A Colorado mom said that she was "lunch-shamed" when her four-year-old's preschool teacher refused to allow her to eat the Oreos she had packed for lunch.
Leeza Pearson said that she was out of fruit and vegetables one morning when packing lunch for her daughter, Natalee, before taking the four-year-old to preschool. She packed a sandwich along with some Oreos before taking Natalee to the Children's Academy in Aurora, Colorado, according to ABC News.
Leeza was shocked, then, when her daughter came home later in the day with the Oreos uneaten, and a note from the school.
"Dear Parents," the note read, "it is very important that all students have a nutritious lunch. This is a public school setting and all children are required to have a fruit, a vegetable and a healthy snack from home, along with a milk."
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"If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it. Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks, and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack," it continued. "This is a very important part of our program and we need everyone's participation."
Leeza said that the school's response was over the top, and the way that they handled Natalee's lunch was baffling.
"I think it is definitely over the top, especially because they told her she can't eat what is in her lunch," said the mother. "They should have at least allowed to eat her food and contacted me to explain the policy and tell me not to pack them again."
Leeza also pointed out that the school has been inconsistent in their efforts to promote healthy eating habits. During Easter this year, she said, students were asked to bring in candy, and her daughter is given a snack of jellybeans when she stays after school.
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"They say I can't decide what to feed her but then they sometimes feed her junk food," said Leeza, who also pointed out that Natalee's lunch included string cheese and a sandwich. "Why am I being punished for Oreos when at other times I am asked to bring candy?"
Patty Moon, a spokeswoman for the Aurora Public School District, said that an alternate snack was provided for the girl, but Leeza disputed this, saying that her daughter came home hungry.
Leeza said that Oreos are not an everyday staple in Natalee's diet, and that she will give them to her as an occasional treat, according to the New York Daily News.
"She is not overweight by any means, and I usually try to feed her healthy," said the mom, who added that it's between her and her doctor what is healthy for her daughter.