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School dictating what I can send in ds's lunch

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Can public schools tell parents what they are allowed to send in lunches? Would this bother you? Or should I just deal with it? I really am not pleased with this at all.

 

I was ok with not sending cookies (even healthy ones) to school, because other kids might want cookies blah blah blah. But now the teacher told ds that he can't bring his yogurt tube in, because of the sugar. It has less sugar in it than the regular yogurt cups, which are apparently ok. The school IS pretty big on sending healthy items in lunches, and even have a "fruit and veggie" snack day twice a week, to get the kids excited and educated about fruits, veggies, and healthy eating.

 

The teacher told ds the yogurt wasn't allowed due to the sugar. Dp and I wonder if it might have something to do with it being messy. Ds said he spilled some once or twice (not today) while opening it. If *that's* the reason, then fine, I understand. But she should have just said that to ds.

 

I might not be SO upset about it, except that on hot lunch days, the kids are typically offered pizza, muffins (choc chip or blueberry, from Tim Hortons I think), and cow's milk- white or chocolate. Other times, it's hot dogs and cookies, with milk. AND they have popcorn days where the kids pay $1 to get a baggie of popcorn. I have no idea what kind of popcorn it is, but I'm fairly certain it's not just plain popped corn (so it seems probable that it has artificial colors and flavours in it).

 

Now, I don't really have a big problem with those things, because we have treats like that sometimes, and I get that it's a fun thing for the kids to do, and it helps make money for the school. But how the heck can THEY tell ME that I'm not allowed to send yogurt to school in my son's lunch?

 

(They also had a "healthy snack day" where kids bought healthy snacks from the school- ds bought raisins. When I sent raisins in his lunch on a later date, he was told that he wasn't allowed to bring raisins in his lunch. I let that go because it seemed like a small thing).

  

I'm going to talk to her tomorrow. I need to know if I'm really overreacting to be so irritated by this.


Edited by DevaMajka - 11/15/10 at 3:28pm
post #2 of 30

I suspect this is one teacher on a power trip.  I am saying that because the reason she gave makes no sense at all and I seriously doubt there is any sort of policy against the yogurt you sent.  And what reason was given for the raisin ban ???  Esp if they had been allowed before ?  I think she's making stuff up.  I would ask for the written policy prohibiting both yogurt and raisins.  No policy ?   I would tell her to keep her ideas about food to herself please.  If there actually is such a policy, I would go up the food chain with that, stating that this is not the USSR, that they are not being consistent, that they are being meddlesome and nitpicky and overstepping what is reasonable.  Unless the school could give me a comprehensive written policy as to what exactly is allowed and is not, and show me that they are applying it to everyone equally, they should keep their nose out of my kid's lunchbox.

 

And I would send the offending raisins and yogurt every day for the rest of the year as a political statement.   We should not give up even what seem like small personal freedoms for ridiculous reasons that don't benefit anyone.

 

So yeah, it would bother me tremendously.  splat.gifnod.gif


Edited by PGTlatte - 11/15/10 at 4:40pm
post #3 of 30

 

Quote:
stating that this is not the USSR 

 

 

Sorry for the hijack, but this made me laugh. My dh--born and raised in the USSR--often criticizes me for the lunches I pack for dd, which also usually include a yogurt tube and raisins. He believes that I am poisoning her with "such junk food." So there just might be something to what you wrote here ;)

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion....

post #4 of 30

As the mother of a child with multiple allergies, it was beyond frustrating to me when the daycare/preschool ds was enrolled in started dictating what I could and couldn't send in his lunch. I was sending a 100% fruit and veggie juice because I was trying to get more calories in him. He was super small and super active and really needed the extra calories. I had a major fight with them over it. At least they were consistent though across the board. Your child's school sounds very inconsistent. If you can't get anywhere with the teacher, I would go to the principal.

post #5 of 30

I would ask to see the school policy regarding food brought to school as what your ds is telling you what she said, and what you know the school serves, are inconsistent. Also, that any questions about his food be directed to you as you pack his lunch/snacks. Though I think my bottom line would be "I understand your point of view, but what he eats is up to me."

