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Beware the lunch monitor

You may have heard about the federal agent monitoring preschool lunches in North Carolina telling a 4-year-old girl that her sack lunch containing a turkey and cheese sandwich, chips, a banana and apple juice wasn't healthy. The agent then made the little girl eat chicken nuggets from the school cafeteria.

I side with the homemade lunch and against the feds. But then, I have a long-standing personal animosity toward lunch monitors.

We had a lunch monitor at my elementary school. Her job was to stand By the return window and send you back to your seat if you hadn't cleaned your plate.

Wasting food was a crime back then. A felony, I think.

I dreaded Fridays. Fridays were fish sticks and spinach. I blamed my Catholic friends whom I have since forgiven . They wolfed down fish sticks and spinach on meatless Fridays and were on the playground running and skipping rope while I was the lone Methodist in the cafeteria staring down the lunch monitor.

My mother began packing my lunch. Bologna sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit, milk in a Thermos and a cookie. The lunch monitor had no say over my lunch from home and Fridays were good.

The Carolina Journal, reporting on the preschool lunch debacle, reported that the decision was made based on a regulation put in place By the Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services. That would be the DCDEEDHHS. The group should automatically be disbanded on grounds its name is too long.

I'm just wondering out loud here, but did the inspector checking lunches have on a brown shirt?

A red jacket with a Mandarin collar, perhaps?

How much does a position like preschool lunch inspector pay?

Do these jobs make up for the lost pipeline jobs?

Must you be able to tell the real fruit from the plastic fruit in the preschool play kitchen?

What is a legume?

Are TSA workers given preferred applicant status for these positions?

By the way, have you checked the lunch menu of your public school lately? Ours features chicken poppers, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese and turkey gravy bowl. Fruit, when it appears, is most often from a can.

Breakfast menus include sausage gravy pizza, sausage biscuit and bacon scramble pizza. I have long said kids that rely on school breakfasts would be better off receiving a box of Cheerios, a gallon of milk and bunch of bananas each week. The older ones could fix breakfast themselves at home. It's far better nutrition than some sausage bacon gravy concoction and would give kids a sense of independence and self-respect.

A teacher friend found it ironic that her students sometimes came to class with doughnuts from their free school breakfast and began their morning fitness workout touching their toes with one hand while holding a government doughnut in the other.

One more question: Do these lunch inspectors make house calls? I hope not.

And, oh yes, MYOL: mind your own lunch.