Mom Fined for Not Including GMO Ritz Crackers in Kids Lunch

by Sarah Parent RightsComments: 109

ritz crackers note

Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse, yet another school official shows you that the bottom has not yet been reached (not by a long shot) with regard to bureaucratic overreach and, (shall I say it?) utter stupidity.

This time, at least, it was a Canadian school official who did the honors giving Americans a breather from the action.

The official in question made the blunder of interpreting the Manitoba Government’s Early Learning and Child Care lunch regulations as being violated when Kristen Bartkiw sent her children Natalie and Logan to daycare with leftover homemade roast beef and potatoes, carrots, an orange and some milk in their lunchboxes.

Seems healthy to me.

How about you?

The violation, you ask?

The lunch did not contain any grains!

More specifically, the mother got fined $10 for not packing a “balanced” lunch that included that nutritional giant known as Ritz crackers!

The lunch police decide if a child’s lunch is unbalanced based on the food group proportions outlined in the backside bulging Canadian Food Guide. The child’s lunch is then “supplemented” and the parent fined.

Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients of Ritz crackers just for grins:

Genetically modified (GMO) soybean oil, GMO sugar (Roundup Ready sugar beets), cottonseed oil (Bt Toxin GMO cotton), high fructose corn syrup (Roundup Ready and/or Bt Toxin GMO corn), and soy lecithin (Roundup Ready and/or Bt Toxin soybeans).

Imagine – fining a Mom for packing a lunch with leftovers from a meal that was actually cooked from scratch (do people actually do that anymore?) but not including a frankenfood made from nearly 100% GMOs, consumption of which numerous scientific studies have demonstrated result in serious physical consequences such as stomach holes and even sterility.

Gotta have those government subsidized GMO Ritz crackers in there or it’s not a “balanced” meal!

Here’s an example of a lunch that would have sailed through as “approved” by this nonthinking official:  microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box.

Consider yourself informed. Fake Frankenfood now trumps homemade Real Food, my friends.

What’s more, you’ll get fined if you think otherwise.

Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Parents Fined for Not Sending Ritz in Children’s Lunches

Comments (109)

  • Sarah

    Ridiculous article. She was NIT sued for not including Ritz crackers in the lunch, she was FINED because the school supplemented the missing grain with Ritz crackers. My concerns here are first that the school thinks they should police the kids lunches. Second since when was an acceptable supplement such garbage as Ritz, third I doubt that child ate 10 bucks worth of Ritz crackers. Unless they had the child eat like 3 full size boxes of Ritz no way that 10 bucks is justified. What do they do for situations where the child cannot consume a certain thing? Grains are a common dietary allergen. If a child is allergic or intolerant it is not their place to include it without parental consent.

    October 11th, 2015 4:54 pm Reply
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  • Dee

    While I would go ballistic that someone would force me to me to feed my child anything I don’t want them having…. At least they are trying to make sure the kid has a proper meal and it includes meat! Imagine how many parents must have sent subpar meals with their kids for them to have to get to this point! Maybe we should focus on teaching and preaching to the people who got things to the point where the government has to behave this way.

    Also something I think “health” obsessed people forget is that any nutrition is better than no nutrition. They think it’s better to not to eat anything all day than have a stinkin hamburger. It’s definitely better to feed a kid Mac and cheese and hotdogs than to give him only a green salad for lunch. You can definitely make better choices but eating anything is better than nothing. I speak from experience and believe me, nonsense like that made me sicker than i had ever been.

    December 18th, 2013 12:07 pm Reply
  • Karen

    What’s next? Your child’s lunch did not include fruit but not to worry we added some skittles. We made sure to include all the colors to meet your child’s FDA approved food color requirements. Taste the rainbow!

    December 6th, 2013 9:20 am Reply
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  • James

    After reading this note, I have become curious about it and if it really is truthful.
    I received one a little while ago, through this very site, about a school in Richmond, Virginia who has done the same thing. I am not saying it is not possible because gov’t rules can be very outrages at times.
    Neither note has any professional heading of what school it is, the location and so forth. I can say Richmond, Virginia or Manitoba, but these have many schools.
    If these notes are real, then why isn’t the school’s name on the note, or revealed in some way? It is questionable to say the least about the legitimacy of these notes. I can type up a note and add some hand writing to it also, and put it up on a site and say this is what is going on. If this is what has happened, then I do not think it to be an honest report at all, but very misleading. It can make many think, or add to the thought of being in the end times when it really is not true. There are way too many situations that are happening to reveal end times, but not a note without a school name on it, and so forth.
    This note in this article, states that parents will be charged $5 for each ingredient missing, and it was missing one thing, grain, yet it says their account will be charged $10. Somehow, this does not make sense and is contradictory to say the least.
    I question the reports on both notes that were supposedly sent home from two different schools with no revealing of much and with mixed messages.
    If I am wrong, I am wrong, but until I see what school, location and ect, I just can’t believe these notes are real.

    November 24th, 2013 1:20 pm Reply
    • Erin

      The article clearly states that the parent had two children at the school. She was fined $5 per child. $10 total. The note even has both their names at the top.

      November 29th, 2013 4:05 pm Reply
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  • Navitas

    On behalf of all Good Canadians who aren’t supporting toxic Nazi agendas, I apologize. This is a bullcrap standard to run by.

