Lots of talk of school lunches lately and parents vs. school as decision makers for our what our children consume every day. Do you think that this was a good decision? Who ultimately has the power to decide what a child eats, the school, or the parent. Does the school have ANY business looking inside my childs lunch bag?School Deems Child?s Lunch Unhealthy, Replaced with Chicken Nuggets
(WGHP) ? A Hoke County preschooler was fed chicken nuggets for lunch because a state worker felt that her homemade lunch did not have enough nutritional value, according to a report by the Carolina Journal.
The West Hoke Elementary School student was in her More at Four classroom when a state employee who was inspecting lunch boxes decided that her packed lunch which consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice and potato chips did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines,the Journal reports.
The decision was made under consideration of a regulation put in place by the the Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services, which requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs to meet USDA guidelines.
?When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones, the Journal reports.
The students mother told the Journal she received a note from the school about the incident and was charged $1.25 for the cafeteria tray, from which her daughter ate three chicken nuggets.
The note explained how students who did not bring healthy lunches would be offered the missing portions and that parents could be charged for the cost of the cafeteria food, the Journal reports.
The mother, who was not identified in the report, expressed concerns about school officials telling her daughter that she wasn't packing her lunch box properly.
The school has NO business in looking at what I pack my child for lunch IMO.
This was absolutely ridiculous! In what world is a fried (or baked) processed, chicken nugget better than a simple turkey sandwich?
What really irks me is now the child goes home and thinks that her mommy packed her something bad. It puts doubt in the mind of the child in their parent. It makes them look to others for that guidance which should ultimately be given from the home.
Yes, there are parents who feed their kids junk, and parents who simply don't care, but it still doesn't change my mind on this subject.
IMO, there was nothing wrong with that childs lunch and nothing needed to be done about it!
In General though:
I dont mind the looking in lunches, but I do mind the replacing them. I think that the school system is a good place to catch parents that dont know how to feed their children the proper nutrition, and help to educate them. So I think that a note home the first few times is sufficient, and if the parent continues to feed their child junk every lunch time then a face to face meeting, preferable with a nutritionist, or an invitation to a class on proper eating would be appropriate.
I realize that not all parents would appreciate this approach either, but we talk about obesity, and though I do agree that it is mainly the parents responsibility to ensure their child eats properly, not all parents know what that means. Because most children bring a meal to school it is a good opportunity for someone outside the family to take notice of what the child is being fed, and be proactive about it.
Also, as a teacher, students who dont eat proper lunches tend to be harder to teach and crash during the afternoon, making them impossible to teach after that point. But I am talking about students who bring pop and chocolate bars, not those who only bring one fruit!
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
Thus, if you ran your own pre-k program out of your home, you would also have to look through the lunches and add the missing components.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.
Did her lunch meet the guidelines? Acutally, yes. It became just a misunderstanding/misinterpretation of the requirement. In this particular cases, they should not have given her an entire replacement lunch.
I'd have a huge problem with my child's school ditching the lunch I packed and giving her something they deemed healthier. For starters, this policy doesn't take into consideration any allergies or health issues the child may have. For example, if the child had an upset tummy recently the parent may decide to skip the milk serving which could further upset the child's digestive system. And Heaven forbid a parent run out of fruit/veggies and pack some potato chips until they can make it to the store again! I can agree that school lunches shouldn't contain soda or candy.....but beyond that I think that the parents should have total control of what their child consumes at school.
I am so very torn on this one.
As a parent I find it ridiculous for the school to think they know more about what my child's dietary needs are. I pack them what they need every day, and often times my kids are bringing different lunches. I find it very scary for the government to continue to think they know what is best for us and making laws to regulate those things.
As a teacher it is very obvious everyday that some parents are completely unaware of what good food actually is. I think the better solution is for parents to be educated on what their child needs during the day. I also think that they need to have more then one lunch to decide what the child is lacking nutritionally. I know that there are days every now and again that my kids get lunches that are not perfect.
Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson
But see, they receive $ from from the government to run the program. One of the requirements to receive the funding is meeting federal guidelines for meals. Some of the requirements at our school (based on free/reduced lunch) is that (A) a vegetarian option is available (B) the foods have to fall into a certain calorie range/nutrition amount, etc. (C) students have to be offered a serving of the items, but they don't have to take it and they don't have to eat it. The child in the OP didn't eat what was given to her.
They don't take the lunches from the children; they just provide one that meets the requirements. Is it wrong to provide 4 YO with food that is more nutritious than a Twinkie and soda? Educating the parents is great, but what should the kids be offered to eat in the meantime?
As far as the dietary restrictions, you're right. Parents can take that into consideration when they pack the lunch. The guidelines aren't all that difficult -The whole thing was basically a misunderstanding of the guidelines by the person inspecting her lunch.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.
I'm torn on this one, too. While the discarded lunch doesn't sound "terrible"-- and seems like a lunch I would eat myself, I can see how the guidelines are there to educate parents.
The quickest way for parents to take notice is for you to send them a "bill"-- otherwise, I fear many parents will ignore warnings and advice about what should be in the kids' lunches. Having visited my kids at lunchtime I am often horrified by what other parents deem acceptable meals (Lunchables, sugar fruit snacks, soda, etc....)
That said, we pack our kids' lunches every single day-- and I don't know that we always meet the lunch guidelines. Especially the part about always having a "milk" and a "meat"-- we often send vegetarian lunches....and usually water to drink. But I know what my kids are given for breakfast and dinner, so I know their total dietary intake is well-rounded.
This is a tough one.
DD 8.03, DD 6.05, DS 3.07, DD 5.09, and DS arrived 6.17.12