Brown Bag Ban: Fed Gov Tells Preschool Parents No Lunch From Home Without a Doctor’s Note

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It looks like the days of trading half of your peanut butter and jelly sandwich for half of your best friend’s ham sandwich may soon be over if the federal government has anything to do with it.

A Richmond, Virginia mother received the following note, telling her not to pack a lunch for her pre-school age child. (source:


Dear Parents,

I have received word from Federal Programs Preschool pertaining to lunches from home. Parents are to be informed that students can only bring lunches from home if there is a medical condition requiring a specific diet, along with a physicians note to that regard.

I am sorry for any inconvenience. If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Stephanie [redacted] the Health Coordinator for Federal Programs Preschool at [redacted].


Ms. [redacted]


As a family, we have made the decision to avoid a host of ingredients that are all found in abundance in school lunches.  We don’t consume:

  • GMOs
  • Pesticides
  • Artificial colors and flavors
  • Preservatives
  • Hormone laden meat and dairy

But this week at my daughter’s school, the offerings are:

  • Corn dog or chicken nuggets, tater tots
  • Beef tostada boat or PB and J on white bread
  • Pepperoni pizza or fish sticks with roll
  • Pretzel sticks with cheese sauce or chicken teriyaki
  • Cheeseburger or breaded chicken patty with seasoned fries

There is not one thing on that list that falls into our normal diet. Add a side of rBGH-filled milk and a corn-syrup laden “fruit cup” and you have a complete nutritional disaster.

Why should the parents be required to bear the expense of a doctor’s visit to get the required note to be allowed to send healthful, homemade lunches for their children?

I’m glad you asked.

It’s all about profit and control.

Because, you see, the federal government must have all the little children on board in order to subsidize the farmers, make the rich richer, and make the poor sicker.  Throw in some Obamacare to treat the resulting nutritionally-driven illnesses and it is a win-win situation – at least it is if you own a food processing plant, a medical facility, or a factory farm and you’re not the ones eating that so-called food.

Agricultural surplus is used to provide a base of food which is provided to the schools free of charge.  It is then turned into processed junk for the public school system while the food manufacturers profit.  The National School Lunch Program, enacted in 1946, has a mission besides just feeding hungry children: to subsidize the agricultural business by using up beef, cheese, and pork.  The school lunches are loaded with these artery-clogging ingredients, in the most processed forms possible.  According to an article in the NY Times, here’s how it happens:

The Agriculture Department pays about $1 billion a year for commodities like fresh apples and sweet potatoes, chickens and turkeys. Schools get the food free; some cook it on site, but more and more pay processors to turn these healthy ingredients into fried chicken nuggets, fruit pastries, pizza and the like. Some $445 million worth of commodities are sent for processing each year, a nearly 50 percent increase since 2006.

The Agriculture Department doesn’t track spending to process the food, but school authorities do. The Michigan Department of Education, for example, gets free raw chicken worth $11.40 a case and sends it for processing into nuggets at $33.45 a case. The schools in San Bernardino, Calif., spend $14.75 to make French fries out of $5.95 worth of potatoes.

The money is ill spent. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has warned that sending food to be processed often means lower nutritional value and noted that “many schools continue to exceed the standards for fat, saturated fat and sodium.” A 2008 study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that by the time many healthier commodities reach students, “they have about the same nutritional value as junk foods.”

Why is this allowed to happen? Part of it is that school authorities don’t want the trouble of overseeing real kitchens. Part of it is that the management companies are saving money by not having to pay skilled kitchen workers.

In addition, the management companies have a cozy relationship with food processers, which routinely pay the companies rebates (typically around 14 percent) in return for contracts. The rebates have generally been kept secret from schools, which are charged the full price.

So, lots of people are making money while feeding children nutritionally bereft garbage. People who don’t know how to cook are warming up processed junk to feed to kids who cannot afford anything better.  That free lunch isn’t so free when you consider the high percentage of kids suffering from obesity and chronic illnesses due to their poor nutritional intake.

 Public schools serve more than 4 billion meals every year — a number that would make many fast-food chains envious — and officials say all those lunches are contributing to the growing health crisis among kids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents since 1980, spurring an epidemic of type II diabetes, once considered an adult-onset condition. Obesity has also been associated with heart disease, arthritis, and certain cancers, and researchers have found fatty streaks in the blood vessels of children as young as 10.

“USDA needs to relate the current crisis in kids’ health to the meals that are being served, especially to poor kids, because that’s the population that’s most vulnerable,” says Antonia Demas, director of the Food Studies Institute, a child-nutrition group based in upstate New York. Because low-income children often eat both breakfast and lunch at school, “they get at least two-thirds of their calories from school each day, and they’re the population really showing an increase in the diet-related diseases.” (source)

As with anything the federal government touches, school lunches are cloaked in do-gooder benevolence, but they are a poisoned gift that benefits those who already have money at the expense of our society’s most vulnerable people: poor children.  As our economy continues to decline, more kids will be forced to take these “free lunches” if they expect to have anything to eat all day.

So, now, at least one school wants children to have a doctor’s note to say no to the school lunch offerings of hormones, GMOs, preservatives, and grease.  They must have the permission of a professional to avoid  junk food. A parent’s good judgement is not sufficient, it seems, to make the healthy decision to provide a toxin-free lunch. Does anyone else see the irony here?

Kids are a target. The school system is trying to change the rules to force us to feed our children these food-like substances and to disallow us the right to nourish them as we see fit.  By controlling the food that our kids eat, they are controlling their entire lives, right down to their ability to think critically, their future fertility, and their overall lifespans.

We are lathering our skin with petrochemicals. BPA is leaching into our food and beverages.  Chemtrails and questionable farming methods are tainting the air that we breathe…it’s enough for a book, not merely an article.  Additives like MSG and unpronounceable non-food ingredients are killing off our brain cells and triggering the growth of cancerous cells in our bodies.

And the result of all of this?

