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Lunch Lessons: College Park Parents Split on Healthy School Lunches

Parents have long worried about their children getting the nutrition they need. While many schools try their best to provide healthy options for students, some parents would rather take the brown bag option.

It’s no secret that eating right can make all the difference in the academic performance of a child, but parents often wonder if schools can provide the nutritional food kids need.

Kiersten Johnson said that she makes sure to give her daughter, Grace Johnson-Scroggins, 6, who attends the Barrie School, healthy and organic food free of pesticides, and that public schools might not meet her standards.

“I know what public school lunches are like,” Johnson said. “What you put in is what you get out. So you put good healthy food in without pesticides or anything else that’s used in agriculture then you get good nutrition and good performance out. I only give her organic food because we know what the state of farming in this country is and it’s not good.”

See what area schools are doing to promote healthy eating by reading our Lunch Lessons series.

Katherine Agenifuja homeschools her two daughters, Lope, 8, and Toyan, 10, but plans to send them to public school in the near future. She said that she would be fine with her children buying lunch.

“They would probably do a combination [of buying lunch and packing food],” Agenifuja said. “I think the school has made some good changes, but no I don’t think they could get as healthy a choice as if I gave them food.”

Surya Pukazhenthi, 11, had his own critical view of the food served at University Park Elementary School.

“Terrible! It tastes worse than cardboard,” Pukazhenthi said emphatically.

Pukazhenthi’s mother Gayatri Varma, 47, qualified his review by saying that he and his sister Amnase, 16, who attends Eleanor Roosevelt High School never buy school lunches, instead choosing to pack their own food.

“We have to pack it,” Varma said. “Even if it’s a sandwich they made we have to pack it.”

So the debate rages on. Some parents are perfectly fine with the food served in schools, while others prefer to pack lunch. Regardless, parents just want their kids to be as healthy as possible.

“I like broccoli!” two-year-old Christopher Ramos said to his mother’s delight. Clearly someone is on the right track.

TELL US: What do you think about school lunch? Do you see changes in what's being offered?

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