This little nugget of a law just slipped right through. How the HELL did we let this happen. The Nanny State has indeed run amok.
This week, the president signed Michelle Obama’s Child Nutrition Bill. Ostensibly aimed at providing children with more nutritious school meals, the bill will instead lead to a greater reliance on the badly managed school food programs while simultaneously weakening the very institution that might be the key to solving the problems of childhood obesity – good parenting.
Despite the exaggerated rhetoric surrounding the bill’s passage, everyone can agree that ensuring children have access to healthy food is a good thing. But the real impact of this bill is much larger than nutrition. It represents an enormous growth in government. Not in the way we’ve seen it lately – into the financial and business sectors – but into our personal lives and the lives of our children. It tells parents to cease their most basic role – to feed your child. Because why would they bother to do it when schools now feed children three squares a day?
In her speech, the first lady made one small mention of the role of parents, saying that ultimately this was their responsibility. However, she barely drew breath before quickly adding “when our kids spend so much time in school, it’s clear that we can’t just leave it up to the parents.”
Really? Why not? Why can’t we expect a parent to serve their kids a bowl of cereal in the morning? Why can’t we expect a parent to put a sandwich and an apple in a paper bag and to tuck a small snack into a child’s backpack to give them a boost after school? Why can’t we expect a parent to stock a pantry with healthy snacks and to prepare a simple dinner for their child? Most importantly, why can’t we simply expect a parent to teach their children the values of proper nutrition, portion control, the importance of exercise, and self-regulation?
Relieving the program of these children – nearly 15 million – would allow schools to focus their efforts on those who actually need it. Instead, Michelle Obama sees the problem only being solved through government expansion. In her speech, the first lady said the problems of both obesity and malnutrition in this country “can be solved when we come together and provide our children with the nutritious food they need and deserve.” These terms “we” and “our” are simply code for government being the better solver of your problems. You cannot be trusted to provide your child a nutritious meal because ultimately the government is smarter than you.