Free Breakfast in Class program approved

January 27, 2011 at 10:37 am 54 comments

I’ve gotten a lot of emails about this story this week, so I figure I’ll post it.  It didn’t rile me as much as it did some people.  I guess when we are in a school district that is something like 80% (?) low income, things like this are going to happen, as dysfunctional as they are in some schools.

My son’s school offers free breakfast in the morning to basically anyone who wants it.  It is certainly utilized by kids who come early, but I doubt it’s more than 20% of the school.  The repulsive looking food I’ve seen might have something to do with that.

Clearly the motives of an in-class breakfast are to “force” some kids to start the day with the benefit of some calories in them.   Hard to believe there are some parents who can’t even get their kids a piece of toast in the morning, but sometimes I find it challenging myself.   The theory is good, but CPS is already operating on minimal school time.  Taking 10 minutes (that will likely stretch out to 15) is even less learning time from our pathetically short school day.

I guess I feel a little self-conscious about being part of the anti-breakfast movement.    Blaine school lead a protest, trying to get school to choose to opt out completely, but pointing out that they are only 25% low income.  CPS pointed out that “”We understand you have 1,100 signatures, but we have 410,000 students we need to consider,” Richardson-Lowry said.”  Well, that’s a valid point.  And what about the 25% low income who DO attend Blaine?  I guess the argument is that if the parents drop the kids off a little early, they can get the free breakfast already. (I assume they must offer it there too?)

My biggest issue with this is the food and packaging waste that will definitely be generated.    I bet CPS has a rule that they must all get it placed in front of them.  I bet half the kids don’t eat the food.  I bet the amount of edible food that ends up in the trash will be depressing.  I saw it happen when I helped do afterschool tutoring.  The amount of apples and oranges that went straight to the trash was ludicrous.  The school finally set up a plan to collect it and donate it.

From the article, it says the program is starting in schools with 80% low income or higher, which makes sense.

Here’s the article:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-mandatory-school-breakfast-01220110126,0,1352037.story

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54 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Maureen  |  January 27, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Obviously, most people support providing breakfast for children that need it. I absolutely don’t have an issue with that, but I don’t need or want this, so I resent the “mandatory” nature of this program. One thing the article did say that I hadn’t heard before was that “individual students” may opt out so that’s what we’ll be doing. I actually like making and eating breakfast with my daughter and I don’t want to give that up, regardless of the “psychological benefits of a breakfast with classmates”. What about the benefit of having breakfast with your family? I certainly don’t want to take away the opportunity to eat for kids that want/need it, but that option already exists under the current program. The fact that it will be a “bagged breakfast” in the classroom (rather than the current ‘hot breakfast’ program in the cafeteria) makes me wonder what they will actually be serving. I don’t want my daughter eating something out of a package everyday.

    The other issue I have is the waste (as you mentioned) and the cost to an already beleaguered budget, not to mention the class time that will be lost. What will they be giving up to accommodate this program? Reading circle? Writing workshop? Or are they planning to extend the school day (yeah right!)??

    Here is a link to another Trib article that has a bit more information: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-mandatory-school-breakfast-01220110126,0,1352037.story

  • 2. cps Mom  |  January 27, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I don’t see that this takes any time out of the school day – as you mentioned, one needs to get there early. There are so many kids malnourished with Cheetos considered to be a breakfast food. For some, the school meals will be the best meals of the day. Whatever they serve must be better. Several students took advantage of the breakfast plan at our school. Wouldn’t it be up to the server to make sure they took a realistic amount of food? You will never be able to control what they eat. I don’t see a downside.

  • 3. copy editor  |  January 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

    CPS Mom, schools already serve breakfast before school to anyone who wants it, free to low-income students and for a fee to others. Under the new program, that will end. Instead, the first ten or fifteen minutes of the school day will be turned into mandatory but free breakfast for all. People aren’t objecting to the schools serving breakfast, they are objecting to taking time out of an already short day in order to do it. And, when CPS already has the shortest school day and shortest school year in the country, there is no instruction time to spare.