  • Disease
  • Obesity
  • Lethargy
  • Lower IQs
  • Shorter lifespans
  • Infertility

If it was only one toxic assault, or maybe even two or three, you might be able to write this off as accidental, something that just happened due to carelessness.  But with all of the evidence proving irrefutably that the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe is making us sick, how can we form any other conclusion than the one that states, “This is a deliberate attack.”

All of the alphabet agencies that are supposedly there for our protection are merely arms of the giant propaganda machine.  They are there to convince us that “someone” would put a stop to it if these things were actually bad for us. They are there to dispense a false sense of confidence in our governing bodies and to make us feel as though our health and safety is their first concern.

Moderation is not an option.  We have to fight back through strict avoidance.

Think about this.

Would you willingly feed your child just a “little bit of cyanide”?  Would you let them have a serving of strychnine “once in a while”? Would you purposely give them a cigarette just because you “happened to be out and that is what was offered”?  Would you let them drink bleach from the laundry room as long as it wasn’t in an amount that would be immediately deadly and if it was diluted so that it didn’t burn their throats when they swallowed it?

Our politicians, government officials, and “protection” agencies are bought and paid for. They are at best, complicit, and at worst, the ones instituting this. (source)

A sick, fat, malnourished populace isn’t too likely to gear up for a resistance against the powers that be when it feels like effort just to go from the couch to the refrigerator.  It’s game-on for the Great American Genocide, and today’s target is your child.

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Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • There apparently may be more to this than meets the eye! How about considering control mechanisms being enforced at the earliest ages possible using parental compliance to go along with and accept the gulag mentality as children grow into adulthood? That way no one will reject it; it’s been a way of life for them, since now there are too many of the older generations who know what freedom used to be like. Maybe it can be compared to something like Pavlov training his dogs.
    Parents really don’t understand that they have lost the natural God-given rights to their own children. What a shame!

    • I was at a college student run event the other day. It was a late night play. Now lining up for the event didn’t start until 11pm, but ever since 10pm students would be randomly milling around the door, then one by one they would line themselves up into a neat row. It was unreal. Multiple times the staff had to break them up because they weren’t allowed to be lined up in the halls like that until their designated seating time (one of the campuses rules) but every time they would be broken up they just ended up forming another line close by a few minutes later. It was almost 150 people doing this! Young college kids who are supposed to be unruly and selfish (for the most part)!

      It was one of the most surreal experiences I have ever had.

      • This reminds me of the oh so numerous times at college, where there is a line waiting to go into an empty class room. I would always go to the front of the line, check the door (which is more often open than closed), walk in, turn on the light and sit down. I would then be followed by the amassing horde. Lol, silly sheeple…

    • Fortunately this story is NOT TRUE!! I looked into the issue and found out that this preschool, and many others, have a policy against homemade lunches; however that is the school’s policy, NOT a federal ban. The school’s policy is silly, but a far cry from a federal ban. I just wanted to clear that up sense there are plenty of real problems in our society to focus on instead of fictional or deliberately misinterpreted hoopla from biased media outlets. And besides, I helped my girlfriend’s 10 year old back her lunch last week and wanted to make sure I wasn’t an accessory to a crime.

      • Actually, what’s MOST frightening is that in this country today, the story, whether “true” or not (and clearly, the letter from the school assigning blame to the goverment was sent) is plausible. Assuming that you’re correct, the first problem is that the school lied and purported to be acting as an agent of the government in doing so. The second is that the parent believed that the government could/would act in such a way. The underlying problem is that Government is simply insufficiently afraid of the people (and the people know it) that actual or implied government intimidation can be used against American citizens in such a situation is considered plausible.As Jeferson said, “When government fears the people there is liberty. When people fear the government there is tyranny.” The “tree of liberty” needs refreshing.

        • I sort of agree with you. But if you read the letter (which may or may not be fake) if never mentions a federal ban. It says Federal Programs Preschool which is the name of the school and surely the parent knows that. So if the parent panics and assumes a federal ban without doing any followup research, or even calling the phone # that was provided in the letter, then that is on them. I feel that the MOST frightening problem is that blogs and “news” outlets will deliberately spin a story to fool their audience and drum up a fake controversy. The writer of this story obviously twisted the story around to get a reaction. That’s the most frightening thing. Their are real controversies in our society, real issues that need to be scrutinized and exposed. Not petty fiction like this article.

  • Not quite on the same level, however along the same line. I am in Ontario, Canada. My child is in JK. The school has a milk program that you can pay for. You can choose white or chocolate. With the order form they sent a letter stating that chocolate milk is just as good for you as regular milk and that there is no more sugar in it than a glass of juice. That may be true if all sugars were equal.

  • My kids are grown now, but I will tell you one thing…that would be the day ANYONE would tell me that my kids could not brown bag it at school or anywhere else.

    • In the 1960’s my 6’2″ Dad told the Principle of my school that he would personally beat him with the Paddle the Principle had mounted above his desk. We never beat our kids, and all the food they ate was made by us. but we live on a farm in the country, and our local schools are excellent.
      We left silicon valley to raise our kids on an Indiana farm. My heart goes out to you who have to put up with this nonsense. I think I would end up in jail.

  • I suspect this problem with children having “standards” imposed upon them by government bureaucracy will only get worse… until an economic reset blows all the useless bureaucrats out the door and onto their rear ends.

    Take a look at the “solution” to the breakdown of the family that gains steam with each passing year – “Shared-parenting.” It’s one of those things that sounds good on the surface, and since it’s “in the best interests of the children,” the dialectical ramifications, or the slippery slope, is never addressed. In such situations, it is actually the court which decides parenting direction, with the parents being doled out baby sitting schedules by decree. Should two parents decide to follow different, conflicting religions, the court will decide the child’s best religious interest. The list goes on, the more you think about. Shared-parenting is the set-up for the government to take complete legal custody of children, set up bureaucracies to determine their best interests, and then decree to the babysitters, er parents, the standards they must adhere to.

    If I remember correctly, this plays along nicely with Hillary Clinton’s thesis, wherein she argues that parents act selfishly over the interests of the child (she compared children to Indians living on the reserve), and therefore the government should create bureaucracies and legal aid systems so that each child has their interests represented by someone other than their selfish parents.

