School and nutrition?

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mom3girls's picture
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School and nutrition?

This is kind of a shoot off of the school monitoring thread.

How much should schools involve themselves in monitoring nutrition in kids diets? I dont mean are they getting any food, more of are they getting good food.

This is kind of personal for me right now, I am taking a class that looks directly at how foods effect childrens behavior. I also have noticed that some parents are fairly shocking with what they send for snacks to my class. At the beginning of the year I ask for no sugary snacks, and that they send a cup for water. I always have a few students that bring stuff that I would say is not healthy but not horrible. This year (and last year) I have one kid that brings horrible snacks, always full of sugars and food dyes. This kid is super smart, and really sweet, but shortly after snack time he lacks any impulse control. He kind of goes a little wild, and then you can see he is dissapointed that he breaks the rules. I am not sure how much to say to his parents, I dont want to offend, but I also want to see him have great success in all of his school years.

So as parents, would you welcome observations from teachers if they saw that food was impacting behavior?

Joined: 03/08/03
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It's a tough one. I think it's all about HOW you approach it. I would meet with them and say all the nice things about him you can, and that you've noticed a change in his behavior after his snack, and then speak broadly of how you've noticed that exact same effect with other kids, and tell them you're speaking to all the parents about it. Would that work?

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

It's a tough one. I think it's all about HOW you approach it. I would meet with them and say all the nice things about him you can, and that you've noticed a change in his behavior after his snack, and then speak broadly of how you've noticed that exact same effect with other kids, and tell them you're speaking to all the parents about it. Would that work?

I agree with this approach. Also, maybe you could put together a list of examples/suggestions and pass it out to all of the parents? I tihnk some people's definition of "healthy" varies, so maybe if you give them some suggestions they will just stick to that list or at least have some better ideas.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
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In the past I have taken that approach, it usually works. I guess my big question, and the thing I would like to debate, is how much as a parent do you want to hear? As a parent I want to know all the teachers observations, the good and the bad. But I have had kids in the past, and DH has them a lot that say "you have them while at school, you deal with any issues" For me that is not the end of the world, I only have them 3 and half hours a day. For Dh I find that mind blowing, he has them most of the day.

Joined: 03/08/03
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As a parent I want to know about anything the teacher thinks is affecting my child directly. If my kid does a normal kid thing and gets in trouble and it's dealt with, I don't need to know every detail. But anything out of the norm I want to know about!

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
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I have to admit, i do not welcome input from teachers about what i should or shouldn't be putting in my kids lunches.

I get that not everyone packs a good lunch for their kids....but you know what, I think that's just the way it is. We have to live in a world with all sorts of people who all prioritize the things in their lives differently.

I would be okay with a general reminder of what is ideal for snacks/lunch and recommendations...things that go out to all students. Even if its a quarterly reminder....maybe emphasize that class runs more smoothly when the kids eat healthy, non surgary snacks.

Beyond that, i really do not want anymore input or dictation.

ftmom's picture
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I have to disagree with Kim. If there is something that is effecting my childs learning, I want to know about it. Maybe the parent is just sending what their parent always sent with them, and they did fine with it. If no one says anything, then how would you know it is a problem. Yes I think it needs to be approached gently, and if they are not receptive then back off, but it certainly never hurts to say something.

When I was doing my practicum we had 2 brothers in our school who were having custody issues at home. They ended up living at Grandma and Grandpas house, but Grandma and Grandpa were older and had already raised their kids. Although they loved the boys and wanted what was best for them, their hearts werent really into it, if you know what I mean. Grandma would send a can of pop and a chocolate bar in their lunches every day! These were kids who already had behavioral issues due to being recently uprooted etc (though the sweetest boys you have ever met). The principal finally pulled Grandma aside one day when she was at the school, mentioned the problem and gave her some suggestions for easy, healthier lunches. Things changed immediatly! She just needed someone to SAY something.

mom3girls's picture
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"KimPossible" wrote:

I have to admit, i do not welcome input from teachers about what i should or shouldn't be putting in my kids lunches.

I get that not everyone packs a good lunch for their kids....but you know what, I think that's just the way it is. We have to live in a world with all sorts of people who all prioritize the things in their lives differently.

I would be okay with a general reminder of what is ideal for snacks/lunch and recommendations...things that go out to all students. Even if its a quarterly reminder....maybe emphasize that class runs more smoothly when the kids eat healthy, non surgary snacks.

