Latest addition to my “why I homeschool” list: Nobody will ever enter my house, throw out the lunch I chose to prepare for my children, then bill me for the privilege of force-feeding my child, without my permission, “healthier” fried franken-chicken reconstituted parts (a.k.a. “chicken nuggets”).
Before you think I’ve really lost it this time, here’s what triggered this: in North Carolina, a pre-schooler’s lunch was deemed to be sub-standard per the USDA guidelines. So, the child was fed the school lunch of chicken nuggets, and her mother was informed that her lunch failed inspection and billed for the lunch she didn’t ask for.
I know, I thought it, too: that must have been one awful lunch or something! What, was it, two Twinkies and a Coke? (Even so, the school was overreaching. Teaching kids about healthy food is one thing. Taking their lunches to feed them school food without notifying their parents is another. What if this kid had had some kind of allergic reaction?)
But no, the lunch sounded pretty darn healthy: a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, some fruit juice, and a bag of potato chips. I’m still a bit confused as to why this lunch was deemed lacking in nutritional value; it sounds healthier than 90% of what I remember people eating for lunch in high school. Heck, it’s healthier than most individual meals my kids have eaten as preschoolers with me standing right there trying to make sure they ate a bit of everything. I complained once to the pediatrician about trying to get preschoolers to eat a variety of food at one meal; she laughed at me and said, “As long as it evens out over the week, we call it fine.” So why would anyone pick on that particular lunch?
From the update appended at the bottom of the article, apparently the school district is trying to figure out what put them at the center of the brouhaha, too. Yet another case of nannyism run amok; even if you didn’t mean for it to be enforced like this, somebody will usually take it upon themselves to go too far with it.