You’ve probably heard about the North Carolina preschooler whose lunch was confiscated when government officials determined that it wasn’t up to the USDA’s standards for nutrition.
If you’re like most people, your first reaction was probably to wonder what the kid’s mother had packed in her lunchbox that failed to gain the approval of the government agent charged with inspecting the children’s lunches. If you’re like me, your first reaction was horror at learning of the existence of government agents who prowl the schools and inspect children’s lunches.
As one who detests the nanny state, I am bound to say that even if the child’s mother had filled her lunchbox with a can of Mountain Dew, two Ding Dongs, a bag of Cheez-Its, and a package of Gummi Worms, it’s still none of the government’s damn business. But for the record, the lunch that the government busybodies judged to be deficient in nutrition actually consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat, a banana, and apple juice. That wasn’t good enough for them? A lot of mothers would be overjoyed if they could get their kids to consume a lunch as nutritious as that.
The school attended by this particular child has a policy that when a homemade lunch is judged to be inadequate, the child is given a meal from the school cafeteria, for which the child’s parents are then billed. As annoying as that is, the worst part of the whole ridiculous business is that children are being told that their own parents are too stupid to make them a decent lunch, or don’t love them enough to do so. And they are being told that Big Brother is not only smarter than their parents, but actually cares more about them than Mommy and Daddy do.
This is the nanny state at its very worst: undermining the relationships between parents and their children, weakening family bonds, and not-so-subtly indoctrinating impressionable kids with the idea that the omnipresent government is also omniscient.