If you send your child to school in Manitoba with roast beef, potatoes, carrots, an orange and some milk, you should prepare yourself for the inevitable accusations of negligence, a $10 fine and having your kids force-fed Ritz crackers to make up for your lack of parental ability.
That's right. Meat, vegetables and dairy are all fine and good. But if your kid doesn't get his or her daily intake of saturated fats and processed wheat products, you deserve a scarlet letter branded to your chest.
The health blog Weighty Matters posted recently on a Manitoba mother who received a rebuke from her child's school accusing her of sending her children to school with an "unbalanced" lunch in April.
"Meals that are provided to children (by either the center or parent) are required to have: 1 milk, 1 meat, 1 grain and 2 fruits/vegetable. According to licensing guidelines, the centre is required to supplement lunches that contain anything less than this," the note reads.
It adds that the lunch was supplemented with Ritz Crackers, and the parent was charged $10. And to add insult to insult, the note appears to have been written in the comic sans font.
According to Weighty Matters:
As (the mother) writes, had she sent along lunches consisting of, "microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box" those lunches would have sailed right through this idiocy. But her whole food, homemade lunches? They lacked Ritz Crackers.
The centre appears to have been directed by Manitoba's Early Learning and Child Care to stringently follow Canada's Food Guide.
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And on top of that is this idea that adding Ritz Crackers to an otherwise fresh and natural meal would be the way to solve this crisis. Sixteen grams of crackers include four grams of fat, a significant amount of it being saturated fat, and 141 mg of sodium.
They may not be the worst thing on the market, but they certainly aren't the silver bullet missing from a meal of roast beef, vegetables, fruits and milk.
The Weighty Matters blog notes that the education centre in question has since moved to a hot lunch program to ensure each child receives a balanced lunches.
So the national nightmare is over. Now every child will be ensured their daily requirement of Ritz Crackers.
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