This morning I ran across this story on The Blaze about a four year old girl at a school in North Carolina. Her lunch was determined to not be “healthy” enough by a school monitor. It was taken away from her and she was fed chicken nuggets instead. What was in her brown paper bag that her mom packed for her? a turkey & cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice. Can you believe a mom would send this horribly unhealthy lunch to school for her child?

Growing up my mom always packed my lunches for me and they often consisted of these same kind of meals, except usually we had carrot sticks instead of potato chips. I’m appalled that the girl was fed chicken nuggets and milk as a “healthy” alternative.

What was your typical lunch when you were in school?

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”
- Thomas Jefferson

12 Responses to What is “Healthy”?

  1. KimH says:

    Whoaa.. Im afraid there would be a lawsuit slapped on them so fast their heads would spin if that were my child or grandchild. Unbelievable. I can not believe the ignorance and audacity of people. I do, but it still shocks me after all these years. Sigh.

    Fortunately, when I was in school, at least grade school, we still ate whole, real, food. Industrialized food was crackers, bread, canned meats, vegetables, & fruits in a can or jar. And ice cream. Thats just about it.

    I always wanted to take my lunch to school but most of the time we just payed for lunch instead. Im sure my mom thought I was bazarre..lol She still does, I think. ;)
    I remember I traded my bought lunch for someones home made lunch one time, or maybe it was just part of it. I got in trouble. ;)

    I hated King Ranch Casserole (The King Ranch was just down the highway from us) and we had it at school fairly often. Funny enough, I love it now, but dont eat it often. Most of the time when you see the recipe it uses chicken but the original was a way to use the thousands of turkeys that lined the road on the King Ranch in South Texas.

  2. Justin says:

    I find it really frustrating that the Media did such a poor job researching that story and that the Blogosphere unwittingly has helped to perpetuate the misinformation, which at this point is so far from what really happened, it’s sad.

    If you want to see more detail on it, I suggest this post from The Lunch Tray:
    http://www.thelunchtray.com/the-nugget-fiasco-did-a-government-inspector-really-force-a-kid-to-trade-in-her-home-packed-lunch/

    There are a lot of professional journalists working for some big news organizations who could learn a few lessons about journalistic integrity from Bettina’s post.

    • Susy says:

      The point of the story is the same either way you read it, whether the girl had to eat the entire school meal or just get milk. The government is forcing their rules about what is healthy on people. The child should not have been forced to buy milk to “round our her meal”. What if her mom only feeds her organic local milk and doesn’t want her child drinking hormone laden milk from plastic bottles. What if she doesn’t want her child eating GMO products, soybean oil, canola, nuts, etc. The bottom line is that the parent is responsible for the child’s eating, not the government or the school. Especially if a parent takes the time to pack a lunch for a child you know they’re looking out for their child nutritionally and you shouldn’t have to worry about it.

      If people on the Nutritional Assistance programs can buy soda with their gov’t dollars, this little girl should not be forced to drink toxic milk with her home packed lunch.

  3. Sarah says:

    For years I had a PB & J sandwich, a container of Yoplait, and an apple. I never ate the apple since my mom only bought the cheapest, mealiest apples and they were never good. To this day I’ll spend my grocery money on the best fruit and veggies I can find because I want my kids to think of these things as tasty and desirable. We homeschool so the kids eat lunch at home with me. Many days of the week they’re eating, you guessed it, PB & J and an apple! Some things never change, I guess. The nice thing is that if they want some variety they can have it. And I don’t have to worry about anyone taking their lunch away and feeding them a processed meat product. Unless it’s me. :)

  4. Bethany says:

    I usually had a sandwich or a soup in a thermos, a snack such celery with peanut butter, carrots, or crackers with cheese, some sort of fruit, sometimes I’d get a cookie and a juice box. Honestly, it probably wasn’t the best meal…white bread, saltine crackers, cookie, juice…but I’d still have to say it’s better than nuggets. I was a *very* picky eater and I would never have eaten a school lunch (hardly ate what was packed for me even though I liked it).

    But I do have to say, what should a school do if a parent packs a bag of doritos, a snickers, and a coke for lunch? I was a teacher and saw this with some of my students. The problem was that poorly fed children couldn’t learn as well and often were jumping off the walls. I’m against the government telling me what I can’t eat, buy I also kind of get it. Perhaps if they set out criterea at the beginning of the school year AND provided a real food alternative instead of the crap our schools are feeding our kids?

    • Susy says:

      I have my doubts that a school meal of chicken nuggets, jello, a few canned peaches and some strawberry or chocolate milk is any healthier than doritos and soda.

  5. Josie says:

    I do appreciate that the article should have been reported accurately but I also agree that accurate is not the point. The point is that the government should not be dictating what is healthy in food (as they are the chief protectors of much that is unhealthy in food production in this country!) and do not get me started on the over involvement of the Department of Education which is continuing to encroach into homes and is trying to dictate what normal is from one viewpoint, a political one. What ever happened to the diversity our country is suposed to be bult on? Tolerance is a two way street. Those who wish society to be tolerant of their views and beliefs should show the same courtsy to those who do not. At the end of the day parents give birth to children, the government does not breed them like livestock to be corn fed, packed in, and put to whatever use it desires. Ok so that leaned into a rant, but wow…this stuff makes me angry. We chose to homeschool our children particularly becuase we were so concerned about the institutions that schools have become, and the food is junk. :) Jefferson warned about government becoming the enemy of the people, how rght he was.

  6. PennyAshevilleNc says:

    Pizza is officially a vegetable here. Ridiculous.

  7. Jodiana says:

    Packing lunch from home will soon be the ONLY way to get a healthy meal if the government has it’s way with the “pink slime” being added to school lunches. We homeschooled our daughter for years and she has good eating habits now. She has been in the school system for 3 yrs now and she still much prefers to have a packed lunch. If she has to eat at school for some reason she gets salad or a sandwich and drinks white milk, I think she is the only one in her class who does! Her teachers always comment on how good her eating habits are.
    :) I have a video of her when she is 5 yrs old begging for spinach w/ vinegar instead of eating the ice cream sandwich!!! LOL

  8. When my dad made my lunch, he would microwave a potato for me, cut it in half, add butter and sour cream, then put the halves back together and wrap it in aluminum foil. It was still warm when I unwrapped it, and was really an extremely comforting thing to eat in a dreary school cafeteria. Way better than a sandwich, for me.

  9. Sierra says:

    A friend mentioned this story a few days ago. I couldn’t believe it, and as a parent, would be appalled if my child’s lunch was taken and replaced with chicken nuggets. Absolutely ridiculous.

  10. What I wanna know is, did her mom tear apart the principal’s office? ’cause that’s what would have happened had that been my child. But in a day and age where pizza sauce qualifies as “vegetables”, I’m not surprised.

    BTW, yesterday I awarded you the “Versatile Blogger” award – b/c that’s what we food bloggers do, and you’re certainly versatile! XO

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