I thought it was great when I heard that there were going to start being some guidelines enforced on what schools were offering our children for lunches… especially knowing that I did with my lunch money! When I was in school, most of the options were unhealthy (pizza, hamburgers, chips), but they were also the most popular. I spent my $1.25 on a soda, an ice cream sandwich, and a piece of pizza. I cringe to think of my child making choices like that when you send them off to grow and learn… so of course I was tickled to see that they wouldn’t be offering soda, would have more fresh and healthy alternatives.
Now, as I’m reading a recent article
about a 4 year old whose lunch was sent home with the child unopened from the school because someone felt her lunch didn’t meet the USDA standards, I’m struck a little dumb.
The child’s lunch consisted of a turkey sandwich, a banana, chips, and apple juice. At the end of the day, they admit it actually did meet the USDA’s criteria – but exactly when did they start busing a four year old’s lunch box and nitpicking on whether she’s got one or two servings of fruit!?
If I want to give my child a peanut butter sandwich one day, or add a hard boiled egg to his lunch on another day, darn right I’m going to do it! What’s next? Will they start counting calories for overweight children’s lunches? Removing the avocado from little Lucy’s turkey sandwich because she’s a little chunky? Throw out Mommy’s homemade Elmo cupcake that she made for little Johnny’s birthday because it’s not on the guidelines!? I hope like heck that what happened to that child in North Carolina was just a fluke… because I can already see mothers across the country getting all riled up over this.
Oh, but I saved the best for last. They didn’t just send this little girl home hungry, oh no… rather than following the guidelines of supplementing the child’s lunch with whatever they deemed it was missing, they replaced her lunch and charged her mother for it. Did they give her baked skinless turkey, an apple and carrot sticks? Oh no… they gave her chicken nuggets
. Oh yeah. And by the way, she hardly ate anything of her replacement lunch because she didn’t like what she was given.
Why are you in my child’s lunch box!?
Do you know what he likes and doesn’t like?
What he will and won’t eat?
Okay, now I know that there are children going to school with really bad lunch choices and others with no lunch at all; this program is supposed to help these children to have a healthy meal. I get this. What I don’t get is how this was handled … chicken nuggets… really?