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Brown Baggers Unite: Why Our Kids Are Boycotting School Lunch

SheSpeaksTeam By SheSpeaksTeam 10.24.12
Brown Baggers Unite: Why Our Kids Are Boycotting School Lunch
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School lunch isn’t what it used to be and for some kids the change hasn’t been pleasant. The new federal guidelines for lower calorie, healthier school lunches we recently reported about has some kids cringing and giving up school lunch all together in favor of packed lunches from home.

The New York Times reports about students who are rejecting the new school lunches with some even calling for a ban on their cafeteria fare. Many are complaining about the lack of taste of their lower sodium choices and others say the portions just aren’t big enough to get them through the day. The prices of their lunches have also gone up about 10 cents a meal which angers students who are seeing smaller portions.

Across the nation kids are taking to Facebook and Twitter to complain about their lunches which are now healthier and smaller than ever before. One Brooklyn student, Malik Barrows, who has seen classmates throw away their lunches explains, “Before, there was no taste and no flavor. Now there’s no taste, no flavor and it’s healthy, which makes it taste even worse.”

And schools are feeling the effects of all of the students who have rejected their lunches and have opted to “brown bag it”. One school in a suburb of Pittsburg reports a 70% reduction of student participating in the lunch program. One Milwaukee high school principal, Shawn McNulty, is not surprised by his students’ reaction to healthier food. McNulty says, “There is a reduction in nacho chips, there is a reduction in garlic bread, but there’s actually an increase in fruits and vegetables. That’s a tough sell for kids, and I would be grumbling, too, if I was 17 years old.”

What do you and your kids think of the new school lunches?

Do you think students will benefit from these healthier meals in the long run or do schools still have a ways to go to make the food more enticing?

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  • chris2365 By chris2365

    I had to be tough with my boys (9 and 11). If they don't eat breakfast (not Pop-Tarts, please!) and brush their teeth before school, no video games after school. I've been packing their school lunches for two years and now my twin nephews, who are living with us while they finish their business degrees, are packing their lunches. School lunches are too expensive and frankly, not very healthy. Work with your kids on figuring out pack-your-own options that are tasty and healthy. Maybe your daughter will pack decent food that actually tastes good.

  • mombits By mombits

    Turns out my daughter has been boycotting the meals without telling me. I noticed her lunch money account wasn't going down. Then she made herself a lunch a couple of times. When I asked her about it, she said that the lunches were disgusting and she'd rather not eat than eat what they had made. This does NOT thrill me because she isn't a big breakfast eater, so I think she is going a really long time without eating. Sometimes I can get her to eat in the morning but many times not, so on those days she might be hungry all day. How is she supposed to concentrate on school work?

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