I pack the same lunch for my pre-K kid every single day: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, some form of fruit, some form of crackers, and juice. Do I think it’s especially healthy? No, not really. Do I know he’ll actually eat it? Yup. And that’s good enough for me. I’ll leave the interesting meals for dinnertime, thank you very much.
My #sorrynotsorry attitude about packing the same lunch for him everyday doesn’t mean I don’t have insecurities about it. I’ve seen the bento boxes on Pinterest. I know there are way more interesting, healthy choices for my child. I fantasize about sneakily opening a few of the lunch boxes on my way out the door after I drop him off to see what the other parents are doing. It’s accurate to say the whole lunch thing gives me a little anxiety. That’s why what happened to one Colorado mom who decided to throw a few Oreos in her daughter’s lunch is my nightmare.
Leeza Pearson packed her 5-year-old daughter a ham and cheese sandwich, string cheese and a 4-pack of Oreos on Friday. Her daughter came home with a note from the teacher that read:
“Dear Parents, it is very important that all students have a nutritious lunch. This is a public school setting and all children are required to have a fruit, a vegetable and a heavy snack from home, along with a milk. If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it. Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks, and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack. This is a very important part of our program and we need everyone’s participation.”
A fruit, a vegetable, and milk? Who packs milk in their kid’s lunch? Is that a thing? Gross. I’m not forcing my child to drink warm milk for lunch. And what’s with the potatoes and bread thing? This note is nonsense. Pearson told USA Today, “What the school thinks is healthy for her is not what I think is healthy for her. She needs to eat what she’s going to eat. That’s between me and her and our doctor — not the school.”
A spokesman for the private preschool says it’s not their policy to tell children what they can or can’t eat for lunch. She says they are “investigating” the note. Since the school didn’t seem to know about the note, it’s clear the teacher just sent it out on her own. She took it upon herself to take the Oreos from the child, too.
I don’t send my child to school with cookies, but that’s because I don’t want the other children who don’t have cookies to feel left out. Also, I like to save all tools for bribery for the time that I’m actually parenting. If I decided on whim to throw a couple cookies into my kid’s lunch and was sent a note about it — that would piss me off. Was this girl’s lunch particularly healthy? No. But that teacher has no idea what her diet at home is like, and frankly, unless a teacher is worried that a child doesn’t have enough food, it’s really none of their business.