A Florida father is enraged at his daughter’s daycare’s attempt to provide healthy meals for all of their kids in attendance. The daycare participates in the federally funded Child Care Food Program, which does not allow packed lunches unless they accommodate a food allergy or religious restriction. Jeff Carreira’s daughter is picky, she won’t eat a balanced lunch – and damn it he’s pissed that the daycare is trying to feed her one. He will not take this sitting down. Eyeroll.
”She’s not really into fruits and veggies right now, so we do the best we can. She’s a very picky eater,” the father of two said.
A recent inspection of the daycare noted that 56 children had lunches prepared at home. In most cases “the lunch boxes contained only snacks and did not include the minimum required food groups for nutritious meals.” The Florida Department of Children and Families requires that facility and meals brought from home meet specific nutrition guidelines. Carreira told WOFL-TV, “We took it as our lunches didn’t qualify … and we and all parents would not be able to provide lunches for our children.”
Carreira is so bent out of shape about this, he actually picks his daughter up an hour early so she can have lunch at home. The local news station looked into the packed lunch ban a little deeper and was told by a spokesperson for the DCF, Kristi Gray, that nutrition of homemade lunches isn’t something it considers in its inspections:
“The agency requires that when facilities provide lunches to children that they are nutritionally balanced,” Gray said in an email. “This agency does not require that facilities provide oversight of what parents pack for their children to eat. There would not be fines or citations issued as a result of the contents of a child’s lunch box.”
Kathryn Sutherin, the owner of the daycare responded to the news station by saying, “Shoot me, I really wanted to provide healthy meals. This is not to stop a parent who’s packing a healthy meal. It’s to stop the parent who’s putting marshmallows in with the Sour Patch Kids and that’s all they want their child to have for lunch.”
Carreira let his revolutionary spirit shine this week, by defying the packed lunch ban and sending his daughter to school with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some cheese puffs. How brave. Carreira claims he tries to trick his daughter into eating healthy foods, but in the end “the most important thing is that she’s eating.”
Maybe Sutherin is overstepping her bounds. Maybe Carreira is completely over-reacting. Maybe it’s a combination of both. I think Carreira needs a hobby, because this is a major waste of time. Let your picky daughter pick at her healthy lunch, and feed her the crap you insist she eats when she gets home. What is so difficult about that? She’s only there for a half day, it’s not like she’s going to starve.
When it comes to mealtime, some kids are amazing eaters, some aren’t. Most hang somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. I just love it when parents are committed to their child’s right to be a picky, impossible eater. It really gives me a lot of faith in the future of humanity, to know that there are a bunch of precious, entitled jerks running around who will soon age into entitled adults. All thanks to mom and dad’s unrelenting fight to let their little minions do whatever the hell they want.