    November 20th, 2013 2:36 pm Reply
  • Justin

    You guys are idiots and believe everything you read.

    November 20th, 2013 12:08 pm Reply
  • jenn

    I wish people would tell the whole story! I am so tired of hearing about this poor mother. As much as I agree whole heartedly that what happened was wrong in every way understand the full story…1. this is a private daycare not a public school so she chooses to send her kids there. 2 and most important SHE WAS ON THE COMMITTEE THAT APPROVED THIS POLICY!!! This is nothing more then poetic justice if you ask me. She wanted the stupid rule and now SHE has to pay the price. Get all the facts people before you comment on something.

    November 20th, 2013 10:41 am Reply
    • Jo

      Completely agree!! And I read somewhere (can’t remember where now) that once it became apparent that parents were having trouble complying they changed the policy. Sounds fair to me. It’s good to question these things, but equally it’s good to get the full facts first.

      November 26th, 2013 8:40 pm Reply
    • Rebecca C

      Well then, I don’t have much sympathy for the mother. But that doesn’t change the fact that the policy and the meal supplementation is ludicrous.

      November 27th, 2013 1:15 am Reply
  • sue

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    November 20th, 2013 9:12 am Reply
  • Susan Wheeler

    When you put your kids in government controlled schools, you are pretty much giving up your right to them during those hours. Why would you expect anything less than that. In California, they will even tell you that and they are not ashamed.

    November 20th, 2013 8:34 am Reply
  • Homemaker

    This is reason number 456,990 that we homeschool. Even if the mom sent a bag full of Halloween candy for lunch, the government/school should have no right to say what the child can/cannot have for lunch. (For record, I would NEVER give them candy for lunch).

    November 20th, 2013 1:34 am Reply
  • Leanne

    What’ s most horrific is that they require the children to eat meat and dairy. WOW. Just Wow…

    November 20th, 2013 1:09 am Reply
  • Mary

    I cannot believe that they suppllemented with Ritz Crackers, are you kidding? Ritzs crackers has corn syrup which is no doubt made from Gmo corn. Why would anyone in their right mine serve any child GMO ingredients.

    November 19th, 2013 5:57 pm Reply
  • Andrew

    In todays world the past is where the answers to all the madness is. Someone has to be an at home parent. And that someone either mom or dad needs to raise the children the “old fashioned”
    including homeschooling. It is easier than ever with the internet schools and classes available. Read John Gattos books found on amazon. We can overcome this insanity by taking complete control of our families and kicking the fools trying to damage our children too the curb.

    November 19th, 2013 5:33 pm Reply
    • Bard Judith

      Yet one more tiny drop in the overflowing bucket of tainted water that is the ‘schooling system’, and one more straw on the haystack of reasons why I will be homeschooling my daughter again, starting next year (that is, in less than a month’s time. In fact, I just gave notice to a well-paying job where I was working four days a week, with four months of vacation time…so that I could be free to do this and begin my own business. I know not every woman has the luxury of ‘just quitting’, or the entrepreneurship to work from home, or even the emotional support system she should have to be able to raise her own children…)

      There will be financial and relational challenges, but I can’t tolerate the emotional and intellectual damage being done to my artistic, creative, sensitive, passionate ten-year-old any longer by being ‘in the system’. By the way, I’m a Canuck expat and a trained teacher living in South Korea, so I’m not even referring to the damaged and tottering North American school system…

      December 18th, 2013 8:39 pm Reply
  • Maria

    That’s it. I’ve lost my faith in humanity.

    November 19th, 2013 2:53 pm Reply
  • Megan

    I actually went to the Canada food guide (not having viewed it in many years because I don’t believe in it) because I didn’t believe there was a category called ‘Grain Products’. I thought it was something like grains and carbohydrates. But wow, it’s clearly there and I’m shocked. No provision for carbohydrate substitutes. My kids are not yet school age and I’m not interested in home schooling so I have no idea how we will deal with this down the road. Similar to the vaccine situation, although the Canadian Constitution does not allow for vaccines to be mandated, I wonder how my children may be discriminated against by not having them.

    Having said that the provision of Ritz crackers is clearly against the food guide which recommends whole grains, not refined carbs. I think this is more the case of misinformed (nutrionally) and overzealous government workers.

    November 19th, 2013 2:43 pm Reply
  • Kassi

    My kids used to go to a daycare in the US like this. The lunches HAD to include certain things (dairy, meat, grain, fruit, vegetable) or I would be charged. I learned that this was because of their participation in a government program that paid them for meals only if they offered these “balanced” foods. It didn’t matter if the kids ate the food or not (there was a ton of waste), it just had to be offered. They claim to do this because the kids need healthy foods, but then the daycare would serve fruit loops mixed with marshmallows for the afternoon snack. I finally pulled my kids when a note from their doctor was no longer enough to excuse them from drinking milk. The daycare told me if my kids could not have the milk they provided, I would have to supply them with soy milk for every meal and snack.

