Any mother who has ever packed a school lunch for their child can tell you of the challenges involved in bridging the gap between what a child will eat, what is nutritious, what can go unrefrigerated, what you have in your fridge or cupboard, and what is going to pass the peer-review test. In a “government knows best” twist, a mother in North Carolina came face to face with the “food police.”
An elementary school in North Caroline checks each and every home-prepared lunch to determine whether or not it meets mandated nutrition standards. A mother who sent a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice and potato chips for her child was told by the school that the lunch “did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines.” The child was then given a school-prepared lunch and the parents were charged for the school’s lunch.
My first thought was: “Wow, that seemed like a pretty good prepared lunch to me!” My children had plenty of days where their lunch sack revealed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a piece of cheese and a piece of fruit. I’m glad that they’re all grown now because it appears I would be on my way to jail for my inadequate lunch offerings!
This news story has resulted in a firestorm of negative reactions and rightly so. It is certainly important that children eat properly, but this “government knows best” nonsense is an affront to every parent and an attack on parental rights that cannot be allowed to stand. It also begs the question: Does the school (and the Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services – that mandated this policy) not have better things to do? They might just consider directing their focus to a proper education for our children or get out of the education business all together.
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