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Preschooler's Home-Packed Lunch Was Replaced With Chicken Nuggets by a State Employee... Who Dictates Your Child's Health?

Posted: Feb 15, 2012 4:07 PM
Updated: Feb 15, 2012 4:51 PM

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For those of us moms who send our children to school with homemade lunches, there is usually a good reason. Whether it be a food allergy, dietary health concern, or you would just prefer to be in control of the food your child eats, we lovingly pack their school lunch with the assumption that it will be consumed by our child.

For a preschooler at West Hoke Elementary in Raeford, North Carolina, her homemade lunch was deemed unsatisfactory by a state employee and was replaced with the school's chicken nuggets.

Her lunch, comprised of a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, apple juice and potato chips, did not meet the Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services' guidelines for a healthy lunch. Apparently, when a lunch brought from home lacks any of the required items, the care providers are required to supplement those missing items with the school lunch. The mother was then charged $1.25 for the 3 chicken nuggets that her daughter ate.

This brings up many issues pertaining to the power of these regulatory agencies and the schools over our children. It also makes me question if there is a specific 'chicken nugget' guideline as the child had protein in her turkey sandwich. As a vegan mother, I am very concerned over the idea that one of my children could be forced to eat meat if I packed a nutritionally balanced lunch that had tofu instead of an animal product.

It is obvious from the contents of the lunch that this little girl was not being starved or malnourished. One could possibly argue that the lunch lacked a vegetable (chips being pretty far removed from the potato); however, it was not a vegetable that was supplemented but a processed chicken nugget.

Do you think that it should be in the power of the state to mandate your child's lunch be supplemented in cases like these?

Topics: school, preschool, food, health, chicken nuggets, officials, lunch, healthy

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