Please tell me they got it wrong. I heard about this story on Fox News, and the initial story left out one crucial detail, one that I quote and cite below. Before I get to the crux of the matter, even the initial scan of the story makes me shake my head.
A North Carolina preschooler came to school with a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice and potato chips – and her lunch was promptly replaced with chicken nuggets from the cafeteria.
According to reports, a state agent who was inspecting lunch boxes that day decided the girl’s packed lunch did not have enough nutritional value. A regulation put into place by the Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires that all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs meet federal nutritional guidelines.
If a child’s home-packed lunch does not meet the standards, child care providers are instructed to supplement the lunch with missing items.
Wh-wh-what? Turkey- low fat protein source, vitamins and minerals.
Cheese-calcium, protein, some vitamins.
Banana-C’mon, since when is fruit not good enough?
Now, I’m not thrilled with chips and apple juice, I could quibble with that, but what 4 year old would plow through all that anyway? It’s what they said they replaced it with, on the basis of what she sent wasn’t nutritious enough. Chicken nuggets. Have we not gone through this enough? Did not Jamie Oliver try to show kids why they shouldn’t be eating those? But what is the point if the cafeteria can’t figure it out and somehow thinks they are more nutritious than a turkey and cheese sandwich. It is so ludicrous that I can’t fathom it. Maybe, just maybe, these nuggets are real chicken, not “pink paste”. Still, they are breaded and fried. Is that what we want to teach our children is nutritious? I desperately want to think that they got it wrong, that some editor threw the nuggets in to inflame people like me. After seeing what our school cafeteria served my kids, I can’t assume that. Our school thought bread sticks with marinara sauce was good as a serving as grain and vegetables. And people wonder why I get so animated?
*Sigh* I’ll wipe the spittle off my chin and calm down. It just means I have more work to do.