Big Brother Is Checking Your Child’s Lunchbox

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist February 14, 2012

This just in from the Food Police Chronicles ….

A state employee required a preschooler at West Hoke Elementary in Raeford, North Carolina on January 30, 2012 to eat chicken nuggets during lunch because her lunch brought from home was not nutritious enough.

The child’s lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, potato chips, and apple juice.

The state agent decided that the girl’s lunch did not meet USDA guidelines and required that the child be given a “healthier” alternative.  Furthermore, the state agent apparently inspected all the children’s lunches that day in the four year old classroom.  No word if other children were asked to eat chicken nuggets as well.

USDA guidelines mandate that all children’s lunches contain one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables even if the lunch comes from home.  The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires child care providers to supplement children’s lunches with whatever compulsory items are missing.

The mother of the child who ate the three chicken nuggets, who prefers anonymity fearing retaliation, said she received a note from the school warning her that her child’s lunch was not nutritious enough and that noncompliance in the future could result in fees from the school cafeteria.

Since when are industrially processed chicken nuggets (aka “pink goo”) fried in genetically modified, rancid vegetable oils and nuked in a microwave healthier than a turkey and cheese sandwich and a banana brought from home?

School cafeterias don’t even qualify as real kitchens in most cases as cafeteria workers only have access to giant microwaves that quickly heat up the overly processed, factory fat laden, genetically modifed, agricultural dumping ground food they serve.

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemmasays that bureaucratic rules require that schools buy food only from the cheapest bidder.

The sad truth is that only the cheapest, most nutritionless, most highly processed garbage food makes the cut for the school lunch program.

Many parents are choosing to pack their children’s lunches until better food is served at school, but apparently these efforts are being thwarted by the Food Police who are determining that homepacked meals are not up to snuff.

This story is yet another outrageous overstep by an overly aggressive, nanny style government increasingly insistent on raising our children according to its own standards while ignoring our own.

Only a lawsuit is going to stop this sort of thing from progressing and getting worse in the future. Hopefully, this mother can gather her courage and file a legal complaint immediately to force these overzealous government workers back in their bureaucratic box.

 

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source: Federal Agents Inspect Your Child’s Lunch

Picture Credit

 

Comments (207)

  1. I read the article on Carolina Journal and apparently the girl was given more than just the “Monsato Pink-Goo Nuggets” as I call them. She was given a full cafeteria lunch, but told her mother all she ate was the nuggets because she didn’t like anything else. Now, I’m not saying the school is in the right. Far from it! Having grown up on school lunches, I can assume that her vegetable was probably nuked, canned green beans or something. What was her grain product? The breading on the nuggets?

    Heck, when I was in school, I would always choose the chocolate milk because the milk was usually warm and going bad. The chocolate at least covered the rancid flavor some. I remember many a student complaining of tipping the carton only to get a mouthful of curdled milk.

    Reply
    • Amen Sarah! The government has no right whatsoever to do this. This is a sign of what is coming. What the government thinks is right( even though we know better) will stand. This happened at a school less than 30 minutes from my home. How sad!!! And it makes me steaming mad.

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    • In total agreement! I don’t know why I’m surprised, but this really gets under my skin! So what are vegetarian children supposed to do? I would have been LIVID if they made my child eat chicken nuggets! Or anything I didn’t pack!

      My son is only 17 months now, but this just makes me want to consider homeschooling or a private school that has values I can trust, if there is such a thing. Ugh, this is just so disgusting. We must take control of our lives – the government has no right to do so for us, but will continue to if we sit by and do nothing.

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      • Homeschooling is one way to take control! If you send your child to public school, you are turning him over to the government.

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    • Okay, so let’s say you did put only candy and the teacher’s or school employees saw this and your child’s health begins to take affect. Should the teacher’s stand by and allow it because, hey, that’s what you wanted? Or should they try to step in for the sake of your child? What if your child had a healthy lunch but on the way to school they switched it out with, say a package of donuts and a soda from a friend. Should the teachers sit by and ignore this? If they were not witness to the exchange and assumed it was brought from home, and therefore never stepped in to question the lunch, you would have no issue to find out that for the entire school year this is what your child was eating and no one said anything to you?

      Making a statement like this just proves the reason why the government thinks they need to regulate people and does nothing to help the real issue.

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      • Why should it be the government who is concerned about that? Seriously, the government. If the teacher was concerned, she could speak with the child’s parents and if the parents were concerned, they could take action if necessary.

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        • You aren’t paying attention to the point. Public school policies are made by the officials and administrators that we elect and pay for. If we don’t trust them to do their job, it is OUR job to show up at the meetings, the voting booths, etc. and get them out and get the policies changed. No one does that anymore. This is NOT federal government law. Depending on a school’s policy, a teacher CAN’T simply go talk to a parent about an issue that they PERSONALLY feel is not correct, but only if there is a policy surrounding the issue. And, based on the comments here about how kids should get to eat whatever the parents want to let them have, then it wouldn’t matter if a teacher was allowed, the parents are more concerned with their “right” to send whatever they want than the health of their child, which is ridiculous. That has nothing to do with government, it has to do with being selfish.

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          • Do you have any children? If so, would you be okay with their school changing out their lunch in favor of something they believed was better? (Whether or not what they are supplying truely is better is not the debate, but rather the principle of this idea.)

            I don’t understand how it is being selfish to want to decide what your child puts into their body? There is much more to this issue than a child be given chicken nuggets, as you understand. But what is outraging people is that many simple freedoms are being taken away…slowly but surely.

            To say that “no one” goes out to do their part in pushing for policy changes is a pretty broad statement. Could there be a bigger push for policy changes on behalf of American citizens? Yes, I believe there could be. But my issue is with being told what I can and can’t consume. Is stepping in ever warranted in these types of situations? Sure, I can imagine so. Are there kids going to school with horrendous lunches? Of course. Unfortunetly this isn’t an issue without its gray areas, but to me, the main issue is being told that you can or cannot eat something because someone else knows better.

            While I can only imagine that I would want to step in if I saw a child being sent to school with candy & soda everyday, if I could mention something, I would definitely try to find a way, but it shouldn’t be my job to step in & change the child’s lunch. If it was the school’s policy that certain food groups be sent with the child, from the article’s standpoint, the child had meat already, so where was the justification in forcing the child to have school lunch? And then threatening the parents with having to pay for it if it happened again?

            Parents should be concerned with their rights when it comes to their children. Can this principle of “asserting our rights” be misused? Most definitely. (I wouldn’t agree that it was a parent’s right to beat their child into unconsciousness, for example.) But I’ll be damned if I will be told that my child MUST eat according to a certain food plan, or MUST be vaxed with certain chemicals & foreign substances, or cannot take certain vitamins, etc.
            None of this is far fetched & is what the government is currently pushing for. I don’t feel that I am selfish for feeling this way.

            I definitely understand some of the points you are trying to make, but I think there is a fine line between policies being made to truly help the public & forcing the public to do something that is decidedly “better” for them without being given a choice.

          • Technically this standard is at federal level and does apply to all states, it all started with this “Healthy living.” BS and some people are to lazy or to stupid to care that the government is now passing bills and such against certain lifestyles. We are losing rights at a rapid rate. You are right though its our own faults for not fixing it so half the problem lies with corrupt and idiotic politicians the rest and the most horrible part of blame belongs to every man and woman who voted these dumb asses in and the ones who didnt vote at all to stop it.

          • a parent shouldn’t have to go to school board meetings to try to retain their God given parental rights!

    • I would disagree with this comment if the school lunch was actually more healthy than the box lunch from home. But I know this is rarely the case. Of course if any such policy exists the parents should be informed of it in advance, giving them the option of opting out.
      To be fair they are recognizing that there is something amiss in children’s diets. Unfortunately they are misinformed about what is a good diet.

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      • You make a very good point Shirley. Both parents and school employees are not informed enough on REAL nutrition. Someone below commented they send their child Subway and if the school didn’t let them,they would pull them out because they won’t let their child eat the food at the cafeteria. The irony there is, the food from Subway is far from “fresh” and involves alot of processed items. Even people who *think* they are educated really don’t know enough of the background of what they eat. Unfortunately, because of that, school officials who have been given guidelines and statistics think they must know better than the parent. It isn’t malicious (we won’t get into profit from big corp, as someone else already addressed that) on their behalf, but they are just as misinformed as the parent who sent the lunch. One of our high school Ag Department began growing fruits/veggies and these are now incorporated into the cafeteria meals. So many of the kids noticed a difference in taste that they started several student groups to maintain the produce throughout the summer months to store for use during the school year. It couldn’t have been done without the help of involved parents and it’s been a great program that has offset the costs of school lunches that they are able to buy more fresh items that they would not normally be able to afford (and can’t grow due to climate).

