NC Senate responds to chicken nuggets school case

Posted May 31, 2012
Updated June 1, 2012

— North Carolina lawmakers are reacting to a recent chicken-nuggets lunchroom controversy that raged on conservative talk shows and web sites by banning school officials from looking at the nutritional balance of home-packed meals.

The state Senate on Thursday unanimously approved legislation that would block child care facilities from providing foods or drinks to children whose parents are sending them with packed lunches.

A pre-kindergarten teacher at a Hoke County school resigned this spring after telling three 4-year-olds in her class that their homemade lunches didn't entirely meet federal guidelines for well-balanced meals. School officials said the teacher should have rounded out the children's packed lunches with a carton of milk or whatever else was lacking, but instead, the children got cafeteria meals that included chicken nuggets.

There haven't been any reports of similar problems in other schools, but angry parents and conservative bloggers pushed the state to keep the so-called "lunch police" out of preschool lunchboxes.

Some child nutritionists say the bill, which still needs to be approved by the House, is a bad move. Some parents send their preschoolers to day care with Cheetoes and a Coke, according to nutrition advocates, and under the proposed law, those facilities won't be allowed to provide a better meal to those children.


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