Health

Preschool Bans Lunches From Home, Will Only Allow With Doctor's Note

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An unidentified preschool in Richmond, Virginia is refusing to allow parents to pack their child's lunch from home, unless they have a doctor's note.

A letter from the school was recently posted by a mom on her blog My2CrazyCurls.com. She packed a lunch anyway for her son, and then got the letter again with a handwritten part at the top: “Ms Brooks, Please do not send a lunch to school unless a doctor’s note is sent in connection with this letter.”

The letter, also featured on the website Momdot.com, states:

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].

Thanks,

Ms. [redacted]

The Federal Programs Preschool initiative is part of the Head Start Program, in which children are provided with breakfast, lunch and a snack. It appears that Head Start guidelines are interpreted differently from state to state.

For example, Illinois does not have a ban listed, but Hawaii's Head Start Program forbids outside food:

All children in Head Start are served breakfast and lunch, and a snack in the extended day programs. We provide one-third to one-half of the child's daily nutritional need. All meals are USDA approved. Meals must be consumed during mealtime only. Food items high in nutrients and low in fat, sugar, and salt are offered to the children. Also, outside foods are not allowed. This includes goodie bags filled with food items during the holidays and birthdays.

Sources: Momdot.com, My2CrazyCurls.com, HCAPweb.org, SIU.edu

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