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  2. Wow, just wow! I do not understand how schools can think that the child’s lunch was not nutritous enough and more so that chicken nuggets were a better option? I don’t even see how it was lacking by their standard. I mean the kid had meat, dairy, fruit, grain…ummm veggies..if you stretch the potato chips. So why the nuggets?

    I agree, I’d still support the mother no matter what was in the lunch box however. I understand that schools are probably just trying to make sure that no kid goes hungry but when a mother does pack a lunch it should not be tampered with.

    Just makes me all the more glad that we homeschool. I like having my rights.
    Brittany @ The Pistachio Project\’s last post: 15 Reasons to Wear Your Baby

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    • I agree Brittany; that is why we homeschool also…freedom. Yes, even if it was full of candy; that is THEIR business! I have already tried to email the principal of this school and for some unknown reason..MAILER DAEMON! Hmmmm, I know the principal is not to blame, but he better realize the implications of this and get some back up before they start down this slippery slope! If you live in North Carolina and have a way to make your voice heard in this, please DO! Maybe everyone could contact this school and just let them know that we ARE watching and we aren’t going to be quiet when we see injustice!

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  3. If the family pays school tax to the school district, then at the very least the parents should have their say in what the school chooses to serve to their child(ren), if not to all of the children. I cannot imagine paying someone to feed me only to be told by that person what I must eat. That is utter insanity.

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  4. This is downright infuriating.

    In my son’s special ed preschool here in the most notorious of school districts, Chicago, the food I’ve seen served is downright inedible. Low fat chocolate milk. Cereals loaded with sugar. Poptarts.

    Yup.

    The government has NO place dictating what we eat. The food plate is meant to serve Big Agra and Pharma. Not the best interests of our health.

    Most of the students in Chicago are on free lunch.

    It’s so heartbreaking.

    I hope that mother sues the school, to set an example.
    nicolette @ momnivore’s dilemma\’s last post: how to cook old school: properly-prepared oatmeal

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  5. Ooooh, the topic gets me going! I taught school for five years before staying home with my kids. Now I have three kids in school. The garbage I have seen over the years that passes for food appalls me. I also will add that some of the packed lunches I see when I substitute teach appall me, as well. But I do not want the government telling me or any other parents what our kids HAVE to eat. My family’s food values are not the same as the government’s food values. Oh, this is not good.

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  6. Pingback: Food Police | Wet Oatmeal Kisses

      • I was just scrolling down to write the same thing!!! This is so completely outrageous. When will parents wake up and remove their children from the indoctrination day-camps? Yes, one person has to stay home but the rewards are priceless!!! Thank goodness my husband insisted we homeschool. It had never occurred to me… But so so grateful.

        My boys are 19 and 20 now and such great people. Educated, liberty minded, conscious of the world in ways many of their apathetic and uneducated peers are not. I am the product of public schooling: got to college in 1973 unable to write a sentence grammatically correct. Correctly? Lol.

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      • Actually, there have been reports that government agents in England have actually inspected parents refrigerators, especially if a child is considered overweight. While I do not believe this is common, yet, it could happen here. And it will, unless we find a way to let our rulers know that the sheep are looking up, and will not tolerate this kind of direct government control over our families and every single aspect of our lives.

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        • It makes me nervous and sad. Our refrigerator is FULL of raw milk, kefir, yogurt, eggs and grass-fed meat. And yet, those are the very things that the government says are unhealthy!
          While I do not think it’s the government’s business-PERIOD. It adds a sad depth to realize they think I should replace all of the above with low fat, pasteurized, homogenized milk, GMO wheat products and rancid oils.

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  7. I heard this on the radio earlier today. This is disgusting!

    Parents are the only ones who can say what their child eats, NOT the school, NOT the government.

    If a parent sends lunch with their child, the school has no right at all to tell the child to eat a different lunch that they “approve” of. From what I heard, the girl’s meal was “relatively” healthy and contained everything the girl’s mother knew her daughter would eat.

    What if the girl would have been allergic to whatever the school force-fed her?

    This is crazy and unbelievable and I hope she sues the school. I would sue, but first I would take my son out (I’m very ready to anyway).

    Thank you for the article!

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    • Sue the public schools (which you pay for, out of your taxes, and thus you will end up paying MORE for as a result of the lawsuit) and taking your kids out – the modern American Way. Why not rally and protest until something is CHANGED? Why are people so quick to sue or quit everything they don’t like instead of fighting to make it better these days? We’ve become so lazy we can’t even support the health and education of our children unless it’s getting a lawyer. Go to any local PTO, PTA or public school board meeting and unless some hot button issue has recently been exposed, you’ll find few parents attending. But when a major issue arises (that has been going on for some time) the first response is “I’m suing!” even though they never had any problems with the same policies before. I don’t know this particular woman’s school handbook for her child, however if it was school policy, why didn’t she read it? If she read it and didn’t like it, why did she wait until something happened to get upset? Why didn’t she protest it from the beginning? If it WASN’T school policy, a. she should fight the charge for the meal, b. she (and other upset parents) should fight to make sure a policy is written to prevent a similar situation in the future. Hopefully, she will.

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  8. This is so freaking sick. Federal agents inspecting the lunch of a four year old?
    And giving her crappy chicken slime soy garbage microwaved nuggets that even a dog should never have to eat? Because the lunch her mother packed does not meet their one size fits all definition of what every single child should ear?

    What gives them the right to do this? Do we have a constitution, or do we have nothing?

    They did not do this even in Soviet Russia. Freedom? Democracy? What a pathetic joke. We are a herd of slaves with no choice, no freedom, no rights.

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    • Other than the local school district purportedly following USDA guidelines, federal agents have nothing to do with this story. The story is bad enough without unnecessary hyperbole.

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      • The state employees were enforcing FEDERAL regulations, issued by the Department of Agriculture. Since they were enforcing FEDERAL regulations, they were acing as FEDERAL agents. Since they were acting as agents of the FEDERAL government, they were FEDERAL agents, as a matter of law. The Federal Government often uses state and local employees to enforce its regulations. While they are enforcing these regulations, they are acting as agents of the federal government..No hyperbole at all.

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  9. Sorry I lost it. We do have a constitution, and we do have rights. Time to contact our representatives, and ask them to enforce one of the most basic human rights, the right to choose food for our children. No government program should go this far.

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      • Indeed, they are one and the same.

        This brings to mind that paraphrased Thomas Jefferson quote:
        If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.

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      • I sure understand how you feel. But if enough people raise hell with their representatives, they will still back off.. This happened recently when seven million people protested a bill that would have thrown internet freedom under the bus. Of course, a number of large corporations were also opposed to that bill.

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  10. Wow! That state employee needs some nutrition education. Chicken nuggets aren’t considered healthy by pc nutritional guidelines. But then that is always what I found amazing about Jamie Oliver’s tv programme in the U.S. The state officals over the schools always seem to refuse to admit that school dinners in the U.S have no nutritional value what so ever. At least in the U.K they were willing to admit the kids were getting fed rubbish.

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  11. My son was told he had to eat what he was given, when he was in preschool. He told them he didn’t LIKE egg salad. They made him eat it anyway. He threw up on the teacher. Solved that problem. I’m so grateful I homeschool no and don’t have to deal with this crap!

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  12. Irene Silva via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I read the article and was very upset because the government took control of the lunch the mom made, which to me is healthy, and then they charge her for the lunch. Chicken nuggets, really! That’s more nutritious than the lunch the mom made her?

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  13. This was a huge factor on why we chose to home school as well. I was so mad at our school district here in Missouri. I sent my daughter with a turkey sandwich with just turkey and cheese. I put in there cucumbers, carrots and a small container of some ranch. She also took a mango and some gluten free paleo brownies. They told her she wasn’t allowed to bring the mango again because some kids are allergic to it.

    Every day it got to be more and more stuff. Nothing with peanuts at all, nothing with nuts at all, no dairy. It was ridiculous and we pulled her out and now she is at home with us starting her own foodie blog for pre teens and younger kids showing them it’s fun to make the types of food we eat and it’s good.
    Juanita\’s last post: Mom and Dad Why I Love You

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    • Since when did the LIFE of another child become less important than the choices/preferences of YOUR children? Once again, proof of why the government has been allowed to intervene. Children have died from food allergies in school. Those parents and others who want to prevent a similar tragedy have had no choice but to come forward and fight for their kids’ lives because others simply don’t want to be inconvenienced, no matter what the possible outcome. Your child won’t die from skipping a mango for lunch. A child with these allergies can become severely ill or die. Should they be denied a public education and just stay home because your kid wants to have a mango? To say it is ridiculous to take precautions for the life of another child doesn’t make you sound like a very compassionate person. Another example of how selfish our society has become. It’s this attitude that has driven parents to fight for the government to intervene which always does way more damage than it solves because once the government gets involved it’s all or nothing.

