MUST READ – Budget Savvy Diva Opinion – School Bans Lunches Brought From Home

Sharing is caring!

I know I know — ANOTHER Budget Savvy Diva Opinion Time — I call them opinion posts, the hubby calls them complaining posts… Either way – I would love if you read them – plus let me know what YOU think 🙂

Being a Diva I have a lot of opinions — and I love to tell you my horror stories of shopping and dealing with companies — because I feel your pain


Thrown Away Food --- Kids Seem not to like the NEW HEALTHY LUNCHES

I would really like your input on this topic – because I am somewhat torn.

I read A LOT of articles finding you the best money saving information and news. Well it seems that at a PUBLIC school – Little Village Academy on Chicago’s West Side – has BANNED all lunches from home. This is the school logic – most lunches  brought from home are junk ( soda and chips) and kids deserve better healthy eating – and the school can provide it with their own lunches.

The first problem about this comes to mind is budget… though the lunch the school is providing is not more then a few dollars a day — it STILL is money. You are paying a premium for a lunch… I can easily make the hubbies lunch for less than a dollar a day – I usually put together a frugal sandwich plus leftovers from the night before. Lunches are super frugal to make and the thought of paying more money not to do that…. let’s just say it steams my buns.

Plus I have had school lunches — they are not that yummy…Plus with a food allergy ( gluten) I would find it difficult to get an adequate lunch from a school cafeteria – just sayin… Does not look from the picture above that they kids are liking it much either.

From the article –

At Little Village, most students must take the meals served in the cafeteria or go hungry or both. During a recent visit to the school, dozens of students took the lunch but threw most of it in the garbage uneaten. Though CPS has improved the nutritional quality of its meals this year, it also has seen a drop-off in meal participation among students, many of whom say the food tastes bad.

The lunches cost: $2.25 at the school –

2.25 x 5  = $11.25 a week

A month that is $45.00 per child !!! That would be a HUGE blow to my budget — how about you???
“Some of the kids don’t like the food they give at our school for lunch or breakfast,” said Little Village parent Erica Martinez. “So it would be a good idea if they could bring their lunch so they could at least eat something.”

Literally they are throwing away money….


On the flip side

I was a kid once… and I know eating unhealthy is more appealing than eating healthy – I understand what the school is trying to do. Plus kids might be spending money as it is to by junk –

From the article:

“The kids may have money or earn money and (buy junk food) without their parents’ knowledge,” Stinson said, adding that most parents expect that the school will look out for their children.

Many of the kids interviewed said that though they would bring junk food — they would be willing to compromise.


What do you think???


In the end I think there needs to be a better option then forcing parents to buy school lunches.


You'll Also Love

Add a Comment


  • Lauralee Hensley

    This is nonsense. What if you have more than one child in school? Are you now going to have to cut your food budget for your other meals that you’re eating at home, that there really is no budget. Ridiculous. I tell ya, I’d start homeschooling in a heartbeat.
    Then they’d have no say over what I feed my kids.
    There is nothing wrong with sending your kid to school with left overs from dinner, or a hubby to work with them either.
    My parents would have never been able to pay for 5 school lunches, five kids adds up to a lot. We grew up just fine on peanut butter sandwiches, mom’s homemade oatmeal raisin cookies and either carrots grown in the garden, or a piece of fruit that was in season. We bought a little container of milk at school, or when the budget was super tight at times, mom sent us with a container of homemade tea that she used to sometimes add a little peppermint in (by the way the peppermint was homegrown and the little seeds stored for the winter to melt or crush into hot tea while it was brewing).
    What is next, food police coming in to randomly check what you are cooking your kids for breakfast in your houses, or coming unannounced to eat dinner with you and report you to the Nazi Czars in Washington?

    • cy

      Yes, that is the path we are on.
      I heard at another school they take any sugary or salty snacks away from the children.

  • Paula


    I finished my student teaching in December in the elementary public school system and I can say that the students that had lunch from home had a far healthier lunch than the school. It is sad really how bad school lunches are. I completely agree with you on the gluten allergy. I’m sure a doctors would be in order. All so silly! 🙁 Parents should have the choice I believe!

  • manda

    It’s just another case of going a little too far. Forcing a child to go hungry if you can’t afford to purchase school lunches is just kind of absurd and sadly even if the parents were putting in junk food, it’s America and families have the right to choose for their children. Schools should provide healthy food and education, but they have no right to force parents out of their budgets. Sometimes good intentions are not applicable when it cannot be applied to everyone.

  • Robyn

    Sounds to me like they are also saying that parents aren’t smart enough to pack healthy lunches for their kids. Also, sounds like they are using this as a way to make money for the school. If the school feels that the parents are not smart enought to pack healthy lunches, maybe they should have sent a letter to the parents telling them what an “acceptable” lunch is to pack.

  • cy

    I feel this is all about control-plain and simple. Sick of this. Where is our freedom?

    That said, I homeschooled my children because of this kind of garbage. Speaking of garbage, I am sure the food is just that.

    I make all of our dinners from scratch and do not use mixes, soups, etc. We have our own chickens and ducks for eggs. We buy organic and try to find the healthiest foods we do eat. I make almond flour bread and limit sugar, etc. Healthy veggies.

    What right do they have to do this? None! Give them an inch……

    People need to fight this type of thing. You do not give your children over to others. We cannot allow this because if we do it will only become worse.

  • Gretchen

    Well, from what I read in the article, there are many kids that qualify for free or reduced lunches in that district. More than 80% if I remember correctly. So, I sort of doubt that there are many parents being forced to pay for something they literally can’t afford. Growing up, I knew many kids who ate free breakfasts and lunches at school and if they didn’t, they wouldn’t have had breakfast or lunch at all due to the finances in their home.
    Also, for those who were concerned about allergies, there are, in fact, exceptions made for kids with dietary restrictions. So, it’s not like they are being forced to eat things that they can’t.
    I get the idea behind it, and I think the school is trying to do it’s best to teach kids about good nutrition. Not every child would be bringing a nutritious lunch from home if they had the option. Not all children have parents who teach them about what’s good to eat and what’s not.
    All that being said, I still think the parents should have a choice. If the schools want to encourage better eating habits, then maybe they could restrict what kids bring in. Like no sodas, or no desserts. I mean, if the parents really want to give their kids cola and brownies, they’ll have the opportunity to do so when the kid arrives home two hours after lunch. Not being able to send certain foods wouldn’t be too big of a deal in my eyes. But sure, every person has a right to have at least some control over what their child eats.

  • Kim Johnson

    I can not believe that a school can require every child to eat the lunch prepared at school. Most children do not pack “Junk” in their lunch box. The school does not provided the variety of lunches that meet the dietary needs of each child. I believe that this school is infringing on the rights of the children and their families.

  • Vanessa Dolby

    My 4 children have all told me that school lunches are not very good. I agree that it would be cost prohibitive–our lunches are even more expensive and I have 2 left in school–it would cost at least $100 a month now to buy lunch for the 2 I have left in school–when they were all in school it would have cost about $225. We make too much money to qualify for reduced lunches. I taught them all how to make a healthy school lunch and when they were old enough, they made their own lunches and they made good choices. Of course, I always had healthy choices for them to take in their lunches–apples and carrots, applesauce, yogurt, string cheese, pb&j, even leftovers from dinner the night before. If children are taught to make healthy choices and given healthy foods to make their lunches from, they will do it. Education is the answer–kids (and in a lot of cases, parents) need to be taught healthy food choices.