When one mother packed her daughter’s lunch box that morning before the school run, she never thought her day would end up like it did.
Out Of Fruit And Veg
Leeza Pearson ran out of fruit and vegetables, so instead of letting her daughter go hungry, she threw in a pack of Oreos in her lunch box and dropped her off at school at the Children’s Academy in Aurora, Colorado.
Pearson claimed that she was extremely dumbfounded when she picked up her 4-year-old, later that afternoon, and opened her lunch box to find the packet of cookies not only untouched, but also a strongly worded letter from the school. What could have possibly gone wrong? Al these thoughts started to enter her mind.
Children’s Best Interest
Leeza always had her children’s best interest at heart, and every day she woke up extra early to prepare their packed lunches with nutritious and delicious food that would keep them going throughout the day at school.
Being a single mother, juggling her career and children was challenging at times, and especially food shopping was a difficult task. However, no matter what challenges faced her, she did her best at all times to ensure that her cupboards were filled with delicious and nutritious ingredients. Of course children also love snacks and sweet things, who doesn’t, and life is all about balance.
Cause For Concern
Her daughter was a happy girl, who was popular with the other kids, and also the teachers. She never broke the rules, or acted out intentionally, so when she returned home that fateful day with a note from the school, she was concerned as to what could have happened and wondered whether her daughter was in trouble. Soon she would learn, that she was in fact in trouble.
When she opened her daughter’s lunch box, she saw the dreaded note sitting next to the packet of oreos that she had packed for her earlier that day. When she picked it up to read it, she was well and truly gobsmacked at what she read.
After reading it, she felt angry and frustrated. She did not feel that the school had the right to send her child home with such a ridiculous note. But what did it say to get her all riled up?
What The Note 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.” But there was more.
“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”
Bread And Potatoes
She wondered to herself, why does having bread and potatoes make for a healthy lunch? Where have they got this information that proved that that was a healthy lunch?
Pearson stated that she was frustrated at the situation. Her daughter came home hungry and confused, and she does not feel that it was dealt with in a proper manner, especially as the school does not provide lunch themselves.
Over The Top
“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.”
Officials Answer Back
Officials at the Children’s Academy said they have no comment when contacted by ABC News. Patty Moon, a spokeswoman for the Aurora Public Schools, which provides funding for some of the children to be able to go to the private preschool, spoke out, claiming that a note in the lunchbox is not at all best practice.
“From our end we want to inform parents but never want it to be anything punitive,”. The head mistress said the school was just trying to promote healthy eating but Pearson said that effort has often been inconsistent. What did Pearson mean by that?
Confusing Message Being Sent To Parents
During this year’s Easter holiday, she stated that the school asked students to bring in candy for the celebration. Her daughter also gets fed jelly beans as a snack when she stays for after-school care, Pearson said.
“They say I can’t decide what to feed her but then they sometimes feed her junk food,” Pearson said. “Why am I being punished for Oreos when at other times I am asked to bring candy?”
Not The Case
The child was offered an alternative snack, the teacher said. But Pearson said this was not what happened and her daughter came home wanting food because she was still hungry. She maintained that it is up to her and her doctor, whether or not her child is healthy.
“She is not overweight by any means and I usually try to feed her healthy,” Pearson said, noting her daughter’s lunch also included a sandwich and some string cheese. “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.”
Healthy Lunch Boxes
This is not an uncommon issue, and because of this, plus the fact that parents are always searching looking for healthy food alternatives for their children, two California moms and former teachers had a brilliant idea, to create already packed lunch boxes, with healthy snacks in them, called revolution kits. They are also low in sodium and even preservative free. Hopefully then, this will be a huge support for moms such as Leeza.
As for moving forward, Leeza said that she will make an effort to make sure that her daughter’s lunch is healthy just as she has always done, but believes that the school needs to rethink these rules and that each child is different and individual, so what may be right for one child, may not be for another.