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      • In my son’s cafeteria, they have an allergy table. All the kids with food allergies sit together and have become close friends, and the rest of the school isn’t restricted on what they’re permitted to bring, short of classroom treats (birthday cupcakes and the like). As someone who lives with a severe, life threatening food allergy, my medical issue should not be everyone’s problem, should it? I think my son’s school has handled this issue very well.

        My diagnosis should not infringe on your wanting to eat a mango. With a little consideration, I can stay healthy and you can be happy.

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      • Wow, what about personal responsibility? Are you saying that no one should be permitted to have anything to eat that someone else may be allergic to? If your child has a life threatening allergy, you had better be doing some serious teaching about what they are not to eat and why – or else keep them where you can monitor their foods until they can be responsible for their choices!! Teach them to only eat what you give them. This is a far different cry than a teacher or cafeteria person requiring them to eat something; you are saying if you (or your child) can’t handle it, no one should have it. When I think of the number of things someone somewhere may be allergic to? Ridiculous!!

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      • At my daughter’s school, we have 2 students with life threatening allergies to peanuts. They asked is to make sure our kids do not bring anything with peanuts to school and and no shared snacks from facilities that also process nuts. My daughter loves peanut butter, so I just swapped out peanut butter with sunflower seed butter. She’s happy and her classmates are safe. Kids in other classrooms and different grades don’t have restrictions. Only those that have a high probability of contact with allergic students. I’ve. Been grateful for heir efforts to protect students while being as fair as possible. The biggest issue I had was with snack week. Snacks have to cone from the store. I made some nutritious oatmeal cookies and try were sent home. Then I sent fresh fruit from the farm where we get all our food and that was sent back. If I bought and cut up fruit from the store it would be OK. But fresh organic fruit from our farm share is not. Crazy! I also mentioned I did not want my daughter to use the hand Sanitizer or the antibacterial soap and sent some Washy Wafers to school with her. I sent several unscented packages for theekids to use figuring it would be mess free. They were sent home because soap has to be approved by the school district. They did let my daughter keep a package of soap in her desk for personal use, but she’s not allowed to share! And don’t get me started on popcorn Fridays!

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  14. Danielle Tate via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 9:21 am

    This is an outrage. If we don’t unite and stand up for our individual rights we will have nothing left. More reason I am home schooling even if it means working 7-3 and schooling 4-9. I don’t care!

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  15. Toni Moslemi via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 9:21 am

    True. My two oldest children attended two schools for 2-2.5 yrs and the teachers and the principal at both schools routinely looked and commented on what they brought to school. My boys took grassed beef, fish, salads, soups, herbed rices, homemade pasta sauces, home baked breads, avocados, pomegranates……they really made the school lunches look bad. The other kids often did not know and had never eaten the fruits and veggies that were in my son’s lunches. The oldest graduated and the younger returned to homeschooling.

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    • This is my son’s first year in “brick & mortar” school since preschool, and we pack his lunch about 90% of the time. I’m constantly irked by the comments he tells me the other kids make about his lunches. I try not to send things TOO off-the-grid just to keep the teasing to a minimum, but I’m also prone to push it a little and inadvertently introduce his classmates to
      “new foods”.

      I don’t know how I’d feel if it were the grown-ups making commentary…. :S

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  16. At one point a few years back, community gardens run by schools (in Chicago) grew a lot of vegetables and they wanted to sell them to the schools for lunch. You know, healthy full circle…kids eat more if they are invested in the growing of the vege’s, etc. Sounded like a great idea and full of common sense. However, the powers that be decided that was not right – they said there was no quality control on the vege’s and all the food had to be shipped from the central warehouse. I’m not sure what the resolution of this was, in the end.

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  17. This is an outrage. No parental consent was given for that child to eat the school food. Makes me think what else they will try to get away with and only tell the parents after the fact.

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    • I am surprised that so far NOBODY seems mad that the school searched through this little girl’s things. They Inspected. Her. Food. WHAT??!! Why is it that a child walking through the school’s doors equals her giving up her right to privacy? Nowhere else except prisons or mental institutions can they just inspect your things without permission.

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  18. Awful. I’ve tried to encourage healthier choices in our daughter’s school but the fact remains that they work with a very limited budget, and they lack knowledge about nutrition and cooking. PLus, so many kids are so picky that their parents and lunch ladies are afraid they won’t eat anything. It’s a bad situation.

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  19. Afira Ratliff via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 9:31 am

    i agree…this only makes me want to homeschool the kids even more…there is a documentary on netflix about french schools…..they are going more and more towards organic lunches…and they have always been staffed by real chefs….making amazing food..serving it on real plates and teaching kids to use real utensils…its a very serious thing over there for them to eat good food and have good nutrition for their kids….teaching them table manners as well…..why cant we have that here!!!!

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    • true but their tax rate is 75% and they are bankrupt. we have to be the chefs as parents and not have the government pay for it.

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  20. Amanda McCandliss via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I decided to homeschool because I disagree with standardized testing for young children and this is just the icing on the cake.

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  21. This is yet another reason why I choose to homeschool my children,,,, parents, especially the ones working outside the home, have a hard enough time parenting without Uncle Sam giving his input at every little insignificant turn! I too, hope and pray that poor mother gathers her courage and fights for her right as a FREE American and Parent!

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  22. Mikayla Saepoff via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Thank goodness I am fortunate enough to have my son at a wonderful Montessori school and don’t have to deal with the craziness of the system.

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  23. Lisa Crawford via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Let’s assume the worst (nutritionally speaking). It might well have been that crappy lunchmeat turkey, Kraft sliced cheese on (GASP!) white bread, and the potato chips were likely fried and probably not made from sweet potatoes. All that said, HOW ARE CHICKEN NUGGETS AND IMPROVEMENT ON THAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

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  24. Becky Pyeatte Johnson via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Opt out! Private or Home Ed is the answer. We’ve sacrificed by living on one income for nearly 20 years so we could homeschool, then scrimped for private school for middle/high school years. It can be done. A few years in public school was all it took to convince us.

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  25. Mary Schaefer Shellenbergar via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 9:51 am

    My oldest goes to a private school…if things get out of control there, I will probably just homeschool them.

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  26. By my calculation, that lunch does meet guidelines. Unless the state doesn’t recognize cheese as a dairy product or think that a real banana qualifies as fruit. I’m not sure whether I’m more disturbed by the invasion, or by the inability to recognize unprocessed food as food.

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  27. What if the kid was allergic to a praticular food being served in the cafeteria? Such as soy, which is in everything that comes from a factory. Seriously, people should have a right to pack whatever they want for lunch without corporate-owned government trying to dictate their choice. Very likely the cafeteria food is much worst than anything that comes from home.

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  28. So they are willing to spend the money employing this “lunch policeman” but not spend any money improving the quality of the food. Yeah, that sounds about right. Government Jack Wagons!

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  29. Nicole Giacobbe via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

    This is so so wrong! How could this even be legal. ESP after the food horrors that Jamie Oliver exposed. How can this be stopped. That poor kid.

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  30. Lisa Crawford via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

    While it was not my original motivating factor, I would never DREAM of turning my children over to the government to be “educated”, and, like Becky, it means sacrifice.

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  31. There is some frustration from parents at our school because the school tries to limit sugar. One little girl was not allowed to eat a cupcake that her mom had packed at lunch, and one teacher the mom of a Kindergartner not to send sugary treats in her son’s snack (I think it was a Rice Krispie Treat or a sugary drink–I can’t remember). I’m torn here, because I totally support the school’s effort to limit sugar during the school day. I think it helps the students and teachers have a more manageable day. But the parents who are upset think it’s their right to choose what they feed their kids, and I understand that feeling. But I think, just in our case, I appreciate the school at least attempting to limit sugar. They’re not forcing the kid to eat their industrial garbage–just asking the parents to opt for sending in healthier options.

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    • I’m a parent who has homeschooled, and I also was a kindergarten teacher. Yes, there were times when we spoke to parents to request that they refrain from packing sugary items (like cupcakes) and try to feed their kids something more wholesome. It wasn’t just because we cared about the kids, but also because we could observe the link between the consumption of the sugar and the ensuing behavior problems. It also had to do with classroom “control!” It is seriously very difficult to respect the rights of the children who are able to focus and generally behave, while one or two kids is consistently out of control. And yes, we could see that it had to do with the food that was consumed.