    November 19th, 2013 1:55 pm Reply
    • Magda

      Now that you mention it, when my older son went to a daycare, he was required to have milk with lunch. He wasn’t much of a milk drinker but I went ahead and sent raw milk to school with him (they didn’t know it was raw, it was just ‘Alex’ milk’. If kids were lactose-intolerant, parents had to sent an ‘alternative’ milk for the kids. My younger son is now there but interestingly they did not require this for him. He doesn’t drink milk and I send a lightly sweetened herbal tea for him with his lunch.
      I’ve been bummed because he’s started to eat the school’s snack instead of my own… I’m working on him!

      November 20th, 2013 10:38 am Reply
  • Jennifer

    So according to the nutritional guidelines a chocolate cake with cream cheese icing and raspberry jam between the layers would constitute a healthy, balanced meal.

    November 19th, 2013 1:42 pm Reply
  • Dianne

    Dustin – The mother was “charged,” which is a “fee” or could also be called a “fine.” Get over yourself.

    The real issue here, as with so many similar events, is that everyone is so outraged that someone would be held to the terms of a “contract.” If the parents are married, they applied for a license (permission to do something that would otherwise be illegal); they married, which is a corporate merger giving any “issue” to the control of the corporate “government.” Then they “registered” their children as property to the State (Birth “Certificate”: evidence of a title). These are invisible, unconscionable contracts.

    BTW, when Darren White was sheriff of Bernalillo County (New Mexico), he published a document for law “enFORCEment” labeling as a terrorist anyone who talked about the Constitution or the Bible or who home-schooled his/her children.

    When are people going to wake up to the underlying causes of these events?

    November 19th, 2013 1:39 pm Reply
    • Helen T

      So right, Dianne. Makes you wonder about the cognitive skills of those who can’t see that a $10 account charge is a ‘fine’.


      November 19th, 2013 2:22 pm Reply
      • Jamie

        Clearly, they are not as intelligent as you.

        November 20th, 2013 12:12 am Reply
        • Helen T

          No need for the snark, Jamie. These people are taking issue with the assumption that paying $10 for an account charge is a fine.

          What is it in your world?

          November 20th, 2013 2:13 am Reply
  • Kelli

    Since when did beaucrats know anything about nutrition? Ever since sliced bread was considered nutritious… hopefully the kid refused to eat the crap ritz.

    November 19th, 2013 1:36 pm Reply
  • sandybt

    This story gets more overblown every time I see it … the school was NOT fining the parents for a lack of Ritz crackers or GMO’s as your copied headline screams. It was for not having any generic grains in the meal which is perfectly in line with the national food guide. It doesn’t do “our side” any good when we distort or exaggerate the facts.

    Other than that, I agree that this is a completely unacceptable situation – it sounds like a perfectly nutritious lunch was provided and the food police certainly need to revamp their policies.

    November 19th, 2013 1:28 pm Reply
    • Megan

      Exactly, the headline was misleading, but I agree also that it is unacceptable to hand out Ritz crackers as an alternative.

      I can understand the desire to supplement lunches for kids at risk who do not receive enough nutrition from home, but it is a very slippery slope…..

      November 19th, 2013 2:45 pm Reply
  • Angela

    How I wish my parents had known to exclude even just gluten from my lunches when I was in school…
    I wish you had one of those online petition situations setup so we can just fill in our name and comments to go to the offenders.
    And to think I had thought maybe Canada was ahead of us, this is deplorable in so many different ways. If the government is going to take over raising our children then they should not be exempt from child abuse complaints and other results of their negligence….
    Guess we should make healthy diet a religious issue so we have some legal rights to stand upon?

    November 19th, 2013 12:57 pm Reply
  • megan

    ok so a potatoe is not grain but it is starch and fills you up. dont need both. this is why kids are fat today. stupid people not knowing for themselves what real food is and what does more ways the implyed here too.

    November 19th, 2013 12:30 pm Reply
  • Dustin

    Wow, this is exactly why sites like this piss me off. I understand if you have a problem with GMOs and choose not to eat them yourselves… but to deliberately LIE in headlines to make any given issue you can find about you and your own choices is just plain bullshit. She wasn’t “fined for not including Ritz crackers”. What they did was still plenty wrong, don’t assume for a second I’m supporting them, but you can report a story without lying to get your little cult of whackjobs in an uproar.

    November 19th, 2013 12:16 pm Reply
    • Susan

      Well, aren’t you a peach?

      November 19th, 2013 1:27 pm Reply
    • Kelli

      I bet your apart of another “cult”. Seriously, who says the Canadian food guide is actually healthy?

      November 19th, 2013 1:38 pm Reply
    • pd

      @Dustin – While I agree with your distaste on the play on words that Sarah often uses on her site here, it does often grab my attention. As in “That’s ridiculous, I have to read about that!” But the real issue here is actually rather boring. I don’t mean unworthy, but not the drama storm the headline made it out to be. The teacher was simply following the rules. Yes, it is ridiculous to have list of foods that don’t specify grain vs. starch and equally ridiculous that such a list exists in the first place or that $10 is being charged for such poor nutrition. Who made such a silly list in the first place? Well, no matter, just go about doing what’s needed to change it! Perhaps that list should be changed or done away with. DO SOMETHING. If you feel so moved, write to the school or school district or whatever Canadian agency is a part of this. It may not have the power of a vote, but it still has some power. I’ve done this with elected State and Federal officials and it feels good (empowering) when I receive a response from them about the issue.

