I was shocked when I heard this. So I ran to my computer and googled the words "state employee lunch nuggets" and found that my ears were not deceiving me.
This is sad, but apparently, true.
A state employee was rifling through a child's lunch to make sure that it was up to USDA standards. According to the school, because the lunch packed at home was bereft of a veggie, they had to throw the child's lunch out and replace it with something they deemed healthier:
I'm not even kidding.
When I posted this on Google+, someone comment included a reference to Jamie Oliver's nugget making fiasco. A friend told me that at the end, after seeing how gross the nugget-making process was, kids were still willing to eat the nuggets. One child asked the question, "What if you're really hungry?"
That's the sad side of this story. There are kids that aren't getting proper nutrition outside of a state school. Either their parents don't have enough money and resort to cheap drive-thru meals to survive, or they just do it because it's easier than preparing a healthy meal. I'm not going to judge. I've resorted to McDonald's for the very same reasons, (most recently, this morning) to get a pancake breakfast because we were running too late to make breakfast at home. I did, however, pack them a healthy lunch similar to the lunch I packed yesterday for Valentine's Day:
If that would've been tossed and replaced by nuggets from a school cafeteria, I would have lost my marbles!!
I'm not going to say you are an evil person for ever feeding your kids nuggets. I WILL say that a state employee inspecting a child's lunch and deeming what that child had as insufficient, tossing it, then replacing it with a chicken nugget lunch is unbeleivable! As many of my friends pointed out, this child could have had food allergies. Or what if the family is vegan or keeping kosher? Or as the mother pointed out, the child gets her vegetables at home. But I suppose a state employee couldn't really be sure, so just toss the lunch and charge the mom.
Taking away the fact that the replacement lunch was nuggets, the issue is really that kids lunches are even being inspected in the first place! Sure there are plenty of parents that send their kids to school with crappy lunches, but where does looking out for a few kids turn into monitoring the behaviors and diets of ALL kids?
On Thursday evening, I'll be on a Twitter Chat about the childhood obesity ads in Georgia lead by my pal, Leah Segedie. That's another extreme that I'm sure started out as a well-inentioned idea to keep kids healthy, but has backfired in a very ugly way. We'll be talking about better ways to get kids and families to live healthier lifestyles. I'm definitely going to bring up the mixed message of a school thinking that nuggets are better than a healthy meal that a mom lovingly packed at home. I hope you'll join us.
As a Facebook friend said, "... and so the pendulum swings again to the point of being ridiculous!"
What do you think?