School Bans Homemade Lunches for Preschool Children

By Camille H, Parent Herald November 17, 10:43 am
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A school in Richmond, Virginia bans preschool children from bringing homemade lunches to school, according to Medical Daily.

This decision by the institution has infuriated parents who are critical of government nutritional standards. An unidentified administrator at one of the city's 25 elementary schools sent a letter to parents advising them to obtain a doctor's note allowing their four-year old kids to bring homemade lunches to school. The letter claimed that this was as per guidance from a federal education program.

"I have received word from Federal Programs Preschool pertaining to lunches from home," the unidentified administrator writes. "Parents are to be informed that students can only bring lunches from home if there is a medical condition requiring a specific diet, along with a physician's note to that regard." The administrator claimed guidance from the federal program that President Barack Obama started.

The said program conjoins state-level programs such as long-standing Virginia Preschool Initiative to ensure universal preschool education for children in the United States. However, this recent decision by the administration does not necessarily reflect federal or state policy.

In 2011, an administrator from Chicago drew media attention for a longstanding policy banning homemade lunches unless excused with a doctor's note. Elsa Carmona, principal of Little Village Academy said her policy protected schoolchildren from unhealthy dietary choices. She told the Chicago Tribune: "Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school."

"It's about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve in the lunchroom. It's milk versus Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception," she added. Carmona confirmed that they policy was initiated in 2005 after seeing students bring soda bottles and bags of chips for lunches or during school trips.

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