Life as a Bringer

Ever heard the term “bringer” before? Let me give you a hint. It has to do with school lunches. Up until 8th grade, I was a die-hard “bringer.” My mom would pack my Xena Warrior Princess lunch box with a sandwich, potato chips and probably some cookies. It wasn’t healthy, but it was much more satisfying than the leather pizza in the cafeteria or whatever “hot” special they had for the day.

When I heard that a public school on Chicago’s West Side has decided to ban home-brought lunches and certain snacks in order to promote the “healthy” school lunches, I was horrified. As an extremely picky eater as a child, I couldn’t imagine having to eat my grade school’s lunch.

I vividly remember one day in 4th grade when I forgot to grab my lunch in the morning. I was forced to walk through that long line with a friend and stare at all the disgusting options the cafeteria was offering. I settled on the pizza, which looked decent, but I couldn’t get past more than a couple of bites. The cheese was rubbery, crust was like paper and I think there was some type of pepperoni (?) on it, though I picked up the cheese.

That ended my short-lived school lunch experience. I’d much rather have my mom make a crust-free peanut butter and jelly sandwich with some Doritos. Though I didn’t eat healthy as a kid, I was still a healthy weight. That’s probably because I played just about every sport possible.

It makes me wonder if the problem in school is the fact that kids are less active, rather than the fact that their parents don’t pack them healthy lunches. Kids are so obsessed with video games, Facebook and television, that they don’t venture outside to play a game of Ghosts in the Graveyard or Red Rover anymore. Heck, I’m not even sure if they’d know what those games are.

I think I’m getting a bit off track, but I definitely don’t think that home-brought lunches should be banned. Most importantly, who’s to say that the school lunches are going to be healthier?

What do you think?

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  • Aleida

    Banning home made lunches? That’s just ridiculous. What about the students that have special dietary needs? I was a substitute for a while and I had one student who had to bring her meals from home due to severe food allergies. Also, if a parent wants to send their child to school with whatever food they bring, that’s their choice. The school should have no say in it. Also, speaking from my own experience with school food – it’s gross and usually unhealthy itself. I can understand and appreciate their desire to help their students become healthier but they should focus more on physical activities. At the elementary school level, this is easy because every kid loves to play. Here where I live, it gets harder as they get older because schools remove that playtime. For example, once I hit middle school, there was no recess. We could go outside after lunch but it was spent standing around in front of the building because there was nothing else there and we weren’t allowed to go onto the track or football field. In high school, we weren’t allowed outside at all. There are multiple factors that need to be looked at before anyone can start pointing fingers and crying wolf.

  • Sid

    I’m not really opposed to the idea as long as there isn’t a strict ban. For example, kids who can’t afford the lunch are given the reduced or free lunch and kids who have special dietary needs are allowed to bring lunch from home. If the food is healthy, this can be a great way to help create a healthier lifestyle for kids. I think many times parents make lunch for their kids because they don’t like the unhealthy foods being served in the cafeteria. This could correct that.

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