Beyond that, i really do not want anymore input or dictation.

This is what my neighbor has said, but I didnt know if she was a anomaly because she is a registered dietician

Joined: 08/17/04
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I want their teachers to be involved and I think general forms about healthy snacks and addressing behavioral issues is great. Like Kim, I don't welcome comments on my child's lunch. I've mentioned here before that DD1 is pretty specific on things she will eat due to her sensory (smell) issues. I pack as healthy as I can but yeah, it is not a perfect lunch most of the time.

I think this is sometimes something we have to deal with. Life isn't perfect, parents aren't perfect, kids and their eating habits aren't perfect. Most parents just do what they can as best as they can.

ftmom's picture
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I do agree that the teacher shouldnt be pushy or lecture the parent, but if one child in particular is having a hard time with his snack, then I think that parent needs to know that. I would want to. So many times we get those forms, and I dont know about anyone else, but I often think of them as applying to other parents, cause we eat pretty healthy, so I can see them being passed over by the parent. However, if you mention it to the parents (and I would do it in the context of noticing the behaviors increase after snack, not as a judgement of the snack) and the parents are not receptive, then yea, I would let it go. There is not much you can actually do about it without the parents on board, so alienating the parents is the worst thing you could do.

Spacers's picture
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Our school district has a "Wellness Policy" that promotes physical activity and healthy eating at all grade levels. Some schools have adopted more of the guidelines than others, but our school has adopted them all. When you register, you get a handout about the policy, and it goes home the first week of school every year. No candy, chips, cookies, juice, or soda are allowed in lunches; if a child brings one of things, it is confiscated & returned home with a note reminding the parents of the policy. Kids will not go hungry because they are welcome to take anything they want from "the sharing table." (I had a problem in 2nd grade with someone who could not tell a cracker from a cookie & sent them home, so I started sending photocopies of the package with the nutritional guidelines in Tiven's lunch bag!) Parents are not to send cakes for birthdays or candy on Halloween or Valentines Day, and hot lunches meet good nutritional guidelines including whole grains & fresh fruits. Our after school program and enrichment classes serve snacks like fresh fruit, popcorn, stick cheese, baked goldifish-type crackers, etc. Children are encouraged to bring a refillable water bottle every day to drink with lunch, and they take them out on the yard at P.E. time, too. I think this is great. There's nothing like "there's a problem with you," kind of thing going on. It's everyone getting healthy together, getting ingrained with good habits, and learning how to stay healthy, hopefully for life.

KimPossible's picture
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I definitely would not like it dictated to me that there was a zero tolerance on anything unhealthy, that would drive me nuts and it would drive me even more nuts if i not only had the teachers and staff policing my kids lunch but other parents too. I would not want my kids to go to school where if i make a loaf of banana bread i couldn't give them a slice of it in their lunch box (and please don't anyone try to tell me that banana bread should be fine...its a friggin slice of cake)

If schools are going to guide the hands of parents in promoting helathy eating in their families....i think it needs to be way more gentle and 'recommendation' like than dictation and zero tolerance policies. I'm not sending my kids to nutrition camp, i'm sending them to school. I still want the ultimate say in how i feed my kids. So teach away about the merits of healthy eating, improve the school lunch programs to provide actually healthy lunches and all that good stuff. Don't tell me what i can or cannot pack in my own kids lunch.

And I mean its ridiculous...no cookie/chips candy, but you are more than welcome to bring a lunchable every day to school?? Hi salt canned soup in a thermos? White bread sandwiches every day? Makes no sense to say "You can have all the high empty carbs, high sodium, nitrate filled, nutritionally empty lunchs...just don't bring any extra sugar"

Kyla, perhaps in really extreme situations i could see addressing a parent directly, but i think it should be a last resort and in the most extreme of situations...with a fairly positive assessment that it is the snack that is the actual issue. I think the temptation should be resisted to do this and i would never want to see any teacher getting lax with commenting on kids lunches....extreme situations only.