  • 4. Maureen  |  January 27, 2011 at 10:59 am

    CPS Mom — I don’t think this will be a “before school” program. This new program is designed to take place in the classrooms as the first activity of the day (not a “show up early if you want to eat” program). That is the issue that most parents have and that is the downside. I am a parent and I feed my daughter. I don’t want or need the school to do it.

    For families that need the assistance and want to take advantage of the breakfast program, that already exists at the schools. The current program IS a before school program. The new program that was just approved is designed to take place during the school day, in each classroom (not in the cafeteria like it is now).

  • 5. CPSmama  |  January 27, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I agree that some students need this and for them, it should be provided. I used to live in Rogers Park and would take the Howard El to downtown. Every morning I saw parents feeding their kids a bag of Hot Cheetos and a $.10 “juice” (i.e. colored sugar water) bought from the newspaper stand in the El station. Nice breakfast huh?

    However, pre-packaged sugar donuts & french toast sticks aren’t what anyone needs for breakfast. The kids need protein to get themselves through the morning.

    And, I’m sure the teachers don’t want to have to deal with the food/mess/clean up that will take much more than 15 minutes of instruction time each day.

    I personally think that this whole push is mainly about a politically connected food company (or companies) that is lobbying for a contract to provide breakfast for 100% of CPS students and will make millions doing it. Good ol’ CPS

  • 6. Dad  |  January 27, 2011 at 11:16 am

    CPS also did not want the low-income kids to be stigmatized by having breakfast at school, but before classes. Better to have everybody eat breakfast at the same time.

  • 7. Maureen  |  January 27, 2011 at 11:16 am

    @CPSMama: I personally think that this whole push is mainly about a politically connected food company (or companies) that is lobbying for a contract to provide breakfast for 100% of CPS students and will make millions doing it. Good ol’ CPS

    You hit the nail on the head — there is some underlying reason this was pushed through with little warning/notice. Someone is getting something out of it…

  • 8. EDB  |  January 27, 2011 at 11:24 am

    So, no working parents use the before school breakfast option as a way to drop kids off at school a little earlier? The late start times at many schools concern me – how am I supposed to get to work on time?

  • 9. EDB  |  January 27, 2011 at 11:25 am

    oh – to clarify, my question stems from a conversation on NPN basically saying that there is a stigma attached with eating the free breakfast. I had assumed that there were many kids who took advantage, disadvantaged or not. I must have been mistaken.

  • 10. Maureen  |  January 27, 2011 at 11:31 am

    At our school (Wicker Park magnet school), lots of families utilize the early drop-off/breakfast as a way of being able to drop kids off a little early. I haven’t heard of any stigma being attached to that…parents like it because school doesn’t start until 9am. It’s hard for working families because there is no before-school option and drop off isn’t until 8:50. Seems like that will be going away.

  • 11. mom2  |  January 27, 2011 at 11:46 am

    At our school, I don’t believe there was any stigma associated with going in the building and eating the free breakfast that they started last year. In fact, it was a problem for parents that had already fed their kids before school because they wanted to go in and eat the donuts and sweet cereal with their friends and ended up eating two breakfasts when parents didn’t even know they were doing this. I am told that they got rid of the donuts, but I am not convinced that the choices are only good for you items at this point. I don’t think the individual student opting out will work – at least not for younger kids. They see their friends eating, they will want it, too. It will make them feel left out if they don’t take the extra food. I sure wish they would have extended the school day by 15 minutes in order to add this. I don’t want kids to go hungry, but I don’t want to take away the little learning time currently provided either. Seems totally wrong to me.

