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  1. #11
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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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.
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  2. #12
    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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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.

  3. #13
    Prolific Poster ftmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimPossible View Post
    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.
    Kyla
    Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)

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    Prolific Poster ftmom's Avatar
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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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. 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.
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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.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    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. 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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  9. #19
    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    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.
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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.)
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