I really think the schools role in nutrition is to provide good guidance and be a good example. Send out newsletters, heck even weekly if you want...fix school lunch programs so they actually are healthy everywhere. And then leave the actual parenting decisions to the parents.

ftmom's picture
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"KimPossible" wrote:

I definitely would not like it dictated to me that there was a zero tolerance on anything unhealthy, that would drive me nuts and it would drive me even more nuts if i not only had the teachers and staff policing my kids lunch but other parents too. I would not want my kids to go to school where if i make a loaf of banana bread i couldn't give them a slice of it in their lunch box (and please don't anyone try to tell me that banana bread should be fine...its a friggin slice of cake)

If schools are going to guide the hands of parents in promoting helathy eating in their families....i think it needs to be way more gentle and 'recommendation' like than dictation and zero tolerance policies. I'm not sending my kids to nutrition camp, i'm sending them to school. I still want the ultimate say in how i feed my kids. So teach away about the merits of healthy eating, improve the school lunch programs to provide actually healthy lunches and all that good stuff. Don't tell me what i can or cannot pack in my own kids lunch.

And I mean its ridiculous...no cookie/chips candy, but you are more than welcome to bring a lunchable every day to school?? Hi salt canned soup in a thermos? White bread sandwiches every day? Makes no sense to say "You can have all the high empty carbs, high sodium, nitrate filled, nutritionally empty lunchs...just don't bring any extra sugar"

Kyla, perhaps in really extreme situations i could see addressing a parent directly, but i think it should be a last resort and in the most extreme of situations...with a fairly positive assessment that it is the snack that is the actual issue. I think the temptation should be resisted to do this and i would never want to see any teacher getting lax with commenting on kids lunches....extreme situations only.

I really think the schools role in nutrition is to provide good guidance and be a good example. Send out newsletters, heck even weekly if you want...fix school lunch programs so they actually are healthy everywhere. And then leave the actual parenting decisions to the parents.

I agree with most of what you said. I dont like the idea of it being dictated either. Our school sends home 3 lists of food at the beginning of the year. Foods to eat most the time,foods to eat sometimes, and special occasion foods. All foods sold at the school have to fall into the first two categories, and they ask that foods parents send do to. But the school itself breaks the rules on 2 occasions throughout the year. I cant remember the second, but one is at carnival when they pour maple syrup on the snow to harden it into candy as a traditional treat. They send us all this info in a newsletter on the first day of school.

To the bolded. I am actually surprised that you feel this way, as I would like to know if something was interfering with my childs learning that I could effect. Just as I would like to know if the teacher notices that when I drop DD off at the door she settles in fast and easy in the morning, but when I let her friend walk her into the school it takes her 2 hours to settle down. I might not be able walk her every day, but if I know then I can make more of an effort to make her day easier, KWIM?

Having seen your attitude, and that others agree, has been very eye opening to me as a teacher though. I think if I am in this situation in the future I will approach it with the parent as noticing the behavior in the afternoon, and if the parent pushes it off, then I will let it go, and maybe send a generic letter home to everyone in a week once they have had a chance to think about it. If the parent seems receptive and concerned as well, then I will gently talk with them about food dyes and sugar content (not pointing out specific foods they have sent) as well as other things it could be, and work with them as much as they want me to.

Even though it is your choice as a parent what to send your child for lunch, I as a teacher want your child to be successful in school. Sometimes that is a hard place to be.

To the OP, how old is this child? It occurred to me that at a young age it may not even be the snack effecting behavior in the afternoon. My DD is in grade 1 and she still often naps on the weekend, and every 3-4 days over the summer. So I imagine she must be tired in the afternoon on school days too.

ftmom's picture
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DP

Spacers's picture
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Kim, when your child starts noticing that no one else is bringing a lunchable and when he learns about the importance of nutritious foods, he's not going to ask for it. When your child eats kale & chard at school that he's helped grow, he's going to ask you to get it at the store. When your child learns about bad carbs & sodium, he's not going to want to eat white bread. It becomes peer pressure in a wonderful, positive way. There's no point in kids learning this stuff at school if it's not being reinforced at home. That's what they were noticing ten years ago when they first started the Wellness Program, that it was NOT working, kids were not choosing better lunches or getting more physically fit. Mandating these changes at school DOES work.

And my kids are taking mac & cheese today. :oops: They get it once a week and it's not the really crappy stuff and they're also taking a plum, bell pepper strips & carrot sticks. But you know what? Even if I offered it to Tiven every day, she wouldn't take it because she knows it's not that great.

Joined: 08/17/04
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Oh, I agree that behavioral issues should be addressed but I think multiple solutions could be presented...like...we know he/she melts down after he eats lunch. Does he still nap at home? Does he get iffy at home during this time? What do you think could be causing the meltdown?

