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the only 'approved' snacks are junk - Page 3

post #41 of 60

I think this kind of thing has gone way too far and parents need to push back.  Why are the schools taking these extreme measures?  This isn't preschool but elementary school where children with alergies can be taught not to eat others' food.  Restricting peanuts, fine.  But all the rest is ridiculous.   A child with dairy alergies will not become violently ill if the child next to them is eating dairy.   They are actually listing BRANDS that you should buy!  All of which are absolute junk non-food that are fueling an obesity epedemic in this country.   If it were me I would ask for a meeting with the principal and say that I find the list offensive and that I have every right to bring homemade and home prepared food for MY child to eat.   If they feel it's necessary, they should create a special table for kids who want to stick to the approved list.

 

I also don't understand why kids are constantly given snacks these days, especially if they're not going to have any nutritional value.  Feed your child breakfast, preferably a high protein breakfast. My Kindergartener has no interest in snack because he has a big breakfast and lunch is at 11:30.  Children can go a few hours without eating!  We did it when we were kids.  And incidentally we weren't as fat back then..

post #42 of 60
Are there any rules on the drinks? Maybe you could circumnavigate the junk by sending a thermos of soup, bone broth or even a dairyfree smoothie along?
post #43 of 60

Not sure if it's been mentioned but Costco has pre-packaged individual hummus containers by Sabra I send to school with my daughter. Also, sure if sesame is allowed since I know sometimes where there's a nut allergy, there can be a seed allergy, but I find them immensely convenient.

post #44 of 60

It seems snacks create these same problems everywhere.  Get rid of the snacks!  Our precious pear puffs can do without them.

post #45 of 60

I am not sure how long a six year old is supposed to go without food, especially when lunch is only twenty minutes long.  My daughter eats before leaving home at 7.45, has lunch at 11.30, and isn't home again until after four.  OF COURSE she needs a snack in the middle of the afternoon.  Your kid isn't a big eater and can concentrate and behave after three or four hours with no food?  Great, don't send a snack.  MANY children will become unfocused, miserable, and unmanageable without SOMETHING in their stomachs every few hours.

 

I am very sympathetic to children with allergies and their parents.  I understand how serious they can be, but I don't think that means every other child in the school needs to be limited to processed junk.  I think the best thing to do is fight the list.  No peanuts, no peanut products, no snack sharing.

 

The only time kids are allowed to share snacks is for birthdays.  The parent of the birthday kid has to notify in advance so the parents of kids with allergies have a chance to send in special snacks for their kids as well. Works well.  For my daughter's birthday, I offered to find something they could all have and because there were conflicting allergies, it was impossible and one boy's mom told me she'd just feel better sending in her own, which is fine and makes sense to me.  I am sure I would, too.

post #46 of 60

The point is that the list is NOT limited to only unhealthy items. Fruit and veg (whole or prepackaged) is allowed. Send a banana or an apple, discussion over.

post #47 of 60

I'm confused, are you sure these are the only snacks they can bring for themselves?  Because the list doesn't read that way.  It reads, these are snacks you might choose for a school event (which I take to mean share with the class).  Perhaps the teacher is making up some policy of her own.

post #48 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth2008 View PostI also don't understand why kids are constantly given snacks these days, especially if they're not going to have any nutritional value.  Feed your child breakfast, preferably a high protein breakfast. My Kindergartener has no interest in snack because he has a big breakfast and lunch is at 11:30.  Children can go a few hours without eating! 

 

Well, my Kindergartener had no interest in breakfast shrug.gif; it was a challenge to get her to eat something before she left the house. I packed her an extra snack and if she was hungry she would eat it in the cafeteria with the children who ate breakfast at school. They also had 2-3 recesses a day which caused her to expend a lot of energy and want to eat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth2008 View PostChildren can go a few hours without eating!  We did it when we were kids.  And incidentally we weren't as fat back then.

 

How long someone can go without eating and still be productive is individual. My little snackers are at a healthy weight (so was I as a child), even though I had snack time throughout elementary school. Snacking in and of itself does not cause someone to be overweight.

post #49 of 60
As someone with a dairy allergy, a dairy snack next to a dairy allergic child *can* cause a mild, moderate or severe reaction, or no reaction. There is no way for someone unfamiliar with the particulars of the individual to know. It's best to ask, and proceed with knowledge, not assumptions.

That said, I, too, questioned the need for a snack, but the addition of a bus ride between breakfast and lunch does make it probably a good idea.

I think the mother, and ideally father too, should talk with the principal and teacher about the snack list, her concerns and their reasons for the selections. If a second meeting is needed to answer additional concerns, request one. Keep a positive and open attitude. Remember, they have lots of children (and parents) to deal with. You should be able to have your issues addressed with as little stress to all parties as is possible.

If you do get approval for something not on the list, please be sure a note is added to the list that will be provided to substitute teachers, or the child may have a snack taken away by a well-intentioned substitute!

Good luck!
post #50 of 60

I am really surprised so many people would expect young children, or even older kids, to go a whole school day on one meal they can consume in twenty minutes (including hand washing time, sitting down, getting their things out, eating, cleaning up, line up, etc).  School starts at 8.30 and ends at 3.50 here.  If I fed her right before kicking her out of the car and again as soon as she got back in that's still seven hours.  There are five grades and they don't all eat at once so someone is eating early and someone else is eating late, it's not in the dead center of the day.  How could they not need snacks?  And even if they wouldn't pass out from hunger, they would still be hungry and distracted.

