Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mother Punished For Sending Kids To School With Nutritious Lunch

Kristen Bartkiw, a mom in Manitoba, Canada, thought she was sending her youngsters off to school with a pretty nutritious lunch. It consisted of leftover roast beef, some potatoes, carrots, an orange and milk.
A Manitoba parent
got this nastygram from her
kids' school.  

Sounds yummy. And I'm sure it would have sustained the kids for the rest of the day.

School officials were PISSED, though. School officials didn't think the lunch was nutritious enough. The poor kids. See, the lunch didn't include grains.

According to the web site Weighty Matters, the Manitoba Government Early Learning and Child Care lunch regulations insist that every meal include some sort of grain.
So the school gave the kids Ritz crackers, technically a grain but geez,  and they fined Bartkiw $10.   

A 16 gram serving of Ritz crackers has 79 calories,  four grams of fat and 1 gram of saturated fat. Not the worst in the world, but not exactly whole grain bread either.

According to Weighty Matters:

"As Kristen writes, had she sent along lunches consisting of, 'microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box' those lunches would have sailed right through this idiocy. But her whole food, homemade lunches? They lacked Ritz crackers."

I suppose if parents send their kids to school with junk food, something has to be done. You want kids to eat well so they do well in school. That's obvious, and that's clearly the motivation of Manitoba officials.

But like so many things, people got way too enthusiastic about the rules.  Talk about a nanny state! I wouldn't exactly call the lunch Bartkiw gave her kids child abuse.

Are schools up there in Manitoba required to paw through all the kids' lunches before they eat them? Drag the parents to a supermarket and order them to buy stuff the school wants them to buy? Will the schools have bonfire parties using Twinkies, potato chips and gooey fattening cookies as fuel for the fires?

The school had no way of knowing if the Bartkiw kids had whole grain cereal for breakfast, and were anticipating more grains for dinner that night. Are schools going to go to parents homes at breakfast and dinner and monitor what mommy and daddy are cooking for the little ones?

And since when are Ritz crackers the height of good nutrition?

On the bright side, Bartkiw said the school her kids go to now has a hot lunch program, which she describes as really good, so she doesn't have to make lunches for her kids and worry about the Food Police charging her with High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Still, if you're a parent in Manitoba, you'd better watch what you pack in your kids lunches. If you slip in a cookie, you might become Public Enemy #1 in the eyes of provincial school officials.

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