School Principal Bans Packed Lunches

According to a story in today’s Chicago Tribune, at 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.

But many parents and students aren’t happy with this mandate, despite Carmon’s intentions.

In fact, according to the article, many Little Village students claim that, given the opportunity, they would make sound choices.

“They’re afraid that we’ll all bring in greasy food instead of healthy food and it won’t be as good as what they give us at school,” said student Yesenia Gutierrez. “It’s really lame. If we could bring in our own lunches, everyone knows what they’d bring. For example, the vegetarians could bring in their own veggie food.”

The lunch at Little Village is $2.25 a day – does this seem high to you? Can you pack a lunch for less than that?

Any of us who’ve spent time in a school lunchroom (and that’s most of us) have surely seen kids throw away the food they aren’t eating. So the idea of taking away any options for what they might want to eat seems like it might increase the chance that food is going to be wasted.

Clearly, this solution may not be the best plan. What other options are there for improving the nutritional value of school lunches? What’s worked for you in that area?

Some schools ban certain foods and drinks, like those with excessive amounts of sugar. Some schools even ban processed foods.

What are the rules at your child’s school? Are any foods OK for lunch, or are there rules in place to ensure lunches from home meet set nutrition standards?

We’d like to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by.