      While I wish Sarah would use less sensationalistic journalism (I take what she says with a grain of salt), she does often raise some valid concerns and gets people’s emotions involved, which can go either way, as fuel for change or fuel for drama. Truth and lies are not absolute, they are all in the eye of the beholder. Not too long ago, the “absolute” truth was the world was flat and was the center of the universe. People were killed or maimed for suggesting otherwise!

      November 19th, 2013 3:35 pm Reply
      • sandybt

        “who made such a silly list in the first place?”

        Actually the original article I read about this incident mentioned that the mom in question was actually part of the committee that made these rules – and got caught in her own net. The reason for the rule was that some people were just bringing a pizza pop or something like that for their child and calling it a complete lunch.

        It seems as if this was a single isolated incident that got way overblown by the media. But hey maybe the negative publicity will wake up a few more people to the realities of our food system.

        November 19th, 2013 7:39 pm Reply
    • Jamie

      Hey Dustin, I love your “cult whackjob” description, PERFECT! I look at this site often because I follow the traditional way of food prep, and so on…BUT, there never seems to be a shortage of holier than thou, self righteous breeders who NEVER miss an opportunity to push their political agenda, even if it kills them. Hey–news flash! Both parties are in the pockets of big money. To believe that any single party is totally responsible for getting us to where we are today in this country, is just plain stupid. And for all the righteous God bless people out there, ask yourselves, what did/would Jesus do? He fed the poor, he cared for all God’s children, which includes even the people of color (for all the bigots out there, who apparently forget that yes, people of color are creations of God too, and to hate them is in essence hating something of God).At least that is what your bible says, so try actually try walking the walk instead of yacking all your BS.

      November 19th, 2013 11:29 pm Reply
    • James

      Well put Dustin

      November 24th, 2013 1:27 pm Reply
  • Rosanna

    Not surprised. When my grandchildren were living with me here in Reno Nevada in 2012, I had an experience not to far off from this. One day I while waiting for my grandchildren to be released from school, I was approached by a school employee. This school employee told me that it was not fair to my grandchildren to not have school hot lunches just as all the other children in their classes. She further stated that the school would watch the children to see if my meal choices were being eaten and if the children showed an interest in the hot lunches, the hot lunches would be given. The lunches I provided were organic, low sodium, high vegetable, balanced meals. AND I am a dietetic student so I do know a thing or two about nutrition! The gaul of another American impeding my family and our decisions. She had no idea what or where the children came from or why we ate the way we ate.

    November 19th, 2013 11:56 am Reply
  • SK

    I would live it. When I make my meat loaf it actually contains grains, bread crumbs, that one can’t see. Might not make a whole serving, but who are they to question what I give my child to eat. What if I chose to cut grains out of my childs diet, because it has problems digesting it … WOW, just wow.

    November 19th, 2013 11:49 am Reply
  • watchmom3

    Lisa, you nailed the issue..”Why do I need his permission to decide what’s best for my children?” We now must be aware that the political controllers want to decide for EVERYONE..not just the kids. A doctor’s excuse for a parental decision? People need to think about what they are seeing and speak against any infringement.

    November 19th, 2013 11:35 am Reply
  • Eliza

    The Canadian Food Guide is not bad as a “guide” but as a rulebook, nope. It really is not true that a person must eat a so-called balanced meal at every single meal. It is entirely possible to mix it up during the day. For example, I eat a huge salad every day at lunch (at work). I do this purposely because I have a refrigerator here at work, and a microwave; I don’t want to heat up my lunch in a microwave, so a salad seems smart. It is so big, so healthy, that it completely fills me up, I’m alert and no desire for snacking. It is packed full of raw vegetables and often nuts (which count as a meat alternative under the guidelines). But no, it does not have “grains” or “dairy” and therefore an option like this apparently would not be acceptable.

    I realize these are preschoolers in a government-run, probably subsidized program and there are a lot of government paid employees who need to have something to do to justify their paycheck, like policing the children’s lunches. Perhaps preschoolers would not eat a salad for lunch. But perhaps they would. Or would simply like to eat corn chips, salsa and guacamole for lunch. No dairy, no meat. I don’t think that’s too horrible…

    What happens if the children refuse to eat the Ritz crackers? What if they say “thank you” and then just leave them on their plate uneaten? I know, preschoolers can be picky. But also they can trust the adults who are their teachers, and if a teacher insists the Ritz crackers are good for them, and that mommy didn’t do a good job with the lunch today, that is confusing for the child and undermining of the parents. It starts early. :(

    November 19th, 2013 11:23 am Reply
  • Karen

    Having just finished listening to the marvelous and life- changing TheGlutenSummit online for past week, this shocking situation surely shows the opposite end of ignorance regarding poisonous gluten and GMOs! “No human can digest gluten”, is what one of the scientist doctor experts stated at the Summit. Education, education, education–a long road ahead .

    November 19th, 2013 11:17 am Reply
  • skagit bon

    If the parents put on file that the child has a gluten intolerance, or just CANNOT eat grains, they might have a leg to stand on here. Otherwise, everyone gets shoved into the same box, treated the same way. That’s the way of the “system.” I homeschool, and we still face healthy challenges at church activities or at other (of the many) events we attend outside our home. The fine, though, that is something ELSE!

    November 19th, 2013 10:45 am Reply
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  • Emma C.

