School Lunches: When a Child is Hungry {part1of3}

There is much talk about public school lunches.  I am the first to be all excited about more fruits and vegetables.  And for food that is identifiable.  But to tell a hungry child they may not eat any more.  Regardless how young they are or how old.  Some need more to eat for sports and some of these kids are just hungry.

There are hungry children.

I was naive to this.

One of those children was one of mine.

Now, please understand money is not an issue for us.  But our foster children are eligible for the free lunch program and we take advantage of that when we need to.    I had a most sweet little third grader.  Everyday, he ate at home breakfast, snack after school, and dinner.  We had dessert now and then and extra.  We drank water most of the time.  He wasn’t a big veggie eater because his family never could afford them .

It was a few weeks into school I was there visiting him doing his lunch time.  He ate all his lunch.  Then very quietly he asked “do you have any money?”  I said “no I didn’t have any on me today.”  I asked if he was still hungry?  He said no.  Then the little girl next to him said “He is always hungry after lunch.  He just never wanted to tell you.  I told him to tell you.”  Mad at myself for never thinking he couldn’t have been hungry, and sad that he was content to be hungry and not ever telling me- I looked at him and said I would fix this.

I went home and we opened both boys an account.  Our little girl already had one (we paid for her lunches or I packed them).  That way, he could go get seconds or what ever he wanted when he was hungry.  The 5-year-old never used his, but on Friday for ice cream-but he messed with his food more than eating.

The point is we the parents should be the ones in charge of deciding when and how much our children should eat.  I realize that not all parents are going to do that.  But maybe educating the parents?  But when the government steps in to the schools to tell our children “how much” the may eat now, what is next?

What if even with extra money in an account-today my child could not get seconds if he was still hungry? What if people told him, as small and skinny as he was, you ate enough calories and you will have to be happy and content-even with your tummy growling-what if that was true……..

My foster son opened my eyes to children who are hungry and don’t say anything. Imagine other children who are hungry.  They are going to get a set amount of food.  Maybe they don’t like the food served that day, so they don’t eat much at all.     Those children go home hungry. Many don’t get another meal till the next day.

A child is hungry and all the healthy food in the world is not going to fix that. 

Tomorrow I am looking at School Lunches-what we could learn from Disney, and the third part is School Lunches-a home perspective.



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