 

My ds has been in two schools and they "ask" or "suggest" things regarding food; I can't imagine that they can do anything else in a public school.


Edited by Emmeline II - 11/15/10 at 5:59pm
post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 

OK, good. It sounds like I'm not overreacting :)

 

I suppose there is a chance that he misunderstood her. I'm actually kind of hoping that's the case, but from what he said I don't think so.

 

I can't just keep sending them to school without her OK - he nearly cried when I mentioned doing that. He really doesn't want to do something "wrong." But I'm determined to get her OK, whether she wants to give it or not.

 

TBH, I'm not thrilled that dp packs the yogurt tubes most days. I've suggested he send yogurt in a reusable container, but the tubes are occasionally on sale fairly cheap. I'm also not a big fan of raisins (mostly because I don't like them. lol). But that's not the point, here. kwim?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post

 Also, that any questions about his food be directed to you as you pack his lunch/snacks. Though I think my bottom line would be "I understand your point of view, but what he eats is up to me."

 

 Perfect! I'll use both of those. Thanks :)

post #7 of 30

Has the teacher sent notes home, or are you taking his word for it?  Just wondering cause kids misunderstand alot of times and honestly think the teacher said xxxxx when actually they said, xxxxxx.   I'd go in with an open mind if you haven't seen a note and assume that your dc is just mistaking what was said.

post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petie1104 View Post

Has the teacher sent notes home, or are you taking his word for it?  Just wondering cause kids misunderstand alot of times and honestly think the teacher said xxxxx when actually they said, xxxxxx.   I'd go in with an open mind if you haven't seen a note and assume that your dc is just mistaking what was said.


Agree with this. 

 

 

It is fairly common for schools to have policies and restrictions for snacks and lunches. Some schools have policies for food allergies; "no nut" policies are pretty routine. Some policies are really about packaging, rather than food contents. The school wants to minimize trash or to promote independence with managing opening/closing/unwrapping food. If the teacher is asking for no raisins and no yogurt tubes, it's reasonable to ask for an explanation.  If there's been no misunderstanding about her ban on these items, then maybe it's because of problems with the packaging rather than the contents. Can your ds open the yogurt tubes by himself? 

 

 

 
post #9 of 30

Our school guidelines are minimal. They don't want you to send candy. That's about it. There was one year DS's class was asked not to bring peanut butter because one child was deathly allergic. I had no problem with that even though my kid loves peanut butter. Yogurt tubes are fine here. Even cookies are fine. It's just the candy they ban.

 

Truth is though, there is a seperate lunch staff and so the teacher would really never know what the kids were eating.

 

Plus, the school sells such junk. Every week they have pizza, chicken nuggets, some sort of hot dog, some sort of burger and then some hot dish... mac, chili, ect. They have a fresh salad and fruit bar but they can't make the kids eat it. Every day there is some sort of dessert like graham crackers or cookies. They claim it's lower in fat and such but it's still not as good as the lunches my kids pack daily lol.

post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

Our school guidelines are minimal. They don't want you to send candy. That's about it. There was one year DS's class was asked not to bring peanut butter because one child was deathly allergic. I had no problem with that even though my kid loves peanut butter. Yogurt tubes are fine here. Even cookies are fine. It's just the candy they ban.

 

Truth is though, there is a seperate lunch staff and so the teacher would really never know what the kids were eating.

 

Plus, the school sells such junk. Every week they have pizza, chicken nuggets, some sort of hot dog, some sort of burger and then some hot dish... mac, chili, ect. They have a fresh salad and fruit bar but they can't make the kids eat it. Every day there is some sort of dessert like graham crackers or cookies. They claim it's lower in fat and such but it's still not as good as the lunches my kids pack daily lol.



