The fine line between enforcing the rules and being ridiculous
The mother, Kristen Bartkiw from Manitoba, sent homemade roast beef, potatoes, milk, carrots, and an orange for her kids’ lunch that day. Because the lunch was missing its second grain, the school gave her kids Ritz crackers to ‘supplement’ the meal and she was subsequently charged $10 ($5 per kid).
Now the price sounds ridiculous for a pack of crackers, but I understand setting it high like that to encourage parents to pay close attention and make sure they’re sending a fully balanced meal. And hey, if they don’t want to go through that effort, I’m sure the school provides a balanced lunch they can choose to buy instead.
The part I find ridiculous is that a pack of crackers doesn’t logically make this meal that much better for the kids. I read in one article that quoted the school worker (or maybe it was a daycare worker?) as saying that she could send microwave Kraft dinner with them every day and it would count as the grain.
I know they’re just enforcing the rules and if they let one bit slide, then it opens it up to a lot of interpretation and conflict….. but come on. Is it really worth their time to go around to every meal and count to make sure each kid has the right number of each type of food? And even if they somehow have nothing better to do, this is no way guarantees the kids will even EAT those foods, so what’s the point?
If I were in this boat, I would probably just toss an extra pack of crackers into the bag every day and be done with it. I don’t think having two grains is nutritionally better for them and would rather add more veggies or fruits if the kids would eat them. I had a hard enough time making sure the bento boxes I used to make had all the right proportions as it was….but to try to make sure I was fitting the school’s guidelines, too, by having separate grains instead of a single, larger portion of one? Ugh.