Food fight: school bans homemade lunches

Children and schools across the nation are involved in a food fight when it comes to nutrition, and now, one school has gone so far as to ban homemade lunches.

Students at Little Village Academy, a public school in Chicago, are no longer allowed to bring homemade lunches to school, unless they have a documented food allergy, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune. Children are instead forced to eat food served in the school cafeteria, or go hungry.

It's the latest move in a nationwide food fight that challenges nutrition values for students in many of America's schools. Yet, many parents are crying foul, not only after being prohibited from packing lunches for their children, but also considering the cost of five $2.25 cafeteria lunches per week. "We don't spend anywhere close to that on my son's daily intake of a sandwich (lovingly cut into the shape of a Star Wars ship), Goldfish crackers and milk," Northwestern education policy professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach wrote to the Chicago Tribune in an email.

A parent from another Chicago school agrees with the sentiment. "I can accept if they want to ban soda, but to tell me I can't send a lunch with my child. ARE YOU KIDDING ME????"

As principals try to counter obesity in their schools, healthy intentions can come across as overreach, occasionally sparking parent and student anger.

Soon, cafeteria offerings across the country will all be healthier, whether students like it or not. Last year's Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, calls for higher nutritional standards to serve the 32 million kids who eat lunch every day at school (most of whom qualify for free or reduced price lunches through a federal government program). For the first time, the USDA will set calorie limits for school lunches, and will recommend they contain more vegetables and whole grains, and less salt, USA Today reports. French fries should be replaced by vegetables and fruit, the guidelines say.

Read more of this story at Yahoo! News blog .

Jeanette: That's ridiculous. Knowing what I know about school lunches, they can't be much, if any, healthier than home packed lunches. I recall cheeseburgers, french fries, and pizza being served regularly in the cafeteria.Ashley: That's ridiculous!! The school systems have to much power already. What makes them think they can tell you that you cant pack your child's lunch. BS!!!!!

What do you think? Would you be against not being able to pack your child's lunch? What can be done to promote healthy eating in schools? Leave your comments below.