 

post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by laundrycrisis View Post

I suspect this is one teacher on a power trip.  I am saying that because the reason she gave makes no sense at all and I seriously doubt there is any sort of policy against the yogurt you sent.  And what reason was given for the raisin ban ???  Esp if they had been allowed before ?  I think she's making stuff up.  I would ask for the written policy prohibiting both yogurt and raisins.  No policy ?   I would tell her to keep her ideas about food to herself please.  If there actually is such a policy, I would go up the food chain with that, stating that this is not the USSR, that they are not being consistent, that they are being meddlesome and nitpicky and overstepping what is reasonable.  Unless the school could give me a comprehensive written policy as to what exactly is allowed and is not, and show me that they are applying it to everyone equally, they should keep their nose out of my kid's lunchbox.

 

And I would send the offending raisins and yogurt every day for the rest of the year as a political statement.   We should not give up even what seem like small personal freedoms for ridiculous reasons that don't benefit anyone.

 

So yeah, it would bother me tremendously.  splat.gifnod.gif


We have the same teacher on a power trip at our school!!!!  I was actually going to post about it.  She is the music teacher who is "newly converted" to healthy eating.  I am truly all for getting the cafeteria to make food from scratch, but she is trying to gross-out the kids by saying there is seaweed in the chocolate milk and red dye comes from red beetles. I don't believe telling kids that things are "gross" is a way to educate them on what is healthy.  Many cultures all over the world eat many things I wouldn't care too; it doesn't make them "gross".

 

So now this teacher at our school is the self-appointed Food Police walking around seeing what kids brought from home.  I hate it.  I will pack what I damn-well please, thank you!  I know her heart is the in the right place but I am thinking of sending an e-mail to the principal tell her to have this lady knock it off.

 

If they want to feed the kids healthier, they need to start with the cafeteria food and the SNACK BAR FULL OF CANDY they offer to sell the kids everyday! 

post #12 of 30

My kids teachers and principals get regular emails from me.  Before even coming to MDC I would have sent them an email, then maybe come to MDC :)

 

It's well known that I'm persistant, logical, and polite, and I nearly always get my way (I have 3 kids with different types of special needs, all are in the typical ranges with most things, but all have needed special services at one point or another).  I don't make a stink over small things, however if my child is upset over lunch time, that is not a small thing, as lunch time should be a happy time.  My kids often eat breakfast at school, and since 2 out of their 3 meals each day are eaten at school they need to be good ones. 

 

You have every right to speak up for your child, teach him to speak up for himself, even when it comes to the food he eats!

post #13 of 30


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post

she is trying to gross-out the kids by saying there is seaweed in the chocolate milk and red dye comes from red beetles. 


While those things are both true, they have nothing to do with healthy eating.  Seaweed is actually a really healthy food and extensively used in Asian cuisine. The black/very-dark-green stuff wrapped around sushi is seaweed (nori to be exact.)  It is full of vitamins and trace minerals.  Carmine, the red pigment made from beetles, is actually more likely to be found in food labeled as healthy and all natural.  Junk food just use cheap chemical food coloring made from petroleum.  When we put aside our cultural distaste for eating insects and look at it objectively, we realize that insects are very nutritious and have been a part of the human diet for ages.  Insect eating is culturally accepted in many many places.

 

If this teacher truly is interested in eating healthier, then she has a lot to learn.

post #14 of 30

Our school has several "food" policies, but they are published and reasonable, all things considered.  This year the school has gone nut-free to accommodate two new students with severe allergies.  Its a pain, but I can live with it.  They also ban caffenated or carbonated beverages and candy.  Some classes have additional restrictions due to allergies among that class.  The students eat their class groups either in the classroom or at outside tables, so I understand being protective due to allergies.

