Help! 5 yo coming home from school with bags of total crap (candy etc.) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son came home from public school kindergarten today (I send him 1/2 day to a full day program) with three bags of Christmas candy... blue Fun Dip, candy canes, crazy marshmallows with food coloring and hfcs etc. 

I've told his teacher and para that we don't eat this crap nor do we want it coming home. I feel FURIOUS that I have to filter it out of his backpack yet again. For the record, he has no allergies or adverse reactions we just do not consider it to be edible or anything remotely close to what we want our children to eat.  (If you think it's no big deal for your family that's fine, however, I don't want to hear it.)

 

I feel at my wit's end. I need help writing a letter or something but feel too pissed to even get the words out in a civilized way. 


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#2 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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Was this given as gifts/prizes/treats from teachers or  did they get them from other students?


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#3 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 12:05 PM
 
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I feel you, I am so tired of the cupcakes, big a$$ lollipops, ect.. that people tend to believe this is what being a child should be about..gosh people think.

 

But like the pp I was wondering if it is something he got from the school or from other students. Sometimes for DS preschool some of the parents may put xmas things in all the student cubies as a xmas treat. Does this happen often or was it a xmas thing.

 

But whatever it is, I know your feeling, sometimes it makes me just want to throw the towel in..so much to go against..I even get upset when I go to DS cousins house and the juice i see his cousins drinking and going to gave him is 5% juice with nothing but sugar, corn syrup, HFCS, and all kinds of coloring ..it is like WTH....

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#4 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 02:48 PM
 
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Well, if the tone of your post is similar to the way you approached his teachers, I'd imagine they're not all that inclined to be accommodating. 

 

TBH, I view it as my job to filter out what I don't want my children to have. There are things that come home from parties that I don't want my children to eat, and I simply get rid of them. I explain why to my kids. They're our family's values, and it's our job as parents to enforce those boundaries, not the teacher's job to make sure nothing crosses them. Teachers simply cannot make everyone happy, and if your son were the only one not to receive something, I'm sure he'd be upset. Then his teachers have to take time from everyone else to comfort him. This requires 15 seconds of your time to handle. Just throw the candy away.


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#5 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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If the teacher and principal aren't really responding to your concerns, then you may need to get some wider support. Have you attended school-parent council meetings to raise your concerns? Does the council have a Health and Safety Committee? If so, this is a good issue to bring to them.

 

Start with contacting the parent representative for the kindergarten classes, or the chair/president of the council or the head of the Health and Safety Committee.

 

Find out if the school has a policy on healthy foods in the classroom - whether provided by the teachers as rewards (a whole other issue) or by students/families as special treats (birthdays etc.). 

 

If there is no policy, or there is one but it is inadequate, then you have an opportunity to help create something satisfactory. 

 

OTOH, if the general consensus with the parents in your community is that these kinds of treats are acceptable and they continue to appear in the classroom, you may be left with having to deal with the issue with your children yourself.  

 

 

 

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#6 of 22 Old 01-03-2011, 05:34 PM
 
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Maybe you need to offer to be a room parent, so you can plan and advice other parents what to bring for school parties and celebrations.  Usually teachers really appreciate the help, and you might be able to get them on board for healthier snacks and alternatives to food for rewards.  I think sometimes parents and teachers pick candy because it fulfills the packaging requirement that many schools have and most kids are excited about it.  

 

We have had way too much, but it really does vary at my dc school with the teachers and the classroom parents.  Dd's class gets to vote for a rewards/food, and they have chosen popcorn, ice cream/popsicles, and cake.  None are healthy, but it is way better than having bags of candy. 

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#7 of 22 Old 01-04-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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It sounds like the bags of candy are treat or goody bags from other students?  That stuff is not being sent home from school with your child just to make you angry.  Usually stuff like that is coming from students that want to give your child a little gift for a holiday or to celebrate a student's Birthday.  Just like with any other gift you graciously thank the giver and then  it is your choice what to do with it once it gets home.  I don't think that writing an angry letter to the teacher is the answer.  Nor is trying to tell other parents what they can and can not feed their children. My son comes home with this stuff more often then I would like.  I usually just send the candy off to work with dh to give to his office buddies that enjoy that sort of thing.  No big deal.  It really isn't something to get angry about because the crap is being given to your son out of kindness not spite.  Every once in awhile there might be something in those bags that isn't total crap. If you think Christmas was bad, just wait until Valentines Day.  Almost every single Valentine my son received had candy attached to it.  Ugh.


