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)