Think of the children!

It seems school districts continue in their desire to overstep their charter with regards to feeding the students in their care.  First, it was the nonsense in New York stating that kids couldn’t bring in baked goods for bake sales.  All bake sale goods had to be from a list that was distributed.  The reasoning given, of course, was that this rule helped combat obesity.

Now, in Chicago, one school has forbidden the children from bringing their lunches from home (unless they have severe allergies and a doctor’s note giving them permission to bring a home made lunch).

Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.

Really?  Oh, I forgot, we must think of the children!

And what do those precious darlings think?

Fernando Dominguez cut the figure of a young revolutionary leader during a recent lunch period at his elementary school.

“Who thinks the lunch is not good enough?” the seventh-grader shouted to his lunch mates in Spanish and English.

Dozens of hands flew in the air and fellow students shouted along: “We should bring our own lunch! We should bring our own lunch! We should bring our own lunch!”

Fernando waved his hand over the crowd and asked a visiting reporter: “Do you see the situation?”

The picture that accompanies the article is of a so-called enchilada.   By looking at it, it just looks like “mystery meat, Tuesday version”.  I sure wouldn’t want to eat that so-called healthy food!

Here’s where the whole “Move Your Bodies” and all other “we’re doing this for your own good” programs fall down.  How do you really know what is good for anybody else?  One child’s home made lunch may include all the things the Principal of that school doesn’t like, but it’s really none of her business to decide what the children are allowed or not allowed to eat!  Many teachers I know wish parents would just, you know, parent their children.  Well, deciding what they are allowed or not allowed to eat is one of those parenting things.

Even if the choices the parents or the children make aren’t what the principal think they should be, it’s still THEIR choices.

We haven’t yet gotten into legislated eating.  Although, with everything else the US government is trying to legislate lately, I’m sure that’s on the way.

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8 Responses

  1. And let’s not forget school parties. The food is spread out buffet style, the kids go through the line, and they pick at the vegetable tray. Then they ignore the cheese cubes on the cheese tray and clean out the crackers (and the unhealthy Ritz crackers go first, stoneground wheat will sit through the entire party), take a few pretzels, then demolish the cookies and cupcakes. Unless the cupcakes are healthy, like applesauce or banana, and then either they look at them suspiciously, take one bite and throw it away, or just lick the frosting off. Mostly the vegetables and fruit get taken by the adults, but a lot of it ends up in the trash. YET, every party MUST have a vegetable tray.

  2. I just commented on this subject over at Family Feeding Dynamics, and I’m going to say more or less the same thing over here: if the ONLY exception is for kids with allergies, what about the vegetarian/vegan kids? What about the kids who keep Kosher? What about observant Muslims?

    Few kids have an allergy to pork, but it’s religiously offensive to Jews and Muslims. Any meat is unacceptable to a vegetarian. Are they really going to force feed vegans cheese and milk and honey?

    Or are all kids going to be stuck with a Kosher vegan lunch every single day?

    Not only is this incredibly invasive, I believe it falls down on Constitutional grounds, as well.

    • Considering that the picture is supposed to be an enchilada with some sort of meat in it, I sincerely doubt the school is in the habit of serving Kosher or vegan.

  3. A lot of schools have the no-baked-goods-from-home rule, but it has more to do with public health concerns (which I still find ludicrous, but that’s another post). The concern is that the goods may be unsafe (not baked correctly, long enough, may have communicable diseases) and then the district might get sued.

    I have heard some districts banning bake sales altogether in order to discourage too many “unhealthy” treats, yadda yadda. (insert eye roll) But to allow bake sales but only allow certain items is a new one on me.

    The school not allowing kids to bring lunches from home???????? Wow, just WOW. That is stunningly offensive. Talk about your nanny state. And on a practical basis, just insane, for all the many reasons Twistie points out above.

    • In the post I linked to about NY banning home baked goods from bake sales, the superintendent of the NY school district said it was to reduce obesity.

    • After watching hoarders, I’m totally down with the public health concerns. You just don’t know how people keep house. That cupcake could come from Martha Stewart’s kitchen, or the home of someone who has 50 cats and three feet of cat feces on every surface.

      Banning bake sales because the school doesn’t want kids eating fattening treats is ludicrous considering the vending machines lining most school hallways, and what passes for lunch.

      Actually, I’m betting the kibosh isn’t even about fat fear. It’s about forcing kids to buy school lunches so that the school, or district, can pocket the cash. The same way they take sponsorship money from snack food and beverage companies and put vending machines in the hallways in exchange for “educational” materials.

  4. Call me a cynic, but these moves seem to have more to do with protecting corporate profit than they do with making sure kids eat properly. Not bring lunches from home? Parents who make an effort to fill a lunch box are probably the same ones who are most concerned about their kid’s nutrition. I would be willing to bet – no really, I’d put cash down on this – that the lunches the kids were bringing in were, overall, healthier than whatever they were being served.

    • Or they could be poor. I’m not saying my mom didn’t care about my health, or that my lunches weren’t healthy, but I packed a lunch because I couldn’t afford to eat in the cafeteria and I didn’t qualify for the free lunch program.

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