Horrifying! Chicago school bans home lunch to force kids to eat "healthy" school lunch

John Crowley
By John Crowley Latest Reply 2011-04-18 04:50:30 -0500
Started 2011-04-11 14:29:18 -0500

I can't believe what I read this morning. "Students at Chicago's Little Village Academy are required to eat the lunch provided to them by the school … Little Village Academy principal Elsa Carmona said she banned bagged lunches six years ago because students were bringing junk food to school. … Nutrition-wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school," she told the Tribune. "It's about the nutrition and the excellent-quality food that they are able to serve [in the lunchroom]."

This is a professional educator who thinks the solution to the problem is to take away choice and spoon-feed the "better" solution to the kids!?!

Is that how she runs her math program? "These kids are just too stupid to come up with the right answers on their own. Just give them the right answer so we can be sure they get it right."

I agree that there is a huge problem in this country in the food choices that many families make. But the solution to the problem has to be education and awareness. Not government take over.

Anyone with me on this one?

Here's the link to the article: http://www.aolnews.com/2011/04/11/chicago-sch...

38 replies

sc1boy 2011-04-13 09:09:36 -0500 Report

I agree with you before long they are going to take it away from every school and try to tell us what to buy for the kids, they do in some cases already with wic but come on we know what is right for our own children so lthe government needs to lay off.

rentintin 2011-04-13 07:21:20 -0500 Report

Absolutely, I don't think the government needs to get in my refrigerator they're already in my pocketbook and several other places they don't belong but enough is enough. What about the parents who happen to be packing an extremely healthy lunch. Daaaa!

GabbyPA 2011-04-12 20:51:59 -0500 Report

This is unbelievable. When are people going to leave us alone and let us make our own choices. That is horrific. I do agree, that a lot of our choices are poor, but that doesn't mean I don't have the right to make that choice for myself.

There should be responsibility tied to choices, but no one will ever learn by having the choices made FOR them. When are the ever reaching fingers of "Big Brother" going to stop?

1cookie :)
1cookie :) 2011-04-12 20:18:23 -0500 Report

I know schools banned peanutbutter because of sevier allergic reactionss, I can go along with that..but as many have already stated education is the reason children go to school. Nutrition and good food choices should be taught. This may need to be given to the parents that purchase and then pack the lunch.

I believe the driving force that motivated this is that money is made by selling the food..Without knowing the medical history of a child and strickly monitoring the preporation of the food it can/will lead to future law suites and possibly injured children.

Have you seen in the news receintly that a toddler was given an alcoholic beverage in a sippy cup? (Applees in Detroit ) In 2006 in NY Applebees served a child a long Island ice tea. The Detroit childs blood alcohol tested above the legal limit for an adult. Mistakes happen, and I really hope that it was a mistake. Until something unspeakable happends in the school Parents will face high prices and low nutrition for lunch…and many schools offer breakfast too..do they have good nutrional value?

squog master
squog master 2011-04-12 22:27:38 -0500 Report

I agree with you cause when the lunches were made by the school system the kids didn't have chips & French fries etc to choose from. It was when our school system went with a private food service that things got this bad. And you know it's all for the almighty buck.

I heard about that incident in Detroit. I'm figuring that the drink did not start out in the sippy cup tho. Was probably brought to the table in a regular glass. But it seems strange that it should happen if the drink for the child should be coming from the kitchen not the bar. I wonder at the presentation of the drink also.

In our schools we have "nut free tables" for the kids w/ the PB allergies to sit at. I use to kid the kids that I wasn't allowed to sit there cause my brother always said I was a nut.;)

Tigereyze209 2011-04-12 17:39:00 -0500 Report

Welcome to the "Nanney State", where the government tells you what to do in the interest of looking out for your best interest, even if you never asked for their help in the first place. Granted, it does seem to have the effect of removing some of your rights to make your own choices, but it is all done with the idea that this is what is best for taking care of the kids, right?
And when anyone tries to stand up to them, they try to counter with, what have you got against kids, because after all, only a "Hatter" would dare to question their good intentions.
Pretend for a moment that your civil rights are like a loaf of bread, and what they are doing is in effect, stealing them from you, one slice at a time. At first, you may not notice it, as what is the big deal over just one or two slices. BUT, over time, those slices start to really add up, and before you know it, they have ALL your bread, leaving you with none, and wondering how they got so many before you even noticed it.

