You may have read about this last week, but I can’t get it off my mind, so I thought I’d write about it and see what you all think.
In Hoke County, a preschool child had her home-prepared lunch taken away by a state worker who was inspecting all the lunches of the school children for healthfulness. The worker decided that the girl’s lunch, which consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, a container of apple juice, and a small bag of chips did not meet state standards. She took the girl’s lunch away from her and replaced it with the lunch provided for that day by the school cafeteria. That lunch tray had chicken nuggets and corn, among other things. The girl ate three chicken nuggets and nothing else.
The mom indicated that her child eats vegetables at home while the mom watches, but that she had not put a vegetable in the lunch box because she knew her child would not eat it, according to an article in the Carolina Journal.
There are so many issues here that it is hard to know what to focus on. I’m all for the elimination of childhood obesity and for children to be eating healthy food, but when a lunch that a parent prepares is deemed not good enough and replaced by a meal that has fried nuggets in it – something is wrong here.
The article in the Carolina Journal also indicates that upon further investigation, the child’s lunch did in fact meet the USDA standards outlined for school aged children. A healthy lunch, according to our esteemed USDA should include one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables. The girl’s lunch apparently met that standard, even with the chips.
What saddens me is that this child is probably now confused. Who is right? Her mom or the school official? What message does this send to children and parents everywhere?
What are your thoughts on this? Is the right way to handle a child who has a relatively healthy lunch packed from home to not allow her to eat it and give her a less healthy meal? Diane