Erin O'Donnell
February 16, 2012

A North Carolina 4-year-old ate cafeteria chicken nuggets for lunch one day last month because the school told her the lunch her mother packed wasn't nutritious enough.

The child's lunchbox contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, potato chips, and apple juice. The adult who was inspecting lunch boxes in the classroom that day said the meal didn't meet U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, so the student was required to purchase the school lunch, the Carolina Journal reports.

The incident raises questions about what constitutes a healthy lunch for kids.

USDA guidelines state that lunches must consist of one serving each of meat, milk and grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables. North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services requires that lunches served to pre-K kids, even those from home, meet these guidelines. If they don't, schools must fill in the missing servings.

Kozlowski added that this school might need "technical assistance" on lunch rules.

Readers, what would an inspector see if she looked in your kid's lunch box? What's your definition of a healthy lunch?

Image: Chicken nuggets via Shutterstock.

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