Having learned nothing from the Michelle Obama school lunch debacle, the Department of Agriculture is now upping the ante and proposing to tell daycare centers, even some of those in private homes, what they can and cannot give children to eat and drink.
The proposal would ban all frying on-site. This isn’t just about deep fried foods or burgers, fries and chicken nuggets. Eggs, veggie burgers and stir-fry all utilize frying for preparation. Even though tofu is allowed under the new proposal, stir-fried tofu would not be.
Additionally, no fruit juice can be given to infants under 11 months of age under the rules of the proposal. Not even fresh-squeezed. None.
Speaking of infants, under current guidelines, infants 8 months of age and older can be given cottage cheese, cheese and cheese spreads or products. Because the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends no dairy products be given until infants are 12 months of age, the proposal would also ban those products until children are a year old.
But there are some positives in the proposal. It allows for meat and meat substitutes to be used for half the grain requirement for breakfast. This would be good for children who cannot eat grains. It gives them an alternative that is also filling.
Another perk is requiring that children be given all the water they want throughout the day. No child should be deprived of drinking water.