Manitoba Government’s Early Learning and Child Care fined mother Kristen Bartkiw $10 because she neglected to include healthful Ritz crackers in her kids’ school lunches. Weighty Matters has more details:
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.
KRISTIN ANNABLE | QMI AGENCY
WINNIPEG — A Manitoba day care that relied on Ritz crackers to balance the lunches of kids whose parents packed “unbalanced” meals for them did so because it had limited options.
Nicole Fhindruk, the director of the Little Cub’s Daycare in Rossburn, Man., issued a $10 “fine” to Kristen Bartkiw after she had sent her kids to day care without a grain in their lunch.
Fhindruk told QMI Agency Tuesday she had no other choice but to follow provincial regulations and supplement the kids’ meals and charge their parents for the cost.
“We have a co-ordinator who comes in to make sure we are following these guidelines.”
The regulations in Manitoba’s Early Learning and Child Care Community Child Care Standards Act state day care providers must provide “nutritious foods in accordance with Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating.”
This means children need to have one milk product, one meat (or alternative), one grain and two servings of fruit or vegetables.
In the case of Bartkiw’s $10 fine, she sent her two children to day care with a lunch of roast beef, potatoes, carrots and some fruit. Because the meal lacked a grain, a supplement was required.
Fhindruk said at the time, the daycare only provided snacks, so a Ritz cracker was the only grain they had.
Bartkiw had been on the day care board that decided to fine parents who sent their children to school with “unbalanced meals.”
Although a potato is not defined as a grain, registered dietician Susan Watson said it is a fine substitute.
“There are many starchy vegetables such as potatoes that work in our bodies like a grain,” said the Winnipeg-based dietician. “Canada’s Food Guide is a really good basic tool, but I think you need education on how to use it.”
Fhindruk said the day care has chosen to switch to a hot lunch program.
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