    But if she knew the policy, why didn’t she just through in a slice of wheat bread?

    November 19th, 2013 8:10 am Reply
    • Gillian

      Many people have wheat and/or gluten intolerance and allergies. My son is coeliac and cannot consume any gluten containing grains including wheat and corn without suffering serious health consequences. I can only hope that the children being monitored under Manitoba Government’s Early Learning and Child Care lunch regulations are having conditions such as coeliac being taken into consideration before being obliged to eat these unhealthy products. Why anyone would in any case consider GMO containing crackers a healthy addition to a child’s lunch is beyond me!

      November 19th, 2013 10:52 am Reply
  • Tdub

    I can’t get past the comic sans type. It’s so apropo.

    November 19th, 2013 7:29 am Reply
  • Annie

    What I see here is more a lack of judgement from the employee who wrote the fine, than anything else. That employee had to follow the Canadian food guide, but did not think it throught. From the handwritting, it’s probably someone in his/her early twenties with a lack of experience. Give him/her a break!

    LK, please don’t put the entire country in the same basket, because someone did something stupid in a daycare in Manitoba…

    At my son’s school (in Quebec), they check the lunches, but for things like chips, soda, chocolat products. One day, my husband threw in a small bag of cookies in my son’s school bag, because he did not have time to prepare some vegetables, and his teacher sent us a note saying it was not an appropriate snack, but she did not call Child services and did not send a fine either.

    November 19th, 2013 6:48 am Reply
    • Rebecca C

      You are missing the main point. It is a slippery slope. It is none of their business. Period. You are giving up your rights willingly. The next issue that comes up might not be so easy to stomach.

      November 27th, 2013 1:04 am Reply
  • Helen T

    Logical to me: we’ve suffered a corporate coup – we no longer have a government ‘for the people and by the people’. Someone suggested lawmakers show up with corporate sponsor badges sewn to their suits, something like NASCAR racers wear.

    November 19th, 2013 5:08 am Reply
  • Andy H

    Another superfluous employee, building a CV for applying to the TSA?

    November 19th, 2013 1:41 am Reply
  • Brandon D. Bourne

    I think the program is an excellent initiative. Like any initiative there are always growing pains. I really like how the school is getting involved in creating a healthier lifestyle for children. Studies show that lifestyles are nurtured from parent to child, by helping to educate parents, through children on food needs we ensure children are getting a balanced meal. Yes I agree, we should be choosing to feed whole organic non gmo foods. However, as well all know the food market place is about 80% filled with crap. But the initiative is a start in the right direction-but really we should be looking at sustainable whole food options. The truth is there are children that go to school unfed daily, and these charges are likely what work as a subsidy to lower income family’s school lunches.

    November 19th, 2013 1:07 am Reply
    • Ted

      Go mess with someone else’s children. I know how to take care of mine. I don’t need some liberal cronie trying to control my every move through laws and regulation.

      November 19th, 2013 9:40 am Reply
      • watchmom3

        Well said Ted. I can appreciate what Brandon is alluding to, but this is a slippery slope and once you start to give up ANY rights in the public arena…it gets worse. History attests to this.

        November 19th, 2013 11:31 am Reply
        • Joe

          Brace yourself, Ted. There are liberals reading and agreeing that this trend toward regulation is disturbing, overbearing and intrusive. I know, shocking isn’t it. Not all “liberals” endorse this garbage, just as not all “conservatives” are rabid racists or out to kill anyone who isn’t exactly like them.

          November 28th, 2013 9:42 am Reply
    • Violet

      Brandon, I agree that many children are not getting enough to eat. Obviously that was not the case of the child in the original article. At a school or daycare an overseer could scan to ensure a satisfactory portion is being provided to the children. If it seems that a child’s food amount is lacking, generally fining a parent at this point will probably only take away more of the financial funds available in the care and feeding of the family. It seems like a huge task for every child to be scanned using a check list on their lunch and most likely by someone who has no nutritional education.

      November 19th, 2013 11:16 pm Reply
  • Cheryl Reynolds

    For most of the past 17 years I have homeschooled my children, but when one son was 9 years old I registered him in school because I had not been able to teach him to read and thought perhaps they could do better (he was adopted and bio mother had abused drugs and alcohol). One day his teacher called Children’s Protective Services and reported I had sent an “inadequate lunch.” His lunch consisted of a home baked whole wheat roll with real butter, fresh pineapple chunks, a piece of homemade pumpkin pie (I had even cooked the pumpkin myself) and some tortilla chips with salsa (his request). She complained because the roll didn’t have any meat on it. That’s how he liked to eat his rolls. I called the school nurse and she said it was a better lunch than her own kids usually got, and the worker at CPS told me not to worry about it. By the way, they couldn’t teach him to read, either, and I brought him back home to homeschool.

    November 19th, 2013 12:16 am Reply
    • Eliza

      You are lucky you got a reasonable CPS worker. Extremely fortunate.

