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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Government food police halt preschooler's lunch, forces chicken nuggets

How in Heaven's name did we make it this far without the Food Police?

I mean, I remember going to school every day with a lunchbox packed with a sandwich, a small bag of potato chips, a thermos of lemonade and sometimes a brownie or slice of cake. Around the holidays Mom would also usually throw in a bag of Chex snack mix (we've always called it "trash" because "there's all kinds of good junk in it!). So did millions of other children around the country. And we certainly didn't seem to suffer from malnutrition, rickets or plague.

In 2012 however, those individually-prepared meals packed with love would almost certainly have had our parents taken away in handcuffs by Department of Social Services. That seems to be the general direction we're headed according to this story from Carolina Journal Online, which reports on government run amok in the schools of the little burg of Raeford in the eastern part of this state...

Preschooler’s Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria “Nuggets”
State agent inspects sack lunches, forces preschoolers to purchase cafeteria food instead

RAEFORD — A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

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 person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the 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.

"I don't feel that I should pay for a cafeteria lunch when I provide lunch for her from home," the mother wrote in a complaint to her state representative, Republican G.L. Pridgen of Robeson County.

The girl's grandmother, who sometimes helps pack her lunch, told Carolina Journal that she is a petite, picky 4-year-old who eats white whole wheat bread and is not big on vegetables.

"What got me so mad is, number one, don't tell my kid I'm not packing her lunch box properly," the girl's mother told CJ. "I pack her lunchbox according to what she eats. It always consists of a fruit. It never consists of a vegetable. She eats vegetables at home because I have to watch her because she doesn't really care for vegetables."


I think every parent in that school should pack the same identical sub-nutritious menu in their children's lunchboxes for a solid week, and make these government ninny-nannies' heads collectively explode from frustration.

John Hayward at Human Events has some more thoughts about this ridiculous situation.

Having a designated person inspecting each and every lunch brought from home? Seriously?


Kristen said...

What happened to parents raising their kids how they want? If a parent wants to send their child with unhealthy food for lunch, that's the parent's choice, not the school's. I can understand wanting to prevent a child from eating extremely unhealthy (AKA all the parent sends them is potato chips and a soda), but at the same time, schools should focus on teaching not controlling. And the fact that the kid's lunch seemed pretty good and balanced? Wow. This is ridiculous. I've been leaning towards wanting to send my kids to private school (whenever I have them, someday) and this makes me want to do so even more!

Anonymous said...

If you simply look this story up on normal news sources and forego the conservative blogs and radio shows, you will quickly find it was *one* teacher's mistake. .... nothing to do with government intrusion at all. The principal, in fact, stated he would have just given the child a carton of milk and not given them a school prepared lunch. However, that story is too plain for the resident drama queen.

Chris Knight said...

Richard you seem awfully bored these days.

And that another mother has come forward with a similar story, undermines your claim that this was a simple "mistake" on the part of the school.