    Of course, this contradicts centuries of Western Common Law. Blackstone wrote that the bonds of affection between parents and children meant that parents naturally act in the best interests of their children. (Thus why parental rights trump state rights). This was challenged, and upheld, in the US Supreme Court twice in recent history, 1979 and 2000. But, the pressure to tear down parental rights in favour of the state controlling children does not seem to stop, and appears to be picking up steam.

  • We chose to educate our children at home. We wanted their mind, body and souls to be enriched in the best possible way. Yes, that meant only one of us could work a full time job. This my husband did while being a full time student. Much was sacrificed financially but so much more gained in the long run. Our boys are now grown men that know how to think, learn and love God with their whole heart. What more could a mom ask for. By the way, I don’t miss not having had the new cars, brick house, satellite tv or manicured nails.

    • I sincerely applaud your family for doing this for your boys! Me and my husband do the same for our two boys. My husband works hard so I can stay home and homeschool and cook from scratch. We don’t want for nothing, and are grateful for all we have! Nothing is more important than the safety and well being of your family. This seems to be more important than ever being we live in a totalitarian government system now. I am truly scared about what our children face as they grow up. We have God, family, morals, healthy food and environment for our children..all what used to be “normal”. What a sad, scary world we live in.
      I agree that I don’t miss the so-called luxuries, my reward is my family and the God-given right to care for them how we see fit..

      Blessings to All..especially you Daisy..thanks again for a great article!

  • Time to home school. My child would not be going to these schools anymore. Most of the stuff they serve in school rooms is pure junk, loaded with chemicals. They don’t even wash the fruit before they serve it.

  • I would’nt trust any government agency to feed my child especially every day for 10 months. Christ I’d be guilty of child abuse if I allowed that.

    Government agencies prove time after time that they do not have the population’s best interest with what they do. Immigration checkpoints? Illegal detainment. TSA molestation and thefts. Police brutality and abusive treatment against men, women, children, and pets. Etc…..

    • there should be no rule one way or another. the way its been for decades. The school lunches are prob. the least of the things within gov’t you should worry about. They’re actually pretty high quality foods.

      • When was the last time you had a school lunch. I GUARANTEE you if you had to choose between a well planned school breakfast or lunch or one from home you would choose home. That is unless you are used to eating from a drive through or out of a box.

        • This is precisely the circumstance that drives the federal school breakfast and lunch programs. In the beginning, the few children who were without breakfast or lunch due to poverty, neglect, or the box checked “other” were identified as populations that would benefit from nutritional assistance in order to have equal opportunity to succeed in school. There is a lot of money to be made in sustaining the culture of poverty so… someone designed this wheel to go ’round until most students qualified. Great, right? Not so much. This means entire schools are now “qualifying” for nutritional assistance and being fed from the lowest bidding providers. Still wonder why our children have a hard time ranking in the top 10% on a global scale?

  • I work in a Preschool/Daycare facility in North Central Illinois. We receive subsidies for each child that we feed breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack to. We are not reimbursed if the child doesn’t eat our food. We do not receive inferior food products. We order all our products from a local distributor. We serve fresh fruits and vegetables every day. We do use some frozen veggies and some canned fruit.The canned fruit is packed in 100% juice with no added sugar. All our grains products are whole grains along with brown rice. Our juices are 100% real fruit juice. The cheese we serve is REAL cheese and our milk is hormone free. We also serve soy and rice milk to children that have health issues.It is true that our milk and meat are NOT organic. But even so, I am very proud to be able to serve our children real food.
    What you have written about is not true in all cases. The facility I work for has hundreds of schools across the country and we all share the same basic menus and concepts.
    I have worked for several different food service contract companies at Universities, Colleges, and in lower education. I can honestly say that the food and quality of that food left a lot to be desired. Especially the commodities they received from the government.
    In a preschool setting I do understand why they are requesting no lunches from home. We have one child right now that only has organic milk and foods. They are brought from home. We don’t get paid for feeding him.
    There’s a lot out there that you would be shocked to know is going on!

    • So Deborah,

      What I am hearing from your comments is that your only concern is with GETTING PAID. Is that right? Why should a kid’s body pay the price to reimburse you for food the parents’ do not want their child to eat? And why is there a sense of entitlement to get reimbursed at all for food that is not being eaten? Maybe your facility is better than most,but it is not ideal for everyone. As you said others facilities you worked for “left a lot to be desired.” These programs are a scam if they trap kids into only eating school food. Crazy! Bless the Parents that protect their children from this nonsense, even if it means taking them out of the school completely.

    • Can you please explain to me why you think this is okay at the preschool level? Why should you be paid for someone who isn’t eating the lunch? I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Thanks.

    • This is totally not right. I took my lunch to school every day. Of course back in the 50s and 60s there were no GMOs. So the money is more important than what is fed to the students? Parents need to step up and wage an all out campaign against this.

      • No, I don’t think their(the daycare/preschool) only concern is getting paid. That just happens to be how these schools are set up. Not all of them are set up to receive government subsidies. The one I’m at is. And I feel that the parents of our children are very happy with the way their children are cared for and fed.
        No parent is forced to send their child to our facility, they make that decision. These people need child care for whatever reason. And as parents we all have the right to make those choices for our children. It doesn’t mean it will be a bad experience.
        There is a reason that preschool sent home the letter to parents. It doesn’t sound like it was explained very well in the letter. And some facilities might have stricter rules/laws pertaining to the subject. We follow state and federal standards and everything has to be documented by myself(the cook) and the teachers.

        • Here is a question: what about religious dietary needs. Things like the Kosher requirements or Halal or if the family are vegetarians.
          It seems to me that having a doctor verify a need for a special diet that is required for religious or other beliefs is a faulty system. Do they get a kickback from the doctors for the added required visit to get the note?
          This actually looks to me like a good cause for a lawsuit or several.

      • The parents don’t have a choice in this. They don’t get to decide how a day care facility is run.If I start my own business, you don’t get to tell me how to run it.