I think coming together to resolve the issue is the best thing. If parent isn't receptive to resolving..commenting on lunches is not going to change anything and you get a resentful and still uninvolved parent. Involved parents will seek out resolutions with you including discussing diet.

Joined: 08/17/04
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"Spacers" wrote:

Kim, when your child starts noticing that no one else is bringing a lunchable and when he learns about the importance of nutritious foods, he's not going to ask for it. When your child eats kale & chard at school that he's helped grow, he's going to ask you to get it at the store. When your child learns about bad carbs & sodium, he's not going to want to eat white bread. It becomes peer pressure in a wonderful, positive way. There's no point in kids learning this stuff at school if it's not being reinforced at home. That's what they were noticing ten years ago when they first started the Wellness Program, that it was NOT working, kids were not choosing better lunches or getting more physically fit. Mandating these changes at school DOES work.

And my kids are taking mac & cheese today. :oops: They get it once a week and it's not the really crappy stuff and they're also taking a plum, bell pepper strips & carrot sticks. But you know what? Even if I offered it to Tiven every day, she wouldn't take it because she knows it's not that great.

And that is so great that your kids eat this way. My youngest does too and it makes for easier meal times and packing lunches. Not all kids are going to do that. I'm fine with the school offering only certain things in their lunches but if I'm sending it i"m choosing for her and what I know she will eat.

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Pumpkins

KimPossible's picture
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"Spacers" wrote:

Kim, when your child starts noticing that no one else is bringing a lunchable and when he learns about the importance of nutritious foods, he's not going to ask for it. When your child eats kale & chard at school that he's helped grow, he's going to ask you to get it at the store. When your child learns about bad carbs & sodium, he's not going to want to eat white bread. It becomes peer pressure in a wonderful, positive way. There's no point in kids learning this stuff at school if it's not being reinforced at home. That's what they were noticing ten years ago when they first started the Wellness Program, that it was NOT working, kids were not choosing better lunches or getting more physically fit. Mandating these changes at school DOES work.

My kids already eat well, so I'm not worried about them learning to eat foods that are healthy for them. My point is i don't want the public school system telling me what i'm allowed to and not allowed to feed my child for lunch, or that I must have a lunch approved by their flawed standards each and every single day of school. I think thats wrong, no matter what good influences you think you see from it. And in regards to positive peer pressure, what you are saying may be true for 80% of the classroom, but for the 20% who aren't so easily influenced by their peers, you could be creating a nightmare situation for them and thats wrong.

And you can still grow veggies at school. My kids did it. They have a greenhouse and they grow all sorts of things. We took home plants lats june and finished growing them at home too. Its simply the dictation of what is okay to bring every. single. day....that i have problems with.

I do want our society to change how they eat, but sorry....not by this means, it takes away my decision making power in a way that i do not approve of.

Joined: 03/08/03
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I'd be pissed if the school was telling me what to send in. I almost never get store-bought cookies but I did this past weekend as a treat and then for fun stuck two Mallomars in the kids' lunches. They were so excited! I would not be happy to see those come home.

I think there are extreme cases (like in the OP) in which it might help parents to realize how it affects their kids when their snack is soda and a chocolate bar, but otherwise, teach nutrition but don't mandate it. I have enough trouble finding things Juliet will eat; don't add to my troubles. (Nathaniel will eat anything.)

ClairesMommy's picture
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We're still getting reminders sent home about not sending any nut products in with lunches. It's a general note to all parents, but I can't believe that parents still need reminding week after week. Read the labels, people. It's more than just peanut butter.

Today Claire took a turkey/cheese/lettuce sammy on whole grain, baby carrots, yogurt and a nut-free granola bar, and an apple juice box. And her bottle of water. The yogurt has lots of sugar in it - like 12 grams probably in a serving. That's a LOT. Same withe the juice box. I think I'm going to stop sending the juice and try and find a small thermos that will keep milk cold. She loves milk. I think I will replace the yogurt with a cheese string more often to cut back on the sugar. Thing is, people look at yogurt and think it's so healthy but it has a TON of sugar - the fruit yogurt I mean. Plain yogurt with added fruit is the way to go, but it's hard to get kids to eat plain yogurt.

Oh, and a bit of a tangent but in my quest for the perfect bento box I found this one. The middle tray thingy goes in the freezer. It has gel inside that keeps the lunch cool. The bottom box collapses down for a sandwich and expands up for salad. It freaking rocks.

KimPossible's picture
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Ooh, who makes that? Do you have a linky?

