Snacktime and food - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-18-2010, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm curious how snacktime is handled in your kid's Montessori pre-k and K class. Do the kids each have to bring their own snack, or does the teacher prepare the snack for kids? Are the snack healthy (low sugar, no HFCS, no dyes, etc)?
How about lunch guidelines? Are there things that aren't allowed? Like cookies, jello, etc?

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#2 of 10 Old 08-18-2010, 09:48 PM
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In ds's primary classes, a "chef of the week" was asked to bring specific items for snack. They were always healthy-style snacks - fruits and veggies, trail mix (peanut free), whole grains, yogurt, hummus...

At another school, parents were asked to provide certain items at the beginning of the year - crackers and such. I didn't get the impression they were as diligent about having healthy snacks, but I provided at least healthier type snacks as best I could.
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#3 of 10 Old 08-18-2010, 11:48 PM
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At my children's Montessori, the school provides the snack. It is usually simple, like graham crackers, apple slices, carrots, or something similar with either milk or water. Children serve themselves if/when they are hungry.

As for lunch, there is no food service so children bring their own from home. My son's teacher encourages healthy food -- no chips, desserts, etc. but she doesn't forbid anything.

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#4 of 10 Old 08-19-2010, 12:00 AM
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At DS's school, each week, a different child brought in snack. They asked for a specific list of stuff that each child had to bring in (2 bunches of fruit, 2 types of veggies, 1 non-fried whole grain carb, 1 tub of yogurt, 1 cheese or alternate protein, half gallon of milk). Everything had to be nut free, no artificial stuff in it, and organic was "preferred" but not required.

For lunches, the kids brought their own in. It had to be nut free, and no candy/cookies/pop, any juice had to be 100% juice, and they preferred nothing that came prepackaged (besides crackers). But I think the last thing was that they just didn't want to deal with opening 30 little packages each day. But because each kid brought their own lunch, it didn't have as many restrictions as snack.

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#5 of 10 Old 08-19-2010, 12:22 AM
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At DD's school, each family is also responsible for bringing the snack for one week. It's supposed to be fruit, crackers, cheese, pretzels.

The snacks are laid out at the snack table, and when each child would like to eat, he or she can go there and prepare their snack. I think this situation is fairly normal at Montessori schools, but I imagine it's not universal.

The children bring their own lunches.

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#6 of 10 Old 08-19-2010, 12:29 AM
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I have two DS's in 3-6 classrooms, and they take turns providing snack for everyone (healthy, minus the allergens). My DS's 6-9 class: they bring individual snacks (healthy whole foods is encouraged, but not really enforced). They eat anytime they are hungry.

Lunch - my kids buy it at school (bringing a sack lunch is an option). They choose between 3-5 main dishes and 3-5 sides. The food served is fairly healthy, IMO, and includes fresh fruit and veggies (and always a vegetarian entree).

ETA: I actually don't know how the 3-6 teachers would handle it if a kid brought red jello in for the whole class - but the 'guidelines' say to bring food such as carrots, apples, cheese, crackers ... I know in the 6-9 classes they let it slide b/c they aren't sharing the food, and my kids tell me others bring cheetos and packaged brownies and such.

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#7 of 10 Old 08-20-2010, 09:18 PM
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at our current school, one child brings in snack each day. We are given a sheet with suggestions (as well as any allergy issues) but it's really up to the parents as to what comes in. I know that my children do sometimes get things like cookies which i would definitely prefer them not to have. I can't say for sure how often it happens though. I don't really know why some parents can't understand that cookies aren't really a healthy choice! Perhaps they figure it's a "treat" (because they only bring it in once in a while)? I usually stick to things like fruits, vegetables, whole grain crackers, cheese, yogurt. Treats do come in for birthdays...once my son said he had donuts! but I'm hoping it was for a birthday treat.

We have a catered lunch and it's pretty good, fairly balanced and fresh fruit and/or vegetables every day, I believe.

At our last school, a parent shopped for school snack (volunteer job) and the teachers provided the list (usually fruit, veggies, crackers, cheese etc.). Sometimes the food was a bit processed (goldfish crackers) but it certainly wasn't cookies or donuts!

eta- i did see the teacher in my daughter's class last year return the snack to the parent at the end of the day saying that it was "too sugary" or something (not sure what it was). Usually everyone brings more than enough so there's always something.
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#8 of 10 Old 08-20-2010, 11:08 PM
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In my 3-6 classroom, our school provides morning and afternoon snack. Kids bring their own lunch.

Snacks are healthy- we buy organic and whole grain when we can, and avoid hfcs, artificial ingredients. Sugar of any kind cannot be one of the first 3 ingredients. We usually have a grain, with a veggie or fruit.A typical snack in the AM is say, rice cakes and green peppers, or crackers and hummus with carrots. The first day of school we are having sliced zucchini :-) We're also peanut/egg free in my classroom.

Lunch is a trickier tightrope to walk. We ask that no sugary treats be in lunch boxes, but the only one I send home is chocolate. I feel I have to draw the line somewhere. I also send home energy drinks if they come in. We also highly encourage a trash-free lunch, as ask that no juice boxes or go-gurt type packaging come into school.

Laura, mama to Abel, age 12.
also caregiver to many other creatures...
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#9 of 10 Old 08-22-2010, 11:58 PM
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At my DD's school, all food must be nut-free. At least for 3-6, every child brings a piece of fruit or vegetable each day which is then cut up for the children to share, and the school provides rice cakes/crackers, butter, Vegemite (a yeast spread) and I think cheese as well. There is no set time for snack - the children eat when they feel hungry (and when there is a space available at the snack table).
Children who stay for lunch (optional for 3-4 yo) bring their own packed lunch. The school encourages healthy choices but I'm not sure what would happen if a child consistently brought junk foods for lunch.
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#10 of 10 Old 08-26-2010, 10:46 AM
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Here's the link to the food info for our school:

I have one in primary and one in upper elementary (both have 25 kids). I end up sending in snack for each class every 5 weeks or so. A fresh produce is required. Additional options can be grains, proteins, etc. The optional stuff can't have more than 3 grams of sugar and no artificial sweeteners are allowed. John (my primary kid) has snack tomorrow. He has chosen to send in apple slices, cheese cubes, and ham. (his favorites) When Emma (upper el) sends in snack for the first time next week, she'll bring mini cucumbers, mini whole wheat bagels and turkey slices. (again, her favorites)

For lunch, they can get bagged lunches brought in from a local public school, but they aren't great, so almost everyone brings it from home. No sweets allowed.

I'm not sure what they do at the middle school.
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