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#8 of 22 Old 01-04-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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You may not be the only frustrated parent. This year ds came home with a letter requesting "cookie bags" from each of the parents for the holiday party. Parents can withold permission for eating these things, but for my ds it is the least of my problems to deal with.

 

Ds' school district last year had a limited number of days that treats were permitted (other than birthdays). Perhaps you can work to make a district policy like that.


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#9 of 22 Old 01-05-2011, 06:01 AM
 
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Agree with the PP who suggested you volunteer to be the room mother. I am the room mother for my DS's 2nd grade class and I plan all the parties and decide what the snacks will be and just ask people to bring them. Still some parents will do what they want to do. At the halloween party one mom showed up with an unsolicited  big box of store bought cupcakes angry.gif

 

Working with your school PTA or other parents is also a good option.

 

But also agree that you're still going to have to take care of getting rid of anything your kid brings home that you don't want him / her to have.

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#10 of 22 Old 01-05-2011, 06:05 AM
 
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 At the halloween party one mom showed up with an unsolicited  big box of store bought cupcakes angry.gif

 

.


I really don't understand why this annoys you so much.  I don't like store-bought cupcakes and they seem icky to me, but if a mom has limited time and resources and wants to help out at the party and donate something, she probably thought the kids would love them. 

 

It was a party....

 

And having been at tons of these parties, many, many children eat 1 bite of none of those things much of the time.  I have thrown away tons of whole cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts, etc.

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#11 of 22 Old 01-05-2011, 06:39 AM
 
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I agree that the constant flow of junk is really irritating.  Getting involved is a great idea if you have the time/inclination.  I do not give my 8 year old son any foods with artificial colors/flavors, HFCS or hydrogenated oils.  I started talking to him about this when he was around five.  He knows that he is ultimately in charge of what goes into his body and also ultimately responsible for his health.  I've always told him that it is his choice and that I won't always be there to guide him - read: stop him : )  

 

In the beginning I explained to him what would be a better choice in the classroom parties (fruit, pretzels or just skip it).  When he came home with bags of crap we would read the ingredients or look them up on the internet with many exclaims of horror, etc.  He always really enjoyed this.  We would also look up what the bad stuff would do to him in the long term - basically make him sick and fat and unable to do his favorite super active things.  Lastly, I would always offer trades.  I don't want him to feel left out or deprived so I always have home baked goods, fruit juice pops, etc. at the ready.  Sometimes I'll buy the junk (like at Halloween). 

 

Now it's easy.  He knows it's his choice and he almost always makes a good one.  If he chooses to try something he always tells me and we talk about it.  The next time he goes back to healthy choices.  The dialogue is ongoing. 


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#12 of 22 Old 01-05-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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 At the halloween party one mom showed up with an unsolicited  big box of store bought cupcakes angry.gif

 

.


I really don't understand why this annoys you so much.  I don't like store-bought cupcakes and they seem icky to me, but if a mom has limited time and resources and wants to help out at the party and donate something, she probably thought the kids would love them. 

 

It was a party....

 

And having been at tons of these parties, many, many children eat 1 bite of none of those things much of the time.  I have thrown away tons of whole cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts, etc.

 

In this case it annoyed me because parents were asked ahead of time if they would like to contribute or help out with the party. I only heard from 5-6 people, and not this particular mom. It's great when people want to contribute and help out it would just be nice if they responded when they were asked. Also we need to keep in mind allergies of the kids in the class so snacks do need to be planned out ahead of time so we can have things all the kids can have or at least know what needs to be avoided by which kids.
 

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#13 of 22 Old 01-05-2011, 08:08 AM
 
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Quote:
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 At the halloween party one mom showed up with an unsolicited  big box of store bought cupcakes angry.gif

 

.


I really don't understand why this annoys you so much.  I don't like store-bought cupcakes and they seem icky to me, but if a mom has limited time and resources and wants to help out at the party and donate something, she probably thought the kids would love them. 

 

It was a party....

 

And having been at tons of these parties, many, many children eat 1 bite of none of those things much of the time.  I have thrown away tons of whole cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts, etc.

 

In this case it annoyed me because parents were asked ahead of time if they would like to contribute or help out with the party. I only heard from 5-6 people, and not this particular mom. It's great when people want to contribute and help out it would just be nice if they responded when they were asked. Also we need to keep in mind allergies of the kids in the class so snacks do need to be planned out ahead of time so we can have things all the kids can have or at least know what needs to be avoided by which kids.
 