        • Right, but if your market doesn’t like the way you run your business, you’ll be filing bankruptcy in two shakes. Essentially, customers DO tell you how to run your business. Similarly, if the government is For The People, then we DO get to decide.

    • What people are not understanding here is that this is in the Federal Preschool Programs, not in all schools, not in all Preschools. Headstart is the name of the Federal program for preschoolers and it is run for poor families so that the children can go to preschool. The nutritional programs are aimed at low income families because some of these kids don’t get any nutritional food at home.

      Bottom line is, if you don’t want your kids to eat what the Feds are telling them to eat, don’t send them to Headstart or any other free low income preschool run by the Feds.

      • The only thing that people should be focusing on here is this: What right does the government — whether it be at the federal, state or local level — have to tell schools that they have to tell parents they’re not allowed to decide what their children eat? Answer: NONE!!!

        This just totally disgusts me. Too many people today are being brainwashed into thinking that the government should have more control in peoples’ lives.

      • That is not true. Federal state and local subsidies are received by all public facilities. The amount from each depends on the financial needs of the children and how many children are paying for meals. The schools could not operate the lunch programs without government assistance.

      • I hope,for the kids sake, you work at that headstart as a janitor. Three misspelled words in a nine word sentence. Pathetic.

    • Your students are very fortunate to have such a program in place. There must be an amazing board that oversees operations. You are also very fortunate to work in an environment that values children to such a degree. It speaks volumes of your employers. Thank you for giving us this example, as it is proof that it can be done and so many out there do not believe it is possible.

    • fresh foods……lol my mom works at this job and has for decades. The food is actually pretty decent quality. Especially these days.

      • I can bet most of the food fed “LOOKS” like pretty decent quality timmy. GMOs are much cheaper and its being incorporated into our food supply faster than you can imagine.

  • That’s when you homeschool or at least threaten it! Round up other parents and take your kids out of school. The school will lose money when they see students are absent and you’ll win!

  • yeah my mom has worked for the school lunch for two decades here in CT and the food is all high quality, especially now. I would bet its better than what most people eat at home. HOWEVER, the state, feds, NO ONE has a right to tell anyone what they should be or should not be eating. If you think otherwise…you’re a supporter of tyrants. period.

  • Wow. Perhaps the preschool program serves higher quality food, but the school lunch program is an atrocity. I was a school nurse for years, every singe day one of the choices was pizza. Now pizza can be a nutritious food, but to eat it everyday like most of the kids did? NO! It was full of salt and fat with no fiber. Nothing fresh. My grand-daughter qualifies for free lunch, I told my daughter before the first day to look at what she was eating, we can’t feed her that way, free or not!

  • Couple of things come to my mind,….maybe the facility doesn’t trust its staff to handle allergy situations. If that is the case, then how can they be trusted to make judgement calls for any “safety” situation. So they make policies to dumb down any decision making for the employees.

    Secondly, our school counts on the payers to help fund the cost of the cafeteria to cover the reduced or free lunches. Our food is pretty healthy, actually most of the reduced or free lunchers throw it away because they don’t like it. My kids as well as many others chose to pack (if my child who is not overweight and plays outside everyday wants a cookie, then she should be allowed to have one). Therefore the cafeteria is a money loser every year.

    • We handle children with allergies every day. Actually, we have quite a few with peanut, soy, milk, tree nuts, fruit allergies. We are a peanut free campus.
      We also have several vegetarians. And serve vegetarian meals at least twice a week, sometimes more often. We serve a lot of beans and even lentils. I’m amazed at what these kids will eat.

  • It’s shocking to see that these kinds of unhealthy lunches are still being forced on kids, after all the publicity healthy foods get . . . all the more so for the kids who CAN’T brown bag healthy lunches. I don’t understand the doctor’s note requirement, but since I’m a doctor, I’d gladly write a note for a patient.

  • This is why i dont take any subsidies for farming from the government. its either i make it on my own or die trying. These people all try to justify their jobs with these rules that cannot be justified. Its sometimes better to have a pbj than anything else the school is offering. and to the woman that says they dont get paid for a child that doesnt eat the meals the school offers, TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR SCHOOL TAXES, are they high enough yet?

  • I feel for you. Articles similar to this make me glad I homeschool. Unfortunately, that doesn’t do anything for the plethora of children subjected to what the system forces upon them.

  • I am a prek teacher in the Richmond area at an elementary school. Students are not allowed to bring in bag lunches for a number of reasons. One reason is allergies. Severe allergies are HUGE concern especially for the little ones and it is a safety precaution. Second, the program I am in offers free prek for those less fortunate. Most of these families are grateful to have breakfast, lunch, and snacks provided.

    Yes, there is traditional “cafeteria” food but there are always other options. Entree salads, deli sandwiches, and yogurt are offered daily. Many of my 4 yr olds choose these options. They are also given the choice of applesauce/fruit cup OR fresh apples, bananas, OR a side salad. Snacks that we receive daily have been red cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, apples, pears, sliced orange and yellow peppers, bananas, oranges, cauliflower, etc. All are fresh and in raw form. Since the program I teach for is federally funded, I can tell you that your child’s school must offer these as well.

    Talk to your child and encourage them to make the healthier choices that their school provides and be grateful that your child has been accepted into this program. They are one of the lucky few.

    • Its a viscious cycle. GMOs are what is causing a lot of the alergies and digestive upsets in our kids. You can bet most of the food served, healthy or not, are made with GMO food sources. Its what the government chooses, its cheap. If I had a child now a days I would certainly be on some committee or something to stop this practice that could very well be a hazard to our children.

    • Kathryn, with all due respect, you are missing the larger issue: government, yet again, taking the place of parents to their children. Government is supposed to be of the people, BY the people and for the people; not in spite of the people. If parents had been provided details of this lunch-from-home conundrum and had a chance to vote in a referendum, that would be, perhaps, acceptable. Arbitrary government removal of normal parental rights is not. Parents decide what their children eat—-NOT government!!!!