  • 12. coonleymom  |  January 27, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I have volunteered in my son’s classroom many times, and that 15-20 minutes will take up valuable time that the children do not have enough of to begin with. More and more, I am seeing homework come home that was never even discussed in class b/c there was not enough time. Math centers will be cut short, the little time a teacher could give one on one attention will be cut short, I do not think this a good thing for our children. My son’s bus sometimes drops them off early and he sits with the early breakfast program-never once has he said anything negative about the program or anyone in the program.
    Obviously there is a need for breakfast for some children, but it should be early, not during class time. What about children with allergies? What about children that had breakfast and their parents don’t want them to eat these bagged breakfasts? I have a seven year old son that just might (gasp!) not listen to me, and help himself:)

  • 13. adad  |  January 27, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Well, I guess we’ll opt of this program and in a purely selfish way I’m hoping that everyone else in my child’s class will too. That way the teacher wouldn’t have to deal with losing more time. As it is, the morning routine is currently challenging due to boots, snowpants, etc.

    I do understand that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” but I’m sure that what will be served cannot be considered a real breakfast in any way shape or form.

  • 14. stillanonymous  |  January 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    This is a serious issue and I am GREATLY concerned.

    This is about time. Time parents need to get to work by dropping their kids off to school even a few minutes early.

    And it’s about time taken away from classroom learning! They are cheating us and our children out of time.

    Kids DO need breakfast. But they don’t need time taken away from them. And they don’t need their parents to be stressed out about getting to work.

    It is a travesty that this was snuck in under the wire and goes back to the point that we need EDUCATORS on these boards, not businesspeople with secret agendas.

  • 15. cpsobsessed  |  January 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    @14, I think part of that insane morning rush my be why someone has thought that kids need to be forced to eat at school. That’s probably why a lot show up unfed. I know I am often shoving a piece of toast in my son’s hand as we run out the door (toast that sat their uneaten for 20 minutes.) And sometimes he doesn’t eat it.

    The problem is that despite the good intentions, it just won’t work efficiently in CPS because of the bureaucratic rules involved. I just like the current set up. You want to eat, get there a little early, and there’s free food. It seems that the school has enough food that any kid who wants something can have it, so there’s no stigma. It seems that the kids who have already eaten just ignore it.
    Actually it’s funny… the anti-obesity people could content that some kids will now eat 2 breakfasts which contributes to childhood obesity. Ha, there just isn’t an easy answer, is there?

  • 16. stillanonymous  |  January 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    cpsobsessed — YES. For me, it’s a timing issue. Add more time to the school day, and I am A-OK with it! Actually, as a former teacher myself, I think kids NEED to eat breakfast and I am all for forcing kids to eat. However, I am really concerned about the issues of working parents and classroom time.

    I wonder what teachers think. I know that for the younger grades, at least, this will turn into 30 minutes of breakfast time for sure!

    I am torn, so I shouldn’t come across so strongly. I think breakfast is extremely important. I just worry that we need further concessions — like longer class days — to make up for a decision like this.

    So, my mind is not made up. I would love to hear from teachers.

  • 17. RL Julia  |  January 27, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    There are two food contractors currently connected to CPS’s federally funded lunch and breakfast programs – Chartwell (which is an arm of Chartwell-Thompson) and Preferred Meals. While the reimbusement rates on the lunch and breakfast program are better than those on the summer nutrition food program – the bridge feeding program used in the summer, they are pretty bare bones in the reimbursement – I don’t see there being any political connection to be gotten or necessarily a whole lot of extra profit to be made. Chartwell and Preferred might be lobbying for more business, but I would be surprised (since they already have contracts) that there would be a significant political angle to it all – esp. given the state of flux that the entire bureaucracy of CPS and the city are currently in.

    Additionally, this back and forth about mandatory breakfast has been floating around for at least two years – it started with voluntary breakfast for all but I think because of the high subscription and the recession etc… there is a push to make it mandatory (maybe this changes the reimbursement rate or something).

  • 18. Mayfair Dad  |  January 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I think the way it currently works is fine – arrive to school early if you want or need a free breakfast. Food belongs in the cafeteria. The school day is too short already. Somebody is going to get rich off this mandatory breakfast scam. What a huge waste of money. Stigma? I think parents have the sigma issue, not the kids.

