Food Inspector Replaces Pre-Schooler's Lunch with Cafeteria "Nuggets". Your gut reaction?

Ellen - posted on 02/15/2012 ( 16 moms have responded )




If you haven't seen or heard this story, here is it for you to read:

The short version: a lunch sent from home which included a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, apple juice and potato chips was taken away from a child by a state worker. Instead, this little girl was charged $1.25 for the cafeteria lunch featuring chicken nuggets. She ate three and none of the other sides of fruit and vegetables. This raises all kinds of questions. What is your gut reaction - your opinion?

... for the health of families,



Patricia - posted on 11/27/2012




Another reason why I homeschool my child. So many freedoms are taken away from these children.


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Jane - posted on 02/20/2012




I have been very successful with my daughter and her eating habits, but not with my son. He would rather go hungry than eat healthy foods or even make his own sandwich. He has totally bought in to the fast food ideal. Since he is bipolar and ODD I have to admit that I have capitulated to some degree because I do not want to be physically assaulted.

As to making a change in the food served, that can be very, very difficult in some districts. A lot of it is a matter of cost. Chicken nuggets are much cheaper than whole chicken, and artificial cheese pizza is cheaper than grilled cheese. Having just enough lunch ladies there for just long enough to serve pre-made food is much cheaper than having a large enough full-time staff to start off at six am chopping vegetables. Part-time lunch ladies get paid less AND they don't get benefits like insurance.

Look at that British chef who was trying to help the LA school district begin to serve healthier choices. He never even got in the door, even with media attention, parental support, and lawyers.

I don't know first hand how they do it in New York or Canada today, but I do know South Texas. Most parents fight to have the schools coddle their children, and most of the parents have the same eating habits as their kids. We have high to the highest rates of all sorts of bad things: morbid obesity, Type II diabetes, teenage mothers, unmarried parents, illiteracy. Our whoIe society needs to be overhauled!

I could spearhead a fight, but because my son is in Special Education in a district where many administrators and teachers don't believe in mental illness, I have other more important battles to fight.

As to going home for lunch, we never lived close enough to school to go home for lunch, and in a few cases rode the bus because a major highway separated school and home.

We packed our lunches because it was cost-effective and because our parents said we had to. I will admit to every now and then saving up my allowance to have hot lunch on spaghetti day, but those were the only school lunches I ever had. I have given my kids the same option. My daughter complied happily but my son prefers to tell CPS that I don't feed him.

BTW my first day of school (kindergarten) was in 1958.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/20/2012




I was born in the 80's my school didn't do it. When my parents went to school in the 50's and 60's they went home for lunch.

Every school I've gone to and the ones I've sent my older daughter to (my younger one is 11 months) have had gym and recess (except for high school we didn't do recess then) I haven't heard of a school in New York to cut PE yet and even with the strike to work students in BC still have PE. This morning my daughter went right into the gym after morning announcements to do excersize and they get outside in good weather to go on the playground.

I'm very picky so I always packed my lunch. Here in BC most Elementary and middle schools don't have cafeterias unless you're in a large city like Vancouver or Victoria. My older daughter gets a packed lunch unless we paid 5$ to buy the hot lunch that is only available a few Wednesdays a month.

If you want to do something to change your child's school lunch program then by all means contact your school district. Don't blame large companies for what your children or other children are eatting. You're the parent, not the school district or your child. And again if you believe that your child isn't getting enough excersize at school, then sign them up for a sport or take them to a playground.

I don't get why some parents are kvetching and blaming media and fast food companies for what is happening to their children's eatting habits. My daughter is 7 and yes we go to McDonald's or White Spot once in a while, but she also is very good at eatting her vegatables (she steals broccoli from her step dad when we have it for dinner!) because that's what she was taught.

Jane - posted on 02/20/2012




It had 400 kids, and it was the only way to do it back then. The first McDonald's had barely opened its doors and you still went to soda fountains to get your ice cream treats.

The high school I went to did the same thing, and it had 5,000 students crammed into a school designed for 2,000. They finally built a new school in 1970.

And back then, every kid had either recess (elementary age) or PE every day.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/20/2012




Jane, exactly how large was your school that everything could be 'made from scratch'?

I can tell you all one thing that in my school district in New York nothing is fried because it would take too long and if you have an issue with your child's school lunch (as I did at times) pack a lunch instead and make it a point to speak with your child's school. My mom works as a program trainer for food service brokers in the US and parts of Ontario. I've managed to see some of the invoices she's had to look through for a few states which include purchasing garden salads, and white meat chicken. So I do know what goes into a school lunch in a few states besides my own.

My daughter went to a private school last year that had about 300 children and obviously you can't make everything from scratch . They also had 45 minutes of recess outside unless the windchill was below freezing or it rained where they ran around on the playground.

This year is a little different because we live in BC where the teachers have a strike to work because the government has increased class sizes and cut funding and broke the contract with the teachers. However the teachers are still doing what they should to keep students educated and we have class monitors to watch them eat lunch (brought from home unless you ordered a hot lunch for Wednesdays because our school doesn't have a cafeteria- most elementary schools don't) and take them out on the playground.

