Mom Fined for Packing Unbalanced Lunches for Kids
I grew up eating a brown-bag lunch. Mom included a sandwich, 4 small homemade cookies and a piece of fruit. In first through third grade, Mom would write an invisible secret message on my banana’s skin. It gradually turned brown and by the time I opened my lunch bag, I’d see her short sweet message.
I didn’t always love my sandwich. I admit that there were times I didn’t even eat it. In fact, I had to trick the lunch monitor who came around to make sure you ate every bit. I’d drink my milk, stuff the sandwich in the empty carton, and then crush it enough to make it look like an empty, discarded milk carton.
I’d toss it in the bag along with the empty wrappings and banana peel, and it passed inspection. No one ever knew. Not even my mother, until now.
Mom Fined for Packing “Unbalanced” Lunch
I bring this up because I read about a Canadian mom who was fined $10.00 for packing unbalanced lunches for her kids. Can you imagine getting a note from the school that says your child’s lunch was unbalanced because it didn’t include…wait for it…Ritz Crackers!
The mother of three had packed what she thought to be a nutritional lunch consisting of leftover roast beef, potatoes, carrots, an orange and milk. When her five-year-old son, Logan, and his three-year-old sister, Natalie, came home, their mom found a note from the daycare staff saying she had failed to pack grains in her children’s lunch. The staff gave the children Ritz crackers as a supplement at a cost of $5.00 per child.
The day care pointed to the Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care lunch guidelines to validate the fine. These guidelines stipulate that students must have one milk, one meat, one grain, and two fruits or vegetables in their meals.
This is another crazy example of people following the letter of the law (guidelines) instead of the intent of the law. Anyone with common sense would have looked at the lunches she packed and could have seen they are balanced, but because the potato is not a grain it could not be accepted.
Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a fictional world.
Photo credits: Julian Lee