  • I am sorry to hear that parents no longer have a say in what their children eat. My grandchildren all have SEVERE allergies and would qualify with a Doctor’s note to bring their lunch from home. They HAVE to take their lunches due to the nature of their allergies. Most schools make arrangements for children like my granddaughters. Even my grandson, who has few allergies, has to be careful in what he eats, even though he can get by with most cafeteria food. The cafeteria food is full of sugar, salt, and other preservatives, as well as really not REAL food, as commented on earlier. Just as McDonald’s doesn’t use 100% chicken in their chicken nuggets, the schools don’t get it either.
    Where I taught school, records were kept of everything served, down to having ketchup out for those who wanted it. When the school was audited, the school was fined or docked $5000 for one day, because ketchup was out for TEACHERS ONLY, but in sight for the kids. It was NOT on their menu for the day. Money is everything, especially when most of the students are on free or reduced lunches. You can’t make ends meet when less than 10% of the students pay for 100% of the food.
    No, I don’t support this, or required school lunches. I do support a parent’s right to be able to send the food that THEY DEEM BEST AND SAFEST for their children.
    For the record, my granddaughters are now homeschooled for multiple reasons, food being the least of the issues. Yes, many of you have it correct: get the youngest and most vulnerable used to the situations and they will not question as new things are changed/added/implemented. Brainwashing occurs even at the PK level. It is not just schools: when I was a registered day care, I had the opportunity to get “reimbursed” for the snacks I served after school. They had to be from an approved list and verified. Wasn’t worth the paperwork and hassles, but if you are on the radar…

    • “No outside food” policies are in place to *protect* children like your grandchildren, with severe food allergies. Too many parents don’t respect that schools must remain “nut free” to keep children safe, and send lunches full of nut products. Schools cannot check every single child’s lunch for unsafe items.

      • So why not make it no food sharing or switching? My children had no allergies in the way of food should they be effectively deprived of their more favorite foods because someone else has an allergy? Why should what one person sends with their child for lunch affect anyone but that child?

        • First, good luck getting preschoolers to follow a no food sharing policy. Second, for some children, no food sharing isn’t enough. Some allergies are so severe that if your child finishes his pb&j and plays with a particular toy, if another child with a peanut allergy comes over and so much as touches that toy they can get a painful rash, to say nothing of putting it in their mouth, which isn’t insane to expect from preschoolers. And that’s bad enough, but as soon as that happens, the school gets sued, and maybe you get to be a co-defendant. That seems like a lot to be willing to put on the line so your kid can have their favorite food.

        • Are you kidding me? You actually believe that because YOUR child has no allergies that it’s ok to send him/her to school with a food that could potentially KILL another child? Just because a school has a no sharing policy doesn’t mean an allergic child won’t be affected. Peanut butter, specifically, is a messy food that isn’t easy for young children to clean off their hands. This residue, WITHOUT sharing the food itself, can cause an allergic reaction in a child just by touching something that has peanut butter on it (playground equipment, water fountains, door knobs). Please think about how you would feel if every day your child went to school (or anywhere else without you) you worried you’d receive a phone call saying your child was either on the way to the hospital or had an allergic reaction and didn’t make it. Is your child’s peanut butter sandwich worth it, or could you maybe save those for home?

  • While I completely agree this is outrageous, The Federal Government did not tell the preschool parents not to bring bagged lunches. The PRESCHOOL named Federal Programs Preschool in Henrico County told the parents not to bring bagged lunches. Your title is inaccurate and misleading.

  • This fascist letter imposes no mandate because it asks the parent, “please,” while mentioning the wishes of the Federal Programs Preschool (part of HHS’ Head Start Program). If all parents’ competencies are questioned by the letter, the school’s competency truly is made suspect. In reply, parents ought to maintain their right to feed their children while insisting the school now sell only 100% organic food plus provide certified ingredients lists and a declaration of universal safety, if possible, from a nutritionist or, better yet, a dietician. But such a declaration is probably not possible because there’s no one size fits all regimen in terms of both food and medicine and often there’s no distinction between them. Food must be as nutritious and as free of toxins and pathogens as possible. Very few physicians (MDs) are oriented towards complimentary/alternative/integrative medicine. Many can be found via and Each growing body is unique and deserves the very best. See also
    Most schools’ lunches are like the US political process: offering only two choices, both deadly.

    • it is absolutely not ridiculous. Many children have severe food allergies, and other parents don’t respect that. They send lunches and snacks full of nut product that could kill the child sitting across the table from their child. Because too many parents don’t respect than schools are “nut-free,” schools have had to go to “no outside food”

      • How does that make sense? If they parents were feeding their allergic kids nuts, as soon as they go home for dinner the kids would be dead. The kid wouldn’t even MAKE it to preschool unless the parents fed them things appropriate for their allergies.

        • It’s the parents of the children who are NOT allergic that are the problem. Many of these allergies, especially nut allergies, are reactive with the skin, meaning if your kid eats a bag of peanuts and then lends a pencil to my allergic kid, my child can get a painful skin rash, and if he puts his finger in his mouth he can go into anaphylactic shock. I’ve seen enough comments just on this page from people who don’t think the safety of others is worth moderating what they put in their kids’ lunches that I’m satisfied “no outside food” is the only foolproof solution.

          • So what’s the solution when the nonallergic child has a PBJ in the car on the way to school, then hands your child a pencil. What happens if your kid touches a doorknob some peanut eating stranger in ToysRus just handled. It is sad if your child has severe allergies–I deal with food allergies in children on a daily basis so I know how bad it can get–however, it is NOT all about YOUR child. Yes, it is nice when all work together and adhere to a list of things that cannot be packed in personal lunches (inhalant allergies only–teach your kid not to share). But don’t use the weight of an overzealous government to dictate to other parents. If you are so afraid, rather than curtailing others, you should exercise YOUR parental rights and remove your child from potentially hazardous conditions and quit expecting the school–or the government–to do your protecting or parenting for you.