  • 19. RL Julia  |  January 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I know that at my kid’s school that the non-mandatory breakfast has been attributed to cutting down the number of disruptive kids, increasing their attention spans/patience. etc… My sense was that the teachers/administration were sort of stunned that access to breakfast could make such a huge difference in behavior and the kids being ready to learn. I think it has been a positive experience. However, I’d rather have it be voluntary than mandatory.

  • 20. anon mom  |  January 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I’m not a teacher, but my husband is (high school) and my son’s elementary school has had the in-classroom breakfast for a year now.

    Yes, it was preferable to have the breakfast before school–I don’t think there was any stigma (but my kid’s so little he wouldn’t know) and a good number of kids who arrived early ate. My kid is a Hobbitt, so yes, he had a second breakfast (and still doesn’t weigh 40 lbs).
    Teachers don’t like having it in the classroom because of the time and the mess (although the littles still eat in the cafeteria).
    My husband is rather upset about the breakfast in high school. Not only does it make 1 period of the day shorter than others (and he’s NOT at one of the SEHS talked about here), but his kids need that instruction time. Also, it’s one more reason for kids to skip class or come in tardy–they won’t be “missing anything.”
    While I’m here, I want to comment on the “shortest school year” stat that’s trotted out time and time again. Illinois requires 180 school days–as do many other states. MOST school district in the state (and in those other states) have 180 school days–unless they have a few extra built in for snow days. So a significant number of school districts around the country have the exact same number of school days as the CPS. It is rare, however, to have FEWER than 180 days.

  • 21. Worry Wart  |  January 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    In the beginning of the year my daughter was in a magnet school that did the bagged breakfast in the classroom method and it wasn’t the worst thing that ever could’ve happened. There was fruit, milk, cereal and, yes,on occassion a packaged pb&j waffle bar thingy but not twinkies or hot cheetos. And am I wrong in assuming that some of the loudest objectors to what’s being served have served a pop tart or two in the morning themselves? Or does everyone serve half a grapefruit with whole grain toast-hold the butter-with a sprig of mint leaf all the time? Monthly menus are provided so there’s no secret as to what the kids are eating so there’s transparency-even if you think the menu sucks.

    My daughter has since transferred into a classical school where they do hot breakfast before school and that works too. Full disclosure, I am a stay at home parent that fixes breakfast every morning (and sometimes it’s milk & cereal) so I don’t need the program but it is nice to have the option. I don’t need it so I don’t use it. No big deal. Just like I don’t need some of the other services that I pay for like dental care or whatever else it is they sent home with my daughter.

    It’s interesting that some parents are concerned about what this does to their getting to work on time. I don’t think parents work schedule is CPS’s primary concern. They’re not a babysitting service.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with a good number things that CPS does but we can’t fight them at every single turn. I think they really meant well with this. It’s gonna be hard to take us parents seriously if we’re seen as chronic complainers and/or naysayers(sp?). If CPS is for it then we must be against it?

  • 22. Maureen  |  January 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I work full time and am a single mom, but I provide all meals for my daughter (she does not eat hot lunch). She is allergic to milk so we don’t do cereal (unless it’s with soy milk, but that is rare) and she has some health issues that require a restricted diet. So yes, I cook oatmeal, scrambled eggs, etc. and she actually does love grapefruit and eats it often. I just would rather cook for her and send her to school with a belly full of food that I provide. I haven’t heard anything about how they’ll deal with issues like that, but we don’t have a need for this service so I will just have her opt-out.

    I just wish it wasn’t taking time out of the instruction/learning day. That’s the issue for most folks as far as I know. It will be interesting to see how this is actually implemented in the schools and what strategies are employed to make this work.

  • 23. hawthorne mom  |  January 27, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    The article says that they’ll be rolling out the program to an additional several hundred schools that have 80% low income or more…..I took that to mean CPS as a whole has 80% low income, not that only schools with 80% low income will be doing it. My impression is that all schools must participate. I am going to call our school today to find out.