      The parents got upset with us for making these requests. I could understand their viewpoint. In our case, it was not state mandated. It was simply the observations of the teachers, and trying to create an environment that would be good for everyone (limit behavior issues). As well as our general sense that all that sugar can’t be good for developing brains and bodies. But parents do have the right to feed their kids as they wish.

      Reply
  32. Hasn’t anyone got the time to go to their PTA meetings anymore? Our government and our public schools are not our enemies. They are OURS, we being the public. Our PTA is working with our Cafeteria staff to bring a farm to table program into the school. Go to the meetings, speak up, send letters. This is outrageous! No one should eat those horrible things, thank you for bringing this to my attention. Now, when is the next PTA meeting? And who is my senator? I really appreciate all that you do here to keep me informed!

    Reply
      • Thank you Zoya and joD! Schools were meant to be a reflection of the community. We need work to take them back and make them better, not sit back and watch them fall and then sue.

        Reply
  33. I can’t believe the school did that! As a parent, with a child who has food allergies, I would be highly pissed if they fed my daughter anything that was outside her lunchbox! I hope the.mother files a lawsuit! I know I would! What gives schools the right to feed our children that garbage? That’s why a lot of us parents pack our kids lunches!!!

    Reply
  34. What if the child’s mother was packing her daughter’s lunch because the child had food allergies–you KNOW the chicken nuggets contained soy in some form (one of the most common allergens), as well as chemical preservatives, etc…. That state employee was way out of line and totally violated that family’s rights and could have put the child’s safety at risk had there been an allergy. Totally outrageous! I hope the parents don’t quietly sit this one out!

    Reply
  35. I read an article about this last night. The school took issue with the fact the child’s lunch didn’t have a vegetable, but when given a school cafeteria lunch, she ate only the nuggets on the tray. The mother said she preferred to give her child veggies at home where she could make sure she eats them – and I do the same thing. I seve vegetables as a snack with hummus and also at dinner, but usually not packed in a school lunch.

    Also, the mother said she was concerned that she was going to be charged for the lunch (without her consent).

    My son has multiple food allergies, so he HAS to take his own lunch. I can’t imagine what would happen if some official who didn’t know him came in and ordered him to eat a cafeteria meal! Any reactions would be on their heads.

    Reply
  36. Brittanie Roderick-Cusker via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 10:50 am

    This is CrAzY!!! My son is in preschool but has been in special ed (which is it’s own class). They are transitioning him to a regular ed class to see how he will do and after his first day I was informed that he couldn’t have the type of lunch I packed him which was a ham and cheese sandwich, pringles, a cheese stick, carrots a brownie and a carpi sun…. He is VERY specific about his lunch.. I just stared at them.. couldn’t believe it!! They said they didn’t care but if they were to have someone come in they could get into trouble… What will they contol next?!?!

    Reply
  37. Jacquelyn Harvey Melear via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Nutrition is a secondary issue here. It is being used to demonstrate to parents that the state owns their children.

    Reply
  38. Elisabeth Carrozza Wilkins via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Sent my kid to preschool last week with a thick, plain slice of homemade bread and a bunch of strawberries for lunch last week. Go ahead, arrest me now.

    Reply
  39. The comments on this article are more infuriating than the article itself (not this thread, the thread on the article). I’m so tired of people thinking there is a giant conspiracy theory aimed at removing all of our rights, destroying our rights as parents and (in the case) taking over our children’s lives. Most likely this is a case of preschool policy. Most states only provide care to preschool children who are low-income or military. As a result of this “special” treatment parents often have to agree to certain things (such as “I will provide a lunch for my child that meets these standards, and if I don’t, I agree that the school has the right to.”
    Also, the writer is very misinformed about how ALL cafeteria’s in America function. Certainly there are some school districts that offer poor/unhealthy/processed meals, but many do not. I can’t think of anything I’ve seen in my daughter’s lunch room that has been processed other than low-sugar cold cereals. She eats 2-4 fruits and vegetables every meal and always has a vegetarian option.
    There are sweeping generalizations and ignorant statements all over both this article and the comments.
    Homeschooling is great, we’re actually pulling my daughter out of public school to homeschool next year, but we all know that “THIS” isn’t the the reason why people homeschool. And, if this level of ignorance and over-reaction to probably a very reasonable policy aimed at making sure low-income children reason the proper amount of nutrition IS why you homeschool, I fear for your children’s educations and futures.

    Reply
  40. This seems like a story out of some kind of post apocalyptic movie where moms are not allowed to feed their own children, and the children are given rations by the government. I know that, as others have said, my own experience with cafeteria lunch was off-putting, to say the least. It really is unbelievable to me that the government’s dietary agenda trumps the rights of a parent to feed their children based on their own beliefs and personal preferences. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  41. So, I’m wondering if the school gets a bonus or some kind of bigger discount on the food, the more that kids purchase. Because why else would they be forcing kids to eat the school food? They don’t care about the child’s well being on nutrition or else they would be encouraging more kids to bring in there lunch from home. Or the other side of this is, it just goes to show how uniform people are to whatever the government says or thinks. Brainwashed into thinking a certain way based upon what other people “say” rather than research themselves to find out what they are serving in schools isn’t really food at all. This is not right and if it we’re me, I would go into the school and give them a piece of my mind, and probably some research to read as well

    Reply
    • @ Kristy- I write a column for my local paper and I dipped my toe into the very subject you suggest. There are kick backs out there in this industry and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if this is why the government insists on our kids eating crap. The corporate take over of America becomes more frighening by the day! Here’s my column if you want to take a gander…..

      http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/columnists/susan-hall/hall-interesting-choices-on-school-menus/article_e0e432a7-3bca-5fe9-81b4-9c2a8c220cdc.html

      Reply
    • They do. The USDA reimburses the school for the number of children that they feed. My theory is that the school doesn’t use all the money for making good nutritional choices, so they can make a profit on the extra money that’s given. I think in most cases, people just don’t have a clue about nutrition, and these are the ones choosing the school menu. It’s not just the USDA’s fault, but I think there’s pressure from the higher-ups at schools to get more children eating the school lunch. More kids eating the lunch = higher numbers reported to the USDA = more money for the school.

      Reply
    • Righties can’t even spell ‘control’. Also, you are wrong. Let’s just start with properly regulating the financial sector, shall we? And remind me again who is trying to control women’s bodies?

      Reply
  42. Heather Flannery Giese via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I don’t even know where to start with this one. First of all, I have kids with food allergies so that’s like my Captain Obvious point about staying the heck outta my kids’ lunches. Second, my littlest and I are starting GAPS so frankly, no thanks to the “healthy whole grains” and all the other processed foods. And Amen to your thoughts about food quality of school lunches anyhow! Talk about infringing on personal freedoms!!! If a family wants to send Lunchables and Ho Hos with their kids – that is their choice – be it a poor one. What next.

    Reply
  43. If the government stooges threw away something I gave my child and then charge me for it, there would be a problem! Somebody has to sue to get there attention.

    Reply
  44. I think you all are missing the bare bottom unspoken assumptions here. All of you (me included!) responding to this post (and article) have an underlying bedrock belief/assumption that your children are YOURS. Therefore you get outraged that your “rights” are being ignored and trampled. What you don’t realize is that Big Brother does not share your core belief. They are fully convinced that children belong to the government and that parents are only temporary caretakers and have no say as to how the governments children should be raised. In their view, they are the “parents” and we are little more than temporary babysitters. This is BEYOND outrageous!!!!! If we are ever to change this course of behavior, we need to go back and bring awareness / change to peoples’ underlying assumptions.
    Merry Lynn\’s last post: "More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly…

    Reply
  45. Sarah Russell Carlston via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

    This isn’t just about opting to homeschool. This is about our rights as parents and choosing what to feed our kids being taken away. And they are doing it slowly so we slowly get use to it. It’s wrong!!! People should not have to choose to homeschool just so they can keep their freedoms and the ability to raise their kids and feed them what they want.

    Reply
  46. i’ve been saying this for years.. we have no freedom.. the answer to this is not home school… the answer is a revolution.. its this type of regulation, corruption, interference and lack of freedoms that led to the revolution in the first place.. this is about so much more than food.. it is a global grab for power and its about keeping the top at the top and the dumbed down idiot masses at the bottom.. but i better be careful.. with the passing of the NDAA, the government can arrest and hold me forever without cause or any trial, just because they see me as a threat.. well whats to stop them from holding me because they dont like my opinions; or my eye color?? just like the food safety bill, it is sold to the people with safety as the punch line, but it has nothing at all to do with that.. its about control and the money funnel that runs to the top.. people have got to unite on things like this.. nobody worried about hitler at first.. good people stood by and did nothing and what started small almost took over the world.. i’ll ask again, how many people have to jump off of the cliff in front of you before YOU decide to step out of line??

    as always, fed up…

    -jason and lisa-

    Reply
    • Heartening that other people see the big picture. Nobody is interested around me. When I try to spell out what’s going on and the SCALE of it — yawn. Must be why it’s business as usual and the crimes keep layering and the freedoms keep withering.

