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When a Colorado mom sent her daughter to school with Oreos in her lunchbox, her 4-year-old returned home with the cookies uneaten — and a letter from her school saying the family needs to pack healthier lunches.
But Leeza Pearson of Aurora, Colo. thinks the school needs to butt out and said her daughter is perfectly healthy.
“We noticed last minute that we ran out of fruit or we would have put that in there instead,” the 22-year-old mom told TODAY.com. “So we threw some Oreos in there.”
Shocked by the letter, which stated that students need to have a “nutritious lunch” and snacks that don’t include Lunchables, chips or fruit snacks, Pearson vented online, and said she was surprised to see the fury it generated on social media.
Critics called the letter “ridiculous” and Pearson said she’s especially annoyed because the school recently asked parents to provide candy for a class party.
“I just got a bunch of outrage from friends I hadn’t heard from in years,” she said.
Pearson has sent her daughter Natalee to school with Lunchables and fruit snacks plenty of times before and never gotten a letter of complaint, she said, adding that she thinks it’s odd to get a notice like this so close to the end of the school year.
“Three weeks left of school, and we’re just now hearing about this?” she said.
But in general, Pearson said she does try to make Natalee’s meals healthy. That day, the girl’s lunch also included string cheese and a sandwich.
“We’re not the parents that send junk food every day. She has a full, healthy lunch,” Pearson said. “And this was Friday! Why not give her a special treat?”
Natalee is a student at the Children’s Academy in Aurora, which is a private school but part of the public school district’s pre-school program. Patti Moon, media specialist for Aurora Public Schools, says her district doesn’t oversee the academy.
Pearson said she contacted the school on Monday but hasn’t been able to get through to the director. A person who answered the phone at the school declined to provide his name or a comment when reached by TODAY.com.