When I was in high school, I resented our closed lunch. We were forced to stay on campus for our 25 minute lunch period.
Open lunch means students can leave campus for the lunch period. Open lunches have the allure of longer lunch periods, freedom, and fun.
Now that I have a more mature perspective, I believe any school district selling reasonable lunches on-campus would be patently irresponsible to allow open lunches.
Look at the downsides of open lunches:
- Higher insurance. That’s what my school district told me.
- Hooks children on garbage foods. Where do children on open lunch go? Mostly fast food restaurants, where they eat garbage: fried, greasy, salty foods packed full of refined carbohydrates and low quality fats.
- Costly. A $2 class A lunch is a lot cheaper than gas, vehicle wear and tear, and any restaurant meal.
- Denies children a healthful lunch. A traditional cafeteria lunch is far more healthful and balanced than anything children usually select at restaurants.
- Exposes children to risk. What’s safer: sitting in the cafeteria or being in an old hand-me-down car piloted by fellow children rushing to get back to campus before the lunch period ends? Where are children most likely to get in trouble: at school, or in an unsupervised, off-campus environment?
- Longer school day. You have to allow transportation times in open lunch periods. That had to be made up with a longer school day.
The upsides are? Anything? (Do you really believe many children go home during open lunches? Ha ha!)
Having no useful purpose, open lunches are wasteful, expose children to unnecessary risk, and jump start them on debilitating health problems.
Open lunches are a terrible idea.
5 thoughts on “Open lunches are stupid”
I’m not certain an off-campus lunch is less healthy, although I’ll agree I’d rather have my kids stay put (especially my high school kdis). Here’s what they are serving in HISD today at my youngest child’s school (elementary) … Roasted chicken, chili mac, chef salad, chicken flavored rice, green beans, fruit.
Sounds healthy … but I guarantee you the kids are eating chili mac (salty meat with high-fat cheese), maybe a bite of rice, chocolate milk, and the fruit IF it’s high-fructose canned fruit. Then the rest gets DUMPED in the trash. We could feed all the starving children in 3rd world countries with the amount of food that gets wasted in school cafeterias every day. Here’s the best part … if it’s a Title 2 school, guess who is buying and/or subsidizing most of those lunches? Yep, you and me!
I hear you, but at least with the on-campus lunch, you may have the opportunity to influence lunch quality. You have no say when the kids go off campus.
Good luck influencing campus lunch quality, especially if it is being run by an outside company who’s only interests are making everything the same (at every location they run) and money. There is absolutely no way I would eat anything coming out of the school kitchens where I work. They claim healthy. Thats about all, a claim. Its still processed crap. At least at a burger joint I’m getting an unadultrated burger where they make no claims about being healthy–and the cost is on par OR LESS, and they are a bit more paranoid about being clean in food handling.
What open lunches do offer is more time in class for teens rather than in the principals office. High school kids will always go off campus for lunch.
Hans: in the US, students are generally required to stay on campus from open to close. Open lunches are an intentional exception to the rule.