President Obama’s Nazi Lunch Inspectors Confiscate Child’s Lunch

Did you hear about the girl whose lunch was confiscated and whose mother was forced to pay for a school lunch of chicken nuggets that met government school lunch guidelines instead?

I did, and I was properly outraged until I came across this blog post suggesting that what actually happened was merely this:

“A child brought her lunch to school. The lunch consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich on white whole wheat bread, a banana, potato chips and apple juice. Someone decided the lunch wasn’t up to snuff and gave her a school lunch in addition. Reports say she ate three nuggets from the school lunch, threw the rest away, and took her packed lunch home.”

 And, yeah, that shouldn’t have happened. But neither, says Robin Shreeves, sustainable food mom blogger, should it have incited such sensationalism:

“This sensationalism over one incident hurts the discussions and changes that are happening. It makes some people who are wary of government intervention even more wary and closes their minds to dealing with the real issues. It doesn’t even look like it was government intervention. And, even if it turns out that the one person who made the decision to give the girl a school lunch did work for the government, it’s still not intervention based on any government guidelines or laws. It’s one misguided employee’s judgment.”

What’s your take? I find the “outrage” mode that seems always to be on (and in which I more-than-occasionally indulge) to be very tiring. But I don’t like the thought of schools having the right to rifle through lunches. But then again, I feel for students who lack parents who know/care enough to make a reasonably healthy sack lunch. I feel that nutrition standards in school have a place. I don’t know.

What say you, gentle reader?

 {Have a beautiful weekend! See you Monday!}

11 thoughts on “President Obama’s Nazi Lunch Inspectors Confiscate Child’s Lunch

  1. As a mom who packs my child his lunch, I decide what he eats. Supervising the nutrition of a child who actually did bring their lunch is not the school’s job! So yes, I guess I feel some outrage since I could see myself in the parent’s shoes. Give the free lunch to the kid who didn’t bring anything.

    Nutrition standards for schools should start with the food they are serving, not what Mom is packing. Chicken nuggets? Gross!

    1. Yeah, I would be super annoyed if someone replaced my kids’ lunch at school! I guess Robin’s point is that, yes, this was wrong of the lunch supervisor to do, but it didn’t quite warrant the media explosion that followed!

      And, yes, you are so right about nutrition standards starting with the food they serve. Unfortunately, Big Business interests dictate those government standards–hence pizza is a vegetable!

      Happy Weekend!

  2. I’d be outraged if my kid was treated as this kid was, especially because her packed lunch was very reasonably healthy. When I pack my kids’ lunch, it’s my choice what to pack. And I know parents and teachers who would look down their noses at me because I ALWAYS include a dessert and gladly let my kids drink chocolate milk and occasionally a juice box if I’m out of packaged milk. But no, this single incident shouldn’t be universalized to become outrage at government lunch Nazis.

    And for the record, while I don’t think pizza is a “vegetable,” I also think pizza is one of the healthier foods many kids eat, so long as it’s not stuffed-crust extra-meat pizza. Tomato sauce is an excellent source of all the good stuff in a raw tomato, and kids like mine, who won’t eat a tomato and often won’t eat tomato sauce in any other way, love their pizza. I think pizza gets a bad nutritional rap!

    1. I know, right? Her lunch was FINE! And you KNOW I agree with you that pizza is reasonable food. =) Mmm. I think we’ll have that for lunch.

  3. We can never win it seems. McDonalds was hit hard on the food they put out because it was making our kids fat. Now chicken nuggets are being served in the schools. I would not put them in my kids school lunches from home and let them sit around til noon. Now they eat them cold and take the change of food poisoning.

  4. For the record, it’s not just one incident. Another mother, Diane Zambrano, has said that the same thing happened in January to her daughter, who’s in the same class as the other little girl.

  5. When my daughter was in junior high, the school started requiring that students who bought food in the cafeteria give their ID number at the register. So if she bought a bottle of juice or milk, or a whole lunch, her purchase was recorded by her ID number. I asked the principal why they wanted to track what she bought. He said it was just to track inventory, not individual kids. I pointed out that they can track inventory without individual student ID numbers. He said the district had decided to do it this way. I told him this was nonsense. He insisted it wasn’t.

    You can see how my battle with school bureaucracy went.


      1. In our school district they use the student ids because the parents can pre-pay online or by check and the children don’t have to carry around cash.

        On another note, this story is totally weird. We don’t give students school lunches unless they don’t have food. With the types of foods these parents send in we would be providing lunch for practically every child. Many of the children bring in a bag of snack food for lunch and a drink. Goldfish, fruit snacks, squeezable yogurt, crackers, string cheese, etc. I hardly see a sandwich or thermos with real food in it these days.

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