One of the things I am passionate about is protecting food freedom in our country and supporting it in any way I can outside the U.S. And it’s stories like this that cement my opinion that governments (or school boards) shouldn’t have control over your daily diet or what you send to school with your children (unless, of course, you're sending homemade gin in with them).
(And if you need some clever ideas for your child's next lunch, get school lunch ideas here.)
Apparently this Canadian mother made the mistake of sending the following lunch in with her daughter: Leftover homemade pot roast with potatoes, carrots, an orange and milk.
For this breech of the required 1 milk, 1 meat, 1 grain, and 2 fruits and vegetables protocol, her child was fed Ritz crackers (which are obviously the beacon of good health for children) and her mother fined $10.
It’s all so silly when you consider that the potatoes in the meal would easily take the carbohydrates in the place of the required grains. But more then that, I really question the policy of requiring certain food items everyday. Could you replace the meat with beans some days? What about dairy-free children? Could they replace their milk with a thermos of homemade chicken noodle soup (a good source of calcium)? This quickly seems like a logistical nightmare to me.
I am all for better eating habits for our children, and I am on board with schools being more supportive of that goal, but this seems to cross the line of being supportive to being unduly controlling. Thankfully in this situation, they stopped fining parents once the school moved to a hot lunch program, but it serves as a potent example of how quickly things can get ugly when you expect schools to be in charge of the quality of children's lunches instead of the parents and caregivers.
What do you think?
Related content on MNN:
- Why school lunch matters
- An interview with a school lunch blogger
- Weighing in on the USDA's school lunch standards