I pack my children an organic home lunch every day. Why? The quality of our school lunches is pitiful. There is high fructose corn syrup in everything (apple sauce, crackers, etc.). The vegetables are canned; the fruit in thick syrups. Ketchup is counted as a fruit. Furthermore, my daughter is a vegetarian, so there are few options for her.
In what I feel is an ironic move, a Chicago public school has banned home lunches to improve children’s nutrition.
Apparently, they have the opposite problem of my family. The Chicago Tribune reports:
At his public school, 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.
“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” Carmona said. “It’s about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception.”
What about the families that actually pack healthier lunches than the school provides? I don’t know what kind of lunches Little Village Academy serves, but I like the message on their website:
May the new year, 2011
Shower you with lots of health and well-being
That we continue working together
With respect, collaboration and a posititive purpose
To together reach excellence in education
For all our students at LVA
A brief search did not yield any info on the quality of their school lunches, and I think it a bit bizarre they have a link to “Christmas Photos” on their homepage. Not many public schools use the big “C” word anymore. Remember separation of church and state?
If my children attended Little Village Academy, you better believe they would be bringing an organic school lunch from home.
Although I made our school lunches sound bleak in the introduction to this post, and they are, we have a grassroots school garden movement that is changing things. Last week, the children had fresh spinach salads and calzones made from the garden. It was not on the school menu, so I’m sure it messed up the caloric intake for the kids so carefully planned by the cafeteria 🙂
Thank you Jessica Gottlieb for sharing this story on Facebook.
Photo: Some rights reserved by Ben+Sam