Yes on the yogurt, which we do give to the kids....they are very sugary. We do give yogurt regularly, but no more than once a week. Nathalie would eat yogurt twice a day everyday i think if we let her LOL.

And i like giving the kids treats in their lunches sometimes. I don't want my kids to think there is anything abnormal or wrong, or even worse feel guilty about having a cookie with their lunch some of the time. Crikey.

Joined: 03/08/03
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And I'd be bummed if we couldn't send in desserts for birthdays!!!

ClairesMommy's picture
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Here Kim:
Cool Gear Ez-freeze? Collapsible Bento Box (Assorted): Kitchen & Dining: Amazon.com
You can buy them in Walmart. Do you shop there?

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
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"KimPossible" wrote:

My point is i don't want the public school system telling me what i'm allowed to and not allowed to feed my child for lunch, or that I must have a lunch approved by their flawed standards each and every single day of school.

What makes you think the standards are flawed? Perhaps the nutrition standards in your district are flawed, but ours are not. And when I want my kids to have a cookie or a treat, they can have it after school or on weekends. No biggie. Kids are NOT going to miss out on a cookie at lunch if you don't give them that expectation.

Kim, do your kids prepare & eat the veggies at school? That's an integral part of our garden lessons, the kids learn about how different plants provide different nutrients, more or less fiber, how you can balance flavors so something that tastes bitter when it's raw or on it's own can taste better. If not, then the point in growing them is limited to being a botanical experiment.

KimPossible's picture
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"Spacers" wrote:

What makes you think the standards are flawed? Perhaps the nutrition standards in your district are flawed, but ours are not.

They sure sound flawed to me. I guaruntee you i could bring a crappy bad for you lunch that would be 'allowed' at your school. Easy peasy. Unless there is a whole slew of things that aren't allowed that you didn't mention. The focus was on sugar and thats about it. Oh and you mentioned chips. Of course there about 50 million other ways to overdose on your salt and fat intake. As Lisa mentioned, yogurts are typically full of sugar, are they banned? What about nitrates and white carbs? Are those banned too?

And when I want my kids to have a cookie or a treat, they can have it after school or on weekends. No biggie. Kids are NOT going to miss out on a cookie at lunch if you don't give them that expectation.

I'm not 'worried' that my children won't have opportunities to have cookies. I DO worry about creating inappropriate and unnecessary guilt in children for occasionally eating A cookie, and seeing as including a cookie in my child's lunch is not abusive nor illegal, it is my prerogative to include one when i want to and no school should be telling me I cannot. And if my child chooses not to have cookies in her lunch i DON'T want it to be because my school tried to drill it into her head that doing so is BAD.

Kim, do your kids prepare & eat the veggies at school? That's an integral part of our garden lessons, the kids learn about how different plants provide different nutrients, more or less fiber, how you can balance flavors so something that tastes bitter when it's raw or on it's own can taste better. If not, then the point in growing them is limited to being a botanical experiment.

What does this have to do with the debate? We could start a different debate about "Is Stacy's schools plant growing project better than Kim's" LOL I only brought it up because I think its another tool that could be used in teaching children the merits of healthy eating without simply dictating that certain types of bad things(but not all bad things) are bad things that the school wont' allow. I'm not interested in scrutinizing each schools particular plant growing plan school by school. Anyway if you must know, in preschool yes, they cooked with the veggies. I don't recall if they did this last year. But again...not concerned, at least for my own children. They are exposed to more cooking, more sustainable living and home grown food sources than the average child.

Alissa_Sal's picture
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I agree with Kim that I would absolutely hate a zero tolerance policy in my son's school. I don't mind the school sending home general info and suggestions to the students, and I would even be okay with the teacher bringing up the issue with a parent if it was a really pronounced problem, but the idea that our lunches would be "searched" and certain things would be confiscated and sent back home REALLY rubs me the wrong way. I definitely try to send T in with healthy lunches, and we typically don't do chips or candy or things like that, but I feel like it should be my call when I want to give him a special treat. He's been in school for a month, and so far I can think of two instances that would have violated those rules, and both times I feel 100% fine about what I sent for him. The first time, I sent hummus, veggies, pita chips, and a homemade Snickerdoodle cookie that he baked with his grandma. The idea that the cookie (sent in as a special treat on top of a healthy lunch) would have been confiscated would have made me crazy mad. The other time I sent in a whole wheat tortilla rolled up with turkey, hummus, and fresh spinach, raw strawberries, and some trail mix that included a handful of M&Ms that I assume also would have been against the rules. Seriously, my kid is five. He's healthy, he eats healthy almost all of the time, and for goodness sake, he's not on a diet. He can have treats sometimes because I think moderation is healthier than strict denial and also I'm the parent and I say so. I think I am well within my rights as a parent to decide if I want to slip him 10 M&Ms or a homemade cookie with his otherwise healthy lunch. That would seriously make me nuts.