 

Sure, people "used to" eat meals and no snacks and they were thinner overall, but they also ate bigger meals and worked physical jobs.  It's no longer "a long time ago" and we don't live like that.  The issue isn't how often they eat (although I do think having a snack and every stinkin activity is over board) but WHAT - and the lack of physical activity, which is a whole other issue.
 

post #51 of 60

If it was me, I would have a talk with the parents of the child who are the reason of the list. Explain the issue at hand:

- dairy allergy

- trying to avoid pre-packaged food because of nutrition etc.

- the cost of pre-packaged vs. home cut alternatives.

 

I think if I had a child with a peanut allergy (or another serious allergy or condition that can be triggered like that) I would also be cautious. But I would also not be unreasonable. After all, the world contains peanuts. Handles of trolleys that they probably use when out and shopping, bathroom doors in public places...all those things contain trace elements of peanuts. Not to scare anyone, but they do. Therefore, the best prevention method is not eliminating the risk in the classroom by having this strict list. Rather it is making sure that the child understands that other person's food is off limits and always will be because of the risk. And making sure that things that do really contain peanuts are forbidden, of course, to avoid trace elements spreading.

 

Now, I'm not saying to allow peanuts in school. That would be stupid. But I am sure that if approached in the right way, the parents will agree that fruits and veggies cut at home using a newly washed cutting board and a knife, put in a clean container that have never contained peanuts - and that their child are not encouraged to share - should not be a problem. Neither should dried fruit, taken from a larger container or for that matter a sandwich made with veggies and meat. No peanut butter or anything.

 

Also: there is shrinkwrap that makes things look prepackaged...not that I'm saying you should cheat (since it can be dangerous) just saying...

post #52 of 60

I think your sister's request is reasonable and a simple letter our conversation with the principal or teacher will most likely lead to a good solution. From the letter, I would also not be surprised if there is some misunderstanding going on. Has your sister spoken to the school yet? If not, I would suggest avoiding the health issues with the list provided (especially if she is limited as far as how much time she can spend on this issue) and just explain that with her DC's own dietary restrictions, the list is not comprehensive enough and ask for additional items to be added to the list. I'd be specific. 

post #53 of 60
I have to say that I am jealous of that list. Our list is only processed junk. No fresh fruit, cheese, etc. And they don't get snacks every day, and the bus picks my dd up at 8 am and lunch is at 12:30. I make sure to give her a hearty breakfast, send a water bottle and send a protein packed lunch that I know she will eat quickly. I agree with all of you who said they should have snacks, though. But not enough to make an issue out of it because my girls usually don't have a morning snack at home.

What I did was write a letter to the principal asking for more healthy options to be added to the list. They did add a few-- but they were things like pirate's booty and other processed foods. Sigh. So for us, it's only an issue on half days when she needs to bring a snack. I found the teachers only enforce the no nuts portion but did allow me to send in fruit and a cheese stick.
post #54 of 60

There are states that do not allow any home-packaged foods in schools. I don't know where OP lives, but that may be part of the issue.

post #55 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

There are states that do not allow any home-packaged foods in schools.

Please tell me you're joking.

Miranda
post #56 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

There are states that do not allow any home-packaged foods in schools.

 

Please tell me you're joking.
Miranda

 

 

Sadly, no joke. The rationale (such as it is) is that it's easier to identify allergenic foods using the labels on the store-purchased foods. 

 

 

post #57 of 60
The rule here in public schools is that foods to be shared must have been commercially prepared, but this doesn't apply to foods being eating only by the child bringing them.

So you can't bake cookies and send them in for the class. If you want to send in cookies, you have to buy them at a bakery.

But you can bake cookies and send one in your child's lunch.
post #58 of 60
Double post
post #59 of 60

I am not sure in the 58 current comments if what I am about to post has been addressed, I read through the first couple of pages. But please note:

 

I am a dietitian and also have a child with multiple severe food allergies (eggs/dairy/blueberries/apricot/oats) so I have professional as well as personal experience and can relate. My child is in elementary school and navigating the educational environment can be a challenge but PARENTS are the best advocate a child has, sometimes the only one.

 

First it would be important to establish severity of the child's allergy. If the child has a documented severe/lif-threatening allergy to any particular food then they would be considered to have a hidden disability which is protected under the Civil Rights Laws/504 Plan. If you have never heard of this look it up and if your child meets this criteria then the school, by law, must accommodate the student. A 504 provides that educational accommodations be made as well as nutritional and environmental. The child may not be excluded or isolated either. The more you know the better equipped you will be to handle these situations.

 

Also, if the child does not have a life-threatening allergy but still experiences allergic reactions to foods then I would consider meeting with the school nurse, principal, child's teacher, etc to develop and Individual Health Care Plan. This is basically a step-by-step of how the allergy situation will be handled at school. Sometimes when people are limited in their understanding of how to handle food allergies I have found they are more resistant to accommodations.

 

And just in general provide your own list of what is acceptable/unacceptable for your child for snacks. I understand the goal is for the child to not feel different or isolated. You also run the risk of bullying with the allergenic foods sometimes when the child's allergy becomes widely known to students without an understanding of the consequences exposure could have.

 

Good luck to you! You're not alone!

post #60 of 60

RE: bringing in packaged/professionally made foods are not just for allergies but to identify food poisons sources as well should there be an out break

 

my area did away with homemade bake sales years ago and also companies/businesses donate for sales anyway and for "whole" class things they try and limit the number of times there are "food" type events in the class room (for obesity reasons)-you don't bring in food or candy for a birthday

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