but of course they won’t be. A North Carolina preschooler wasn’t allowed to eat her lunch—a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice—because it didn’t meet federal guidelines. Instead, she was given a school lunch, and ate chicken nuggets. Federal guidelines require that a lunch include one serving each of meat, dairy, and grain, and two of fruits and vegetables. Children’s lunches are checked for this, and, if they don’t measure up, kids are given cafeteria food, and the parents are charged for the cost.
Forgive me, but I can think of no other response: WTF?
In what world are chicken nuggets healthier than a turkey and cheese sandwich? Don’t the guidelines get something fundamental to nutrition wrong—namely that it’s not a meal-by-meal thing? (My lunch yesterday: ten $.50 chicken wings (meat—check), four $1 beers (grain—check), a few celery chunks (vegetable—check). No dairy, no fruit—call the feds!) Just how do you pack a lunch with meat and dairy that doesn’t have to be refrigerated, except by packing such a sandwich? Why is meat required? What about vegetarian students? What about kids with allergies to dairy or grain products?
But most important of all: what business is this of the government? Why on earth are they checking student lunches in the first place?
The cafeteria worker should be fired over this, yes. So should the principal. And so should the person ultimately responsible for these federal guidelines—Barack Obama.
UPDATE: She’s not alone—another mother says the same thing happened to her daughter. And apparently the Food Nazis are one thing we actually got out of the trillion-dollar stimulus package!
FURTHER UPDATE: Lunch-in! February 23 at noon. “Concerned parents and their supporters will be having a “lunch-in” on Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. at noon on Thursday, February 23 to protest federal school nutrition guidelines that allegedly forced at least one student to forgo her mother’s home-packed lunch in favor of chicken nuggets.”