When packing a lunch for her daughter last week, Leeza Pearson tossed in a sandwich, string cheese, and—since she was out of veggies and fruit—4 Oreo cookies as a snack. Imagine her surprise when her 4-year-old returned home that day—Oreos untouched—with a judgy note from Children’s Academy in Aurora, Colorado.
Imagine her surprise when her 4-year-old returned home that day—Oreos untouched—with a judgy note from Children’s Academy in Aurora, Colorado, which read:
"Dear Parents, it is very important that all students have a nutritious lunch. This is a public school setting and all children are required to have a fruit, a vegetable and a healthy snack from home, along with a milk. If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it. Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks, and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack. This is a very important part of our program and we need everyone's participation."
Let’s just say that Mom wasn’t amused. "I think it is definitely over the top, especially because they told her she can't eat what is in her lunch," Pearson told ABC News. "They should have at least allowed to eat her food and contacted me to explain the policy and tell me not to pack them again." (The school doesn't provide lunches.)
“Over the top” is one way to put it; galling is another. We know a healthy lunch is super-important, but this story doesn’t seem to be so much about the importance of good nutrition as it is about overriding a parent’s authority—not to mention handling the situation in the most ham-fisted way possible.
A spokeswoman for the Aurora Public Schools—who is probably praying this story goes away soon—explained that while it’s not set policy to drop preachy notes in lunchboxes, they do want to encourage healthy eating.
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Note to Aurora Public Schools: If that’s the case you may want to re-think that carbfest combo of potatoes and bread mentioned in the missive above. What’s more, you probably shouldn’t be sending out mixed signals. (Pearson claims the children were asked to bring in candy for an Easter celebration this past April and given jelly beans as a snack while staying for after-school care.)
"[My daughter] is not overweight by any means and I usually try to feed her healthy," Pearson said. "It’s not like I was offering cookies to the entire class and it's not like that was the only thing in her lunch."
Hmm…wonder what they're eating in the teachers’ lounge? Besides crow, I mean.
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