      Teachers and daycare workers who call CPS on parents should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. Actually, any teacher or daycare worker who even THINKS of calling CPS on a parent should first go directly to that parent with whatever grievance it is they have about that parent. Sometimes there *are* issues but they can be resolved without calling in the government. (sometimes there is poverty in the family and they could use some “assistance” — yes, help. not condemnation or “investigations.”). But most often it is a misunderstanding and a completely overzealous school employee. Yes, I know about “mandated reporters.” But people, use your brains and your social skills, don’t just call in the government. Get to know the family. Stupid!!! So sorry that happened to you and your son…

      November 19th, 2013 11:13 am Reply
    • watchmom3

      Cheryl, I am a homeschool mom too and am appalled that anyone would dare to “patrol” kid’s lunches! This idea that someone else knows better than the parents, is fascist, socialist and SCARY. If you want to read a good book, read “One Woman against The Reich” and it will alert you to how much oppression comes against mothers and dads. You are a savvy mom who is giving her best to help change the culture by choosing wisely for your kids. Way to go. God bless.

      November 19th, 2013 11:28 am Reply
      • Megan

        Just FYI fascism and socialism are politically in opposition to one another. Socialism is an economic system which is not inherently evil or good, just a system. Lunch patrols would more likely exist under a fascist regime :)

        November 19th, 2013 7:04 pm Reply
        • Kathy

          Technically, fascism and socialism are on a spectrum, with Fascism being worse. The problem with Socialism technically speaking is that there is no incentive for being excellent at anything. Therefore if you are good at digging ditches for instance but the guy next to you is a lazy lout, it doesn’t matter b/c any extra money you would have made b/c you did a better job is just given to the lazy lout via increased taxes and THEREFORE Socialism is evil. Thou shalt not steal…among other things. It diminishes the dignity of the individual and his God given rights (and gifts)

          November 19th, 2013 11:47 pm Reply
          • Megan

            How odd to call a system ‘evil’ as if it had human characteristics. Capitalism and socialism are simply apples and oranges that’s all. You sound very illogical. And where is it written that God gave out rights to us? I’ll never understand the term ‘God given rights’

            November 20th, 2013 1:03 am
          • Kathy

            God gave us Rights when he gave us the 10 commandments. WE all have the right to life as an extension of the fact that “Thou shalt not kill” is the 5th commandment. He would not have made it a commandment if it was not important. Likewise the 7th commandment says “Thou shalt not steal” Therefore we have a right to our personal property. What is rightfully ours should not be taken away. (In the form of excessive taxation) Although not listed in the 10 commandments, under of the law of Subsidiarity, government ought not take away from the parents of a child the right to determine what is best for that child a la a… lunch.

            November 20th, 2013 11:36 pm
          • Megan

            The right to personal property is not the same as requiring not to steal. There are many ways to lose or not have your personal property that do not involve being stolen from. The word ‘excessive’ is subject to personal opinion and judgement. In any case I am not religious so these arguments mean nothing to me.

            November 21st, 2013 8:22 pm
          • Kathy

            Not religious, that’s you wouldn’t mind then if some one violated your God-given rights. You see when you put your rights in the hands of men, not God, you are subject to man’s every whim.

            November 21st, 2013 11:43 pm
          • Rebecca C

            don’t forget about the corruption that occurs at the top in socialism.

            November 27th, 2013 12:59 am
          • Megan

            Rebecca – name one type of political system that is NOT corrupt. Can’t? I didn’t think so.

            December 4th, 2013 8:55 pm
        • Jo

          LOL – thats true Megan. I don’t think there’s much polical theory taught in the US. Plenty of bible study though by the looks of it.

          November 26th, 2013 8:43 pm Reply
    • Rebecca C

      What a nightmare! That is a worst fear, someone calling CPS for a reason like that. Many of their workers are power crazy social engineers and they don’t leave you alone until all your children are 18 years old. Yikes!

      November 27th, 2013 12:56 am Reply
  • Janelle

    That’s absurd!! I would personally consider “Potatoes” as a “grain” since it’s a starch. What if the children had to be grain free for some reason? And my goodness, I cannot believe that it’s anyone’s business what the children have in their lunches. WOW!

    November 19th, 2013 12:10 am Reply
  • Michelle

    Why are we complaining, it’s the big ,bloated ,overgrown, power grabbing government parenting it’s children. We all want to be taken care of and not have to be responsible for our children so we will just have to accept that this is what the government has to do to keep us in line. It’s what we as Americans have voted for in this country the past two elections.when are people going to realize that if you want someone to take care of you out means giving up control of your own destiny.

    November 18th, 2013 10:54 pm Reply
    • megan

      I didnt vote for that. I take care of me and my kid along with my hubby.

      November 19th, 2013 12:40 pm Reply
      • Pat in TX

        Well unfortunately too many of our “peers” did (and I use that term loosely). Those of us who are quite content to be responsible for ourselves and our families are in the minority. Either that or we are too lazy to fight for our rights to do so!

        November 19th, 2013 6:53 pm Reply
    • Jamie

      I believe that your comment about wanting someone to take care of you, is being more than a little presumptuous. I chose to be married when I had my two children, both who happen to be on the autism spectrum, the youngest severely. He is total care 24/7. He does nothing totally independent. I am divorced and the father of my children, like too many men in today’s world, has NEVER paid the court ordered amount of support. I have been left in a no win situation. I could not go back to work and earn enough to cover the expense of paying for a caregiver. There is no “daycare” for a child with his kind of needs. So, we have lived at the poverty level for most of my children’s childhood. If you think for one second that that is something that I enjoy, you are mistaken! If you think that I enjoy receiving government subsidies, you are again mistaken. Do you have any children? You know what it is like when you have a baby? Try having one that remains that way FOREVER. You do not get to ever stop that level of care, is what changes is the size of the body. I am now caring for someone who is bigger than me, and I just pray that I can continue to do so, because the next thing that would happen is that he would have to go into a care facility, or group home where he would more than likely to be abused. Try walking in someone else’s shoes before you pass judgement!

