Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Food for thought

This week the Chicago Tribune reported a story about a ban on homemade lunches at Little Village Academy, a public school.

Seems the principal at the school decided to enact the moratorium six years ago after seeing some of the junk food kids brought with them on field trips. She contends school lunches are healthier and should be required of students who don't have health concerns or allergies that would prevent partaking in the meals.

When I first read the story I immediately thought "of all the incredibly bone-headed things ..."

I started listing the outrages in my mind:

So parents wouldn't be able to pack ... say ... This:


School-made lunches aren't any healthier ... We all know the stories about how healthy school lunches really are: Chicken nuggets, hot dogs, hamburgers, mozzarella sticks, pizza (that's a typical weekly menu at our school, anyway). Here's a sampling of school lunches from flickr.

The lunches certainly aren't any cheaper ... if you don't qualify for a subsidy it's, on average, $2.25 a day on top of your now inflated grocery bills.

And most kids toss them out if they don't like the offerings. So as officials are demanding food revolutions, some kids aren't eating anything during the day, and families are paying for the privilege of their kids going hungry.

There are just so many Head-Meet-Wall Stories my wee brain can take.

I'd like to think we come up with cockamamie ideas and turn them into rules because we truly mean well. But mostly what I think happens is that people see a problem they have no idea how to fix and so they start making new and often useless rules.

Which makes me wonder what exactly do educators know if not education? It seems to me they are in a perfect position to inform parents on healthier choices and they can do it through our children.

I know my fifth-grade teacher showed me the joys of yoga and eating whole wheat bread ... and my mother happily indulged those changes.

Of course, some parents will still pack their kids' lunches with sodas and candy and high-fat snacks. ... So how do schools control what students eat? The answer seems simple enough to me: They can't. Not entirely. The best they can hope to do is influence it ... and offer more exercise.

Which leads me to wonder what happens when schools try control food? After six years there should be some positive change in obesity rates at Little Village Academy, don't you think? The story never mentioned if there was.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Db said...

I think this is ridiculous. The food at the schools is the furthest thing from healthy. Sure, like you said not all parents pack healthy lunches but some do - why would they make these kids eat that grub? What is next? They just keep banning and banning. No sweets, no birthday parties, heard about the chocolate milk recently too. How about encouraging parents to be parents?

April 13, 2011 at 2:04 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home