mom3girls's picture
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The child in the OP is an extreme case, yesterday he brought m&ms, a bug juice (pure sugar in a little bottle) and a fruit roll up with the tongue tattoos. With this child I wouldnt even worry if it wasnt so obvious. On the days he brings a healthy snack he is super well behaved and focused in the classroom. He is not the only one that brings questionable snacks but he is the only one that reacts to it.

I have to say that as a parent I am glad my kids school doesnt have strict compliance rules or a zero tolerance on food brought from home. My kids take pretty good food probably 95% of the time, but I do sneak in a treat on occasion. Like the other day DD1 had her first performance in front of the whole school (800 kids) in the worship team where she plays piano, I put a lunch in her bag with a handful of her favorite candy. (BTW notes in 8th graders lunches are "really awkward" in case you were wondering)

Joined: 03/08/03
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I agree that the kid in the OP sounds like an extreme case, and the parents may not be aware of the direct effect these snacks are having on it.

But I don't like zero tolerance, and I don't like the way even on this board people are feeling like they have to justify the treats they send with their kids. My kids eat a balance of healthy and not healthy, and that's the best we can do for now, and they seem just fine.

ftmom's picture
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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

We're still getting reminders sent home about not sending any nut products in with lunches. It's a general note to all parents, but I can't believe that parents still need reminding week after week. Read the labels, people. It's more than just peanut butter.

Today Claire took a turkey/cheese/lettuce sammy on whole grain, baby carrots, yogurt and a nut-free granola bar, and an apple juice box. And her bottle of water. The yogurt has lots of sugar in it - like 12 grams probably in a serving. That's a LOT. Same withe the juice box. I think I'm going to stop sending the juice and try and find a small thermos that will keep milk cold. She loves milk. I think I will replace the yogurt with a cheese string more often to cut back on the sugar. Thing is, people look at yogurt and think it's so healthy but it has a TON of sugar - the fruit yogurt I mean. Plain yogurt with added fruit is the way to go, but it's hard to get kids to eat plain yogurt.

Oh, and a bit of a tangent but in my quest for the perfect bento box I found this one. The middle tray thingy goes in the freezer. It has gel inside that keeps the lunch cool. The bottom box collapses down for a sandwich and expands up for salad. It freaking rocks.

I am totally the parent who needs reminders :oops: I sent a mix of craisins, raisins and almonds with DS today, to his nut free preschool. They sent them home in a baggie and he informed me that he couldnt have them at school cause they might make other kids sick. Plus, I got a talking too by his teacher. This is our first nut free year, and I have already failed.

KimPossible's picture
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"ftmom" wrote:

I am totally the parent who needs reminders :oops: I sent a mix of craisins, raisins and almonds with DS today, to his nut free preschool. They sent them home in a baggie and he informed me that he couldnt have them at school cause they might make other kids sick. Plus, I got a talking too by his teacher. This is our first nut free year, and I have already failed.

This is one of the places where my school really confuses me. Each year the kids get a note home asking that nut product not be sent to school. The first sentence its mentioned in the letter(its been the same exact letter the last 3 years) makes it sound like they aren't allowed but then later in the letter it says "If your child does bring nut products to school, they may have to sit in a designated area"

So we do send nut products sometimes and the kids just sit in the designated area. I guess they word it the way they do to try to discourage it, but in reality its allowed.

ClairesMommy's picture
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"ftmom" wrote:

I am totally the parent who needs reminders :oops: I sent a mix of craisins, raisins and almonds with DS today, to his nut free preschool. They sent them home in a baggie and he informed me that he couldnt have them at school cause they might make other kids sick. Plus, I got a talking too by his teacher. This is our first nut free year, and I have already failed.

You bad, bad girl. Wink

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
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I agree with Kim. My kid has treats and I'm not gonna sit around and lie and say he doesn't. He also eats healthily. He's a kid. And if I want to send in a cookie for lunch, I will.