    • Thanks for posting that handbook. I read the part about lunches; however that is the school’s policy, NOT a federal ban. The school’s policy is silly, but a far cry from a federal ban. It’s important to keep the facts straight and focus on real problems in our society not fictional or deliberated misinterpreted hoopla.

  • Remember when school lunch was coming around, and all you could do was smell the delicious smells coming from the cafeteria? They had real cooks, who cooked real beef, chicken, and pork. Real veggies and steamed rice. But these lovely ladies cost a salary that some school bureacrat wanted for new feel good program-and voila! Instant garbage. I have a cookbook that was written between 1940 and 1963 by school lunch ladies. The meats are delicious-I’ve made some of the recipes. These women poured heart and soul into making a school lunch an unforgettable experience. I pity the children now that have microwaved sludge fed to them. At least in grade school, I got to enjoy the smells and joys of hot-real-food. When I started junior high the schools brought in McD’s, Taco Bell, etc. From then on, I took a brown bag everyday.

    • Stealth–I’m afraid I don’t remember!

      I didn’t get to school until the 1970s, and by then school lunch was pretty fearsome. Mystery Meat of ashen complexion, broccoli cooked to the point of death, mac-and-cheese the color of a schoolbus and the texture of library paste, and the greasiest deep-fried food this side of KFC.


  • The Head Start Statute 1304.23 Child Nutrition reads in part, “(6) Medically-based diets or other dietary requirements are accommodated;” — everybody just relax. Until the nation recognizes–what we accept as fact–that our nations food industry has tainted processed food-like substances with chemicals and other toxins, those trying to do the right thing for our kids will keep on enforcing policies like this…of course as it is said….the road to hell is paved with good intentions…as it is with the state of food-like products…those of us that are aware, need to take responsibility for our preschoolers nutritional needs and provide appropriate meals….and be faithful to it….and by reading what I’ve quoted from the statute…your doing so falls under the category of “other dietary requirements.” The reality is it’s a double edged sword….many of those kids wouldn’t get a decent meal otherwise…if not for the head start program. Puck your battles wisely. This one isn’t going to be won until the nation changes it’s attitude about food.

  • School cafeterias sell big corporate foodstuffs, not REAL food. They get federal funding (Pimp)to sell the Corporate sludge (Whore) Anybody who thinks the food is nutritious hasn’t read a label, sorry folks that’s the truth. I was in many branches of food service for 25 years and if it comes out of a box, can, or plastic tube, its full of chemicals (and worse)unless it is labeled as non GMO or Organic. Do some research.
    Parents should just keep on sending a brown bag lunch if they want to. What is the Principal going to do, call in the lunch Police? Stand up for your right to feed your child healthful food! If the children are going to be forced to eat from the cafeteria menu, then the entire staff should be held to the same rule, including showing parents their medical note if they chose to brown bag it at their desks.
    My child’s former school punished children who shared lunch items off of their cafeteria trays. If kids were caught swapping food they had their trays thrown out, so they didn’t get to eat lunch at all and then they had to miss recess too. The message was sharing is bad and dangerous.
    My child has wheat/gluten allergy, we sent lunch from home because the school cafeteria could not accommodate her dietary needs. They tried to make me get a doctors note and I told them to pound sand. Nothing more came of it.
    The fact is, they holler about the potential dangers of allergies and then you have Teachers handing out toys with latex and candies with peanuts and wheat as ‘rewards’ for classwork!
    One of the many reasons we began home schooling the following year.

    • It’s good to see that some people on the internet are remaining rational and keeping a level head. Good work.

      A previous posted attached a school handbook that included a ban on home lunches, but after reading the handbook, it was reveal that it is school policy, NOT a federal ban. There’s a big difference there.

  • Thank you Mr. Meacham! Folks take a breath. It appears that the only entity wanting to profit off kids is this particular school. There is no federal requirement banning home lunches. However there ARE requirements if a subsidized meal is to be provided. (The payor gets to pick what you eat. What a concept!)

    A bit more due diligence might have been in order when this was posted. There is enough we can all assault the federal government on, but lets make sure they are real targets.

  • I can tell you from personal experience that there ARE programs like this. My son was in the More at Four program 7 years ago. I, too, preferred that my son eat homemade, healty meals. After picking out his firetruck lunchbox, we sat down together and planned out his menu for the week. He was so excited on that first day! We had packed a peanut-butter sandwich (all natural, of course), raw broccoli, fresh blueberries, and organic milk. Upon arrival, we were told that he wasn’t allowed to bring his own lunch b/c it was a government program that required them to eat “nutritional cafeteria lunches”…no exceptions. I was in complete shock, and my son was near tears. Being young and thankful to have a free pre-school program, I only muttered my disappointment and displeasure; then I walked away leaving my son to eat his processed, government meal. I have regretted my decision since that day. After Kindergarten/First Grade, I pulled all three of my children from public school and began homeschooling them. I can tell you that it was an ansolutely liberating experience pulling away from the school on that last day. I finally had MY children back!

    • you sent PEANUT BUTTER to a preschool? or any school? seriously? THAT is why those rules are in place!!! Many children have severe nut allergies, which is why most preschools and early childhood centers are nut-free zones, yet still, parents send children with lunches and snacks full of nut products.

    • Understand something. There is Federal specifications and then there is the purveyor (eg the school). There are no Federal regulations that ban home provided meals. Period.

      Now the school may have set up their own regulations in this regard. They most likely do so for either convenience or profit or both. If the school has adopted a USDA subsidy program then yes, the school must follow the specifications of what is to be provided as a meal. (He who has the gold sets the rules.) But again USDA is not saying your child MUST eat a USDA meal. Being that is the case your complaint is with the school board, not the Feds. The distinction is critical.

      • From the paper my daughter was sent it seems to be a state law that can not fully be enforce. Atleast not yet. But the preschool can indeed tell a child to leave the preschool. So many mothers hands are tied.

  • There are MANY people that believe a FEDERAL PROGRAM GUIDELINE is a full force Federal Law and violation is a felony.

    This “pre-school” has to follow some Federal Guidelines… at this time, this is not part of a United States Code, is NOT a Federal Law and really cannot be enforced!

