Manitoba mom fined $10 for lack of grains in kids' lunch

After sending her children to daycare with a lunch of roast beef, carrots and potatoes, Kristen Bartkiw was fed a $10 fine.

Credits: Supplied


WINNIPEG -- After sending her children to daycare with a lunch of roast beef, carrots and potatoes, Kristen Bartkiw was fed a $10 fine.

The reason: an unbalanced meal.

Despite the presence of a meat, vegetable, fruits and juice, the meal was missing a grain. The solution was to give the Rossburn, Man., school teacher a $10 fine and give her children Ritz Crackers as a supplement.

"I don't blame the daycare," said Bartkiw, who was actually on the board of The Little Cub's Den when they decided to start fining parents.

According to Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care when at a daycare a child's lunch must include a milk product, a meat, a grain and two servings of fruit or vegetables. If the child is missing one of these the daycare provider must provide a supplement.

"We chose to do it as a more of a deterrent, because parents were sending their children a lunch with only a pizza pop," she said.

Under provincial rules, that means that the daycare would have to provide the missing nutritional items.
According to, a serving of about five Ritz crackers contains 80 calories, 4.5 g of fat and 150 mg of sodium.

A statement provided by the provincial government read, "The province requires child-care centres to ensure children have nutritious and balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. These can be supplied by the centre or the parents.

"The province would expect centres to work with parents in educating them regarding what consists of nutritious meals/snacks."

The daycare eventually dropped this policy and chose instead to provide children with a hot lunch.

"It was just too difficult for parents to follow these strict deadlines," Bartkiw said.

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