

Tom Naughton wrote a great article about his kids' school lunch in Tennessee here (http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2011/02/03/my-thanks-to-the-dietary-guidelines-committee/):

Yesterday???s government-approved lunch consisted of chicken nuggets (battered and deep-fried in vegetable oil), macaroni and cheese, mandarin oranges in some kind of syrup, and a drink. Some kids chose juice boxes for their drinks, others chose 1% or 2% milk, but the most popular choice was the 1% chocolate milk.

Naturally, I was horrified to see kids eating a meal consisting primarily of processed grains and sugar, and only slightly less horrified to realize that the meal was nearly devoid of natural fats. When I observed how many kids seemed to prefer the chocolate milk, my wife informed me that since the new USDA guidelines call for restricting fat even more, the school will soon limit its milk offerings to 1% white milk, skim white milk, and skim chocolate milk.

Could a bagged lunch be much worse? Maybe if it's a Coke and a bag of Oreos.

It's no surprise that the number of homeschoolers grows about 10% every year.

3
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on April 12, 2011
at 05:11 PM

When my daughter brings a 'made from home school lunch', her friends don't recognize what she is eating. She said all they eat is pre-packaged, processed junk food. When she goes to her friends house's, same thing, junk food and mostly no meals served. They think she is a "health nut," and would like a veggie burger! She says "NO! I eat meat!!!"

My school offers breakfast, guess what is for breakfast on some days? Cinnamon rolls. Other days are french toast sticks. The lunches and breakfast are ridiculous and not homemade. They do offer a (dead) salad bar with more of their prepackaged veggies.

When I was a child, I was on the "free lunch" program and I could get breakfast. Everyday I was served an egg with either bacon or sausage, probably had wheat toast & butter, with milk.

With the government involved in the food pyramid I don't see how it can be changed.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on April 12, 2011
at 07:21 PM

Free lunch at our school is the packaged PB&J uncrustables and a milk.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 12, 2011
at 07:57 PM

with all due respect, this is what happens when BIG AGRIBUSNESS RUNS OUR GOVERNMENT.

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on April 12, 2011
at 08:14 PM

--agreed--on that one! I always tell people, "Follow the money trail."

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on April 17, 2011
at 11:51 PM

My daughter has had the same experience with kids not recognizing the food she's eating for lunch. It's sad.

3
B294438548c32ed878905baf6cd1b332

on April 12, 2011
at 05:05 PM

Here's an article I wrote, just before this story broke. It illustrates what our schools consider healthy...

Can you imagine allowing these people to decide what our children should eat?

http://www.latestinpaleo.com/blog/2011/4/5/this-is-the-healthy-snack-letter-from-my-kids-school.html

Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 12, 2011
at 06:30 PM

I LOVE that Jamie Oliver video - love his show. I really hope that his message is recieved by those that need to hear it, not just enjoyed by those of us that already live by it.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 12, 2011
at 05:13 PM

that's amazing angelo. it's mind boggling. thank you for your write-up.

B294438548c32ed878905baf6cd1b332

on April 13, 2011
at 04:07 AM

Yeah, hard to believe. Today my little girl went to school with a baggie full full of bacon. The kids eating goldfish and fruit rollups felt cheated, so she shared her bacon. :) Don't miss Ann Cooper's outstanding talk, too. I played parts of this one on the show: http://www.ted.com/talks/ann_cooper_talks_school_lunches.html

B294438548c32ed878905baf6cd1b332

on April 13, 2011
at 04:05 AM

Yeah, hard to believe. Today my little went to school with a baggie full full of bacon. And another baggie of purple grapes. The kids eating goldfish and fruit rollups were jealous, so she shared her bacon. :) Don't miss Ann Cooper's outstanding talk, too. I played parts of this one on the show: http://www.ted.com/talks/ann_cooper_talks_school_lunches.html

2
95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on April 12, 2011
at 07:07 PM

It is not up to school administrators to decide what my child will eat. This principal is way out of line. If parents prefer to send a lunch, that's none of the principal's business! (There is no such policy at my daughter's school, but if there were, I would raise hell.)

It's bad enough that many kids hardly get any time to eat lunch (20 minutes for my kindergartener). Super short lunch periods only teach them to eat with haste and not take pleasure in tasting their food or in the company of their peers. Eating quickly lends itself to overeating. Pile on the stuff that's served in most schools and throw in a dash of little to no gym class and what do we have before us? Just look around at any playground. I've never seen so many overweight kids.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 12, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Hear hear, Travis!

