In efforts to stem the growing trend of childhood obesity, California lawmakers passed legislation in 2005 that restricted the sugar and fat content levels in food sold on public school campuses. The law went into effect in 2007, but outcry from parents and students against the regulations is bringing the nutritional restrictions to the notice of the national public. While the focus is currently on California, over 600 school districts across the country have similar strictures, with Kentucky campuses being subject to the strictest regulations.
As a way of trying to combat the idea of childhood obesity, there is apparently a law in North Carolina where school officials check lunch boxes for the nutritional value of the lunch, then offer up a lunch that meets USDA guidelines. However, an incident at the West Hoke Elementary School is getting a lot of attention lately.
From the Carolina Journal:
RAEFORD - A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because a state employee told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.
The girl’s turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the agent who was inspecting all lunch boxes in her More at Four classroom that day.
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. 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.
The girl’s mother - who said she wishes to remain anonymous to protect her daughter from retaliation - said she received a note from the school stating that students who did not bring a “healthy lunch” would be offered the missing portions, which could result in a fee from the cafeteria, in her case $1.25.