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School Lunch: Brown Bag or Cafeteria Bought?

Students weigh in on brown bag vs. cafeteria bought lunches.

A lunch box can either be a student’s pride or fall. Junior Caroline Burns is one that takes c­­omplete pride in the contents her lunch box holds.

“The variations and colors incorporated into my lunch are usually quite appealing. Grilled salmon salad with cranberries, walnuts, bell peppers, an apple, crackers, and cookie can immediately bring the whole piece together. I would say my lunch is fit for a king.”

Not only does her array prove to be beneficial for her health, but it takes no longer than 30 minutes to fix up a lunch.  

Packing healthy brown bag lunches can be a challenge, but it is an open opportunity to control a healthy intake of food. For others, a sack lunch can simply be a means of self control.

“I know for a fact that if I bought lunch at school every day, I’d be tempted to buy everything in sight," said Junior Emily Kordick.

Instead of putting money on her ID card, Emily has calculated that 540 brown bag lunches are sufficient for the school year.

Senior Leo Hayden has yet another scenario as to why he brings a lunch to school.

“I don’t have a period set aside to eat, so it’s satisfying to always have food with me when I pack a lunch. There’s that luxury of pulling out individual snacks throughout the day when I get hungry.”

Of course, buying snacks for a daily basis can be expensive for students who are on a budget.

“At Costco, buying food in bulk is often cheaper and more convenient. They usually come with multiple packs, but I know none of it would go to waste,” Junior Mikalyn Maltes said.

Though there are many benefits in serving sack lunches, there are also studies done to prove otherwise. Researchers at the University of Texas found that 90 percent of lunches packed at home and sent with kids to school were kept at unsafe temperatures. Food borne bacteria can grow at unsafe temperatures leading to gastrointestinal distress. During warmer days, it is important to take precaution when packing a lunch. ­

If brown bag lunches aren’t an option for you, buying lunch from school can be a healthy alternative.

“There’s a salad bar but that’s not the only thing the café offers. There are tons of other choices to choose from,” Sophomore Robert Tolentino said. BHS has spent the last three years incorporating healthier food selections to improve our lunch system.

“We have one of the strictest policies in terms of lunch. To make sure kids are making good decisions about food intake, pop machines have been taken out of our system and food options carry more nutritional value,” Dean Mr. Hawrysko said.

The price of a well rounded mean seems to appeal to students as well. “For a hot lunch with generous side dishes, $3.50 is a bargain,” Freshman Kari Lee said.

Whether it’s brown bag lunches or school lunches, the important factor is to make healthy decisions over the intake of food. Choosing that piece of fruit over a cupcake can ultimately lead to a healthier diet and lifestyle. It starts with a choice.

“How you choose to eat as a kid carries on to adulthood,” said gym teacher Mrs. Sanchez.

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