I hear you but you seem specifically annoyed at the "store-bought" cupcakes, which is a separate issue from her not planning to tell you she was coming, nor food allergies.  She could have made homemade things that would have gone against any allergy concerns.


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#14 of 22 Old 01-05-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NolaRiordan View Post
 At the halloween party one mom showed up with an unsolicited  big box of store bought cupcakes angry.gif

 

.


I really don't understand why this annoys you so much.  I don't like store-bought cupcakes and they seem icky to me, but if a mom has limited time and resources and wants to help out at the party and donate something, she probably thought the kids would love them. 

 

It was a party....

 

And having been at tons of these parties, many, many children eat 1 bite of none of those things much of the time.  I have thrown away tons of whole cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts, etc.

 

In this case it annoyed me because parents were asked ahead of time if they would like to contribute or help out with the party. I only heard from 5-6 people, and not this particular mom. It's great when people want to contribute and help out it would just be nice if they responded when they were asked. Also we need to keep in mind allergies of the kids in the class so snacks do need to be planned out ahead of time so we can have things all the kids can have or at least know what needs to be avoided by which kids.
 


I hear you but you seem specifically annoyed at the "store-bought" cupcakes, which is a separate issue from her not planning to tell you she was coming, nor food allergies.  She could have made homemade things that would have gone against any allergy concerns.


Don't some schools have strict policies AGAINST homebaked goods because of contamination concerns? 

 

NolaRiordan, I'd take it easy on that mom, unless your requests for help were delivered directly by telephone (not voicemail) or e-mail to her, separately from any other school-related information. I know that when I got school newsletters, I'd skim for important items that needed my immediate attention and tended to put other stuff on the backburner. Then all of a sudden, I'd find myself scrambling to make treats or send cash or buy tickets or send in requested items. I'll admit that it's not the best organizational method, but it's fairly human.  

 

When I organized classroom and school events, I was always grateful for whatever donations and assistance I received, even if it was last-minute. I kind of expected it would be, in fact. Making "room-parent approved" home-made treats just isn't high on the list of priorities for people who may be coping with several kids, maintaining a home, taking care of elderly parents, working at a career, trying to participate in community events or book clubs or get to the gym etc. etc. etc. If the cupcakes couldn't be put out because of allergy concerns, I'd mention it to her nicely when I thanked her and just let the whole incident go.  

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#15 of 22 Old 01-05-2011, 08:45 AM
 
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 At the halloween party one mom showed up with an unsolicited  big box of store bought cupcakes angry.gif

 

.


I really don't understand why this annoys you so much.  I don't like store-bought cupcakes and they seem icky to me, but if a mom has limited time and resources and wants to help out at the party and donate something, she probably thought the kids would love them. 

 

It was a party....

 

And having been at tons of these parties, many, many children eat 1 bite of none of those things much of the time.  I have thrown away tons of whole cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts, etc.

 

In this case it annoyed me because parents were asked ahead of time if they would like to contribute or help out with the party. I only heard from 5-6 people, and not this particular mom. It's great when people want to contribute and help out it would just be nice if they responded when they were asked. Also we need to keep in mind allergies of the kids in the class so snacks do need to be planned out ahead of time so we can have things all the kids can have or at least know what needs to be avoided by which kids.
 


I hear you but you seem specifically annoyed at the "store-bought" cupcakes, which is a separate issue from her not planning to tell you she was coming, nor food allergies.  She could have made homemade things that would have gone against any allergy concerns.


Don't some schools have strict policies AGAINST homebaked goods because of contamination concerns? 

 

NolaRiordan, I'd take it easy on that mom, unless your requests for help were delivered directly by telephone (not voicemail) or e-mail to her, separately from any other school-related information. I know that when I got school newsletters, I'd skim for important items that needed my immediate attention and tended to put other stuff on the backburner. Then all of a sudden, I'd find myself scrambling to make treats or send cash or buy tickets or send in requested items. I'll admit that it's not the best organizational method, but it's fairly human.  

 

When I organized classroom and school events, I was always grateful for whatever donations and assistance I received, even if it was last-minute. I kind of expected it would be, in fact. Making "room-parent approved" home-made treats just isn't high on the list of priorities for people who may be coping with several kids, maintaining a home, taking care of elderly parents, working at a career, trying to participate in community events or book clubs or get to the gym etc. etc. etc. If the cupcakes couldn't be put out because of allergy concerns, I'd mention it to her nicely when I thanked her and just let the whole incident go.  