    Not yet.

  • While I understand your frustration in wanting to feed your child healthy foods, too many parents do not respect severe food allergies, no matter how many times they are reminded. Even though another child could go into aniphalactic shock and die just from being in the same room with nuts, they send pb&j, nutter butter cookies, trail mix and granola bars with nuts, the list goes on and on.

    That is why lunches from home get banned.

    • Diana you must have missed the list of approved lunches for the authors child at school. I’ll repost for you:

      But this week at my daughter’s school, the offerings are:
      Corn dog or chicken nuggets, tater tots
      Beef tostada boat or PB and J on white bread
      Pepperoni pizza or fish sticks with roll Pretzel sticks with cheese sauce or chicken teriyaki
      Cheeseburger or breaded chicken patty with seasoned fries –

      Please read in it’s entirety. You may want to revise your comment. I have a friend whose son has food allergies to nuts, soy (teryiaki), dairy (cheese sauce, cheese burger, tostada, pizza). The entire menu is an allergen to him.
      Furthermore, another friend sent a letter to the school informing them of her sons allergy to nuts. Her son called her and she had to come pick him up from school with an allergic reaction to nuts. In home economics, the teacher fixed peanut butter cookies and he advised her he was allergic. So she made him wash the dishes. That had peanut residue. His hands instantly swelled. The teachers excuse, she didn’t know. When my friend spoke with the principal, he advised her that her sons allergen information was deemed as confidential and therefore could not be shared with anyone unless she had given her written consent.
      Please continue to blame parents for the school systems failures, and governments meddling and so forth. The government does not know how to care for our children better than we do. period.

      • Well excuse me but a rational parent would have given consent that the child’s food allergy be a known factor. Yes, the teacher having been told by the student should have erred on the side of caution that would have been common sense. Bad case all around.

        What irks me about the whole nut controversy is how the solution is backwards. The institutions treat the whole item like its a banned substance when in fact the burden should be placed with parent/child so afflicted. In no other instance do we place substance reaction as a burden to society over individual responsibility. It also makes a presumption that children are so stupid as to not know what is bad for them. Children are very keen on what is bad vs what is good for them. (teenagers, well …) The incident you cite certainly makes that clear.

        • Who would ever think that an allergy, exposure that could result in hospitalisation or worse, would be kept confidential from staff members, especially ones who, like the home ec teacher, would be having the students working with food!

    • Please provide a source for this comment — ” Even though another child could go into aniphalactic shock and die just from being in the same room with nuts, …”. Otherwise redact. One must consume the nut in order to have a reaction. Nuts are not like second hand smoke.

      • JohnMc ~

        While I am not sure that being in the same room with nuts could cause an anaphylactic reaction, I know that touching the residue CAN cause that type of reaction – it only takes the tiniest little bit of physical contact and does not have to be consumed.

        Best wishes ~


  • My daughter would be in a lot of trouble with this program. She’s such a picky eater, she wouldn’t eat anything they served.

  • I home school my child, however, if he was in public school and was not allowed to eat his “brown bagged lunch” I would be there every day to check him out at lunch time so he could eat his lunch with me, in the car. We do not live in Socialist China (not yet anyway, unless people OPEN THEIR EYES AND BRAINS) the schools can not hold your child “hostage” and make them eat their awful, fattening, unhealthy lunches. WE ARE AMERICA. STAND UP PEOPLE. DON’T BE SHEEP!!! Vote everyone out in upcoming and future elections. Vote them ALL out, every last one of them. Time to make a change.

  • I ate some GMO and gained 50lbs. No offense, but all that stuff you listed has nothing to do with obesity and very little to do with health. Calories in vs calories out.

  • THIS IS SO CLEARLY NOT REAL!!!!! The note that started this whole fiery debate has very murky origins. I assume will be onto this internet rumor soon. There is no proof of this other than a scribbled-on poorly written blacked out note from a friend of a friend whose child attends some unnamed preschool in Richmond. The phone number for the federal program doesn’t even have an area code under its fake redacted black marker.

    I teach… Kids bring bagged lunches every day. The government doesn’t try to stop it. GROW SOME BRAINS and some critical thinking skills people!!!!!!! This may have even been started by someone who wants you to form this sort of antigovernment opinion. Do some research!

  • Unfortunately in my experience as a preschool teacher the reverse is also true. The child care center I purchased a while back did not have a food program and the children did bring their lunch–or a bag of something that resembled a gas station snack station. There were only a few out of the 40+ lunches I saw daily that even looked like there was a food pyramid anywhere in the mix. Cookies, candy, kool-aid drink boxes…no veggie, no protein, just high carb sugary junk! We implemented a healthy whole foods food program that is part of the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program, and yes we get reimbursed because 64% of our population falls into those poverty guidelines…just one teachers side of the story here…

    • A private school my oldest attended for pre-k didn’t allow kids to bring home lunches, but they had an in house chef who prepared meals fresh daily. Donated may a winter squash, carrots, and other items to the school, and knew the kids were all eating healthy. A blanket policy to protect kids who are coming with whatever junk the had in the cupboard, or go back to class starving from the empty calories of a lunchables etc, seems over the top…. Many of the kids bringing that junk from home may qualify for free lunch, so why not offer it. When Tyson (a huge corporate CAFO poutry enterprise)
      is awarded contracts for our fed. school lunch programs, I have a huge problem with that. If our school lunches were required and funded to source healthy food locally, i would be inclined to support the expenses of school lunch programs…. how much of that junk bought and paid for gets thrown in the trash. Most kids will drink their milk, eat their fruit and go hungry the rest of the day.

      Article here:

  • Have you seen some of the crap kids bring in these lunches? No cold packs even. Some eat things that have been in a bag for days. While I know this is offensive to some families, its meant to protect those that are not getting adequate nutrition. Not that what the school serves is great, but it beats a tunafish sandwich that was left in a locker for days without even a cold pack (you’d be surprised how many kids eat that way). A lot of families do not even check or know what their kid took for lunch. There are a lot of parents just not doing their job with their kids or this wouldn’t be an issue. Kids bring soda not milk, chips, not fruit. It’s on the parents who are failing in their responsibilities that schools felt they need to do something. If a parent is packing good lunches and a child is healthy, any doctor will give you a note saying this family is ok to have their own lunch. I think it’s mean to protect the kids, while maybe overreaching you can’t single kids out for it – it has to be a blanket policy or its a violation of rights, I don’t think its just about the almighty dollar.

