Lunch Bags Inspected for Nutrition

A preschooler in Raeford, North Carolina, was given a school cafeteria lunch when a state inspector deemed her sack lunch inadequate by USDA nutritional standards. The 4-year-old girl ate three chicken nuggets from the cafeteria meal.
The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.

The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.

The girl’s mother — who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation — said she received a note from the school stating that students who did not bring a “healthy lunch” would be offered the missing portions, which could result in a fee from the cafeteria, in her case $1.25.

Now, you may think that apple juice, potato chips, and a banana would count as at least two fruits or vegetables, but it appears to be a matter of interpretation. Jani Kozlowski of the state's Division of Child Development said there was nothing wrong with the bagged lunch, and the parent should not have been charged for the cafeteria meal. She hinted that the school may need more "technical assistance," meaning training. Link -via reddit

(Image credit: Flickr user Jeffrey Beall)

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I vividly recall reading that Dr. Spock said a preschooler's lunch is fine if you give two things: something filling and something that's a fruit OR vegetable, as long as the kid will eat it. Four-year-olds don't eat a lot at one sitting.

The one year we didn't get subsidized lunches, I packed them every day. We did fine until the school banned peanut butter. After that, it was chips and salsa and pop tarts every day.
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This irritates the heck out of me. If I was the parent of the child in question I would be meeting face to face with the school demanding they leave my child's lunch alone and that they could go pound sand for the $1.25 they are charging me for the forced feeding. I would probably have to restrain myself from making threats of violence against the "inspector" who caused all of this.
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I'm sure those three nuggets of processed leftover chicken parts provided all the healthy nutrition that was missing from the bagged lunch. Good job, school!
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Part of me is outraged that they have government lunch inspectors in school and that our tax money is being used to pay for this violation of parents' right to raise their children.

The other part of me is asking... well, what do you honestly expect when sending your kid to a government run school? In general, most parents are more than happy to push the responsibility of educating their children off onto the government without even a second thought. Many even look to the schools to raise their kids. Then they are "shocked" when the government actually does assume the role of mommy and daddy.

There is no such thing as an unbiased education and "public education" is a euphemism. If you want you kids to learn to look to government to solve all their problems, then send them to a government run school. This is just more proof of that.
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