At our school homemade stuff is fine.  And parents showing up un-announced just to attend the party is the norm.  I think some schools aren't this way.  At my kids' old school, it was 2 parents at the party only and never siblings.  I guess you just have to know your school's rules.

 

I guess I just get a wee-bit oversensitive when it comes to people seemingly looking down on the mom that brought the store-bought stuff.  I am 99% of the time NOT that mom but I don't think it's very nice to make the leap that she's any less because she bought.....I don't make all of the items for each craft and sometimes buy kits, does that get the same kind of judgement?


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#16 of 22 Old 01-05-2011, 09:38 AM
 
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I guess I just get a wee-bit oversensitive when it comes to people seemingly looking down on the mom that brought the store-bought stuff.  I am 99% of the time NOT that mom but I don't think it's very nice to make the leap that she's any less because she bought.....I don't make all of the items for each craft and sometimes buy kits, does that get the same kind of judgement?


Right. Believe me I have bought my share of store bought stuff to school things. I really didn't mean to be judgemental about that. I guess as far as cupcakes go I just think the store bought ones are ickier because they are piled so high with frosting-- usually you don't do that when you make them at home. I did of course thank the mom and said nothing more about it. And the kids did like the cupcakes, and as someone else said most of them take a bite or two and the rest ends up in the trash.

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#17 of 22 Old 01-05-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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Sounds like they were gifts from other students.  If that was the case, then I don't think it was the teacher's job to not give them to your child nor to filter them out.

 

Our school has a healthy treat policy for birthday policies--but they tend to relax on holiday parties.  For the record, there are only two--Christmas/Winter/Etc. and end of the year.  The school does, in my opinion, a really good job at encouraging healthful lunches (dessert 1x/week, fresh fruit all other times, plenty of fresh veggies, salads, etc.)  I guess for me, it's not a big deal.  The kids know that I basically take all of the candy they come home with--and then I decide when/if they get to have some.  They're used to me checking things making sure that they're halal (we're Muslim--so most gelatin/gummy things are out for us).  

 

Do you talk to your kids about healthful eating? I have to say, I'm surprised at how self-regulating my own kids want to be (7 and 5).  They'll say stuff like, "we shouldn't eat too much candy because it's not healthy"... or "fruit is a better treat", etc.  Maybe when these things do come home, it's a good opportunity to talk about why or why not we don't eat this (or eat this every day), etc.   Another option would be to have some sort of exchange thing they can do. It could be food related... you know, Mom doesn't like all the artificial food colors because I don't think they're good for us, but why don't we put this aside and bake something together? Or why don't we go to the farmer's market and you can choose a special fruit treat for the family?   I can't remember where I read it, but some Mom I know does something like this with her kids at Halloween.  They leave their Halloween candy at a set location, and when they wake up there's a small toy or nice crayons or whatever in its place.  I think she's Waldorf-inspired, so assume one of the candy fairies or something takes the candy. :)


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#18 of 22 Old 01-05-2011, 10:10 AM
 
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You know, I have a much higher tolerance I suspect because I grew up a vegetarian and am raising vegetarian children. My kids can't eat school lunches... even the pizza is pepperoni. My kids go to school parties and events and eat chips and hot dog buns because that's all that's available. I do inform the room mom and teacher that we are a vegetarian family but we are always prepared for there to be no options. This is just something we understand and accept because we know our eating style differs from the majority. My kids have known from preschool what we eat and don't eat and why. They are excellent and managing themselves in this reguard. It's just not a big deal to us or them because we don't make it a big deal. We do what we believe and to each their own.

 

Our state has a lot of rules regaurding food in the schools. Food can't be given as a reward. We're not allowed to bring home-made items due to school wide allergies. Everything must be store bought and packaging provided. No parties or  goodies prior to lunch, no candy, ect. This doesn't mean my kids never come home with a bag of candy a friend gave at halloween or christmas but so what? The kids go through and pull out anything they know they can't eat (like starburst that have geletin) or items that go against and orthodontics they have and then enjoy the rest when appropriate. Our diet can handle some junk here and there.

 

Just teach your kid about the family beliefs and don't stress about the candy coming home after parties and during holidays.

 


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#19 of 22 Old 01-05-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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I guess I just get a wee-bit oversensitive when it comes to people seemingly looking down on the mom that brought the store-bought stuff.  I am 99% of the time NOT that mom but I don't think it's very nice to make the leap that she's any less because she bought.....I don't make all of the items for each craft and sometimes buy kits, does that get the same kind of judgement?


