Chicago School Bans Brown-Bag Lunch
School lunch. A rite of passage for kids all over the globe. Ahh...school lunch. My stomach is rumbling just thinking about it! How I miss the days of Italian Dunkers. When I was growning up, complaining about the turkey cubes in gravy with mashed potatoes, or praising the rectangle shaped pizza was all part of the mid-day refueling for us all. We didn't really think about how nutritious the school lunches were (or weren't) back in the day. And when I was in school, if a kid was REALLY lucky, their parents made them lunch every morning. Chances are they also made everyone jealous with a cool Rainbow Brite/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lunchbox with a Ding-Dong or a Fruit Roll-Up inside! It was kind of like Christmas every day for these kids--never knowing what they'd find inside.
I'm sure times haven't changed that much since I was in school and the same lunchtime rituals continue everywhere. Well, almost everywhere. Not in Chicago!
A Chicago school has banned kids from bringing in lunches made at home.
The principal says it's to protect the kids from their own unhealthy food choices and said she created the policy after watching kids bring "bottles of soda and flaming hot chips" for their lunch. Flaming hot chips? What the heck?
Exceptions will be made for medical conditions and allergies.
So here's my take. I know we have a problem with obesity in our children. This is an issue we have to deal with, and I get that. The appropriate action would be to schedule speakers for the parents informing them about the alarming rate of increase in childhood obesity, diabetes in children, etc. If not every parent attends, send home informational literature.
Don't put a band-aid on the problem and expect to be praised for cracking down on obesity. Healthy food habits start at home. To exploit your powers as a principal and BAN kids from bringing their lunch from home is ridiculous! Maybe some parents have fresh from the garden produce or other organic food they would rather their children eat! Ban the soda and flaming hot chips, but not lunches from home entirely. Warn repeat offenders. There may be circumstances where the parents would need to be talked to, but don't punish the entire school. Especially if the lunch ladies are serving peas!!