Via Hot Air:
Preschooler’s Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria “Nuggets”
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.
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. you’re 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.
Wingnuttia has their collective knickers in a knot over this story. At first I thought that this was just some overzealous school employee misunderstanding policy. A lunch inspector for sack lunches? Seriously?
But this problem originates quite a bit higher on the food chain:
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.”
It’s all the fault of those damn nanny-state Progressives, New Dealers and Great Society Liberals. Back around the beginning of the 20th Century them Progressives got laws passed in every state making education mandatory for childrens until they were at least fourteen.
At first kids were on their own as far as lunch. Most either walked home (five miles through the snow, uphill both ways) or brought their lunch to eat. Some just went hungry. The first school lunch program started in Milwaukee (a hotbed of progressivism) in 1899. The idea spread and in 1946 New Dealer Harry S.Truman signed the National School Lunch Act which provided free or low-cost lunches to school childrens.
Here’s the kicker:
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