Fear not, citizens! The government is here to save you from yourselves. And in keeping with the Remember the Children theme, the Department of Agriculture is submitting new guidelines for food served at any day care facility (including some private homes) which qualify for federal funding. This should be a resoundingly popular move, I’m sure. Let’s see what you’ve got.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing strict new dietary guidelines for day cares that would prohibit them from frying food that is served to children.
Child care providers would also be formally required to provide children with water upon request, though they would face restrictions on how much apple juice and orange juice they serve.
One of the more notable provisions would restrict day cares from frying food on site and discourage them from serving pre-packaged fried food, such as chicken fingers, from the grocery store.
“While facilities would not be permitted under this proposed rule to prepare foods on site by frying them,” the USDA wrote in the Federal Register, “store-bought, catered, or pre-fried foods can still contribute large amounts of calories and saturated fat to a meal. Therefore, facilities are encouraged to limit all fried and pre-fried foods to no more than once per week.”
Rather than dismissing the entire proposal out of hand, it is completely reasonable to mandate (yes, I said mandate) that a facility providing childcare have drinking water available for the children. In fact, you might think about arresting anyone who didn’t at least provide water. I’m really not sure where the idea for limits on apple and orange juice came from. They tend to be sweet, but that’s why kids like them. And they’ve got to be a more appealing choice for the nanny-staters than soda, right?
But all fried foods? Granted, I prefer a burger cooked on the grill more than fried, but that’s not always an option so I’ll take what I can get. And what if the facility also provides breakfast for the kids? No fried eggs? And dare I even say the words… NO BACON?
Oh, wait. I forgot to check the fine print. You probably won’t need to worry about the burgers or the bacon any more.
The USDA’s meal standards also include other proposed changes, such as allowing tofu as a meat alternative.
I suppose the taste of your tofuburger won’t be affected all that much whether it’s fried or just served straight out of the freezer. So, eat up, kids! And just try to remember that you only have to make it until 16 and then you can ask to be emancipated.