Surprise

I came across an article in the Chicago Tribune that talks about a school that has gone so far as to ban lunches from home. On one hand, I can really get behind this kind of extreme measure. When I was growing up, I would open my plastic Cabbage Patch Kids lunchbox to find a sandwich, a granola bar, an apple, and a juice box. And I didn’t complain. If that was what my mother sent, that was what I ate. Fast forward a decade or so later and you will find items like soda, cupcakes, and other crap that falls in the negative as far nutritional value is concerned. How else do you ensure that children get a balanced diet? The most chance some of these kids have at getting a serving of vegetables is via cafeteria food. However, when you look at the picture below showcasing a sampling of the school lunch menu, I can see why parents would have their britches in a bunch over this new rule.

The “enchilada surprise” is a surprise alright, and it looks like the surprises that my cats leave in the litter box each day. If this is all I had to choose from, I would just as soon go hungry. And that is the choice that students at Little Village Academy are forced to make. I am pretty sure the faculty is not eating this steaming pile of excrement. While I am all for eliminating the health issues that our children face as a result of nutrient deficiency, there has to be a better way than this. For one, I can’t tell what is in this lovely lunch. It doesn’t exactly look balanced to me. If kids are forced to eat school lunch, there should be some edible choices available. I have had lunch at school with my oldest son before, and was impressed by the options available. There was a main protein, several vegetables to choose from, a snack, and milk. Or you could choose a vegetarian plate as an alternative. Now that is something I could stand behind. My children only eat what is served at school, with no additional food sent from home. What they get is balanced and tasty. I don’t hear complaints that they had to go without food because there wasn’t anything on the menu that they could eat. And I get a monthly copy of the offerings, so I know what is available in the cafeteria.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that you can’t just lay down rules without having thought them through. No one is going to eat the slop they are serving over there at Little Village, and someone had to think that maybe a school full of hungry kids isn’t such a good idea. What will likely end up happening is that kids will begin sneaking food from home in their book bags, possibly leading to a cockroach infestation. I don’t have all the answers when it comes to childhood obesity or nutrition, but I know this can’t be the best solution available.

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