      Reply
  47. I haven’t had time to read all the comments yet, but if someone else mentioned this already, sorry! Now, I’m NOT supporting vegetarianism, but what would happen to the lunchbox of a child who is being raised vegetarian or, worse yet, vegan?? I wonder if Uncle Sammy Boy has thought outside THAT box. Prolly not. But it will happen. And if it were to happen with the child of a very wealthy family (think Steve Jobs, not that his kids went to public schools – they probably didn’t but stay with me here) who dcided to file charges against the school. A scenario like that might just be a ticket out of this *infringement of our rights* mess. Schools are now able to waaaaay overstep the bounds of common decency in letting parents be parents. And then our gubbment wonders why the parents take no responsibility? It’s a double-edged sword we’ve got here folks. The really sad part is that’s true with more than just foods. Our schools want to control our children in lots of ways that is really none of their business. Vaccinations, sending them to a “doctor” for a supposed hyperactivity disorder (which 99% of them don’t have anyhow), teachers who monitor (and write down) how often a child asks to use the bathroom and then tells the parents they should take him/her to a doctor because the kid might be diabetic because he pees too much (that happened to us back in 1993 or so with our youngest). I told her he pees a lot because he drinks lots of water from home (filtered) and it’s a good thing – she went totally blank as if she didn’t understand the concept.

    It’s scary. No wonder homeschooling is becoming very necessary, not just fashionable.

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  48. I read this last night and it’s horrifying. A friend of mine said this: “I don’t care if they send Mountain Dew, Skittles and Doritos…the gov’t doesn’t get to tell us what to feed our kids!” Oh yes. This is true. Not that I agree that’s a healthy lunch. :) But still. Can anyone imagine how confused and upset that child would have been? I have a 4-year-old too and she would have been very unhappy to be told differently by the school than I had told her. She might have even told them the nuggets were poison and she wouldn’t eat them, I don’t know (she says this to me sometimes if she sees a fast food restaurant as we drive by).

    My husband has been into Ayn Rand lately. Everyone says her books are horrible — well, that’s because they hold up the ideal of personal freedoms! He LOVES them. And a quote I read from her is “It isn’t who is going to let me. It’s who is going to stop me.” My new motto. :) That is how we all ought to live. We need to simply take our freedoms and rights and ignore what they think they can do.

    Not that this ‘no parental rights’ thing is new. Another friend of mine had her son in public school last year, he was in first grade. On the playground some girls accused him of using a swear word. He’d actually said “fat” not the other F word. It wasn’t nice to call the girls fat, but, you know…he was 6. Anyway, they took him into the principal’s office, I think suspended him, but first they made him SIGN a confession! A 6-year-old! His mom came in and said “My child will never again sign anything without me present.” A few weeks later they did it again, not calling her until after the fact. The child is no longer in that school.

    These things are happening all the time, all around us, we don’t usually hear about them. All kinds of assaults on our rights. TAKE them back! Don’t be nice about it. Just assert you WILL have your rights respected and take them to court if you have to. They are OUR children and I refuse to let the state tell me what to do. I am so, so tired of “children’s rights.” They have the rights I say they have. (And obviously I take good care of my children and don’t believe children should ever be abused….)

    Argh. This subject makes me angry.
    Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama\’s last post: 10 Bad Reasons Not to Vaccinate

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  49. Jacquelyn Harvey Melear via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Whether intentional on the part of bureaucratic busy bodies or not, what things like this teach children is: your parents do not know what is best for you, and are not the authority in you life – the state is.

    Reply
  50. Jacquelyn Harvey Melear via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Remember, a lot of these “rules” from alphabet agencies are not laws enacted by elected officials. What’s to prevent one of them from deciding that there should be in-home nutritional inspections for homeschoolers? That’s where this mindset eventually leads. No conspiracy necessary. It’s just a continuation of the path we’ve been on for a long time.

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  51. I cannot find the original story anywhere. Has it been removed? All I can find, doing a thorough search, is commentary…. Thanks for bringing this up.

    Reply
  52. When you enroll your children in a government program – ANY government program – you give up many of your rights. This should not surprise you! I wonder why so many parents who will spout on for hours about how awful the government is will hand over their innocent young children to be educated by that same government. There ARE alternatives that do not undermine the parents’ authority and wisdom. If you choose the government programs, well, expect a package deal. And while you can fight to change the things you do not like, your children will continue to suffer in the interim because change does not happen overnight. Remember: there are many, many people who would disagree with your positions that must be overcome!! I cannot tell you how often I hear that *there ought to be a law* about this or that, and I am thinking NO!! But those people vote too, and they send their children to the public schools too. FIRST make the best choices for your own family, and THEN work to change the system for the betterment of all.

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  53. This is an amazing story. And while I’m sure it’s not typical, I’m also sure that it’s not isolated and that it will become more common unless people express their outrage. I’m not a big Rush Limbaugh fan, but I’m happy that he has chosen to expose this story.

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  54. I have worked in schools and both my parents and MIL work for public schools and we all agree there is no way my kids will ever eat a school lunch!

    I would be furious if this happened to one of my kids and in this scenario it could be likely since we are mostly vegetarian – so there would/will be no meat in my kids’ lunch boxes!
    MJ\’s last post: I Spy Bags

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  55. Thanks Sarah for informing us about this.
    This news is also on http://www.naturalnews.com/034979_food_police_sack_lunches_schoolchildren.html
    you can actually call the principal about this matter, I did already:

    The principal of this school is Jackie Samuels. He is not the bad guy here and may not have even been aware this was going on. It was the state officials who conducted this food police activity at the school, not the school administrators.

    The phone number of the school is: 910-875-2584

    If you do contact this school or its principal Jackie Samuels, please be polite. Don’t go all crazy on ‘em. Remember: Teaching is a very tough job, and most teachers are dedicated professionals who genuinely want to help. My beef is with the state officials who conducted these sack lunch searches, not the elementary school staff. Just let principal Samuels know that you don’t approve of them allowing government food police use their school as a “food police checkpoint” that only indoctrinates little children into learning obedience to the growing police state.

    After all, elementary school is a place of learning. But WHAT are the kids learning if the school teaches them it’s okay for government agents to deny them their own lunches and force them to eat processed toxic food instead? The message is clear: Your parents are bad! Government is God! Worship the state, or you will be punished.

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/034979_food_police_sack_lunches_schoolchildren.html#ixzz1mTMfK6kB

    Reply
    • yes.. they control the education right on up to the media.. we are fed garbage every step of the way.. now we have a society that not only doesnt know, they just dont care to know.. so long as they have the newest apps for their phone and chris brown, scumbag who beats his girlfriend not so long ago; can win a grammy and get a standing ovation just the other night….. our society is bassackwards…

      should be working right now,

      -jason and lisa-

      Reply
  56. Wow… so far all they’ve done at my son’s school is make sure he takes a fruit and veggie with his lunch (of course he doesn’t eat his veggie anyway but he has to take it). He eats lunch at school once a week and I pack it the other 4 days…..
    You better believe if this happened at my son’s school, I would be at the principal’s office and the next PTA meeting. Unbelievable…
    Magda\’s last post: Some positive changes in my non-GAPS family

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    • @ Magda: Your son’s school is already doing it. If they are telling you that you MUST send a fruit and a veggie (and they check his lunchbox to make sure!) – - – yeah, they’re already doing it to you.

      You should have made arrangements to be at the PTA meetings BEFORE they started searching through lunchboxes. When my kids were in school (from elementary on up) we didn’t have THESE kinds of rules and regulations, but there were still plenty of things to fight against. The people working in the school offices used to cringe when they saw me coming. Heh heh! I’m sure they were all very thankful that I didn’t have the time to be running for the school board positions or even the PTA stuff. PTA today isn’t the same as it used to be, either. Now it’s just a big “get together/conflab” and they do pretty much nothing. They certainly do nothing good. Usually if something good happens within a school district, it’s because of a private fight, not an “approved by the PTA/school board” fight.

      Reply
  57. I ate a school lunch most of my eductaional life. I lived on chips, salad cream and cookies. All washed down with sugary drinks.

    I can’t remember a day I didn’t argue with my parents. As a teenager I became more and more stressed and ‘depressed’.

    Now I’ve found Real Food, I realise that all my ‘mood’ issues were directly linked to my school lunch meals and my poor diet at home.

    I am determined to provide good lunch boxes for my kids. Or if I feel able, to home school.

