What’s in Your Lunchbox?

Senior Leah Awkward-Rich holds out a mozzarella, tomato, and lettuce sandwich purchased from Sparrow for $4.

Susan LaMoreaux, Writer

To hear an audio version of this story, go to www.soundcloud.com.

At a quarter after eleven, Community High School students begin to filter out of classes, grabbing lunchboxes from lockers or heading across the street before settling down to sit with friends. The hallways and the back lawn are full of small groups, busy munching and talking. At Kerrytown, kids from CHS mingle among the produce bins and refrigerators, picking up sandwiches, sodas, fruits and snacks to get them through the rest of the day.

PB&J. Bi-bim-bop. A turkey and cheese sandwich. Chicken katsu from Teriyaki Time. Eggs, shrimp and rice. Tomato and mozzarella sandwiches from Sparrow. An apple. A cheeseburger. It turns out the general choices made during the mid-day lunch-rush are health-conscious ones, says CHS health teacher Robbie Stapleton. “They’re well-educated. I’m always pleasantly—I don’t know, surprised—it doesn’t really surprise me. But I also teach older kids. And I think I’m lucky that if they’re not knowledgeable about [nutrition], they’re really receptive.”

Stapleton adds, it helps that many CHS students come from families who value organic foods and good nutrition. She encourages students to maintain their healthy outlook on food going forward. “Good habits started now, just like bad habits, are likely to be the ones that take hold. So if you can start eating healthfully now, that’s probably better off for the future.”