      November 19th, 2013 10:15 pm Reply
    • Gwsevt

      Just to be clear, this happened in Canada. Which is not to say that this sort of over the top thing doesn’t happen in the states we all know it does but this particular incident happened north of the boarder. So blaming it on the last two elections doesn’t apply. Truth is in my experience (and it’s been a little while) school meal regulations here pertain to the meals provided by the school and don’t reach into the meals brought in from home. The correctness or incorrectness of what is required and what meets or doesn’t meet those requirements when it comes to meals offered by the school’s is a whole different discussion. At least IMHO.

      November 20th, 2013 8:00 pm Reply
  • Cheri

    That school would be shut down by the time I got through with them. That’s BS!!!!!

    November 18th, 2013 10:30 pm Reply
  • Kathi Petersen

    Astonishing! Grains are not even healthy! That is nuts that they can get away with this … Ritz crackers as a healthy food item? You should tell us where we can all write to protest this!

    November 18th, 2013 10:18 pm Reply
  • LK

    I don’t know about in Canada but $10.00 for 2 servings out of a box of poison is ridiculous. I can’t not in any way defend the daycare center. Is anyone doing something politically about this?? We were talking about trying to move to Canada to get away from this type of crazy stuff. But it seems that isn’t possible there either. People the small one are going to have to get together and stand here in US and Canada too

    November 18th, 2013 10:04 pm Reply
    • megan

      i wouldnt pay it! Ild tell them you fed my kid crap now you are footing the bill.

      November 19th, 2013 12:38 pm Reply
    • Sue H.

      It’s getting just as bad here in Canada as it would appear to be in the States.

      November 20th, 2013 1:23 am Reply
  • Tracy Perkins

    That’s just disgusting! I really feel for that mom, as if the job isn’t hard enough without being attacked for providing her children with a delicious and nutricious lunch. Someone needs to re-educate that official!

    November 18th, 2013 9:44 pm Reply
  • Laura the Ringmistress

    To be fair to the center, it was supplementing with what it had on hand, not twittering the parents to provide that.

    To be harsh though, the requirement should have been 1 starch, which the potatoes fit perfectly. Many children have grain sensitivities that would make the crackers a problem even were they made from heritage grains and minimally processed.

    I wonder if they would have recognized quinoa?

    November 18th, 2013 8:47 pm Reply
    • Carrie

      I completely agree. I’ve been a type one diabetic since i was 10. Diabetics count using starches (now called carb exchanges). Potatoes are included in that category because of the impact they have on your blood sugar level. And what about the kids who have allergies? I have 40, count ’em, forty myself.
      However, it’s nothing new that school officials have complete ignorance when it comes to feeding children. My parents had to put me in a private school way back in 1996 because my public school teacher wouldn’t allow me to have juice at “milk break”, bring my own snacks, have my emergency allergy meds stored in class, etc. Her reasoning was that it wouldn’t be fair to the other kids. They actually had to go through the process of developing a 504 plan (similar to an IEP) to get anything changed. Finally, they got so fed up they moved me. I became happy and healthy and didn’t get sick to my stomach when I thought about going to school anymore.
      It’s amazing the impact that proper food can have on our health and happiness!

      November 21st, 2013 12:53 am Reply
  • Lindsay

    what ever happened to letting the body choose what foods it wants rather than forcing a cornucopia down one’s throat?

    November 18th, 2013 8:38 pm Reply
    • megan

      really my kid eats many times a day and each meal is diff. if you intune to your body you know what you need when. ever notice a young kid will only eat what they want and nothing else. becuase we haven’t been able at 1 or 2 years to train this idea out of them yet.

      November 19th, 2013 12:32 pm Reply
    • Rebecca C

      Furthermore, even if you do follow the food pyramid, which is seriously flawed, it doesn’t say we have to have every food group at every single meal. How about over the course of a day, or even a couple of days. Good grief, such small thinking.

      November 27th, 2013 12:49 am Reply
  • Rebecca

    I am sickened by this! I may have laughed at the silliness of it all if it were not so true. It is sad that we are allowing those who want only power and recognition to tell us how to feed our children, clothe our children, parent and live! I for one am getting tired of having to fight for what is already mine. I will though…trust me this fight is not over and those on the side of freedom will win…maybe just for our own families but we will win! If I were Kristen Bartkiw not only would they NOT be getting $10 they would never see my children again! AND, I would be writing the daycare and the Manitoba Government’s Early Learning and Child Care and tell them just how STUPID (and I dont use that word without meaning behind it) this really turned out! I hope this is plastered all over the internet…….

    November 18th, 2013 8:29 pm Reply
  • Liz

    The world has officially gone mad.

    I feel so sad for my children and future grandchildren.

    November 18th, 2013 8:26 pm Reply
  • tz

    They forgot that for meals, you need to be “puttin’ on the Ritz”.

