Consumer Payment Card News

Are Debit Cards Healthy for School Lunches? Ask MySchoolBucks

Increasingly, parents and schools are now on-board with saying goodbye to paying with cash for school lunches and opting for debit cards the students can use on cafeteria transactions, like using MySchoolBucks. While this idea has been helpful in expediting long lunch lines and making for cleaner accounting at the end of the day, electronic payments may also be inadvertently causing students to make unhealthy food choices.

School Lunch Debit Cards

Want Some Fries With That?

While using a debit card is definitely more convenient, they have also have been shown to induce more frivolous purchases and greater overall spending in both children and adults alike. Studies have revealed that students who paid with cash, as opposed to a debit card, made healthier choices. Interestingly, those using cash increased the percentage of money spent on healthy food compared to those using debit cards.

Wanna a Cupcake Too?

Research results have important implications for both schools and the growing concern over child obesity.

Parents who pay for several weeks’ worth of lunches in advance often have difficulty gauging how long the money in the debit account will last. By checking the debit account regularly, parents will be able to recognize their children’s spending trends and if they need to have more control over their child’s individual transactions. This would include not only the amount spent on a daily basis but also on what types of food the money is purchasing.


A number of schools have introduced debit systems allowing parents to regulate daily spending in hopes this will help combat the problem. Another debit payment option is, a leading site for updating and managing your child’s school expenses. But, if the use of cash, as opposed to debit cards, will encourage a student to make slightly healthier choices, take this as an opportunity to also start teaching your kids smart money management and budgeting skills.

If you (and your child’s school) prefer utilizing the debit payment system, it presents a great opportunity to teach kids on how to manage money online as well as budgeting for meals. When children can look at their account regularly, see the money dwindling away and on what, affords you the opportunity to talk about nutrition and which foods are really worth spending their cash on. The sooner children begin seeing that a debit card is actually money, the better prepared and hopefully wiser with money they will be when entering into adulthood.

School children can also learn good money habits along with healthy eating habits.

Rocket Piggy

Rocket Piggy, an innovative financial literacy fun tool for kids, is a great example. 

The gadget and app for kids makes learning about money fun. The 2-way smart toy and smartphone app allows children to start learning and practicing smart money habits at an early age.

Rocket Piggy is a two-part system for parents and children which allows kids to learn and practice smart money habits. The Piggy is a smart screen tool where kids can play games, mark chores, receive allowance and watch their savings grow toward their targets.