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What is a balanced school lunch?
School Forces Child To Eat Ritz Crackers to “Balance” lunch
Recently, there was an article about a Canadian school that charged a mom $5 per child, because she did not include a “grain” in her home packed school lunch. The school supplemented the children’s lunch with Ritz crackers to complete their “unbalanced” meal.
The children’s lunch included: meat, potatoes, carrot, milk, and an orange. Under the school’s “balanced” guidelines, a parent is supposed to pack: 1 milk, 1 meat, 1 grain, and 2 fruits and vegetables. This mom actually packed an extra vegetable – a starch (the potato) – which is by far better than a Ritz cracker.
Adapted from http://www.flickr.com/photos/buzzymelibee/8696769797/
What is in a Ritz Cracker?
Ritz cracker ingredients: Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil, Sugar, Raising Agents (Ammonium and Sodium Bicarbonates, Disodium Diphosphate), Salt, Glucose Syrup, barley Malt Flour. The crackers have more sugar than a potato and include vegetable oil (which is not a health food, read about healthy fats here). This doesn’t sound very healthy or balanced to me. If the school plans to routinely supplement children’s meals with Ritz crackers for health and nutritional reasons… they may need to rethink their plan.
So what is a balanced school lunch?
What are the foods all kids should eat? I wrote a previous post: 4 Food Groups all kids should eat. These food groups include: Saturated Fats Bone Broths Cultured foods (fermented foods) Seasonal, Local Produce
So in response
The school should widen it’s view of a “balanced” lunch. They possibly should eliminate the need to include grains entirely, because you can eat a balanced meal without eating grains. The school could offer one of the foods in the 4 food groups list to supplement a meal, if their goal is health. If the school continues to require grains to be included in the school lunch, parents could send my Almond flour Cheese Crackers (shhh they are grain free). These gluten free crackers are easy to make. They are grain-free, gluten-free and have good healthy saturated fats (one of the 4 food groups all kids need).
Here are some other recipes to try:
Healthy Budget Friendly School Lunches from Five Spot Green Living
Toddler Lunch ideas from The Zest and Zeal
43 Kid Friendly Real Food Snack Ideas by Vicariously Vintage
Healthy and Eco-Friendly Back to School tips from O’Boy Organic
Healthy School Lunches from O’Boy Organic
Nourishing Meal Ideas from Nourishing Faith and Family
What are your thoughts on a school enforcing what should be in a child’s lunch box?
What does a balanced lunch look like to you?