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Chicago School Bans Students Packing Lunch to 'Protect' Against Unhealthful Food Choices

I would have bet anything that the story below would come out of San Francisco, but I would have been incorrect. Via The Faculty Lounge I see that at least one public school in Chicago has decided that parents are so lousy at packing nutritious lunches for their kids that it has made eating the food served in the school cafeteria mandatory. That is to say, even if you want to bring a brown-bag lunch, you are not allowed to do so.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Elsa Carmona, principal of Little Village Academy, says the policy is intended to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices. Carmona created the policy six years ago after watching students drink soda and eat chips for lunch. Lunch policies in Chicago public schools are reportedly left to the judgment of each school principal.

Although it has been in place for years, the requirement that students eat cafeteria food does not seem to be working all that well. The Tribune reports that many of the students do not like the school meals and that on the day it observed lunch, dozens of students bought the cafeteria meal but threw most of it in the garbage cans uneaten. Other schools in Chicago allow students to bring packed lunches but will actually "confiscate any snacks loaded with sugar or salt."

Some of the Little Village students insist they would bring healthful food if given the chance, and rattled off foods they would pack, such as vegetables, sandwiches, juice and different types of fruit. The school's unusual effort to protect them from their own "unhealthful food choices" makes that a bit of a pipe dream, however.

Posted by Bruce Carton on April 12, 2011 at 05:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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