    Natasha
    The Nourishing Road\’s last post: Book Review: The Mood Cure

    Reply
    • You are so right and I grew up with that and developed Crohn’s . Look at the GAPS program and it’s success. All of my sons behavior issues cleared up when I changed his diet. I pack him lunch every day now and will thru high school. I dare someone to arrest me – I’d call the local TV stations !

      Reply
  58. Toni Moslemi via Facebook February 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I fail to see how sending a lunch box full of processed foods to school with a child is better than the processed foods provided by the state. If healthy choices are provided in the home, the child will choose to take healthy food to school. In our family the children have a choice in their education and foods and food shopping. In the 2 years that my two oldest decided to try school their principal, teachers and peers were very curious about their lunches which was mostly organic, raw fed, home cooked. Parents have a responsibility to provide good nutrition at home. They will not ask for Pringle chips or processed meats unless that is what they learn at home. We can not expect processed foods to heal our children. We parents must take responsibility. It is not always about choice. I can choose to give my kids precessed dairy, instead I drive 1 hour to meet a grass fed dairy farmer who drives 2 hours to deliver raw milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, raw honey and such. We are presently exploring a raw vegan diet but the children are also allowed to chose dairy or meat or cooked. The process has been very interesting and brought about additional discussion during our meals, meal prep and shopping. Eating out brings about interesting choices as well.We often discuss how we feel after meals, snacks, and after eating out. We’ve just returned from a week at Disney and a week at the beach which gave us daily challenges and choices. I found that it was possible to eat raw vegan without leaving Disney for 7 days! :) A few years ago, when we decided to do away with all processed foods in our cupboards we made the children a part of the process and had fun with it. My then 4 yo learned to read labels because she was sensitive to colors and MSG. They weaned themselves off of a few unhealthy favorites and no longer ask for such. They are now 20, 14, 7 and 3 and have not had a sniffle for over a year. We take no meds, no vax, and have no illnesses. We still have room for improvement in our diets and learn from our peers every day. So, I’m not telling anyone in this thread what to do or that our way is better for anyone other than ourselves. I’m just suggesting that we parents should take responsibility for our family’s health, diet, education. The state does not have us in their best interest. Peace! :0)

    Reply
  59. What really concerned me is that the mother fears retaliation. Even if I didn’t have food allergies to deal with, it would be the school, not me fearing retaliation. I’d do everything in my power to put the fear of God in them ever messing with my child’s food again. No pulling punches or holding tongues. And you can forget EVER paying that fee for the forced lunch. I already have to sit in on all parties and bring substitute food that doesn’t have either horrible or allergic ingredients in it. People keep talking food revolution and articles like this are what we see. I support our local farms that are being bullied by the FDA right now for over a year. I should go make another donation to them right now! Class action lawsuit sounds really good for things like this where a united front is the best defense.

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  60. Home-schooling is not an option for all. I am a single parent and I’ve always packed my kid’s lunch. Now that he’s in high-school, he makes the right choice may be 70% of the time, but still wants the occasional pizza at the cafeteria.
    I come from a country where school lunches are real lunches, cooked on site, with fresh local produce. When I was growing up, a lot of my friends chose to eat lunch at school vs. home, because their parents were bad cooks, and school food were so good!
    It is possible to serve real food to our kids, even kids on free-lunch. But it is high time to look at what priorities this country has: take a look at the defense budget compared to the education budget. Only a complete revamping of this society will bring a change in mentalities. Needless to say, it won’t happen unless a nuclear bomb wipes out most of us! In the meantime, I’ll keep packing my kid’s lunches.

    Reply
    • Mali, well stated. I just interviewed a director about a documentary called Lunchline which talks about the lunch program. After overhead expenses are paid, only a $1 is spent on the lunch meal. On top of which the USDA mandates a certain amount of calories. The worse thing is the free meal is the only meal some of these kids get all day. I wanted to cry.

      I will link up the article and interview to Sarah’s Monday link love. This interview just pulled at my heart why we aren’t spending more money on free lunches with fresh food than other government programs. These kids are our future. Invest now instead of later. Thank you Sarah for providing the forum and the Monday link love.
      Anna@GreenTalk\’s last post: Green Countertop by Eco by Cosentino: Durable & Easy

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  61. This story seems really weird and like there must be something out of context. When people can use government issued “food stamps” to purchase any crap food/nonfood they wish without restriction I don’t understand why they’re invading carefully chosen lunches. While they’re approving toxic ingredients for store shelves they’re censoring what parents end up choosing? Something is amiss! Start at the source, that would make a lot more sense!

    Reply
  62. It’s called Subway folks and I take my child lunch everyday to school knowing its nutritious and I wont back down from feeding my child healthy! If they dont like it she can be homeschooled rather than to see her starve or eat carcinegenicly tainted food.

    Reply
    • Have you read the ingredients in Subway’s bread and lunch meats? I wouldn’t exactly call it “nutritious” and “healthy” as an everyday lunch, or at all actually! We do eat Subway every once in a great while, but I definitely don’t consider it good for us

      Reply
  63. I am a former public and private school teacher.
    This is a blatant attempt to undermine the parents’ authority and credibility. In many public schools it is actually a for-profit vendor that supplies and manages the cafeteria staff, orders the food from the govt-approved (cheapest) vendors, etc. Last school where I worked, inner-city middle school – the food was horrible – a lot was wasted. They PAID kids to come and eat the breakfast! (Well it was an incentive to win a gift card for showing up for the free sugary/fatty breakfast but still). Most of the kids qualified for free or reduced price lunch – and yet these “poor” kids always had money for candy, soda, and ice cream and the latest phone and electronic game in their backpacks! One teen begged me for the part of my homemade salad because she never gets those kinds of fresh veggies at home or at school. She was overweight and “developing” and you could see she intuitively CRAVED the nutrients her body really needed! Arggh this makes me so angry.
    Oh yea, at the end of the year, they started running out of food – they couldn’t order more and had to make do with what they had on hand. Lots of mushy canned vegetables, cheap meats smothered in salty gravy. Teachers who ate there daily out of convenience tended to gain weight. Bleahhhhhhh.

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  64. Wondering if the cafe staff had to show the govt overseers that a minimum number of students were eating the cafeteria food. They might lose funding if too few partake.

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  65. Below is the guideline refenced in the article about the school lunch being examined and confiscated. Nowhere in the regulation does it state that any food a child brings will be taken away. It states that food brought from home will be supplemented to meet the state regs. To me, the state official was way out of line and this is the situation that should be addressed immediately. What might have happened if this child would have had an adverse reaction to the school food. Potentially, the action of this state official could have been deadly.
    Perhaps the greater issue is, that in today’s society, most people fail to nourish themselves, much less their children and one unfortunate result is this over-regulation of the most common sense details – or what used to be common sense details – that children should be fed well and that good nutrition is paramount to the health and well being of every living thing.
    My overall sense is that there is a growing awareness of the massive ‘Industrial Food Complex’ and the problems that ensue, in great part, due to websites like this one and the many passionate folks out there devoted to bringing an end to the ‘nutritional wasteland’.
    My supposition is that the ‘Food Police’ are going to be out of a job in the near future.

    10A NCAC 09 .0901 GENERAL NUTRITION REQUIREMENTS
    (a) Meals and snacks served to children in a child care center shall comply with the Meal Patterns for Children in Child Care Programs from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which are based on the recommended nutrient intake judged by the National Research Council to be adequate for maintaining good nutrition. The types of food, number and size of servings shall be appropriate for the ages and developmental levels of the children in care. The Meal Patterns for Children in Child Care Programs are incorporated by reference and include subsequent amendments. A copy of the Meal Patterns for Children in Child Care Programs is available free of charge from the Division at the address in Rule .0102(1) of this Chapter.
    (b) Menus for nutritious meals and snacks shall be planned at least one week in advance. At least one dated copy of the current week’s menu shall be posted where it can be seen easily by parents and food preparation staff when food is prepared or provided by the center, except in centers with a licensed capacity of 3 to 12 children located in a residence. A variety of food shall be included in meals and snacks. Any substitution shall be of comparable food value and shall be recorded on the menu.
    (c) When children bring their own food for meals or snacks to the center, if the food does not meet the nutritional requirements specified in Paragraph (a) of this Rule, the center must provide additional food necessary to meet those requirements.
    (d) Drinking water must be freely available to children of all ages. Drinking fountains or individual drinking utensils shall be provided. When a private water supply is used, it must be tested by and meet the requirements of the Commission for Public Health.
    (e) Children’s special diets or food allergies shall be posted in the food preparation area and in the child’s eating area.
    (f) The food required by special diets may be provided by the center or may be brought to the center by the parents. If the diet is prescribed by a health care professional, a statement signed by the health care professional shall be on file at the center and written instructions shall be provided by the child’s parent,
    14
    health care professional, or a licensed dietician/nutritionist. If the diet is not prescribed by a health care professional, written instructions shall be provided by the child’s parent and shall be on file at the center.
    (g) Food and beverages with little or no nutritional value served as a snack, such as sweets, fruit drinks, soft drinks, etc., shall be available only for special occasions.
    (h) Accommodations for breastfeeding mothers shall be provided that include seating and an electrical outlet in a place other than a bathroom that is shielded from view by staff and the public which may be used by mothers while they are breastfeeding or expressing milk.
    History Note: Authority G.S. 110-85; 110-91(2); 143B-168.3;
    Eff. January 1, 1986;
    Amended Eff. July 1, 2010; July 1, 1998; October 1, 1991; November 1, 1989

    Reply
  66. question for you: Where did you get this info? “USDA guidelines mandate that all children’s lunches contain one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables even if the lunch comes from home.”

