Mother Charged $10 After Lunch of Pot Roast, Potatoes, Carrots and an Orange Deemed ‘Unbalanced’ by Daycare

Leftover pot roast, potatoes, carrots, an orange and milk. Doesn’t sound too bad as lunches go.

But according to a set of lunch regulations for children in Canada, the meal was not balanced enough as it was missing a grain. The caregiver’s solution? Filling the grain void with Ritz crackers and charging the mother $10 for it.

According to the blog Weighty Matters, the incident occurred last December, but the Manitoba mother is now speaking out about it.

When Kristen Bartkiw sent her children to daycare with this meal last December, a message was sent home citing her for a lunch infraction per the Manitoba government’s Early Learning and Child Care lunch regulations.

lunch infraction
A Manitoba mother was sent home with this lunch infraction after her children’s homemade lunches were found “unbalanced” for not including a grain. (Image source: Weighty Matters)

As a reader of Weighty Matters, Bartkiw wrote to the blog that had she sent “microwave Kraft dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring and a juice box” instead, she likely wouldn’t have gotten dinged.

“They have certain legislation that they have in place where you have to follow these food groups, but it doesn’t matter how processed the foods are or if they’re junk food… so Ritz crackers count as a grain,” the 33-year-old mother told Canada’s Metro News. “I phoned the daycare worker and said ‘you know, potatoes, surely I can get away with this,’ and they didn’t actually end up charging me the $10.”

She told the local newspaper she felt her lunch being considered not healthy enough was “ridiculous.”

kristen bartkiw
Kristen Bartkiw (Image source: Twitter)

“The province requires child-care centres to ensure children have nutritious and balanced meals and snacks throughout the day,” the provincial government said in a statement, according to the Winnipeg Sun. “These can be supplied by the centre or the parents. The province would expect centres to work with parents in educating them regarding what consists of nutritious meals/snacks.”

Since the lunch infraction last year, Canada’s Global News reported that the daycare moved to a hot lunch program, which Bartkiw supports.

(H/T: Daily Mail)