    People are so quick to jump on how we are constantly being terrorized and controlled by the government when they should spend more of this time looking into what their kid actually ate today for lunch.

    • I would say it is a violation of rights there are other reasons for meals being brought to school than doctor approved for health of the child.

  • What I don’t get is that those of you that claim brown bag lunches have been banned due to allergies don’t even realize what you are saying. The very foods that the schools are providing are the foods that fall suspect and victimize our children with these allergies & food intolerances at an increasing rate. All processed food, food additives and non-food ingredients should be banned from school lunches… Period. … And school lunches should be made fresh on site the day it is served if it is to replace homemade meals. I don’t understand why anyone would argue me or any parent providing their child an organic, non-gmo, grass-fed, grain free, gluten free freshly made meal by choice & not by medical need versus the CRAP the schools want to provide. There is no logic behind this whatsoever. Some of us send our kids to the federally run free preschools because we break the bank every month making sure we keep our kids healthy and free of poison. I dare you to come up with a LOGICAL response.

  • I went to elementary school in the 80’s and my school lunches were AMAZING! It was all “home-made” lunches by an awesome full time kitchen staff (this was a small rural town school, nothing fancy except the lunches). I taught for a few years this decade and the school lunches now are 50% deep fried goods, and some of the nastiest quality food to begin with… Its quite disgusting, I wouldn’t feed it to my dog let alone my child. On the contrary I’ve seen some kids who get worse garbage packaged as a lunch… I would like to know the discussions that took place in that school to prompt such a rule.

  • I work in the lunch room for first grade duty. Some of the things packed in those lunches are unbelievable. I have one guy who brings at least 3 desserts and proceeds to eat those first and throw his sandwich away. Then I look at the “healthy” lunch the school serves and shiver. I am glad they serve a fruit and vegetable. A lot of the kids only eat the fruit and throw the rest away.
    I remember when school food used to be good. Not anymore.

  • Someone had told me about this and i thought thats got to be a load of bollocks. but here it is. Same reasons as you daisy that i send my kids to school with lunch. Good luck finding a doctor that will write such a note, even if you kid had serious medical reasons not to eat that junk.

    My son’s teacher informed me that his behavior after lunch when he ate school lunch ( he preferred the variety to that which i sent him from home, or the junk foody ness of it) was worse than mornings…. Hmmm think that school lunch had anything to do with it. Also was encouraged to let my kids get a whole school lunch so they can get a drink on an occasion that i forgot their drinks…

    Looked into contracting with local schools to get our organic produce and pastured meats and eggs into the local schools to learn that they don’t have real kitchens to use, and that pretty much any food we sold would have to be processed & preserved. Are currently working with the county and local university on a food food hub where we could manage this, and in turn sell locally to schools. But still pretty insane that the unhealthy choices at schools are promoted to the kids as “healthy” choices, while my kids know better now they’d rather get the unhealthy junk rather than home lunch as a forbidden treat. hmpf…. how to solve this debacle. And since then my son’s afternoon behavior @ school is unmanagable again.

  • My daughter just received a similar note from her childs preschool stating she would need a doctors note if she continued to bring her childs lunch. He is under a year old and has allergies to milk and other foods. So her doctors note probably wont be an issue. But there is no other allowable reason that will allow a parent to pack a childs lunch such as religious reasons, or a parents good sense. So now we are suppose to pay the school for an unhealthy lunch and just accept that?!?! And what will be the consequence if we say NO. And continue to pack their lunch.

  • It seems strange to me that a parent wise enoungh to want to send a healthy lunch with their child would send their child to a government educational program or school. I homeschooled because I didn’t want the government feeding, “educating”, and doing other things to my children. They are grown and I now have grandchildren that I hope will be 2nd generation homeschooled. I live in Arizona where homeschooling, online schooling, and charter schools are now common and parents are more involved then a generation ago. What about the unlucky children whose parents don’t know any better and just send their kids to school and do whatever the school (govenment) wants?

  • Wow, just stumbled across this. I’m an licensed early childhood educator, and in no way would my center be able to even provide lunches for all the children. It is a part of our program that parents provide lunch and snacks for their children. We educate the children on making healthy choices from their lunches and also educate parents what our standards are of healthy. I have not heard anything about this, and trust me we hear all the legality issues. No one can force a family in early childhood to not make their own food choices for their child and anyone who believes this I kind of feel sorry for you.

    • Also wanted to add, if this is legit…I hope to god parents fight the crap out of it! It’s our right to stand up for our rights and our children’s rights!

  • Heads up: rva’s preschool program is only 4 hours, thus the students do not eat ouch at school. If said child must have foid (let’s say, diabetic), then they’d need a doctors note. They’re welcome to eat a healthy home made meal pre/post their 4 hour day.

  • The multibillion-dollar organic food industry is the biggest scam in the history of food production, preying on the ignorance of irrational suckers like you who can’t understand basic scientific concepts.

  • as an update (and probably unnecessary comment on some of the previous comments), this is a real ongoing issue… It is not a federal ban, correct. It is, however, now virtually nation-wide by both public school systems and daycares/afterschool programs. So it doesn’t matter if it is a federal ban or not – you have two options: let your kids each poisonous “healthy” lunches and snacks that the taxpayers have paid for (instead of said taxes paying for other items – say books? pencils? etc.), teaching our kids this alternate reality of what is a “healthy” food – or go to the trouble and expense of obtaining a doctor’s note requiring said institution to allow your child to bring healthy food. You still run the risk of your child trading that unprocessed, natural apple for a saturated-fat laden apple pie because no one is monitoring what is happening at the lunch table, however… Homeschooling, anyone??

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