Is this a joke?

I like to cruise the Huffington Post occasionally.  I still don’t have TV so I don’t get much in the way of current events if I don’t take this upon myself.  Perhaps the Huffington Post is fluffy, but that’s okay, I like fluffy.

Source: Kristen Bartkiw, the perplexed mother
Source: Kristen Bartkiw, the perplexed mother

I nearly fell off my chair today as I was reading.  Have you seen this one?  Originally reported by Weighty Matters blog, a mother in Manitoba sent a lovely lunch to daycare for her kids that consisted of yummy and wholesome leftovers:  roast beef, potatoes, carrots a cup of milk and an orange.

That sounds like a great lunch!  Healthy, filling.  Her kids are what?  Judging by the picture the National Post includes in their article, maybe 3 to 5 years old tops?

Um.  When my kids were five, all that food would have been more than enough to fill them.

But, it seems the daycare isn’t taking issue with how much food mom sent.  They are taking issue with the fact it wasn’t nutritious enough.  Mom hadn’t sent a grain product in the lunch.

I actually thought this was a joke at first.

Well, apparently, the province of Manitoba has a Nutrition Bill.  I’ll be damned if I can find anything about it anywhere except the references to it in the 18 articles I’ve read so that’s why no link.  Not a single article I read links to the actual bill – but they all mention it and 45 minutes with Google and I’m not closer to actually seeing that bill.  Sadly, this will mean I’m ranting without evidence and I don’t care for that – but come on!

So, the word in these 18 articles is that daycares in the province of Manitoba are required to provide a healthy lunch based on Canada’s Food Guide.  Well, I just spent another 30 minutes searching the Health Canada site where the Food Guide is provided and do you know, there is not a single thing anywhere that says lunch must have a grain?  Not one.

Back on track here:  so, what did the folks at this daycare do when they decided the lunch wasn’t healthy enough?  

They fined the family $5 per child per item that is missing from the lunch and supplemented the lunch… in this case they gave the child Ritz Crackers.  

Sorry, I’m on pause here.  I keep reading that over and over.  I am still unable to comprehend this.  Seriously! ? !

How do these balance the meal and make it more nutritious?
How do these balance the meal and make it more nutritious?

I can’ wrap my head around either piece here:  first, they wanted to make the lunch “more” nutritious so they gave Ritz farking crackers?  Ritz?  

Then, to add insult to inury… they fined the parent a total of $10 for providing said 2 crackers (I’m just guessing how many) to each of her children!

I understand the need to improve our children’s overall health.  I understand that the government wants to take a role in ensuring that kids will grow up healthy and strong.

While it’s true the guide indicates the children in this Manitoba family should eat 3 or 4 grains in a day, it does not specify that one must be at lunch time.  So who does this daycare think they are?

But is it just me?  Making suggestions and offering guidelines is one thing but a fine from the daycare because someone clearly playing with less than a full deck decided what that unbalanced, poor nutrition-content lunch needed was some Ritz Crackers to fix it?  Who the hell do they think they are??!!

And am I the only one who read that it was actually the daycare’s responsibility to provide the nutritious lunch and not the parent’s?  As one anonymous commenter [on the original Weighty Matters post] said:

” JUST HOW MUCH of a super-nanny state are you willing to IMPOSE on EVERYONE to effect those ends ? ? ?
…and -just by-the-by- doesn’t it disturb you to live in such an authoritarian system where sheeple accept such overly officious interference without bleating ? ? ?”

Uh-huh.  Nuff said.


10 thoughts on “Is this a joke?”

  1. Update: Found the link to the Manitoba guidelines finally. Proof positive that this particular daycare centre is overstepping their bounds and really, just trying to get some extra cash flow without any legal grounds for it. It’s just a stupid, greedy policy by a privately owned company. 🙂

    Sections 16 and 31 pertain to nutrition. Note that a) this is only pertinent to meals served by the facility, not sent from home and b) direction to follow Canada Food Guide, which I already established does not demand a grain with lunch!

  2. You have to be kidding! They couldn’t even give them Whole wheat saltines or Whole grain bread? Ritz crackers huh? Well now I realize how deficient my kids meals are and I guess I should start including a fatty, salty, sugary cracker with all of their meals. And $10 for 2 crackers! That had better be a dang good Ritz, LOL!!!

  3. I would be happy if that mom would make my lunch. It sure beats the prepackaged frozen entries that I usually take.

    As always, well done on the research and sharing the links.
    -Jerry B

    1. Me too! I often send leftovers and this one gave me pause, only because I couldn’t grasp that the mother’s right to feed her children what she wants was called into question with this event.

      Thanks for the praise, Jerry. 🙂 – Danielle

  4. That’s outrageous in every way. As frustrating as stories like this are, I always kind of jump with glee when they make big news, because at least the perps are getting called out!

  5. The snack food marketers are pushing weird-colored products down our kids’ throats. Meanwhile, schools, daycare centers, and the government are overdoing it at the other extreme. As usual, the parents are caught in the middle.

    Did they pay the fine?

    1. Hey, sorry I was so long replying.
      Hehehe, agreed whole-heartedly with your point. I thought this was a bit apropo to write about this story as I had done the series on GMO food production the prior week. Ritz are infamously GMO crop corn based on top of the saturated fats, sodium and food dyes. All “ick” really.

      But, in this instance of fine, it turns out the parent this happened to had actually been part of the daycare board who had created the policy! That’s irony!

      but, clearly it had not been implemented in the spirit they created the policy in and the daycare not only retracted the fine, they decided to create a hot lunch program so it won’t be a problem in future! 🙂

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