A mom who thought she was properly parenting by sending her two young kids to school with a homemade, whole-food lunch was shocked to find a penalty note from school officials informing her that the lunch of roast beef, potatoes, carrots, oranges and milk she provided was "unbalanced" and therefore had to be supplemented with Ritz crackers.
She was also fined $10.
According to Weighty Matters, the Manitoba Government's Early Learning and Child Care department blindly follows a policy which requires lunches to be "balanced" according to "Canada's awful Food Guide."
Unbalanced lunches are subject to supplementation and a fine of CDN$5 (US$4.80) per "missing item" per child.
In Kristen Bartkiw's case, she "neglected" to include "grains" with Natalie and Logan's packed lunches — a "dereliction" that was "corrected" through the "supplementation" of Ritz crackers.
To drive home the ridiculousness of the policy, Kristen tells Weighty Matters she could have sent her kids to daycare with "microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box," and it would have been met with approval by the MCCA.
As a follow-up, Kristen notes that other parents falling short of Manitoba's policy has resulted in the creation of a hot lunch program, which she described as "great."
Correction: Due to an error at the source, a previous version of this article incorrectly identified the Manitoba Child Care Association as the lunch policy's author.