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Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 780

There are healthy recipes for "junk" food... Just look at Laurie's blog!!! Laurie, have you ever made quinoa chocolate cake? I've seen recipes and it looks like it'd be delicious. You should make it and let me know how it turns out hahaha Wink

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3179

"mommytoMR.FACE" wrote:

There are healthy recipes for "junk" food... Just look at Laurie's blog!!! Laurie, have you ever made quinoa chocolate cake? I've seen recipes and it looks like it'd be delicious. You should make it and let me know how it turns out hahaha Wink

I haven't worked with quinoa yet at all but it's on my list to try. I'll let you know when I do! I've been doing lots of zucchini lately.

By the way I now have a facebook page for my blog: https://www.facebook.com/bakingadventuresinamessykitchen

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Liked! Wink

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

It absolutely blows my mind that people are so controlling about food.

Why don't kids in every school have school lunches?

The country I live in now supplies school lunches to every child in daycare, kindergarten, elementary, and junior high. These lunches are amazing. Because children eat together from a very young age they learn to eat things they don't like. Peer pressure works too. If all the other kids are eating a fish and seaweed salad, you don't want to be the kid who doesn't like it. My kids have an average of 20 different ingredients in their lunches. Trained nutritionists put together menus and trained cooks are in the kitchen cooking things from scratch every morning. No child goes hungry. They all get cold milk delivered.

Plus, we pay for it, but it is cheaper than packing your own lunch. In elementary I pay $2.47 for each meal. I can't pack a healthy lunch for that! But by buying in bulk the schools can. Plus my kids grow their own carrots, potatoes, cabbage, soy beans, sweet potatoes, and even rice.

The benefits are enormous. My children are way better eaters than I ever was, despite the fact that I grew up picking my own veggies and with homemade bread and even our meat came from our farm. I had the same lunch over and over for years. That means my kids are getting a huge variety of nutrients that I just wasn't.

Between this and every child walking to school, our country is healthier than North American countries, despite high salt and sugar intake. It starts early.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

Unfortunately school lunch options aren't always great. If they were eating salad every day that DD would eat it, but they don't. When DSD was getting lunch at school it was things like meat ball subs and perogies. High fat high carb stuff that she didn't want to eat anyways. I would rather send a sandwich, veggies, fruit and a treat that I know she will eat. If there was a good program like yours that would be different.

I am realizing how lucky we are to be in the school we are. There is no requirements about lunch although healthy and garbage free is preferred. Our teacher complimented us all on the lunches being so healthy and that is with the pudding and cookies DD has taken with her. But when it is dessert for a lunch that is half veggies then it is still healthy. I also love that they deal with allergies by the class and reality. We can't send kiwi this year, but we can send peanuts. There is just a peanut free table in the class. And this is after consulting with the parents. I like dealing with sanity and reality.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4087

"blather" wrote:

Because children eat together from a very young age they learn to eat things they don't like. Peer pressure works too. If all the other kids are eating a fish and seaweed salad, you don't want to be the kid who doesn't like it.

Yes!!! The parents that I complained about a few years ago who cut the crusts off of white bread sandwiches because they said their kids wouldn't eat them any other way, are not only now sending whole wheat bread, but are also leaving the crusts on. The parents who said their kids wouldn't eat anything that resembled a green vegetable are buying fresh veggies -- at the request of their child! That's because they are seeing other kids eat whole wheat sandwiches with crusts, and because they are eating vegetables at school as part of their gardening curriculum. It really does work. My husband reminded me yesterday that I was skeptical when we first enrolled in this school, I was one of those who said I didn't want the school telling me what I could or could not send for lunch, but I'm a convert. 100% converted. I have always believed that, allergies & certain disorders aside, picky eaters are allowed to develop, it's not a natural way of being because humans are inherently curious. It's natural for a kid to say they don't like something, but that's because their taste buds haven't developed enough and that's why parents need to continue offering those things again & again & again instead of saying, OK, you don't have to eat that, or that, or that, or that.....

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3303

I think its entirely different ball game when the lunch is being provided by the school. I think schools should provide healthy lunches (although they don't in most places in the US). And if i was required to get lunch through the school everyday then it most certainly better be healthy.

And FTR, i'm not saying there aren't benefits to peer pressure in this scenario. I'm not saying that behavior pattern doesn't exist. I"m saying the ends doesn't justify the means here. Taking my decision making power about what I feed my OWN child with my OWN money is wrong even if you can pat yourself on the back for making other kids that aren't your own eat better.