2
6f0480b27b737cca708af8af709d77b1

(136)

on April 12, 2011
at 06:05 PM

Yes, because the government should tell our children how to eat. The same government that brought us the "food pyramid," the FDA, and the USDA. When the food pyramid is turned upside down, subsidies for corn and other grains are abolished, and big pharma doesn't run the FDA, I'll consider listening to the government when it comes to what food our kids should eat. Until then, I will decide how to best feed my children, thankuverymuch.

2
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on April 12, 2011
at 05:39 PM

i live in an city and i actually sympathize with the principal, even if i don't agree with her. being on a morning commute and watching the crap that kids are fed(pop tarts, plastic bags with fruit loops or frosted flakes, fructose- laden sippe things- this isn't including the ones i see eating candy for breakfast) and sending them to school on a super sugar high and all that entails must definitely frustrate those trying to teach them. the meals that they are offering them aren't good by our standards but by the type of fare that most of those kids are getting, it is better.

the big picture is that the science/medical/pharmaceutical/big agriculture cabal that has cooked the science on health and lobbied the hell out of the gov't to institute recommendations based on that science(the lunches she chooses for those kids definitely look like the food pyramid to me) have let those kids down more than this principal has.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 12, 2011
at 07:56 PM

AMEN. very well said.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 14, 2011
at 05:38 AM

Apparently, they also ban homemade lunch in schools in France. I'd be for it here if the lunches were more like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovO18E-hgew

I know it's not an ideal Paleo or gluten free lunch but dang they really care about food as a big part of education, which is a pretty good thing.

1
9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:53 PM

Here is an article with an actual picture of the school approved lunches: http://www.imperfectparent.com/topics/2011/04/11/chicago-school-wont-allow-students-to-bring-lunch-to-school-anymore/

You'll note that the "healthy" lunches appear to contain raisins, apples, milk (presumably skim), and pizza. I'll let that speak for itself.

1
Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:40 PM

I think what the principal is trying to do is well-meaning; however, not the right way to do it. Junk needs to be out of the schools - especially elementary. Kids are going to be kids and want the junk that their friends have.

I would have liked to see the principal ban junk food and soda in lunches rather than not allow home-made lunches. Don't know how the school would go about that - but in a perfect world hey?

Love reading some of the comments in the article "my grandson is a picky-eater" yep -kids are picky and crafty little buggers - gotta out-smart them with wholesome healthy foods for their own good rather than giving in to lunchables.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:51 PM

Ha! "Eat what I cook or starve". OMG I love it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:47 PM

Dude - picky eater my ass. As I tell my kids, "Eat what I cook or starve." Yes, I'm soooo mean for making my kids eat healthy!

1
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:28 PM

My prediction is there will be a story next week where the kids will be allowed to bring their lunches again. I think this prohibition is stepping into issues this school is not considering (i.e. health, religion, economic, etc.). If I wanted to "protest," I would send my kid to another school if possible. If not, then maybe send a snack in his/her backpack that technically wouldn't be taken to lunch? Tough one.

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 03, 2011
at 05:52 AM

We make lunch for my 2nd grader every day. We give him the choice and he can buy lunch if he wants. To his credit, he always refuses and wants our lunches. It is sometimes a challenge to pack something that can withstand a few hours of being knocked around a backpack at room temp, while still being fresh and rich in nutrients when eaten, but it is a challenge I gladly accept.

He and his buddies refer to the pizza as "death pizza" because it tastes so bad and has apparently caused some fireworks later in the school day (vomiting). He says that many kids that buy their lunches every day juat buy 1 or 2 desserts. Those are the same ones that he complains about being "over active" during class. He also says that kids that pack their lunches usually have nothing more than prepackaged chips, bars, etc. which are bad but sadly better than what they serve in school.

U.S. schools have so far to go to provide basic nutrition to school kids that I think they will never get there without profound and radical changes to the whole concept of food. It is particularly sad that our school children eat worse than our prisoners.

0
0b1ec80fa938d2946000fd3cb60b5079

on May 03, 2011
at 12:37 AM

I wrote a blog post about this and broke down the nutrition specs on the government's sample lunch menu on my blog http://paleofreedom.com/2011/04/no-such-thing-as-a-free-lunch/ I have one autistic and one gluten intolerant child, so obviously I am totally opposed to this. I would personally home school, but I know not everyone has this option. I am offended by school board trustees or legislators who have no clue what they are talking about trying to feed my child or tell me I cannot. It's absurd! PS- "They" do not care at all. It's about money, which I also explain how much, where from and who gets it in my blog post if you're interested.

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