Mizzgreenjeanz 2011-04-12 14:47:57 -0500 Report

This article is just another reason why I am glad I homeschool my daughter! When she was in public school in previous years one of her favorite lunches was called Taco in a bag. It was a big bag of Doritos opened and filled with taco meat, nacho cheese sauce, and all kinds of stuff. The sodium content alone was astronomical. Not to mention just how unhealthy that paired with sugary dessert cookies and other items they served were. My daughter packed her lunch as often as she could to get away from the lunch at school. I feel for those kids. All those processed cafeteria foods are FAR from healthy!

runthe 2011-04-12 17:59:47 -0500 Report

When my kids was in school they would come home everyday looking for something to eat. I ask them about their lunch and they would tell me about having choke sandwiches and milk for lunch. I then started to fix their lunches to take to school.

JDahl 2011-04-12 12:51:29 -0500 Report

I have mixed feelings about this. In one way, it seems awful that the school is "requiring" students to eat the schools lunch. I would like to see the menu of this school's lunch. But, knowing that some students eat chips, candy and soda for breakfast; why would there lunch be any better? In some Philadelphia school district, they provide free breakfast and lunch for their students, because kids were either not eating or eating junk food.

There never seems to be a good solution.

Jameesa 2011-04-12 11:56:31 -0500 Report

That's the craziest thing I have ever heard. Home lunches are healthier and more nutritious. School lunches are crap. My grandkids take their lunches and snacks every day!!!

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-04-12 11:51:51 -0500 Report

Wow! I am glad my kids are out of school. Sadly, my granddaughter will be starting in about 2 years. She loves fruits and veggies. Has never had a soda, and french fries about once a month. She gets very little candy. she considers a carrot or celery stick in the mid-morning or afternoon a treat.

Pynetree 2011-04-12 10:46:54 -0500 Report

I also read this. Scary crazy policy. Obviously viewed as such by all the media buzz it's attracting!
My grandsons school just tells parents to please send only healthy snacks and lunches. They hand out a printed list of suggestions in the beginning of the year…and they tie in healthy eating choices to curriculum.

tabby9146 2011-04-13 10:25:49 -0500 Report

My daughter's school does that, they ask for them to bring healthy lunches, and they also have a snack daily (she is in elementary) and only healthy snacks and I like that. The school she attends started revamping the school lunches last year to make them healthier, lower salt, whole wheat bread instead of white and things like that, though they always offered fresh fruit to go with the lunch, so things are looking up. But I do agree with John.

GabbyPA 2011-04-13 19:33:00 -0500 Report

The key is choice. If the kids are able to choose within reason, then that is fine. But to take away the parents choice to pack a lunch for their kids based on what the family does is not right.

Harlen 2011-04-11 20:16:15 -0500 Report

It's so they can make money off the kids
The crap the feed the kids today is nuts
I will not let my grand baby eat the high carb crap
Home school is better then making them eat crap

squog master
squog master 2011-04-11 18:46:27 -0500 Report

I'm with you John! Education & awareness is the key. And the way to start is to OFFER better choices in the lunchrooms of the country. I have worked in the lunchrooms in my town. It's disgraceful that they offer french fries at the Upper Elementary School EVERY single day & also fresh baked cookies & bags of assorted chips & ice cream. If they want the kids to eat healthier in the schools they should do away w/ the unhealthy choices. Which is not the same as requiring the parents to buy the nutritional lunch the school provides.

Don't get me wrong. There are some healthy choices such as fruit & small salads besides the main lunch.(which has to have foods from certain food groups)
But they also offer "alternates" such as hot dogs & burgers everyday. At least if a child qualifies for free or reduced lunch they can't choose from all of the unhealthy choices.

runthe 2011-04-11 18:31:17 -0500 Report

I worked in a day care for a number of years. We we had field trip days and the children had to bring their lunches, what I saw was awful. I saw lunchables, chips, cookies, pops, sugary drinks and candies. Out of about 80 kids maybe two or three had a lunch that consisted of carrots, sandwich apple and water. Most of the kids just ate the junk food and left the rest. The daycare had a nutritionist that cooked the breakfast and lunch for the students everyday. She did not allowed junk food to be served to the students. The meals were often nutritious and healthy with a afternoon snack. I know that a lot of students can't afford to bring their lunch to school and they have to eat the food from the school. I believe that it should be up to the individual family on weather their chil should bring a lunch to school or not. We had children with different religion belief and the school made sure that the children had the proper food. We also had children that were diabetics, and had allergies to certain food, Each child was given the proper food to eat. I live in Chicago and each teacher had to take training on food preparations and had to be certified by the city and state. We even had a diabetic educator come out and trained us on serving the proper amt of food to the children that were daibetic.

