Parents Fight For Their Right To Raise A Picky Precious Snowflake As School Bans Home Lunches

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 10.55.49 AMA 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.

(photo: YouTube)

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    • Natalie

      If you can find it watch Louis C.K last appearance (March) on Saturday Night Live, discussing “First World Hunger” super funny and applies in this case.

    • Emily A.

      Hahaha next year my picky kids are attending a school that provides good, healthy lunches and I am throwing an effing party. Maybe they will try new things! Plus, are there really people who *like* packing lunch?

    • Kim

      My son is a picky eater, as a toddler he was at the more extreme end of the scale. When the crèche he attended started doing their own meals I was relieved actually, to the point where I jokingly told them “he’s your problem now suckers!”. I can tell you he managed, if lunch was too challenging for him and he ate next to nothing the morning or afternoon teas would have something he would eat. I think sitting there and getting dished up the same food as everyone else was a good experience for him. Now my daughter goes to the same crèche and the teachers there still ask how his eating is going because he’s the most extreme case they’ve had.

    • Dixie

      I’m a picky eater and I HATE IT. I’m not picky to be “special” or get attention. Life would be so much easier if I weren’t picky. Being a picky eater is often not a choice. I’d love to eat a salad, but the texture of lettuce makes me gag. Just the smell of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables makes me sick. Sometimes it is more important that a child is eating.

    • 1Hell

      My family always considered me picky. Turns out the foods I still don’t like are the ones that were preferred by kids. I always hated corndogs, hotdogs, cheeseburgers, lasagna, and other heavy foods. I loved fish and mushrooms and other foods kids generally hated.

      I did have a hard time with veggies until we got a garden, and then I realized it was the metallic can taste I hated.

      There were meals I hated that my stepfather loved, and on those days my mom would fix an alternative meal, usually something I loved that my stepfather hated, like shrimp. My mom didn’t think it was fair that I would have to choke something down just because he liked it and he wouldn’t have to do the same.

    • Pappy

      Children need to be exposed to a new taste anywhere from 6-12 times before they get accustomed to it. Also, we’re hardwired by evolution to like salty, sweet and fatty foods so OF COURSE children will automatically favor those.
      If your child rejects a food the first few times you offer it, your reaction shouldn’t be “Oh she doesn’t like it,” but rather “I haven’t taught her to like it yet.” Wait until they’re hungry and keep offering it. Don’t bully them into eating it, but do insist they at least taste it. Keep at it until they’re adjusted to it! Rome wasn’t built in a day.
      And, if at all possible, get them to grow their own veggies. Obviously this isn’t possible for many people, but if you can go for it! Children are much more likely to eat something they grew themselves. I’ve seen kids who “hate” vegetables munching down bowls of bean or peas they grew themselves with delight.

    • Camille

      Banning homemade lunches would make me really angry too, because I don’t want my son eating the ‘healthy’ food (chicken nuggets, corn dogs) on the daycare’s federal food program approved lunch. This article takes a look at the situation in one way. The situation is actually very different based on the parent’s aims, or the food served by daycares.

    • Melanie Black

      I still think parents should retain the right to pack lunches for their kids. Feeding children IS a parental responsiblity, after all. Just because this guy’s reasons don’t jive with a lot of people doesn’t make it right to dictate in that matter. If he doesn’t like the daycare’s policies, then he should find another one.