Childcare worker scolds adoptive parents for packing Lunchables in little girl's lunch every day

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I worked at a childcare center for a week or two. I can never remember whether it was a single week or double that length of time because it felt like years. I didn't mind the kids even though kids aren't my favorite. It was the boss I didn't like.

The boss was overly critical and seemed to always find something that I was doing wrong. I felt as if I wasn't able to do anything right. This made it difficult to enjoy my job and I found myself feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

I found it challenging to face my boss every day, especially when I was trying so hard to do a good job. I often felt scared to ask questions or make mistakes, which prevented me from learning. I was constantly being reminded that I was not good enough and this eventually began to affect my work.

Her attitude didn't just affect me and the other workers. It affected the children and their parents as well.

One young girl had been adopted from Russia. Her adoptive parents dropped her off at daycare every morning clutching a box of Lunchables.

My boss tried explaining to the little girl that Lunchables were an inappropriate lunch, but the girl didn't understand. She spoke only Russian.

When her parents came to pick her up one afternoon, my boss shouted at them about the Lunchables.

The following day, the girl came to school carrying Lunchables.

Once again, the boss told her parents Lunchables weren't allowed at the childcare center. The girl's parents replied that they were busy professionals who both worked outside the home and that as long as they provided lunch for their daughter, they shouldn't be harassed.

Are Lunchables a healthy and nutritious lunch?

While it may be convenient and easy to prepare, Lunchables' nutrition profile falls short of what is recommended for growing bodies. It does not contain the recommended servings of fruits, vegetables, fiber, and dairy, which are essential for a balanced diet, according to The Donut Whole. Additionally, some of the Lunchables varieties have high sodium content, which can be unhealthy in excessive amounts.

As a child, I ate far worse things than Lunchables for lunch, and no one batted an eye. I grew up in the days of real sugar, whole milk, and caffeinated beverages for children of all ages. Lunchables are no worse than Jolt Cola (with real sugar and twice the caffeine) and a package of Swiss Rolls or Funny Bones.

But is it up to the parents or the childcare provider to decide what constitutes an adequate meal for a child? What do you think? Comments are welcome.

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Ordained Minister, Universal Life Church

Massachusetts State

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