    Can you point me in the direction to find that on the USDA’s website or something? thanks!! :)

    Reply
    • I got this info from the NC government website that was linked in a Raeford, NC newspaper article about this incident. It seems that the USDA mandates guidelines and the implimentation is up to the state. This official was with the Dept of Health and Human Services/Homeland Security for NC. I don’t know if that would be a federal or state job. My guess would be state. Also, I found that NC is strapped for money in their statewide luch program because of the limiting of fatty and processed foods in the school lunch programs. Maybe someone is trying to make a point.

      Reply
      • It is a state thing because Georgia does not “police” school meals. And you are correct, the USDA has come up with many new guidelines for the school lunch program that includes reducing fat, sodium, and processed foods and adding more whole grains, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables.

        Reply
  67. Thanks to jamie Oliver the schools here in England offer freshly cooked meals. And we all received a letter telling us to avoid putting sugary foods in the lunchboxes. I wasn’t expecting a whole foods menu but I was shocked to see the menu offers the same old hot dogs etc and sugary desserts every day. I can’t give them to him but they can!

    By the way, I grew up in the USA and we didn’t have chocolate milk offered. And no sodas either.
    Amy\’s last post: On Finding God

    Reply
  68. This did upset me. I pack my Sons lunch daily because the food at the school is full of corn syrup and preservatives. I do not follow the USDA guidelines for lunch mentioned in this article. I pack my Sons lunches based off of his breakfast and dinner. There are days he has no meat, but homemade yogurt w/honey and fresh fruit, a scone and some veggies along with a water other days he has hummus and veggies with pita bread. I think these are perfectly fine lunches and he is eating them. It is also far healthier because they are natural wholesome ingredients not chicken nuggets coming from horrible farmed chickens and containing far more than just chicken… I would choose homeschooling over allowing the school via the Govt. to control what my kid eats at one meal when they are unaware of what he is eating at the other meals

    Reply
  69. Mothers should be allow to feed there children what they believe is right. We know our kids better than anyone. Some of us need more meat than grains, and some of us don’t eat grains everyday…

    Governments will always be incontrol. So I guess home schooling is sounding more and more appealing…
    The Nourishing Road\’s last post: Book Review: The Mood Cure

    Reply
  70. The stupid thing is… why give her chicken nuggests? How did THAT make her lunch meet the ridiculous “criteria”? She had turkey in her sandwich. If anything was missing, it was a vegetable item (as the rest seemed to be there?). So why not give her, say, a carrot?? How utterly ridiculous.

    Reply
  71. Sarah,
    This actually just happened to my daughter about a month ago. When I picked her up from school she told me she “bought” lunch. I asked her what she meant and she told me the lunch lady walks around looking in the kids lunches and since I didn’t pack her a sandwich she was told to go get the nasty chicken nuggets. I didn’t pack a sandwich because she didn’t eat them and the lunch lady told her she had to have a sandwich in her lunch. So I told my husband as soon as we got home and the next day he was at the office talking to the VP and he got furious saying the lunch lady has no right to tell a child wheather she thinks their lunch is healthy or not.

    Reply
  72. This story really gets under my skin. I have been awake and paying attention to the slow erosion of our freedoms and the continual government creep into our lives for years now. This just shows that they will stop at nothing to control us. Make no mistake, this isn’t about providing a healthy meal to your children (otherwise they would offer truly healthy options), it is about control.

    A lot of people want to homeschool and I think that is the best way to go anymore. For those who can’t do this because of work, maybe find a good friend or relative that stays at home and ask them to do it for you. So long as it is someone who you know will do a good job, it is a far superior option than the public school system. You can even pay them for “babysitting.” There are always alternatives – sometimes you just have to be creative!

    Reply
  73. I am appalled by the school’s decision to take her lunch but I’m equally appalled that it is being held up as the new status quo by an intrusive government. That is just fear mongering. You did not mention in your post, and I rarely see anyone up in arms about this acknowledge the fact that when broader authorities were contacted it was agreed that the parent was in the right. This is one crazy whack job who overstepped and was told to stop. If you want to talk about government intrusion in the schools, lets talk about No Child Left behind which was dreamed up by the right and followed along blindly to by the left.

    Reply
  74. I send whole food lunches to school EVERY day. Always at least a tossed green salad or veggie including a main dish. Today I found a note that I owe $ (50 cents a day) for fruit my son having at school during lunch. He’s on a special diet you can read about at the web address below .. extra fruit is a no-no as it gives him loose bowels. I’m putting up a stink today with the principal.

    http://this-newhouse.blogspot.com/2012/02/beware-of-food-police.html

    I’m also checking to see if they are making him drink the disgusting school milk.
    Mrs. Mac\’s last post: Beware Of The Food Police

    Reply
    • I’m so sorry this happened to you and your son! until yesterday, I was unaware that this type of stuff is happening around the country. do you suppose it is happening all of a sudden, in multiple places? I have kids in public school, but they are in high school, and so no one is checking anyone’s lunches there. Is there something behind it, some Federal initiative or something? This is pretty scary stuff. I think we need to find out if they are isolated incidents or part of a pervasive pattern. And if it’s a pervasive pattern, then I would want to know why I (as a citizen) was not informed about it. Usually these things happen and are imposed without a lot of announcements or fanfare. We find out about them after they are implemented. I hope it is not such a sinister thing and is actually coincidence. But I’m worried.

      Reply
  75. This post is great for several reasons: It points out how ignorant people are concerning nutrition and how powerful our police state is becoming. I don’t see a link to an article here but, I believe that this type of thing goes on in our public schools. They are paid for out of tax dollars and therefore are under the control of the government.
    They make children drink MilK? Homogenized, pasteurized Cow’s milk is one of the worst things to make our children drink and is probably the first food that most people are allergic to. I know I am allergic to it and not just cows milk but, all milk. I stayed sick for the first thirty five years of my life because everybody, including mom, believed it was good for you. The doctors only comment about my sickness was that I had chronic bronchitis. Bad food was probably the cause of my tonsillitis and tonsillectomy and also the reason for my appendectomy as a teenager. You won’t get sick from eating good healthy nutritious food.
    As far as the other garbage is concerned: that’s what it is and probably it’s only worth is as compost. Maybe even the bugs wouldn’t eat it?

    Reply
    • Chris, they have done experiments where rats, mice, and bugs have refused to eat the same kind of crap factory foods that they serve in public schools.

      I respectfully disagree that the garbage food has worth as compost. Even plants could not get nutrition from that crap.

      Reply
  76. Oh my, this infuriates me. If I was that mom, I would use whatever resources I had available to fight the school and state/fed policies. It’s not the food (though…microwaved nuggets? Gross.), it’s the principle. I would definitely go down swinging. My son is 2.5, and I’m leaning more towards home-schooling every day. If only I didn’t need my pesky job. =)

    Reply
  77. On Friday, an AP Report said the teacher was to blame for the student not having a well balanced meal. They were SCARED to put the blame where it should be, the government idiot lunch police.

    Reply
  78. Pingback: The Food Police vs. Your Family « Local Nourishment

  79. This is an alarming trend. By reading one of the poster’s blog, it sounds like it’s not an isolated incident. Just reminiscing, I remember that in elementary school, the lunches served were like an actual meal. Still, my mom packed most of our lunches. By the time we were in high school, it was mostly hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and fries. There was a lot of junk like candy and packaged pastry sold at one school I attended. Some schools now have vending machines for kids to go to at snack time. It’s no wonder that now it’s almost all frozen, canned, microwaved, processed foods being offered. And it’s not surprising that the schools have played an increasing role in the government control that pervades all aspects of our lives.
    Dorothy\’s last post: Small beginnings

    Reply
  80. An interview on CNN had confirmed that it was a FEDERAL AGENT who was at the school, inspecting lunches. In fact, the FEDERAL inspector gave the school a failing grade, because too many home lunches did not meet the Federal mandate. And, despite the publicity, the state continues to monitor the same childs lunches, and have given her an unwanted carton of milk every day since.

