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Would Your Child's Lunch Pass Inspection?

A North Carolina incident has some questioning whether government regulations have gone too far.


A North Carolina preschooler recently had her lunch confiscated and replaced with a school meal after a state agent decided the contents of her lunch box were not healthy enough, Fox News reports.

The child was given a school meal that included chicken nuggets to replace the turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, apple juice and potato chips she had brought from home. According to an account in the Carolina Journal, the person inspecting lunches that day did not feel the girl's lunch met U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines that require lunches 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. 

The Carolina Journal further reports that state regulations mandate, "When children bring their own food for meals and snacks to the center, if the food does not meet the specified nutritional requirements, the center must provide additional food necessary to meet those requirements."

While the idea of having your child's lunch inspected may seem preposterous, the National Review Online reports lunch inspections have been taking place in England for years. In a prescient July 2010 article, Julie Gunlock wrote, "One might think of this as just another wacky Big Brother anecdote coming out of Europe. But the truth is, food police are already active in American public schools, and it likely won’t be long before they start snooping into our kids’ lunchboxes. No doubt any child caught with Twinkies, Ho Hos, or Ding Dongs will be sent home immediately, with a note advising his parents on how to provide better meals."

What do you think? Should the government regulate the meals parents provide for their children? Is it appropriate for state agents to inspect lunch boxes? How would you feel if your child's lunch from home was inspected or confiscated? Tell us in the comments.

Crystal Huskey February 17, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Hello homeschooling. This is ridiculous and insulting to that mother that got up early to pack her kid's lunch with love and attention. Preschoolers are notoriously picky, and the mother would know much better what her child would eat than the state.
Christina Johnson March 04, 2012 at 12:46 PM
I'd be in trouble everyday for what my son takes to eat in pre k. Most of the kids that buy a school lunch throw half of it away anyway. At least I know my son is eating what he brings from home. Yogurt, cheese, peanut butter or Nutella on 100% whole wheat.

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