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Parents Outraged After Teacher Throws Kid's Lunch Away - Leaves Him In Tears

It can be a tough job for a parent packing a child's school lunch box. Some kids have allergies. Some kids are picky eaters. Some staples at home, like peanut butter sandwiches, are prohibited on school grounds. But now, things are getting even harder. Teachers and lunch monitors are appointing themselves to judge what may be healthy or unhealthy in a child's lunchbox. It's not just a U.S. problem; it seems to be worldwide.

Schools generally require kids to bring in a nutritious lunch, but whether any item is specifically 'healthy' or not seems to be a matter of debate. Teachers and lunch monitors in some schools are confiscating lunches, in part or in whole, when they decide the parents made a poor choice. Kids are then given a sub-par substitute, a lecture, and are sent home with a note.

One mom in Canada says that her Kindergarten-age son was told he couldn't eat the slice of banana bread she bought for him. Because the bread had chocolate chips, it was deemed 'unhealthy'.

“He came home with a chart (listing healthy snack ideas) and told me he and the teacher talked about it and healthy choices. She also sent a note to me. I was really, really, really mad for several reasons,” Elaina Daoust, the child's mom, complained to The Star. “It’s not like he had chips or a chocolate bar.”

Another Canadian mom was fined $10 for sending her child without a 'grain' food group. She packed her son left-over homemade roast beef slices, potatoes, carrots, milk to drink and an orange for dessert.

In Australia, a mother was shamed for sending her child with a box of raisins because they had a high sugar content. In a form letter sent home, the mom was told to try packing fruit, fresh or dried, next time.

A woman from the U.K. posted on Mumsnet that she got a note from the school for packing too much food. Her vegan teen daughter brought a big lunch of fruits and vegetables, but the school officials thought it was too much, and that her avocado was unhealthy. They would have preferred she eat the cafeteria offerings of sausages and mashed potatoes.

Parents are frustrated that their choices are being second-guessed by school employees and volunteers who are not nutritionists. There seems to be no consistency from school to school, or even from class to class.

One mom said the Goldfish crackers and granola bar she packed in her daughter's lunchbox were confiscated. Meanwhile, the same items in her son's lunchbox a few doors down the hallway passed the muster. “It’s basically the teacher’s opinion,” she says. “Is a muffin more healthy than a granola bar? Maybe, maybe not. It depends what is in them. Is the teacher qualified to make these decisions? It should be up to the parents.”

It's admirable schools are trying to educate kids on nutrition and healthy eating; however, they might be overstepping their boundaries by being too judgmental about each individual item in a child’s lunchbox. A healthy diet consists of an overall approach that involves balance.

Source: Toronto Star
Photo: Opposing Views

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