Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Balancing your child's school lunch

Anyone who knows me or who has read earlier articles on this blog knows that I struggle with feeding my picky children healthy foods. I've tried various ways, some even deemed ingenious, to get my kids involved in choosing healthier options and balancing their portions. My kids have seen a nutritionist on a few occasions and I've educated myself a great deal on the protein, fat, and carbohydrate ratios in many foods. The majority of the foods we buy are raw, unprocessed, and contain whole grains; vegetables and fruits are primarily served raw, and we make attempts to prepare meals to keep vitamin content intact, with minimal added salt or sugars. After Monkey was diagnosed with gout a few years ago, I needed to become even smarter about his trigger foods and learn what proteins to avoid in foods on his behalf.

I can't imagine how I would feel if my kids' school sent home a note like the one below, and attached a monetary fine for not including one arbitrary item, in this Canadian mom's case: grains. What if my kids had eaten more than their daily allotment of grains in their breakfast cereal that morning and I was compensating that overage by leaving it out of their lunch? I would be outraged if a school had force-fed them fatty and processed-grain heavy Ritz crackers!

From the Weighty Matters blog out of Canada:

From Yoni Freedhoff's blog entry:

"Apparently if a child's lunch is deemed 'unbalanced,' where 'balance' refers to ensuring that a lunch conforms to the proportions of food groups as laid out by Canada's awful Food Guide, then that child's lunch is 'supplemented,' and their parent is fined.

Blog reader Kristen Bartkiw received just such a fine.

She sent her children to daycare with with lunches containing leftover homemade roast beef and potatoes, carrots, an orange and some milk.

She did not send along any 'grains.'

As a consequence the school provided her children with, I kid you not, supplemental Ritz Crackers, and her with a $10 fine."

Outrageous and crazy! I know some of us aren't as informed as others regarding proper nutrition, but what if you didn't have the money (or didn't get/have access to the store that week) to provide all food groups, or if your child has serious allergies, or if you have valid, personal reasons for not providing certain foods that are none of the government's business? If I were fined for providing a non-compliant, but healthy lunch I would be rightfully livid.

1 comment:

  1. I think I'd be looking for another school for my kids....


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