Crackers added to lunch

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GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116
Crackers added to lunch

We have had some of these debates before, but what seems extreme in this case is that the lunch wasn't even supplemented by something healthy, and they the were charged $5 for crackers! This happened in Canada but I don't think we are that far off from it happening in the U.S. Would you be upset if the school added crackers to your child's healthy lunch?

A mom who thought she was properly parenting by sending her two young kids to school with a homemade, whole-food lunch was shocked to find a penalty note from school officials informing her that the lunch of roast beef, potatoes, carrots, oranges and milk she provided was "unbalanced" and therefore had to be supplemented with Ritz crackers.

She was also fined $10.

According to Weighty Matters, the Manitoba Government's Early Learning and Child Care department blindly follows a policy which requires lunches to be "balanced" according to "Canada's awful Food Guide."

Unbalanced lunches are subject to supplementation and a fine of CDN$5 (US$4.80) per "missing item" per child.

In Kristen Bartkiw's case, she "neglected" to include "grains" with Natalie and Logan's packed lunches ? a "dereliction" that was "corrected" through the "supplementation" of Ritz crackers.

According to the nutrition facts found on its homepage, a serving of Ritz crackers (~10 crackers) contains 6.5g of fat, of which nearly half is saturated.

To drive home the ridiculousness of the policy, Kristen tells Weighty Matters she could have sent her kids to daycare with "microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box," and it would have been met with approval by the MCCA.

As a follow-up, Kristen notes that other parents falling short of Manitoba's policy has resulted in the creation of a hot lunch program, which she described as "great."

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3319

ARGH!!!!

This boils my blood! Don't even get me started. A 5 dollar fine!? Ritz crackers!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

I'm all for healthy balanced lunches and I believe that if you're going to send lunch for your child, it should be healthy & balanced. And it sounds like the lunch she sent met that standard. The problem is the school's standard is far too narrow. What about vegetarians? What about the lactose-intolerant? And it should say "healthy carbs" instead of "grain." I like our school's lunch guideline of what *not* to bring rather than an itemized list of what needs to be there, because it promotes a healthy balanced lunch but also gives parents flexibility. Sometimes I know Tiven had cereal for breakfast & I know we're having pasta for dinner so I don't want her to have carbs with lunch, and the school has no place saying her lunch is "unhealthy" because they're missing from one meal that day. And there's no need to supplement or charge a fine, just send a note home.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3319

the notion that I even have to include a grain or healthy carbs in my kids lunch because someone said so ticks me off. I am constantly trying to curb the amount of grains/carbs that my children get because more than any other food group...its so easy to get more than your fare share.

If i don't want to include a grain in the meal that I make my child on any given day...MY decision.

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

w...t...f

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

This article, or one similar on the same topic has now been changed to point out that this is not the Governments policy, but a schools weird interpretation of it.
Weighty Matters: Parents Fined For Not Sending Ritz Crackers In Kids' Lunches

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

This article, or one similar on the same topic has now been changed to point out that this is not the Governments policy, but a schools weird interpretation of it.
Weighty Matters: Parents Fined For Not Sending Ritz Crackers In Kids' Lunches

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

I would have been so angry. We dont feed our kids things like Ritz very often, and I dont consider them to be a healthy grain. They are a sometimes food.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"mommytoMR.FACE" wrote:

w...t...f

This.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

I would be pissed! It is up to the parents to decide what is healthy and balanced for a child's day. And Ritz are not healthy. Those are the candy of the cracker world!

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

"fuchsiasky" wrote:

Those are the candy of the cracker world!

lol

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

Robbie goes to an Apple School and so they follow the guidelines of 3 groupings of food: choose most often, sometimes food, choose least often. Ritz crackers, IMHO, should fall under choose least often. The guidelines for Apple schools follow this Alberta Nutrition Guidelines For his school lunches they ask us to bring choose most often and the occasional sometimes food.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

If I sent that with my kids, most of it would be thrown away.

At me to the W T F crowd

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

Are they the whole grain Ritz? Because if not, it was most likely the refined grain Ritz crackers which isn't really healthy at all. Also, to my knowledge, whole grains can be very fibrous and irritating at times for some people's digestive system.

I don't remember the last time I bought Ritz crackers. I'm not sure I ever have.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Now I want Ritz Crackers. I haven't had them in ages because they are not what I want in my every day diet.

I would be down at that school with flyers of what are actual healthy foods and why it is not Ritz Crackers. And then demanding they pay me 10.00 for wasting my gas.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

That's ridiculous!!!
I'd be so ticked off.

The lunch sounded healthy and ample. You don't have to have a grain with every meal either. Stay out of my kids lunch, IMO.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Add me to the "stay out of my kid's lunch" crowd.