Kristin Barkiw of Rossburn, Manitoba, Canada brought two of her children home from Little Cub’s Den daycare when she saw that her kids were sent home with a note. As reported by CTV, the message told the mom she had failed to provide a nutritionally balanced lunch for her children, 5-year-old Logan and 3-year-old Natalie.
Not only that, Kristin was fined $10, $5 per child, for missing grains in their lunch of leftover roast beef, carrots, potatoes, an orange and milk. Further, the note said that the daycare staff gave Logan and Natalie Ritz crackers to fulfill the nutritional requirement of grains, which some see as a less than nutritious option.
The incident occurred in December 2012, but Kristin is now speaking about it. The nutritional regulation for daycare lunches is actually law in the province. The Manitoba government’s Early Learning and Child Care lunch regulations state that daycare programs must ensure children are given a lunch with a meat, a grain, a milk product and two servings of fruit and vegetables and any missing food groups must be supplemented by the care provider. In this case, the $5 fine was put in place to deter parents from sending their children to Little Cub’s Den with only junk food.
Kristin was actually a part of the daycare’s board when they adopted the fining policy and does not blame Little Cub’s Den but did tell CTV, “It was just frustrating that we have to keep fighting this battle when you’re sending your kids you know perfectly good food and yet you’re being told it doesn’t meet this really specific, kind of nit-picky requirement.”
The Manitoba mom called the daycare and ended up getting the fine rescinded when she explained that the starchy potatoes were included in place of a grain product. A province representative contacted Little Cub’s Den daycare to inform them that they could not fine parents for food that the daycare center provides to fulfill the nutritional regulations. However, by then Little Cub’s Den changed their policies doing away with the fines, choosing to provide a hot meal program to the daycare’s children.