  • 24. EDB  |  January 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I agree that CPS is not a babysitting service, however the before school breakfast provided a few precious minutes in the morning that can help. I’m fine with paying for before school care, but many schools do not offer it. It seems that it would be nearly impossible to find someone to step in for that hour in the morning to bridge the gap. As a family with two working parents, we are concerned with what the solution will be if our son ends up getting into one of the schools with a late start time.

  • 25. mom2  |  January 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    @23, it is my understanding that all elementary schools will have to implement this, but they are starting next month with the schools that have the most low income students and all schools must implement this by June 30th. So, in essence, Hawthorne may not have to implement this until next year.

    @24, your concern is different from the whole free breakfast program. Many schools with late starts do offer children the opportunity to either play outside or enter the building about 1/2 hour before school starts (with supervision). There are also after school programs, if near the school, that may offer before school care as well as the after school care. So, it may work out for you anyway.

    I agree the biggest issue with this mandate is the time it will take aware from teaching/learning. I do provide a healthy breakfast and no, we don’t have pop tarts in the house. I guess I will defer concern about the quality of the food until I see it.

  • 26. copy editor  |  January 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    CPS has 175 days of instruction now that school improvement plan days, whatever they are, were moved to full days instead of half days. I prefer the full day off over the half day off, but these kids are not in school 175 days a year, and it’s not like American school kids are off the charts in terms of academic achievement. 180 days really isn’t enough, not when our kids are lagging in everything except self-esteem.

    I suspect there’s a fix in there somewhere. There’s a reason that the board didn’t publicize this.

    Finally, if ten minutes a day is no big deal, why does the CTU refuse to extend the school day just ten minutes more?

    I’m just so angry about this. Kids learn better when they have a full nights sleep, and not all kids come to school with that. So how about if the first two hours of the school day are set aside as nap time? Is that what’s next?

  • 27. cpsobsessed  |  January 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    @26, Ha! good point about the napping. I bet if you could find a way to sell Napping Services to CPS, there’s be big money in it!

    I will say, that given my lax mothering skills, my child usually goes to school tired and hungry (well, he denies hunger, but rarely eats much in the a.m.) and he’s still getting by. Although on a recent self-description at school he wrote that he is “Tired, Grumpy, and Bored.” How proud I felt!

  • 28. Hawthorne mom  |  January 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Our school is working towards being exempt from this whole thing. Hopefully our principal will be able to work a miracle here and save us the ten school days and the entire half a year we’d lose by 8th grade because of what I consider to be a foolish policy. Of all the problems and issues CPS has…..this is what they focus on?

  • […] is an interesting conversation going on about this over at CPS Obsessed.) Related Posts:Parents Fight for Recess at Chicago Public […]

  • 30. Maureen  |  January 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    A funny comment from the Tribune comments:

    “Another critical issue is financing for the $41 million program.”

    When I typically take 410,000 kids out for breakfast, I make sure I can pay for it first.

  • 31. CA  |  January 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    October of last school year, my daughter started refusing the oatmeal I was making for her breakfast. She had discovered the free breakfast at school. I looked at the menu that had been sent home, and I saw all the scrambled-eggs-and-turkey-bacon-type options and thought it looked like they were making a better effort than I was. So I said okay, she could eat breakfast at school. It took me a few weeks to figure out that she was eating Frosted Flakes with chocolate milk followed by donuts. Every day. A look back at the menu found in teensy tiny print at the bottom of the page …also available a selection of Kellogg’s cereals and (whatever their code name for “donut” was — something like “power breakfast”?)

    She was in kindergarten at the time — a kid in a candy store. She’s not allowed to eat CPS breakfast anymore.

  • 32. cps Mom  |  January 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    We’re talking breakfast program here and new schools in another post – I guess Illinois is saved from financial ruin and and CPS is flush so I say get to your Alderman and put your neighborhood needs in front of the board while the ink is freely flowing. I wonder who is going to want the new mayors job of cleaning this up.

