When Kristen Bartkiw of Manitoba, Canada, sent her kids off to day care with a home-cooked meal for lunch, the last thing she probably expected was to be slapped with a $10 fine—and a note that said her kids had been given Ritz crackers. (You know, to make up for her lunch's lack of nutritional value.) But that's exactly what seems to have happened.
Bartkiw packed a meal of roast beef, potatoes, and carrots, followed up by some fruit for desert. She even gave them milk instead of juice as a drink. Problem is, none of those items are considered a grain—and that goes against school policy. As the rules state, if kids are not buying a school lunch, parents must pack one that contains milk, meat, grains and two fruits or veggies. If not, parents are fined $5 per item, per child. (Yikes!)
Spotting that Bartkiw's kids' lunches were missing a grain, school administrators "supplemented" the lunches by giving them a handful of Ritz crackers. (Because really, if mom won't give them an over-processed "grain" for lunch, who will?)
Here's the note Bartikow was sent to inform her of the whole debacle:
Needless to say, mom was unhappy. As she later quipped to the blog Weighty Matters, it might have been better if she'd just sent her kids with a "microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box."
Maybe so. But she wasn't the only parent to get miffed about the whole policy. Weighty Matters has since updated its post on the story to say that since the lunch fiasco went down, other parents complained as well, leading the school to change to a hot lunch program that Bartkiw says is "great."