 

Now, my DD has occassionally had her lunch commented on, and she has sometimes come home saying "XYZ isn't allowed".  One time the teacher had, in fact, asked the class not to bring yogurt tubes because they were consistently ending up shooting all over the floort.  One time DD had mis-understood and assumed that because a classmate was allergic to something she couldn't bring it in her lunch.  Another time it was actually a classmate that questioned whether she should have pudding in her lunch because it had too much sugar in it.  So, my first step in these situations is always to check with the teacher for a more complete picture. If the teacher did, indeed, ban something, then I would ask her to please put all such requests in writing for the whole class so that everyone is consistent and you are certain you understand what is being asked.  If she is being arbitrary, then you will have a record of it so you can move up the food chain if necessary. Or she may not want to put things in writing and may back off.

 

Since my DD is underweight and taking an appetite suppressant medication, I am always searching for high-calorie foods for her that she will actually maybe sometimes eat 6 bites of.  I start the year talking to her teacher about why she gets somethings in her lunch and how important it is that she be allowed to each what she wants and not questioned about her food.  If you child has special considerations, be sure his teacher is aware of it -- that may help a little.

post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petie1104 View Post

Has the teacher sent notes home, or are you taking his word for it?  Just wondering cause kids misunderstand alot of times and honestly think the teacher said xxxxx when actually they said, xxxxxx.   I'd go in with an open mind if you haven't seen a note and assume that your dc is just mistaking what was said.

No, no notes. It's just what ds said. I do think it's possible he misunderstood. He's big on "rules," so it's possible she said something about the sugar content, and he took it a little far to "I'm not allowed to have x." He's usually pretty good about recounting events fairly accurately, but it's definitely possible that he's mistaken.

 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom View Post

 

Now, my DD has occassionally had her lunch commented on, and she has sometimes come home saying "XYZ isn't allowed".  One time the teacher had, in fact, asked the class not to bring yogurt tubes because they were consistently ending up shooting all over the floort. 

 THAT I would get, and be ok with. But she specifically mentioned the sugar aspect of it. I'm sure that ds was accurate about that.

 

We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck being polite, understanding, and still assertive!

post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post

she is trying to gross-out the kids by saying there is seaweed in the chocolate milk and red dye comes from red beetles. 


While those things are both true, they have nothing to do with healthy eating.  Seaweed is actually a really healthy food and extensively used in Asian cuisine. The black/very-dark-green stuff wrapped around sushi is seaweed (nori to be exact.)  It is full of vitamins and trace minerals.  Carmine, the red pigment made from beetles, is actually more likely to be found in food labeled as healthy and all natural.  Junk food just use cheap chemical food coloring made from petroleum.  When we put aside our cultural distaste for eating insects and look at it objectively, we realize that insects are very nutritious and have been a part of the human diet for ages.  Insect eating is culturally accepted in many many places.

 

If this teacher truly is interested in eating healthier, then she has a lot to learn.


That's my whole point.  It's like she's going off half-cocked and I think her efforts will just get annoying to people.  There were many things my family ate in Asia that I (because I am so picky) wouldn't eat.  My brother actually watched the abalone crawl off his plate while it was waiting to be cooked!  This teacher was telling the children not to eat red M & Ms because they were made with the "gross" beetle dye!  It is so irritating!  I'm thinking "Lady, so beetles are gross so my kid shouldn't eat red M & Ms but eating the rest would be healthy?" ROTFLMAO.gif

post #17 of 30

The tube yogurts are banned from my preschool. Because of mess, mostly, but they are generally higher in sugar than non-tube yogurt. The only one I've looked at (Horizon maybe?) had twice as much sugar as other sweetened yogurt. Their vanilla and chocolate milks are even worse. The ones I've seen are NOT healthy snacks.

