CHICAGO – The battle to keep kids eating healthy has led to a big debate in Chicago, where one school refuses to let students bring lunch from home.
Students at Little Village Academy, a public school, are not allowed to bring a lunch unless they have a medical excuse such as food allergies, reports The Chicago Tribune. They are instead required to get lunch from the cafeteria or go hungry.
Principal Elsa Carmona said she created the policy six years ago as a way to protect students from unhealthy choices.
There are reports of children only eating part of the school-made lunch and throwing the rest away. Fewer kids are reportedly buying school lunches because they don't like the taste.
Both parents and students have voiced outrage recently over the ban. Critics point out that if a parent has a child on a gluten-free diet, the child may be forced to eat a school lunch loaded with it. But, some parents applaud the move, saying school lunches are healthier.
Another issue for critics is the cost. Unless a child qualifies for free or reduced-price meals, a school lunch costs $2.25 per day. That can be more expensive than packing lunch from home.