  • 33. ANON  |  January 27, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    The overwhelming majority of food served will not be natural and it will be high fructose corn syrup and preservatives I am certain I don’t want my child eating. What can parents who don’t want their children served this packaged, preservative laden food served to their children?

  • 34. JP  |  January 28, 2011 at 12:06 am

    I’m not that bothered by what they will serve. Most days it will probably be better than what my kids get at home.

    What I am bothered by are the assumptions made by BIC, that are not explicitly said but definitely in the air:
    1. Poor people don’t know they should give their children breakfast.
    2. Poor people do not understand good nutrition.
    3. Poor people are lazy and can’t get to school on time for the universal breakfast.
    4. Poor people should be lucky they are getting a free breakfast and not question when they have to eat it or what is in it.
    5. Poor children do badly in math and science because, their parents don’t care enough about their well-being to feed them.
    6. If we feed your poor children that’s enough, we don’t have to think about the rest of the family that’s hungry too.
    7. We won’t increase your food stamps or welfare checks so you can buy more food, your poor therefore not equipt to make the right decisions.

    I believe in social security, welfare program, medicare and other social safety nets. If you have never needed it, good for you, but I’m glad they are there if I need them. But I don’t believe supplying breakfast to 410,000 CPS students will solve the fact that kids are not succeeding in CPS because of inherent issues due to poverty. And one of the issues is people think you’re stupid.

  • 35. copy editor  |  January 28, 2011 at 7:47 am

    And to your point, JP, not everyone believes that poor children deserve an education. Apparently, it’s better to feed them French toast sticks than to teach them math. They ain’t gonna need that book learnin’ to ask if you want fries with that.

  • 36. Mayfair Dad  |  January 28, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Maybe Rahm is reading this post right now and will reverse the foolish and costly mandatory breakfast policy. Rahm…are you listening?

  • 37. two cents  |  January 28, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Re: breakfast choices. What has more nutrition…Hot cheetos or Fruit loops? I’m serious…

  • 38. Christine  |  January 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    If you haven’t been to Fed Up With School Lunch, the time is now.
    She’s another Chicago blogger with a lot to say about the food that’s served to our children.

    http://fedupwithschoollunch.blogspot.com/

  • 39. Jennifer  |  January 28, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I’d rather they spent the money on books and security. I have absolutely no faith in what they will be serving to the kids, and how exactly are you supposed to ensure your child doesn’t eat the sugary processed will live on a shelf for a decade if needed junk? I’m starting to wonder more and more whether a return to the city really is best for my child.

  • 40. teacher  |  January 29, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I’m an intermediate level teacher. If this program comes to my school, I plan to teach the children how to get the food, take care of the garbage when they are finished and hopefully be able to recycle some of the leftovers. While they are busy setting up, eating and breaking down, I plan to read to them from interesting books at their grade and developmental level.

  • 41. cps mom  |  January 29, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    in the cps montessori classrooms the kids help prepare and clean up after snack time. Maybe this could be a good thing after all.

    Teacher you sound wonderful. A voice of calm and reason. That’s why you are the professional here!

  • 42. Working mom  |  January 29, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    My child is in kindergarten and has been eating breakfast at home and again at school in the classroom (with friends, I suppose). I wasn’t as concerned initially, until his December 2010 pediatrician appt in which he gained almost 4lbs in 3 months!! This is not a growth spurt but IS a girth spurt. I am concerned about chilhood obesity and how this impacts instruction time. However, his teacher has a nice system in place in which the kids clean up and recycle quickly with the help of an asst and parents.

  • 43. MIchele  |  February 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    My son gets breakfast every morning for preschool – he loves it. Actually the fruit, the low fat cereals, skim milk, and yogurts (without high fructose corn syrup) are eaten by almost all the kids in the class. Kids seem to enjoy it andI I see the teachers using the time to teach table manners, sharing, and skills like how to open the packages the food comes in by themselves.
    True my son has already eaten a first breakfast at home with me at 6:30am but the one at 8:45 with his friends at school is the one that he looks forward to.