Right. Believe me I have bought my share of store bought stuff to school things. I really didn't mean to be judgemental about that. I guess as far as cupcakes go I just think the store bought ones are ickier because they are piled so high with frosting-- usually you don't do that when you make them at home. I did of course thank the mom and said nothing more about it. And the kids did like the cupcakes, and as someone else said most of them take a bite or two and the rest ends up in the trash.


You're right.  I wasn't trying to pick on you! redface.gif


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#20 of 22 Old 01-06-2011, 09:00 AM
 
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DD, 5, is in kindy and it's the same here...she came home on the last day of school before Christmas with 3 or 4 sacks of candy and chotchkes. And I'd say there was at least one treat-y type thing every day leading up to break.  She's pretty sensitive to sugar so it is a litttle frustrating to me.  I basically clean out her backpack each day, and things like that all go in a brown bag on top of the fridge.  I pull it down for long car trips and other situations where a distracting treat or small plastic disposable toy might be a help.

 

Very rarely does she come home bent on eating or even opening what's been given to her, which I guess is lucky or she'd be in a constant state of sugar overload.

 

It does bums me out because I truly believe treats are TREATS!  I don't mind her having sweets occasionally but when it's all the time they're not special anymore.  Also, I don't know how the other parents can afford to make goodybags for 24 kids (or find the time!) but that's another thread. 

 

But the flip side is that I stopped working a few years ago and once I had no discretionary income stuff like this stopped annoying me and truly did become a treat. And now that I'm back at work, I do still appreciate having that brown bag of stuff on top of the fridge for when I need it.  If the other moms keep this up, I'll never need to buy candy again!

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#21 of 22 Old 01-06-2011, 09:05 AM
 
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I think it's completely reasonable to go to the principal about this. It's not just about your kid, it's about our entire society. Obesity is a major threat to public health, and the health problems associated with it are affecting kids RIGHT NOW, TODAY.

 

Candy and treats aren't evil, and in the old days something like 1 candy cane per kid would have been the norm- not three bags of candy. Not tons of cupcakes filled with high fructose corn syrup. And on top of the treats, the kids weren't being fed a bunch of junk food at lunch.

 

It may be your responsibility to make sure your kid eats well, but with the growing health crisis facing this country, with 1 out of 3 children born today destined to become diabetic, it's everyone's responsibility to promote a health conscious environment in the institutions we send our children to for hours a day.

 

At my daughters' school we don't allow candy or sugary snacks. Sometimes they sneak through, but since the policy was started school-wide we definitely have seen a major decrease in the junk. They have also gotten rid of the chocolate milk at lunch, which contained as much high fructose corn syrup as a can of soda. We have an organic garden that the children care for, a wood-fired pizza oven that the kids make healthy pizzas in on special occasions, and I have done several healthy veggie cooking demos at lunch times, using equipment and organic produce donated by local organizations and businesses. We have also hosted parent information sessions about healthy eating, and had the famous Chef Ann, The Renegade Lunch Lady (www.chefann.com) come to our school to promote healthy school lunches. This is at a public charter school, and it was all made possible by concerned parents like you, getting together, talking to the administration, and getting involved. Try not to get too angry, look at it as an opportunity to do something positive for your school. I'm sure you will be able to find like-minded parents, and you can take a bunch of statistics to back up your argument to the administration.


Mama to 3 awesome girls: DD1 born 2001, DD2 born 2002, DD3 born March 2011

katroshka is offline  
#22 of 22 Old 01-10-2011, 01:00 PM
 
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I would guess it is most likely coming from the parent that volunteered for the party. However it is possible that the teacher can influence what is brought in.

 

Dh has taught kindy and now teaches first grade and he tries to be pretty specific about having healthy snacks at parties. He discourages cupcakes based on the mess (however he just thinks the amount of frosting on store bought cupcakes is ridiculously unhealthy). But he is at a school where homemade items are not accepted and so he still often has parents bring in "crap". When it comes to day to day snacks that parents provide, he has had to tell parents that what they brought wasn't appropriate. However I think when it comes to holiday parties he probably let's a little more go. He still suggests to the planning parent to provide some healthy snacks and some treats. But that doesn't mean that sometimes he hasn't had a parent go overboard with goody bags and such.....He doesn't necessarily know what is coming in the door until the day of the party.

 

I would suggest talking to the teacher first to voice your concerns.

 

But then again, we have often filtered out junk food from ds's bags from either school or birthday parties. Often he doesn't like those candies anyway because generally at home we have chocolate or homemade treats.

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