Thursday, 16 February 2012

State Inspector: Girl's Sack Lunch Unhealthy; She Must Eat Cafeteria Food

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“Parents are useless. The state is God.” That, says editor Mike Adams, was the message conveyed when a North Carolina state agent told a preschooler the lunch her mother had packed for her was insufficiently nutritious and made her eat chicken nuggets instead. In fact, according to Carolina Journal, the agent found the lunch of every single child in the class wanting and forced them all to consume school cafeteria food — which must have had the kids wondering what they had done to deserve such cruel and unusual punishment.

“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,” writes the Journal’s Sara Burrows. “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.”

Dutifully inspecting the midday meal of every child in the More at Four class at West Hoke Elementary School in Raeford, North Carolina, on January 30, a state employee came across the girl in question. Her lunch, consisting of a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, potato chips, and apple juice, was deemed substandard and was replaced by a tray full of cafeteria food, including the chicken nuggets. She ended up eating only the nuggets, wasting the rest of the food on the tray, and taking the lunch her mom had packed back home. And then the school charged her mother $1.25 for the food they’d forced on her daughter.

“Telling little Johnny that his mom packed an ‘inferior’ lunch is one way of teaching children that they should worship the state instead of their parents,” avers Adams.

That point was not lost on the girl’s mother, who told Burrows, “What got me so mad is … don’t tell my kid I’m not packing her lunch box properly.” She later added, “You’re telling a 4-year-old, ‘oh, your lunch isn’t right,’ and she’s thinking there’s something wrong with her food.”

She explained that she packs a lunch that she knows her daughter will eat, which means it always includes fruit but not a vegetable. “She eats vegetables at home because I have to watch her because she doesn’t really care for vegetables.”

The mother, Burrows reports, “said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation.” Yes, in 2012 America a woman must keep her identity secret for fear that her daughter will be punished because her mother dared assert her rights as a parent — a distinct possibility in an era in which children are snatched from their parents on the most specious of grounds.

Burrows talked to Division of Child Development spokeswoman Jani Kozlowski, who said she believed that the girl’s sack lunch “would’ve met all of the standard” and should not have required supplementation under the law.

However, she said, “If a parent sends their child with a Coke and a Twinkie, the child care provider is going to need to provide a balanced lunch for the child” and should “talk with the parent about that not being a healthy choice for their child.” Parents, it seems, cannot be trusted to see to their own kids’ upbringing.

Kozlowski did state that the school should not have charged the girl for the food they gave her, and the school principal, Jackie Samuels, told Burrows he was unaware that the children had been charged for the food. Neither Kozlowski nor Samuels, apparently, saw anything wrong with having a state agent searching through kids’ lunch boxes and foisting cafeteria food on them in an effort to make their lunches meet the government’s standard.

Such lunch inspections, by the way, seem to be common in the Tar Heel State. A caller from Boone, North Carolina, told Rush Limbaugh:

About eight months ago my wife and I decided to enroll our son in daycare here in North Carolina, and I got this huge packet of sheets that I had to fill out, and they, you know, field trip permission slip, take your photo permission slip, and one of them was, “By signing this you agree that you’ll meet the state’s requirements for a preschool lunch,” even though I’m packing it. And it says I have to have six ounces of milk or a milk substitute, four ounces of meat or a meat substitute, three ounces of grain, three ounces of vegetable, three ounces of fruit, and goes on and on and on. And I did not sign it and I fought about it with them and they pointed me to the state official that I could talk to, and they told me that, “If your son doesn't like milk just pack it anyway and we’ll dump it out for you and then you can pack something else.” And I said, “Do you know how much a gallon of milk costs?” And they said, “Well, that’s the rules and you have to follow ’em if you want to be in daycare.” So now I’ve got the government telling me that I’m not smart enough to feed my own child.

Not only that, but the government is also telling him that what matters is not whether his son actually consumes what the state requires but merely whether the state-approved foods are provided for him — the same situation that occurred with the girl at West Hoke Elementary, who ended up eating almost nothing for lunch but managed to satisfy the cafeteria bureaucrat simply by having the approved foods plopped on a tray in front of her. Waste, after all, is what government does best.

Speaking of West Hoke Elementary,’s J. Doug Gill discovered on the school website that the institution is so concerned for the health of its students that:

At the end of each month the school honors its best and brightest through motivational programs such as the “Student of the Month” and “Terrific Kids” contests.

A child who has fantastic work habits, a wonderful attitude and excellent attendance may be honored as Student of the Month and as a result receives not only awards but also a free Domino’s Pizza.

The Terrific Kid award goes to the student who is the most thoughtful, enthusiastic, respectful, responsible, friendly and caring[. The student] will also receive awards along with a coupon to the Waffle House and “delicious ice cream.”

Such hypocrisy only makes the lunch inspections that much harder to swallow.

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