 

I have no issue with schools restricting snacks to healthy items. One of the reasons I chose our preschool is offers only healthy snacks. The charter public schools are kids will attend makes garden/school lunch a core part of the curriculumn. Students are required to particpate. Of 200 students, only 5 students are allowed to bring supplements to the lunch which is then plated with the other lunch from the school.

post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post


This teacher was telling the children not to eat red M & Ms because they were made with the "gross" beetle dye!  It is so irritating!  I'm thinking "Lady, so beetles are gross so my kid shouldn't eat red M & Ms but eating the rest would be healthy?" ROTFLMAO.gif


Actually, M&Ms use red#40 to color the red M&Ms,not carmine.  Most foods that use carmine are "healthy" foods, so that they can label themselves "all natural."  Since smooshed up beetles are indeed quite natural, but red#40 isn't.  Interestingly, I tell DS not to eat the blue ones.

post #19 of 30

OP, you can search my past threads to see how I feel about school lunches.  In our school htey are indescribably gross and unhealthy.  I have fought and fought with the principal to get them improved.  I have especially fought to get the candy and soda machines removed and to stop serving Krispie Kremes at early morning award ceremonies.  I really wish our school would do better WRT food.  However, I deliberately wrote into all my proposals that parents should be allowed to pack WHATEVER they wanted in lunchboxes. 

 

I can totally get behind a ban on nuts.  I can maybe understand them asking for messier types of items not to be sent with the littlest of students.  But it's way too invasive to tell a mama she can't send sugary yogurt to school.  If I were you, I would walk into the principal's office and sternly advise him/her that you will continue to send whatever food you want with your child.  What a crock of hooey!

post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 


Sigh. This is what I get for listening to a 6yo.

I told the teacher that ds was under the impression that he couldn't have yogurt for lunch. What SHE said was that she prefers that they don't eat yogurt during their snack time/recess, because they eat in a circle on the carpet and runny stuff like that makes a mess. She prefers that they have something solid like an apple or other fruit or veggie. Yogurt is perfectly fine for lunch (the have a longer time, and she washes the tables before and after), she just prefers they don't have it for snack time. She said that they still *can* have yogurt for snack if it really matters to them, but she prefers they don't. I'm not sure where he got the sugar thing from :headscratch

 

The raisins, basically they had a lesson on "tooth friendly" foods, and she told them that raisins are sticky and aren't good for your teeth unless you brush afterwards (ds said something about brushing in relation to the yogurt, so I assume this is where the mix up is). Again, she said something about it's better to save raisins for lunch and not for snack (I'm assuming because the other foods can help get the raisins out of their teeth).

 

So it's all good, and I feel a bit goofy about the whole thing.

 

She did say that ds seems to take "rules" too seriously, to the point that it's stressing him out. (as evidenced by the yogurt thing). He tells on other kids for things like running (that aren't a big deal, really) and she's talked to him a few times, trying to help him understand what is important to tell, and what isn't. So I think this is something I need to work on with him- I don't want him to be stressed or feel bound by "rules" that he doesn't understand.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

The tube yogurts are banned from my preschool. Because of mess, mostly, but they are generally higher in sugar than non-tube yogurt. The only one I've looked at (Horizon maybe?) had twice as much sugar as other sweetened yogurt. Their vanilla and chocolate milks are even worse. The ones I've seen are NOT healthy snacks.

 I looked at the sugar content, and they have 7g of sugar per 60g tube, compared to at least 15g in the cups, and 22g of sugar in a serving of 175g from the big containers (plain yogurt has 11g of sugar, and the lowest sugar I've seen in the flavored kinds are 15g, and I've seen as high as 30).

So with one "serving" he's getting less sugar (7g compared to 15+ in a cup), but even if you adjust it to make the serving size the same, there is about 21g of sugar per 180g of the tube yogurt. So it falls in the range of normal.

 

eta- just to clarify, there is no daily "hot lunch" in ds's school. There is no cafeteria (which seems downright bizarre to me, but apparently it's not that uncommon in Canada). They have hot lunch days once (or twice) a month, where they get pizza from a local place, and muffins/milk from Tim Hortons. They send an order form home in advance, and parents pay for whatever they order.

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