Food police in Manitoba schools are “puttin’ on the Ritz”, fining parents

From Weighty Matters blog:

Everyone knows that Ritz crackers are an excellent source of nutritional grains. Well, everyone in Canada at least. Photo via the Weighty Matters blog.

“It’s quite possible that the single stupidest school lunch policy on the planet comes courtesy of a strange interpretation of the Manitoba Government’s Early Learning and Child Care lunch regulations (an earlier version of this article incorrectly pointed at the Manitoba Child Care Association as the source of the strangely interpreted policy).

Apparently if a child’s lunch is deemed “unbalanced“, where “balance” refers to ensuring that a lunch conforms to the proportions of food groups as laid out by Canada’s awful Food Guide, then that child’s lunch is “supplemented“, and their parent is fined.

Blog reader Kristen Bartkiw received just such a fine.

She sent her children to daycare with with lunches containing leftover homemade roast beef and potatoes, carrots, an orange and some milk.

She did not send along any “grains”.

As a consequence the school provided her children with, I kid you not, supplemental Ritz Crackers, and her with a $10 fine.

As Kristen writes, had she sent along lunches consisting of, “microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box” those lunches would have sailed right through this idiocy. But her whole food, homemade lunches? They lacked Ritz Crackers….”

More on Weighty Matters.

This story has been picked up by Gawker and Boing Boing. Falls right in with Toronto “mayor” Rob Ford making the world think Canadians must be off their rocker.


Filed under News

5 responses to “Food police in Manitoba schools are “puttin’ on the Ritz”, fining parents

  1. thebovine

    I wonder how many kids’ lunches are deficient in crackers.

  2. smile breathe and go slowly

    absolutely ridiculous….a) how on earth do ritz crackers count as FOOD b) how does a few crackers justify 10$ and c) since when do daycare centres have the right to FINE parents for not sending ‘balanced’ lunches…which brings me back to a)…ritz crackers?? really??

  3. Carol

    I think the comment about Rob Ford is totally uncalled for and is in my opinion in the same catagory as the crackers!! Full of crap!!!

  4. D. Smith

    When you think about it, people are essentially asking for this sort of thing to happen whether it’s in Canada or the USA.

    Let me explain. If something we don’t like happens around us, we scream for ambulance chasing lawyers to appear before gov’t judicial circus clowns and demand that they appoint people to regulate what goes on. They’ve taken it too far, because now they regulate everything – – but WE let them do it and now WE can’t seem to take it back. Oh if only we could go into rewind.

    The problem with the original thinking on the part of the public is that we thought, since the gubment takes a goodly portion of our paychecks for taxes to set up programs which are supposedly on our behalf and/or in our best interest, they should also use our money to protect us from “harm”. Well hey, you give our felonious gov’t a word like harm and they can twist it into so many shapes it will make a professional contortionist look like an amateur gymnast. All of a damn sudden everything is full of harm. If it walks like a duck . . .

    So, consequently, being strangled with the regulations we asked for (not to mention paid for), now the gubment is at liberty to tell us what is or isn’t our daily portion of Ritz Crackers.

    But remember, it’s for our own good and the good of our children. In other words, we’re smart enough to work at jobs, get paid and pay our taxes, but we aren’t smart enough to know what to feed our families. See how that works?

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