CaliKo 2011-04-11 18:08:01 -0500 Report

Children have lots of various dietary needs ranging from diabetes to celiac disease to allergies … and lots of others, they need to be able to bring their lunches.

Bunny Cakes
Bunny Cakes 2011-04-11 17:03:56 -0500 Report

I can't imagine why they thought this was a good idea and how they got the power to do this.

If I had been a diabetic and only been allowed to eat what my high school served for luch I would have died of high blood sugar easy. Sure we had three line and lots of choices but almost all of those choices were carbs or otherwise unhealthy.

A typical lunch day when I was in high school held the following:
Line one: Processed burgers or chicken patties with our without cheese, french fris or tater tots, and a dessert generally cookies, frozen juice and white or chocolate milk.

Line two: Instant mashed potatoes, some sort of greasy brown gravy, processed burgers from the other line on thins time boiled or cooked in the previously mentioned gravy, one veggie if there was enough for every one, same drink choices.

Line three: Once a week it was a salad bar the rest of the week it was pizza with cheese in the crust, fries and tater tots and the same drink choices as the other line and a smoothie machine. The smoothies were sugary fruit flavors with ice.

If that's teaching me to eat healthy I'm doing it wrong now. I was a poor kid and couldn't afford to bring my own lunch and school lunch was free because of my family income so that's what I ate and I spent a lot of days with tummy troubles and feeling awful.

I know this article says they make accommodations for medical issues but I have to wonder what those accommodations are and how soon into things they tell the parents of new students they can't bring their own food.

I know some public school feed kids well but there are a good deal more schools that cannot afford actual good for for their students for various reasons.

poppey 2011-04-11 15:46:51 -0500 Report

I work for high school here in Idaho, in the cafeteria. Let me tell you these kids eat great. Fresh fruit, salad, get about 5 different choices on what to eat. We make alot of our own food there at thr school. Ffresh bread everyday. But these kids dont knoe healthy. Its not shown at home. People dont cook at home anymore, unless its frozen. Dont get me wrond Icheat sometimes. I still dont belive the scholl has a right to tell the kids what they can eat. They need to learn to make that chioce on there own. Partens need to make that chioce. What if parents cant afford to buy the lunch.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-04-11 15:24:13 -0500 Report

I agree! The answer is education and awareness, so that good eating habits can be applied throughout the day, not just at lunch. Let's motivate people to take better care of themselves and teach them how to do it! I can't help but remember my school cafeteria. Excellent and high quality were words that we didn't often associate with the food we were served, beyond the chocolate milk. Hamburger gravy, anyone!

jayabee52 2011-04-11 15:07:35 -0500 Report

And we're just learning about this after 6 yrs of this policy?

Sounds like the "nanny state" is over reaching itself again!

This needs to be reversed!

realsis77 2011-04-11 15:07:13 -0500 Report

Wow yes I totally agree with you! Choice is still a very important thing to have in our country and it is what we base our freedoms on. The freedom to choose! I agree that it is important for our children to eat healthy but to take AWAY the option for the parents to provide what they deem as "healthy" for their children is over stepping the bounderies! That's just one step close to total government control making choices for us because "they" deem we are to stupid or unable to make them for ourselfs! Very very scarey! I agree with you, it may seem like a small thing but its not its a progression. It will progress to bigger things and that's what worries me!

kdroberts 2011-04-11 14:36:28 -0500 Report

That's a weird one. What happens to the kids who were bringing in better food than is being served or those with specific dietary needs? I wonder what the legality of the ban is.

Bunny Cakes
Bunny Cakes 2011-04-11 15:46:41 -0500 Report

That's what I was thinking not to mention religious dietary restrictions that may also be a factor in the child's life. Sounds like the school saying "Oh we don't care if your kid will go to hell for eating pork that's what's for lunch today and he had better eat it or starve."

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