    Ritz IIRC were unique because the oil (coconut) they used changed the texture or gave them a shiny look or something.

    What do they serve at the Ritz Carleton with soup?

    Irving Berlin, later Taco Ortiz…

    If you’re blue and you don’t know
    Where to go to, why don’t you go
    Where fashion sits? Puttin’ on the Ritz
    Different types who wear a day
    Coat pants with stripes and cutaway
    Coat perfect fits, puttin’ on the Ritz

    Dressed up like a million-dollar trooper
    Tryin’ hard to look like Gary Cooper
    (Super duper)
    Come let’s mix where Rock-a-fellas
    Walk with sticks or umbrellas
    In their mitts, puttin’ on the Ritz

    (watch on youtube)

    November 18th, 2013 8:25 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Kessler

    Totally unbelievable …I totally agree this is some sort of twilight zone …charged $10 for making a homemade nutritious lunch !!! I am shocked. I am even more shocked that this is happening right here in Canada …How awful.

    November 18th, 2013 8:13 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      What I want to know is why are school officials inspecting kids’ lunches in the first place? Does the government now have superior oversight concerning what children eat over the parent’s wishes now?

      November 18th, 2013 8:44 pm Reply
      • tairaruth

        Well .. realistically, they (the government) can not include your child in their experiments if you don’t play ball and cooperate by sending them with genetically modified food.

        November 18th, 2013 9:34 pm Reply
      • Renee

        This article is so timely for my family. I am furious about what my child’s preschool is saying about snack time! Parents send in cookies, crackers, and other “healthy” snacks for the class. I simply want to send my child’s snack that is allergy free for him and contains real food. I do not understand why I am forced to give my child junk in place of food! How can this be changed? Sadly, this is in the US, not just Canada.

        November 18th, 2013 10:35 pm Reply
        • Megan

          my son’s preschool allows the parent to send in their own snack as long as it doesn’t contain any of the known allergens of the other kids or foods not eaten for religious reasons by the other kids (it seems reasonable to me). Maybe look for a school with a different policy? My son’s class has so many allergies and other issues with various foods that the snack is mostly limited to raw veggies and fruits anyway.

          November 19th, 2013 2:54 pm Reply
      • lynn

        The world is coming to an end with these feeble minded imbeciles. Sorry. They deserve the name if they can’t educate themselves and remain ignorant and charge parents an insane amount for like 5 crackers.

        Lets say they inspect it, because some kids may have horrid lunches; however giving them a food without permission should be against the law. I have a toddler and am not aware yet of what school systems implement and I’m sure it will be a rude awakening. I’m a stay at home mom and do not give my child crackers- to me it is a non-nutritional item that she would fill up on as opposed to something much healthier.

        November 19th, 2013 1:45 pm Reply
        • Pat in TX

          Consider homeschooling. I have been at it for 21 years (oldest child’s kindergarten year) and have 10 to go. No regrets. We just concentrate on learning, we eat the way we want – which only helps learning, we don’t have to fight vaccinations, and we get plenty of socialization apart from the learning hours:-)

          November 19th, 2013 6:46 pm Reply
          • Chrissy

            We homeschool too. I refuse to allow the state to tell me to send my kids to school when they are sick unless I drag a kid with a simple but nasty cold to the doctor to get a note. I refuse to consider learning about sex in elementary school from a teacher EDUCATION. It’s okay…we have it covered. . I refuse to consider that the judgment of a bureaucracy for a faceless mass of children is as carefully considered as my judgment for my own children. Basically…I do a lot of refusing. Homeschooling is a financial sacrifice (I always thought I would work part time when the youngest went to Kindergarten to supplement our income, mainly to build up our savings faster) that I make willingly every day. It is fun (usually) and much less stress for the whole family…and no one is giving my children Ritz crackers. 😉

            November 19th, 2013 7:36 pm
          • Rebecca C

            I think I will homeschool. I’ve been learning a lot about it. I think it is the only way to lay low with the government and stay out of social programs, social engineering, etc. Isn’t that sad, that it has come to this? But I think homeschooling will be wonderful. I am getting pretty excited about it. My oldest is 3. I can’t even imagine how angry I would be if something like this happened to my kids in a school. I don’t even want to deal with that nonsense.

            November 27th, 2013 12:45 am
      • Diana

        Ridiculous, of course. But is it any more ridiculous than the mom who actually paid it???? Never in a million years would I have paid a fine like that. I would have challenged the crap out of it, and brought as much attention to the issue as possible. If we are going to roll over and take it when laws like these are passed, and fines like these are imposed, we pretty much deserve what we get.

        November 20th, 2013 9:12 am Reply
        • Gwsevt

          Do we know she paid it? I didn’t notice that anywhere and just assumed she hadn’t.

          November 20th, 2013 7:35 pm Reply
        • A

          This is not law. No parent has to pay a fine like this without having signed a legally binding contract and, in the US, one could take the school to court for Constitutional violation, I imagine, if so motivated..

          The parents in this school may have consented (out of ignorance) to this lunch box (school) policy. I’m sure this parent wanted nothing to do with the policy since she knows how to pack a healthy lunch for her child and brought this whole matter to the attention of the media by way of protest.

          November 25th, 2013 11:51 am Reply

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