Not Enough Lunch Options

When Students with Dietary Restrictions are Left Unsatisfied

Hafsa Ibrahim, Copy Editor

As an innocent and hungry middle schooler entering into Homestead’s vast cafeteria, there is much anticipation of a more diverse and varied lunch menu after middle school’s dull and tasteless lunch.

It is true that the cafeteria does provide many options not offered at other schools, and there are some who fully enjoy the menu provided by the cafeteria. However, others are left disappointed and wanting more. 


“The cafeteria seemed to have a wide variety when I

first came into the school, but it got repetitive with time,” Timothy Chan (11) said.

Eating school lunch is especially difficult for those with dietary restrictions to find food suitable for one’s taste. Students who are lactose intolerant, vegan, veg

etarian, have an allergy, religious or physical limitations sometimes aren’t able to indulge in the food that everyone else can.

 “I usually end up having to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every day and have gotten quite sick of it. (The cafeteria) can make small but meaningful changes such as separating the meatballs from the spaghetti sauce so that I can choose to eat spaghetti 

without meat, while others can choose to have it with. They should provide a variety of vegetarian options so we do not get stuck eating the same thing every day,” Palak Sood (11) said.

Sofia Jimenez (11) is a vegan at Homestead who shares Sood’s sentiment. 

“There isn’t much that I can eat at the cafeteria. There

is always a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but you can get sick of those very fast, so I tend to pack my lunch. It would be nice if there were more options, such as more fruit or granola bars that are vegan,” said Jimenez.

Evidently, the menu in the cafeteria is not very welcoming to those with an inability to eat meat, as Jimenez and Sood, like so many others, are subjected to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich each day. 

Magnolia Kean, a vegan senior, pointed out that having the ingredients of the food listed next to each particular food item, either provided online for student usage or in line while waiting to receive meals, would be extremely helpful for those with dietary limit


“It would be a good idea to have the contents of the foods listed, (because) sometimes, I don’t know if things are vegan or not, so that would really help me navigate the foods that are available for me at lunchtime,” Kean said. 

Others, such as Daniel Bean, are content with the options provided by the current menu.

 “(The cafeteria) does offer cuisines from different countries, allowing me to indulge whatever flavors I may be craving in the middle of the day,” Bean (12) said. 

Still, it is undeniable that the choices provided are not nearly as varied and colorful as they could be, and students are hoping to be able to choose from a more vast and variety-filled list of lunch options.

“It would be cool to see some food from different cultures,” Aruna Acharya (10) noted.

Fortunately, all hope is not lost. The cafeteria has introduced a new line of food, including items from around the world including jambalaya, stir fry, and lo mein. These items are a major boost for the cafeteria menu and the appetites of students hoping for more diverse food options. 

We are calling our new line Chef Sparty, and want to serve freshly prepared menu items in a live cooking situation” Brant Brown, director of food services said. “We are looking for menu inspiration from every corner of the country and around the world to expose our students to food that they may not have tried before.”

Be on the lookout for samples during your lunch period so you can try out these unique and tasty dishes!