February 15 2012

Home-Packed Meals Don’t Meet Government Standards

National Review Online: The Home Front

Julie Gunlock

 

In recent weeks, the first lady has been touring the country on campaign stops celebrating the two-year anniversary of the Let’s Move Campaign. She’s bragged about the Obama administration’s so-called victories over childhood obesity including making school lunches“healthy” (never mind that no one appears willing to eat these new lunches), strong-arming grocery stores to change the very recipes for their house-brand products (even though many of these “healthy” new recipes aren’t selling), and requiring restaurants to post calorie information on their menus (even though this information is largely ignored).

Congrats!

The administration has also done wonders for the child-parent relationship by managing to remove thousands of parents from the role of feeding their children by automatically enrolling low-income children in school-run feeding programs. And just yesterday, news broke of a perfect example of this creepy, big-brother overreach. 

In North Carolina, a state lunch inspector (what’s that?) declared one elementary-school child’s home-packed lunch of a turkey-and-cheese sandwich, banana, chips, and apple juice to be in violation of — wait for it — government nutrition standards. So, what healthy item did they offer this young child in place of her mother’s lovingly packed lunch. I kid you not: chicken nuggets!

Oh . . . it hurts . . . can’t . . . stop . . . laughing.

The Obama administration should be proud. It’s worked so hard to discourage parents to pack their children lunches (why should parents when their children are automaticallysigned up for institutional food), that now it’s had to dispatch lunch-room commandants to discourage those parents still determined to do it the old-fashioned way: at home using a brown bag.

Doubters that this is a real problem take note: Inspection of kids’ sack lunches has beenhappening in England for years. If you think this is an exceptional case of one food inspector gone rogue, don’t be so confident. 

We as a nation are ceding our responsibilities to care for our children every day. Even the most basic tasks — like packing simple lunches — are being turned over to our government overlords who know much better than we simple folks how best to feed our children.

It’s unsettling, and it must stop.

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