    Reply
  81. I was on board with the outrage until I read the ridiculous claim about high fat nuggets being fried and that cafeteria workers just microwave prepared foods. I am a manager of the school nutrition program of an elementary school in Columbia County, Georgia. In Columbia Co. we don’t fry anthing except fries and our nuggets are white meat and reduced fat. We make most of our meals from scratch including the meat sauce for pasta, mac and cheese, quesadillas, taco meat, chili, baked chicken, sloppy joe, chicken and rice casserole, rolls, cookies, and many other items. We also prepared fresh salads and use fresh fruit almost daily. I’m against policing what parents want their children to eat for lunch. BUT – I have been in the trenches and have often seen children come to school with a pack of crackers and a juice box. That is suppose to be a child’s meal because a parent is too lazy to pack a lunch, won’t pay off their child’s charges, doesn’t want to pay for school lunch, or refuses to fill out a free and reduced application because of their own selfish pride. I have a serious problem with posts like this because you are charging all school lunch programs with the crimes listed in this post. We do not police school meals. I HAVE on occasion offered to GIVE a child a meal because the meal brought from home was so ridiculous or it wasn’t enough food to satisfy the child’s hunger. I’ve also paid for snacks out of my own pocket because I’ve seen children who are hungry and aren’t being fed properly. There are probably many programs out there that do not offer nutritious meals, but we are definitely not one of them and I think more research should go into a blog before broad generalizations are made about an entire program. I am so thankful for the program because without many children would go hungry. For many children, the meal they receive at school is the ONLY balanced meal they receive all day. I’m proud to work for school nutrition and I take my job very seriously. I attend training classes and conferences throughout the year in order to stay up-to-date on the newest nutrition trends and food safety.

    Reply
  82. LMFAO . After reading this i have a few things to say.
    #! i took all three of my kids out of Brick and mortar schools.
    They graduated and are all either in college or have finished graduating from College.
    #2 NO one has a right any where any time to tell you what you can and can not feed your Children unless it is unsafe or causing or your child is allergic to said food.
    #3 If this is the way it is going then It seems come a few years from now the Government will be raising our Children for us to match their UN project. Get smart mother’s the longer we all sit back keep our mouths shut thinking someone else is gonna do it the longer we as parents will be walked over. My Children all took Exams when they went to college they were at the top of their classes. Seems to me being home school has more then a better advantage. Oh and how many US Presidents went to Private or Homeschooling classes????
    If that had been my child YES i know it doesn’t do much for the school but i would have sued the hell out of that school for infringing on my rights A. as a Mother to make the right choice for my child @2 for forcing my child to eat something not fit for a dog . Yahoo news and FDA Evan brought it up Chicken MN are not healthy for children . So what in hell is the schools serving it for ????? < Make as much Public commotion as possible about this .

    To the above commenter on if they feel it is right,

    Ok you rent a Luxury car for the weekend of your Wedding . The government steps in and says here you drive a economy ugly piece of crap for the weekend instead. Who has the right ?You or the Government for making that choice for you .

    Reply
  83. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it,
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    big brother\’s last post: big brother

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  84. Pingback: Child Suspended from School for Kombucha in Lunchbox |

  85. now sarah, it may have been a really long time since you’ve had a school lunch, but just a little FYI…

    1. they do not fry the chicken nuggets, they bake them
    2. the ‘pink slime’ you speak of is not a chick product. chicken is not pink.
    chicken nuggets, especially the cheap ones, are made of rib meat stop.
    i think you know that and are intentionally misleading people.

    Reply
  86. Pingback: Child Suspended from School for Kombucha in Lunchbox – Secrets of the Fed

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  92. SHAME ON YOU FOR THIS POST. It is completely misleading, and parts are straight-up FALSE.

    I dare you to cite a single reputable source for this statement:
    “USDA guidelines mandate that all children’s lunches contain one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables even if the lunch comes from home. The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires child care providers to supplement children’s lunches with whatever compulsory items are missing.”

    You won’t be able to, because it’s simply made up.

    Reply
  93. The first step I suggest is to make a date with the superintendent. If that doesn’t work, describe the problem in public comment at the next school board meeting, having prepared the board with an email to each board member and the superintendent. Don’t take an angry tone, since you want to evoke indignation rather than expressing it.

    If the kid has food sensitivities, under Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, that’s a disability that interferes with the major life activity of learning, and the district and its agents are on the hook for discrimination under those statutes and the accompanying federal regulations.

    In that case, you can send a letter describing the discrimination to the superintendent, with a copy to the food service manager, asking them to stop that conduct and stating that they will be guilty of deliberate indifference if they do not. That’s where you go if being nice didn’t work. But this only applies if there is in facta foodd allergy or sensitivity problem.

    Since that can easily be the case with any particular kid, the district is being very stupid to take its chances on that, and their attorneys will make them aware of it.

    Reply
  94. My son attended a charter school for nearly two years in Texas, though we’re now homeschooling.

    One of the problem issues we faced (in kindergarten) involved control of his diet. As parents, we chose to feed him breakfast at home, and send his lunch. The school, however, began feeding all children breakfast. This was at no cost to us, and we were not given the option to decline. The following pattern ensued: Our son would eat at home, then eat a second breakfast (sugary cereal and milk, usually) at school. He wouldn’t be hungry for the home-packed lunch. But he would be ready for the afternoon school-provided snack, which was a processed item such as sugary yogurt or individually sealed bags of cracker sandwiches, and juice. When I would pick him up after school (at 5:00 on most days, which was a normal schedule for this school), he would eagerly eat his packed lunch in the car. I felt he needed the nutrition, through it clearly compromised his appetite for dinner at home. The routine was a mess, and reclaiming our ability and responsibility as parents to influence our child’s diet was a sure factor in why we chose to withdraw from public education.

    Reply
  95. Pingback: Nuggets are Fruit « Dee Creek Farm

  96. I discovered this site after researching options for “USDA food options”. Today I was told that my son couldn’t bring his lunch to school if it didn’t meet the USDA guidelines. Being told that made me extremely upset, not at the teacher, but at this ignorant guideline. My son is an EXTREMELY picky eater. I can hardly get him to eat a variety of foods at home. I sympathize because I too am a picky eater. I know what it feels like to have sensitive taste buds and an aversion to certain food smells/looks/tastes. His lunch today contained a peanut butter sandwich, grapes, small individual pack of pringles, gatorade, and a pack of gummi fruit snacks. I even included a water along with cheese/crackers in his bookbag for snack time. I took the impression that I would be forced to pay for a lunch room meal to sit on the table in front of my son just so that it meets the USDA guidelines; although, I can bet that he wouldn’t eat it. Or, I need to include meals to meet guidelines; that I know he most likely will not eat! That means that my child would go hungry all day!!! I can assure that the school is not going to prepare a specialty meal to the likings of my child only. My son even had to have lacto-free milk as an infant. He doesn’t like milk. But, you can tell me that the school can be allowed to force him to drink it or nothing at all. PLEASE help me understand the process or justification behind the school system’s right to make nutritional choices for my child without my consent. So, I guess the school has the right to tell me how to spend my money on the foods I purchase!!! I have done well raising him for 4 years. He is of a normal, healthy weight; not malnourished and not obese. Obviously, I’ve been doing something right. I can understand the school stepping up and taking some initiative for malnourished or significantly obese children. I’m stuck at a hard place because the schools don’t offer refrigerators to keep lunch boxes cold or microwaves to warm foods. So what in the world do I pack to stand room temperature, to meet USDA guidelines, for a picky eater? When did pizza, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets become the most nutritional foods? The cafeteria definitely serves those options. In addition, cookies, chips, and ice cream can be sold in the cafeteria. I guess it’s ok to feed kids chips and ice cream in order to get that dollar. I would of never imagined that fixing a lunch box would involve so much headache and stress. I guess I need to check my son out at lunch time everyday to feed him and then check him back in so that he’s not starving and has energy to focus in school. I sometimes think that the school systems place a little to much energy/focus into the wrong areas. Why focus so much on what’s in a kids lunch box? Focus should be more on educational improvement!!!

    Reply
    • What a terrible situation! At that point, I would go to school and make a big fuss. I would go to the lunch room with him and give him the lunch you make for him and sit there while he eats it. What are they going to do about it? Get a lawyer if you can afford one. Home school!? Please stand up for your son and for the rest of us because it will be happening a lot more frequently in more schools, apparently. Please check back in and let us know what happens.

      Reply

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