I met a woman the other day who is a director of a pretty well-known daycare center in my area. We were talking about food and lunches, and it came up that she does not allow parents to send lunches (or any food) in with their kids unless there's a severe allergy issue.
Me: Oh, that wouldn't work for me as a parent.
Lady: Why, is your kid a picky eater?
Me: (thinks about it for a second) No, he's not a picky eater, I guess I'm just a picky parent.
Lady: Well, let me tell you about our menu before you make a judgment. You might feel better after you hear what kind of food we're talking about.
Me: OK! (thinking maybe I misjudged and that her center was similar to the organic/natural/green center a few towns over that I would love to send Charlie to but can't justify the additional commute time)
Lady: Last week we served chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, salisbury steak, pizza, and beef with cheesy mac. You know, like hamburger helper?
Me: (trying hard to maintain a neutral smile that doesn't show my disgust) Hmm, I don't think that would work for me.
Lady: Well, it follows the state recommendation, so it has to be good.
Me: I have to go.
It's one thing to offer a lunch program that conforms to state guidelines as an OPTION for parents. Our center offers the lunch program, we just choose not to participate. There are other parents who do. If that's what works for them, then that's what works for them. But to say that you give parents NO CHOICE in the matter whatsoever, that they HAVE to allow their kids to eat what's being served, is just ridiculous.