  • 44. GMan  |  May 26, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Blaine is slipping in the ranks. Why does Bell have almost an extra hour of school? We need to adapt the 80/20 principle, and stop worrying/spending so much on the bottom 20% that don’t care, and will likely end up doing nothing. Why are we letting them drag the entire CPS system down? It’s pretty pathetic that there no descent non-magnet high schools in CPS. Looks like the elementary schools will be next.

  • 45. Mom of a food allergy kid  |  May 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Has anyone considered that a child may have a food allergy to the goods being given? My child has an allergy to food dye. One specific food dye “Carmine” can cause an anaphylaxis reaction and kill him. I learned this past week my child has been eating these meals with out my knowledge since May 1st to opt out I had to write a note from home and It also required a prescription from my child’s doctor, which required me to pay for a doctor’s visit stating why if my child was to be feed these meals he would require an alternate meal to be provided OR to let me send him a breakfast to school so he does not feel isolated or stand out because he is not eating it like everyone else. CPS is making money off of this deal is the bottom line. They are reembursed more than they pay for the meals.

  • 46. Hawthorne mom  |  May 30, 2011 at 8:46 am

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/5595498-418/free-cps-breakfast-debate-fight-against-hunger-or-road-to-obesity.html

    Rice Krispie treats for breakfast.

  • 47. cpsobsessed  |  May 30, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Ack, seriously about the rice krispie treats?

    I suppose they probably don’t have that much more sugar than Go-gurts (but no calcium) but it just shows some poor judgement on the part of the breakfast provider (and supposedly some person at CPS who I’d hope is actually giving a go/no-go decision on the menus?

    The reports I’ve heard have sounded healthier. Our school is offering breakfast in the cafeteria fro 8:50-9:05 so kids have to go there to get it. I signed my son up for it, since he doesn’t always feel like eating earlier, but he’ll never make the effort to go into the cafeteria so I’m not sure what’s happening to his allotted breakfast.

  • 48. cpsobsessed  |  May 30, 2011 at 10:47 am

    My son and I made this little video about BIC:

    http://goanimate.com/movie/0t-2YF90Nlw4?utm_source=linkshare&uid=0m6AqtUek5CE

  • 49. Mom of a food allergy kid  |  May 30, 2011 at 11:16 am

    There are no rice krispie treats on the menu. There are rice krispies the cereal.

    http://www.decaturclassical.org/documents/MayBreakfast.pdf

    to me it is more the point of the decision of what to feed your child should be left up to the parent and not the school. Additionally, my child is on the Fiengold diet due to allergies and does not eat anything processed what so ever because my child also has a problem with nitrites/nitrates and BHT type preservatives. I also do not buy into the fact that people can not feed their children at home. Every month I clip coupons and watch food sales so I can buy food and donate it to food shelters. I can buy 10 boxes of cereals for $10 and use $10 coupons I clipped and get it for free only paying the tax. I have also done this for other food, tooth paste and toiletries donating to shelters. The large companies basically give away tons of product just to get you in the store to buy other things. So it can be done. The retailers are also reimbursed at a higher cost by these companies so they are happy to give it all away. CPS makes money off of this program at the expense of our children. It is a cash cow for CPS because they re-reimburse at a higher cost than what CPS pays for it. They are giving our children 45 mins recess next year so they all do not become obese. http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/index.php/entry/1032/In_the_News%3A_Breakfast_in_the_Classroom_program_could_mean_extra_revenue_for_CPS

  • 50. brandi  |  July 15, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Wow, GMan, classist much?

  • 51. CJK  |  November 9, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    As a fifth grade teacher in Chicago, my class is investigating the additives, high fructose corn syrup, and many words that don’t sound nutritious in the school breakfasts and lunches. We came to the conclusion that if a plants becomes malnourished, frail or diseased, botanists give them nutrients. In U.S. schools, we give our children chemicals. Letters to the First Lady are on their way. I wonder if she knows that these selective food venders are making a fortune by skimping on the quality of the food.

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