If a child is going to learn to eat seaweed or fish or whole grain breads or whatever else...that is up to the parents to teach them. And aside from real food aversions, a parent CAN teach their kids to eat this way without the help of their school community. Of course i would love to see more parents make better decisions for their kids when it comes to eating. I don't believe in using any means whatsoever to make that happen, particularly when it is at the expense of my own rights to parent my kids how i want to. And that's what it comes down to for me, how i feed my kid is a parenting decision. And i do NOT want my kids school teaching my kids its bad to eat a cookie.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I think what else bothers me about the school scenario you have presented Stacie is that it sounds so all or nothing. Cookies are so bad that we can't ever eat them and if they get sent they'll literally be confiscated like contraband! That's such an extremist view of any food IMO, and that's not the message I want my kids to learn. I want them to learn that we eat treats sparingly, but we can still eat them and enjoy them guilt free.eta: I also wanted to say that the other thing I don't like about it is that it sounds so one size fits all because of course the school can't be in charge of keeping track of the caloric and nutritional needs of each child. I get that childhood obesity is a big problem in this country, but to be completely frank it's not a problem for my kid right now. As of his last physical in July, he is in the 5th percentile for BMI. His pediatrician isn't worried about it, so I'm not worried about it, and we aren't making any effort to "fatten him up" or anything like that. He's healthy, he's just a really tall skinny little dude. But I also would not welcome any outside efforts to restrict his caloric intake just because some other kids may need that. He doesn't need to lose any weight; he looks like he's made of tinker toys as it is. I feel like as his parent I'm in a way better place to assess any given meal or snack against both his caloric and nutritional needs, and also within the framework of his overall diet (taking into consideration what he that's been eating for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinner over a long period of time rather than looking at individual foods and labeling them as "bad" or "good.")

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

"KimPossible" wrote:

Taking my decision making power about what I feed my OWN child with my OWN money is wrong even if you can pat yourself on the back for making other kids that aren't your own eat better.

You have 19 other meals to deal with, and can't help out the majority of the population for just 30 minutes 5 times a week. It doesn't require you to do anything but give up a tiny amount of control to get a good result for everyone. I don't get it.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I am not concerned about the rest of the population and their meals to be honest. I want all kids to eat healthy and I support schools only serving healthy food and encouraging healthy eating but it's not my problem that I'm okay with sending my kid a homemade chocolate chip cookie every so often.

My concern is what MY child will eat. That's it. I like Kim but it's HER worry about what her kids eat. It's YOUR worry about what your kids will it. It is certainly not mine.

Joined: 03/14/09
Posts: 624

I just am not hardwired to think like that. I cannot imagine saying "I will take away good meals away from your child and my child, for no other reason than my ego."

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1530

"blather" wrote:

I just am not hardwired to think like that. I cannot imagine saying "I will take away good meals away from your child and my child, for no other reason than my ego."

I dont think that is what anyone has said. I dont plan to take away good meals from other children, I just plan to feed my child what they need for that day. And even within my own kids that is different, so I dont see that I school can have a one size fits all plan.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3179

I think that if the schools offer lunch, it should be a healthy one. At ours, I hear the healthy food options are terrible, a friend's kid who loves salad says theirs is soggy and disgusting. Once chicken nuggets are on the menu, you know you're in unhealthy territory. So I wish they'd switch that up. Even the yogurt they offer is the flavored bad stuff.

But I don't want the school telling me what to send. I'm totally fine with suggestions and guidelines but not hard & fast rules and certainly not outlawing any sort of treat! I don't like stigmatizing desserts either. This is five days a week...a lot of meals.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"mom3girls" wrote:

I dont think that is what anyone has said. I dont plan to take away good meals from other children, I just plan to feed my child what they need for that day. And even within my own kids that is different, so I dont see that I school can have a one size fits all plan.

Exactly. Stacie's school is the one that takes food away from packed lunches if they deem it's not good enough, which is what I've been railing against. I'm not looking to take food away from anyone, I'm just saying that I wouldn't welcome anyone taking the food I pack away from my child.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

"blather" wrote:

I just am not hardwired to think like that. I cannot imagine saying "I will take away good meals away from your child and my child, for no other reason than my ego."

No one has said that.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3303

I'll just reiterate what everyone else said.No one had said that, Blather.

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