It's not up to the school to make sure your child is eatting healthy and getting activivities. It's up to the parents or guardians of the child. If you have an issue with something at your school, then get off your butt and do something about it. In this case if this had happened to my child back in NY all 4 news stations would've known about it.

Tina - posted on 02/19/2012




My reaction is WTF. If the child has no lunch or just a packet of chips I'd think thats reasonable but this is just a joke

Jane - posted on 02/19/2012




I would be madder 'n' spit, in the principal's office as soon as I heard, and in the superintendent's office if it happened again. Except for the chips that lunch was healthier than the nuggets.

I tried eating the lunch at my kids' school once - it was terrible! Fatty, salty, sugary, full of preservatives and not much else.

When I was a kid schools that had cafeterias had REAL cafeterias, where the lunch ladies actually cooked everything from scratch right there at the school. My kids' school has the food trucked in from the "Central Kitchen" and all the lunch ladies do is set it out, serve it, and keep track of who owes money to the cafeteria. And it looks as if it probably comes frozen in bulk and is simply heated up, possibly in a giant microwave.

Another huge difference between my school days and today is the motivation behind menu planning. When I was a kid, menus were designed to be healthy, inexpensive, and filling, and you were expected to be hungry enough to eat it whether you liked it or not.

Today, they try to serve things that kids "like," things discovered to appeal to kids' immature taste buds that prefer salt, sugar and fat. These are the same things that huge companies like McDonald's have researched to a fair thee well. So the serve serve chicken nuggets, french fries, tacos, pizza, ice cream and chocolate milk.

In addition, we walked to and from school and we had recess that involved jump rope, dodge ball, and other active games. That made us hungry enough to even eat the spinach they served. Well, sometimes. Plus, when we got home from school we rode bikes, used our scooters, jungle gyms and swings, and generally burned off everything we ate.

Melissa - posted on 02/19/2012




i worked in a child care facility that was a latchkey program. Our kids would come after kindergarten. Our requirements for lunch were the same, however we were not always that picky, we made sure that they were following the basic guidelines regularly. We always had a little bit of all the food groups on hand for snacks anyways because we provide snack in the afternoon for all kids. So when it came down to it if a child was missing a food group we would supplement their lunch. Also if a parent sent something like cookies or junk, we would let the child know they had the fun stuff, but they had to eat the good stuff first! And that they could have it after they ate the good and healthy stuff first.Sometimes parents would send the lunchable pizza's and we considered that 3 food groups the meat, cheese and bread, but it got some kids to eat. Sometimes you can only do so much with a childs lunch and sometimes they are so picky too! I bet you the turkey sandwich was 100% healthier than those nuggets even eatting those chips would have been better!

Tee - posted on 02/15/2012




SMH in disgust. I would still be at the school reading them the riot act. I can see giving the child a school lunch IF what they had brought was not healthy but this child's lunch was fine.

Turkey and cheese sandwich - grain, protein and dairy

Banana & apple juice - fruits

If anything they should only have had an issue with the chips but not take the child's lunch away.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/15/2012




My gut reaction on here I'm greatful that this never happened in New York where my older child went to school last year (there was a boy who would come in from time to time with a mini can of SODA and this was never confescated) And now that I live in BC this won't happen because we only do a pre paid hot lunch once a week and students bring their lunch because most primary schools (including mine) don't have cafeterias.

I would be quite angry with the school officials if this did happen. How do these people know that this child doesn't have allergies to certain things or a religious conviction that would prohibit eatting something that had touched pork? It was a bag of potato chips ffs! Not a Twinkie or a Swiss roll! And everything else in that lunch was healthy.

If this had happened at my daughter's school last year I would've been coming for lunch a lot more often and bringing my daughter's lunch right to her lunch table.

Amanda - posted on 02/15/2012




I would have caused all kinds of hell. That's ridiculous.

If the child had a lunch box full of junk food I can understand them suggesting a replacement with a healthy alternative and sending a letter home with the child with a list of acceptable lunch box items, but replacing a sandwich with nuggets???

[deleted account]

That's absurd. I could 'understand' (though still not fully agree w/ it) if the kid's lunch was full of nothing but junk... that definitely wasn't the case here. The state worker overstepped completely.

Amy - posted on 02/15/2012




I just posted the same thing in debating moms. I would be furious and I honestly think the state and federal government are overstepping their boundaries! My son is very small for his age and it's a battle to get him to eat at home, I would be wasting so much food if I had to send in milk, 1 grain, and two fruits and veggies each day. I understand the school has to offer a balanced meal but I think they need to stop policing parents so much!

Kaitlin - posted on 02/15/2012




name of state worker please, and I'd like to speak with the super NOW, thank you.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/15/2012




My reaction? I am glad I pack lunch, and if my childs food was taken away from them in school, I would raise all sorts of hell. Would even thing about getting the news involved. Unreal.

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