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School Lunch: To Eat or Not to Eat

Should Gibbons Add More Vegetarian and Gluten Free Options
School Lunch: To Eat or Not to Eat

Should we have more vegetarian, gluten, and dairy free items on the lunch menu?


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Gibbons is full of different cultures, countries, languages, and differences! Every culture is unique, important, and has different ways of doing things. Another thing that is unique and important is food! Everyone loves eating. Having different flavors burst into your mouth. Even if you like bland things, you will still get the original flavor, and one way or another, your taste buds always have a party while eating something.

One makes food differently, whether it’s a big or small difference. Because of these differences, there are some things people can not eat. And there are allergies that restrict millions of billions of people from eating hundreds and thousands of foods. Different religions and cultures will not allow people to eat certain foods, and if we want Gibbons to be an inclusive school, we should make sure that everyone can eat something.

Another thing is that in most weeks, Mill Pond has at least 2 vegetarian options as the special. There are many weeks that Gibbons doesn’t have ANY vegetarian options as the special. Another thing that Gibbon’s lunches seem to lack are gluten/dairy free options. I’ve interviewed a couple students on their view on this topic.

Taline is gluten and dairy free, and takes lunch from home. While for many, taking lunch from home can be a hassle for the parents or student, Taline doesn’t have a choice. When I asked her if she could eat ANYTHING from lunch, she said “I can eat the salad if I can pick around the cheese, but that is a good question. I don’t think I can eat anything”. She said she can’t have any say on the school lunches because she’s never had them, but she strongly agrees that gluten/dairy free options in lunch are a MUST. 

I also interviewed one student who has tree nut allergies and takes lunch from school. Her mom never has the time to prepare her lunch, so she takes it from school. Because of the amount of nut allergies we have in the school, school lunches are mostly fine for her. But she did note that most kids that don’t take the special have the pizza, which is definitely not the most healthy option. She too believes there should be more veg options in lunch.

Another student who has fish, certain nuts, kiwi, and is gluten free. She too has no time to make lunch at home, so she has to take it from school, but checks the ingredients every time. She can’t have anything with gluten, which includes the sandwiches, pizza, pasta, and other things. Another kid doesn’t take the food lunch because they are quite processed, and not always the freshest. If he does take school lunch, he can’t have beef, so that knocks out a good amount of food he can have for lunch.

I also decided to interview Mrs. Nottingham, who had quite a lot of opinions on this. She has a gluten sensitivity and doesn’t have dairy by choice. She gets lunch from home because the options at school aren’t the healthiest. She VERY strongly believes that there should be veg and gluten/dairy free options.

Now it is important to remember that the lunch ladies have NOTHING to do with this. They look at what they HAVE to work with, and try to make it nutritious and edible for all the students. They are working very hard and deserve a lot! And another thing is that we have lunch for free. As Mrs. Nottingham said “I feel overall, there should be more variety and healthy options for students and teachers. Even the salad can not be eaten by many kids. One of the issues is how the lunch has been free since COVID, so they are on a budget. If people had to pay for it, there would probably be more options on the table”. Though if Mr. Foley and other people in power can change some of the things in lunch, they should! So what do YOU think? Should we add more vegetarian and gluten/dairy free things in the menu?

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About the Contributor
Theertha Nair
Theertha Nair, Editor/Author
Hi! My name is Theertha Nair, and I'm in 7th grade on the Yellow Team. I've always enjoyed writing, and when I learned that there was a school newspaper in Gibbons at the beginning of 6th grade, I was ecstatic. This is my first year doing journalism, and I'm loving it already! I play two styles of violin; Western Classical, and South Indian classical. In my free time, I enjoy a lot of things; baking, cooking, drawing, reading, biking, and basketball. I'm hoping that Gazette will help me get better at writing! Some of my favorite books are Song for a Whale, Benefits of Being an Octopus, and the Time Castaway Trilogy.

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    TalineMay 3, 2024 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you Theertha!!1