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Thread: Preschooler’s Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria Food

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    Preschooler’s Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria Food

    RAEFORD - A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

    The girl's turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.

    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.

    When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.

    The girl's mother - who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation - said she received a note from the school stating that students who did not bring a "healthy lunch" would be offered the missing portions, which could result in a fee from the cafeteria, in her case $1.25.

    "I don't feel that I should pay for a cafeteria lunch when I provide lunch for her from home," the mother wrote in a complaint to her state representative, Republican G.L. Pridgen of Robeson County.

    The girl's grandmother, who sometimes helps pack her lunch, told Carolina Journal that she is a petite, picky 4-year-old who eats white whole wheat bread and is not big on vegetables.

    "What got me so mad is, number one, don't tell my kid I'm not packing her lunch box properly," the girl's mother told CJ. "I pack her lunchbox according to what she eats. It always consists of a fruit. It never consists of a vegetable. She eats vegetables at home because I have to watch her because she doesn't really care for vegetables."

    When the girl came home with her lunch untouched, her mother wanted to know what she ate instead. Three chicken nuggets, the girl answered. Everything else on her cafeteria tray went to waste.

    "She came home with her whole sandwich I had packed, because she chose to eat the nuggets on the lunch tray, because they put it in front of her," her mother said. "You're telling a 4-year-old. 'oh. your lunch isn't right,' and she's thinking there's something wrong with her food."

    While the mother and grandmother thought the potato chips and lack of vegetable were what disqualified the lunch, a spokeswoman for the Division of Child Development said that should not have been a problem.

    "With a turkey sandwich, that covers your protein, your grain, and if it had cheese on it, that's the dairy," said Jani Kozlowski, the fiscal and statutory policy manager for the division. "It sounds like the lunch itself would've met all of the standard." The lunch has to include a fruit or vegetable, but not both, she said.

    There are no clear restrictions about what additional items - like potato chips - can be included in preschoolers' lunch boxes.

    "If a parent sends their child with a Coke and a Twinkie, the child care provider is going to need to provide a balanced lunch for the child," Kozlowski said.

    Ultimately, the child care provider can't take the Coke and Twinkie away from the child, but Kozlowski said she "would think the Pre-K provider would talk with the parent about that not being a healthy choice for their child."

    It is unclear whether the school was allowed to charge for the cafeteria lunches they gave to every preschooler in the class that day.

    The state regulation reads:

    "Sites must provide breakfast and/or snacks and lunch meeting USDA requirements during the regular school day. The partial/full cost of meals may be charged when families do not qualify for free/reduced price meals.

    "When children bring their own food for meals and snacks to the center, if the food does not meet the specified nutritional requirements, the center must provide additional food necessary to meet those requirements."

    Still, Kozlowski said, the parents shouldn't have been charged.

    "The school may have interpreted [the rule] to mean they felt like the lunch wasn't meeting the nutritional requirements and so they wanted the child to have the school lunch and then charged the parent," she said. "It sounds like maybe a technical assistance need for that school."

    The school principal, Jackie Samuels, said he didn't "know anything about" parents being charged for the meals that day. "I know they eat in the cafeteria. Whether they pay or not, they eat in the cafeteria."

    Pridgen's office is looking into the issue.
    http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclu...a-nuggets.html

    How disgusting. What an atrocity that the Government of the USA can do this unthinkable procedure in schools, let alone preschool. How are children supposed to receive proper nutrition, if their home made food is being replaced with processed crap?
    All things must come to the soul from it's roots, from where it is planted. The that is beside the running water is fresher, and gives more fruit.

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    USA, what is wrong with you

    Schools should promote healthy diets, not feed kids chicken nuggets and fast food. Maybe there are some powerful lobbying behind this, but why dosn't more parents protest?

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    Maybe a protest is in the works, but I know that Canada banned vending machines and fast food in many schools here.
    All things must come to the soul from it's roots, from where it is planted. The that is beside the running water is fresher, and gives more fruit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ælfrun View Post
    Maybe a protest is in the works, but I know that Canada banned vending machines and fast food in many schools here.
    In my high school we had no cafeteria, but we had vending machines with sugar drinks and chocolates. That stuff has no place in schools and only makes it harder to study.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hersir View Post
    In my high school we had no cafeteria, but we had vending machines with sugar drinks and chocolates. That stuff has no place in schools and only makes it harder to study.
    Yes, that is why the government has removed them in elementary schools in Canada. USA is a fast food nation
    All things must come to the soul from it's roots, from where it is planted. The that is beside the running water is fresher, and gives more fruit.

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    I've heard of this happening here before. It make me really mad A child's mother should choose his lunch, not a state employee. I wonder if other parents are trying to fight this? And the principal says he didn't know people were being charged? Either he is lying or he is really terrible at his job. Neither would surprise me from a public school principal in the US.

    Sounds like someone is out to make money here, pure and simple

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    Public school cafeteria food has a well deserved reputation for being disgusting. In Arizona they were particularly bad. By the sixth grade I had switched to peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with a snack size bag of fritos everyday over the green hotdogs (Yes! They were green!) & other crap served as part of the daily, federally subsidized, meals served by the school. Prior to bagging it I generally didn't eat my lunch & the teacher couldn't make me because the lunch break would be over & the class would have to leave the cafeteria. A very common occurrence back when with a lot of kids. Which is why schools now serve crap like chicken nuggets just to get the kids to eat, though I don't know exactly what the have won.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ælfrun View Post
    http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/homemade-lunch-replaced-with-cafeteria-nuggets.html

    How disgusting. What an atrocity that the Government of the USA can do this unthinkable procedure in schools, let alone preschool. How are children supposed to receive proper nutrition, if their home made food is being replaced with processed crap?
    That sound Orwellian, Big Brother peeks into your food box.


    I take it as a form of taking control. Usually the parents take care of the kids food and that builds some trust. Now some bureaucrat chips in and that destroys this trust.
    "And God proclaims as a first principle to the rulers, and above all else, that there is nothing which they should so anxiously guard, or of which they are to be such good guardians, as of the purity of the race. They should observe what elements mingle in their offspring;..." Plato Politeia

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