Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
January 20, 2021 ·  4 min read

Mom Sends Son To School With This Lunch And 3 Mini Cookies Get Sent Home For Being “Unhealthy”

Laura Lee took to Facebook when school assistants sent home her son’s lunch after deeming it “unhealthy.” The lunch in question included carefully prepared sandwiches, grapes, crackers, cheese, cut vegetables, hummus, and three little cookies. In her post, she wrote,

“I sent my 2.5 yr old son to school with this, and the cookies got sent home because they’re unhealthy – there was 3 MINI Cookies.” 

No photo description available.
Image Credit: Laura Lee | Facebook

“I thought it was pretty balanced,” she commented. “Evidently not.” [1] 

Toddler’s Lunch Gets Sent Home for Being “Too Unhealthy 

Lee’s post was a response to Plymouth Live story where teachers shared the worst lunches students brought to school, from pork pie and shandy, a pack of ginger cookies, day-old McDonald’s, corn snacks, and Red Bull. (The mother gave her kid the energy drink because, “He’d had a late night on his Xbox and seemed like he needed a pick-me-up.” And the mom who provided leftover McDonalds “didn’t want the food to go to waste.”) [2] 

Laura Lee posted an opposite example, including a picture of the “offensive” lunch. Many commenters took her side.

There is nothing wrong with this packed lunch. It shows a well thought and balanced selection made with a lot of love,” one person wrote.

“I work in a nursery, and believe me, I have seen some terrible packed lunches in the past!” another commenter posted. “This looks perfect to me!” 

What an absolute joke,” another person said. “Awesome looking lunch!” 

“Amazing, when a child’s free school lunch can have syrup sponge and custard for a pudding…” said another.  

Christina Robinson said: “That looks great and well balanced, my son’s drink got sent home because it was fizzy. It was sparkling water.” 

Schools Monitoring Lunchboxes 

Many schools have begun encouraging children to eat healthy food and limit sugary foods and drinks. Besides providing healthy lunch options, some schools take the extra steps of banning certain foods from the school premises and monitoring the lunches the kids bring in. For instance, in Richmond, Missouri, a school district banned all fast food, but some parents felt this was too controlling. 

“I thought it was overstepping at its finest,” said one father. “It’s up to parents what their children eat.” 

While people could understand prohibiting nuts and other potentially deadly allergens, banning fast food, sugary drinks, and — and in the case of Laura Lee — three mini cookies, it seemed like the schools are being bossy and overstepping boundaries. And some parents are becoming frustrated. 

Schools should concentrate on teaching and not being the lunch box police,” said one comment. “No good being skinny fit but finish school knowing nothing.” 

Others, however, are on board with these new rules.  

I think parents often forget their child is not the only one in the school, and rules are implemented to make everything work as well as possible,” said another. “Even the pack lunch pictured is carb-heavy and even the most foody of our children would leave half.” [3] 

Read: Dad Gained Fame For His Reaction to Holding His Rainbow Baby. Watch Him Catch His Son at Birth.

How to Pack Healthier School Lunches for Children 

Although people don’t agree whether schools should be peeking into kids’ lunchboxes, all agree that children should eat plenty of nutritious food. And that responsibility falls primarily to the parents. 

What and how kids eat in elementary school could mold their eating habits as adults. Parents need to model good eating habits in addition to providing them with healthy options. [4] 

When you pack their lunchboxes, rotate the food options to keep things new and make them kid-friendly. For example, a child would faster eat a pre-peeled and sectioned orange than one they have to peel it themselves. 

Also, let the kids decide! Make a list of foods based on a nutritional category and let them pick one of each every day. Here are some examples: 


  • Hard-boiled eggs or egg salad 
  • Cheese 
  • Yogurt 
  • Chicken breast 
  • Hummus or chickpea salad 


  • Whole-wheat crackers 
  • Pita bread 
  • Tortillas 
  • Homemade muffins 
  • Whole-grain bread 


  • Baby carrots  
  • Sliced peppers 
  • Cucumbers  
  • Celery sticks 
  • Salad  


  • Pre-sliced apple or pears 
  • Peeled, seedless oranges 
  • Bananas 
  • Berries 
  • Grapes 


  • Air-popped popcorn 
  • Sweet potato or kale chips 
  • Whole-grain pretzels 
  • Homemade oatmeal cookies 
  • Dark chocolate-covered nuts or raisins [5] 

The important thing is to provide overall healthy food and teach healthy eating habits. Don’t be afraid to add a treat every so often, everything in moderation unless the school confiscates it. 

What do you think, are the schools overstepping?

Keep Reading: Husband Asks for Advice When His Pregnant Wife Won’t Stop Drinking


  1. “Healthy lunch box sent back from school – for having mini cookies in it.” Cornwall Live. Sarah Elmes. Sep 18, 2018 
  2. “Schoolboy had can of shandy and pork pie for packed lunch and other bad examples shared by teachers.” Wales Online. Phil Cardy and Cathy Owen. Sep 16, 2018. 
  3. “Mom Is Baffled When School Lunch She Packed For Son Is Sent Back Home For Being ‘Unhealthy’.” Little Things. Lindsey Weedston. Sep 29, 2018.
  4. “Healthy Eating.” Kids Health. Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD. June 2018 
  5. “How to Pack a Healthier School Lunch for Your Child.” Cleveland Clinics. Sep 1, 2020