At first I looked to see where this story took place, because part of me is still naïve enough to assume it must have happened in China or North Korea. But I should know better these days:
A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.
The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.
The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs — including in-home day care centers — to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.
When home-packed lunches do not include all of the required items, child care providers must supplement them with the missing ones.
The girl’s mother — who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation — said she received a note from the school stating that students who did not bring a “healthy lunch” would be offered the missing portions, which could result in a fee from the cafeteria, in her case $1.25.
When I think “healthy alternative” the first thing that pops into my mind is “chicken nuggets.”
At least now the kid knows who the real boss is, and that’s the whole point:
When the girl came home with her lunch untouched, her mother wanted to know what she ate instead. Three chicken nuggets, the girl answered. Everything else on her cafeteria tray went to waste.
“She came home with her whole sandwich I had packed, because she chose to eat the nuggets on the lunch tray, because they put it in front of her,” her mother said. “You’re telling a 4-year-old. ‘oh. you’re lunch isn’t right,’ and she’s thinking there’s something wrong with her food.”
This is part of the State’s “we know better than your parents” training program. It has nothing to do with food or nutrition. This is the “ghost of Let’s Move future” creeping into the present — how’s it look?
It’s not like they haven’t been telegraphing their intentions for a long time. Here’s Michelle Obama:
“Many of the children in the public schools, they take this information, they understand it,” said Mrs. Obama. “They apply it to their lives, and they push their parents and their families to be different. That’s one of the reasons why we start with kids oftentimes. They are ready for change sometimes when we’re not.”
People who want to believe these kind of statements are just innocent metaphors for healthy living do so at their own peril and that of their children.