As the latest entry in the long list of silly government policies to enforce someone’s idea of healthy eating, the Manitoba (Canada) Government’s Early Learning and Child Care lunch regulations require parents to send their children to school with a “balanced” lunch. Children whose lunches do not comply with these regulations have their lunches supplemented with the missing food group while their parents receive a fine. In one such incident, a child’s lunch was found to lack grains, and the lunch was supplemented with Ritz crackers. Read the original blog post reporting the incident here and check out the nutrition facts for Ritz crackers on their website.
Ignoring that Ritz crackers are not exactly the healthiest option in the grain food group, what happens if the child is gluten intolerant? Does the Child Care center have gluten-free grain options? Can gluten tolerant children request gluten-free options if the grain requirement is imposed upon them?