The Division of Child Development and
Early Education at the Department of
Health and Human Services requires all
lunches served in pre-kindergarten
programs - including in-home day care
centers - to meet USDA guidelines.
That means lunches must 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.
Yeah, its silly.....Most public policy seems aimed at the bottom 2% of America (the kid with a twinkie and coke from home) but ultimately gets abused when enforced on those who are making informed decisions. You would hope a well thought letter stating why your kids lunch will not be containing grains or dairy would suffice. However that would take the system your in treating you like an individual rather than one of the herd so YMMV depending whose school and town your in.
Send an eternal bag of some cracker your kid hates. They'll never eat it, but it'll be in the lunch to be counted by the lunch police. Oh! I know, those crappy "cheese" and cracker packages. If your kid actually likes real food, that'll never get eaten, and you don't even have to drop a lot of money replacing them, since it'll never go bad. Just like Twinkies!
I don't really get it, if I sent my kid with a big bowl of coconut chicken curry, I'm a bad mother? Maybe the kid gets plenty of milk for breakfast and before bed, maybe he ate oatmeal for breakfast and popcorn as afterschool snack, and maybe he ate kale and potato soup for dinner with whipped cream & strawberries for dessert. Why must every meal have all food groups? If my kid were eating meat or fish, you can bet I would not place ANY dairy whatsoever with that meal, he'd get an upset stomach eating those 2 together!
Personally I would form a parents group to oppose this. But as long as I can claim grain and dairy intolerances, it would be ok. What do I care anyway, I'm homescholing. Life is too short to spend it in prison... ermm... school!
Just to toss this out there, it would be almost a legal impossibility for them to get away with this. The law hates interferences in a parent's rights to make the decisions they deem best for their children, even if they are contentious. I'm glad the story was debunked, but if you're worried about something like this actually happening in the future, I would recommend you not lose sleep over it. Read the statement they released in Mark Field's link above. They know they couldn't get away with it if they wanted to.