School lunch can pose a problem for many parents.
Should you send a lunch from home, or should your kids eat school lunch?
Many parents go with the school lunch program because it provides variety and is, for the most part, both easier and cheaper. Some parents believe that they can send a more nutritious lunch from home. And for picky eaters or children with dietary concerns, a bagged lunch might be the answer.
According to a university-sponsored study done on the subject in 2010, more than one in three middle school students who regularly eat school lunches are obese or overweight. The research suggests that efforts to provide healthier choices on school lunch menus still have a long way to go. But if I recall from my days in middle school, my parent-funded lunch money meant for the hot lunch line could just as easily have paid for a chocolate chip cookie the size of my head or a basket of French fries from a la carte.
Although things have improved in the area of nutrition since my school days, your child may choose to trade his or her salad for a brownie on a daily basis anyway. Of course, always helpful are on-going discussions with your child about nutrition and demonstrations of a healthy lifestyle set by your own example.
Last spring, a principal at a school in Chicago decided that all children, except for those with severe allergies, would eat school lunch and school lunch alone. The idea was to protect children from their own unhealthy food choices.
While we still have the opportunity to make the decision for ourselves, parents must decide what kind of lunch is best for their children.
So, do you include a lunch box or cash for lunch in your kids' backpacks? Why?
Tell us in comments.