Concerned about the "juice" at ds preschool, should I say something? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 03-01-2005, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Or not? To make a long story short - the parents at ds preschool take turns bringing in what is supposed to be a 'healthy snack'. The teachers encourage the parents to bring milk, or if juice is brought 100% juice at the beginning of the year. However, most parents bring 'juice drinks' like HC or those icky gallon jugs of colored crap. I'm okay with some treats now and then, and I do give my ds 1 glass of 100% juice each day. HOwever, I'm concerned with him getting this sugar water in preschool but I don't know if I should say anything to the teachers or not. He goes 2x per week. Thanks for any advice!

Sarah : , mama to Lucas (8) , Ryan (5) : , Andrew (1yr) , and someone new : due early Dec.
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#2 of 19 Old 03-01-2005, 03:24 PM
 
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I would talk to the teachers. At my dd's old playschool they had to follow the food guide, it was in the bylaws. The juice HAD to be 100% juice. That school closed down and the teacher from that school opened her own and that is where my girls go now. She kept the same strict guidelines for snack. It HAS to be 100% juice. In the newsletters she puts in that the other kinds are not acceptable. What each parent brings is 2 1L tetra boxes of juice. Now and then they get some that are not 100% and they give them anyhow, but it doesn't happen often.

Now some parents may think that some of the fruit mixes are 100% juice because they aren't reading the labels correctly. Because of the type of juice container that is requested things like sugar water don't end up at the school.
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#3 of 19 Old 03-01-2005, 03:50 PM
 
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I think it's fine to say something. Just let the teachers know that you are trying to follow the healthy snack rule, and perhaps some parents are not aware that the "juice" they are bringing in is really junky, and could a notice be sent home requesting that the juice must be 100% juice with no artificial color or added sugar?

The worst thing that'll happen is that they'll say no or that they will roll their eyes at you behind your back, but who cares? That wouldn't bother me, anyway. It's worth a shot.

If it doesn't work, and you really don't want your child drinking this crap even once in a while (personally, I'd tolerate it if it wasn't too frequent, but that's me), you can send in some juice boxes to the teachers with a note stating that you'd like them to give your child one of thse if the snack-providing parent sends in sugar water. It's within your rights.
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#4 of 19 Old 03-01-2005, 06:40 PM
 
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I think Apple and Eve does not sweeten any of their juices, even their cranberry juice (I could be wrong on that one). Perhaps there could be a brand rule that it has to be Apple and Eve (because even brands like Motts sweeten some of their juice).

I would be more upset about the artifical colors and flavors than the sugar, but that is just me.
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#5 of 19 Old 03-01-2005, 10:43 PM
 
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I would say something.
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#6 of 19 Old 03-02-2005, 09:49 PM
 
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I would definately say something.

Perhaps you could volunteer to make up a note to go home with all parents with how to pick a good snack. You could include what to look for in a juice, in a label, how to put together a complimentary snack, info like that. Even some very specfic items that make good snacks.

Depending on how the preschool is run you could also just suggest you pool money and one person (you) go buy the juice for the rest of the year.

 

 

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#7 of 19 Old 03-06-2005, 12:30 AM
 
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Speak Up! Also consider having them dilute the 100% juice when
serving it to the children.
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#8 of 19 Old 03-12-2005, 04:07 PM
 
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Ugh. I would say something. Food in general was a huge concern of mine when looking for a preschool. I've heard from everyone that "healthy" snacks are requested, but not enforced. I actually had a teacher tell me, "Who are we to judge someone's idea of a snack and say it isn't good enough." We finally found one where each child brings in his own snack. It's costing us a lot more money to send him there, but I want him eating my idea of good food (and drinking water).
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#9 of 19 Old 03-12-2005, 04:29 PM
 
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Hi

My mom runs a preschool in Massachusetts -- they are mandated by the state and by their licenser to provide 100% juice and ONLY 100% juice.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.
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#10 of 19 Old 03-12-2005, 08:39 PM
 
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in our co-op, it happened too. The teacher had a fridge with real juice we'd bring out on those days. Harder to enforce the healthy snacks though, perhaps having people commit to *what* they are bringing at the beginning of the month on the co-op schedule would help? Then if it's still an issue you can also send your own snack for your child. we got stuff like donut holes on occasion, so it made me try harder to bring healthy snacks - even though it was usually bought and not made. I found that two or three small items (piece of cheese, two whole grain crackers and a few raisins for instance) and all the kids would eat something, and often allergic/veg kids too. We always printed a lot of suggestions in the newsletter.
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#11 of 19 Old 03-16-2005, 12:22 AM
 
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I once worked in a preschool (for only one year) where the school provided the majority of the snacks and "juice." Parents were supposed to take turns so that twice a week the snack was provided by a parent, but that usually didn't happen. So usually the children drank the "juice" provided by the school. This "juice" was powdered lemonade and Tang (the kind where you add a few scoops of the powder to water). It was awful.

Anyways, there were some parents that requested that their children be given plain water to drink instead. Maybe that could be an alternative for your dc? That way you could perhaps avoid a struggle with the administration. But then, if you don't mind a potential struggle, by all means try to help them change! My experience has been that at least 50% of the time these things are done in "innocent ignorance" (does that even make sense?). They just might truly not know any better! You could educate them!
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#12 of 19 Old 03-26-2005, 12:53 PM
 
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meowee: Personally, I would be highly annoyed if DS's teachers told me it had to Apple and Eve, and moreso if they told me why. 1st of all, I can't afford "name brands" like apple and eve (except maybe if they're on sale AND I have a coupon). 2nd I think I'm capable of finding a juice without added sweeteners/sugar, and would be insulted that they felt the need to direct me to a certain brand to ensure this. I usually buy ds and ex-dp store brand apple and other juices. I read the labels and weed out the crap, and spend a lot less money than I would buying name brands (99 cents vs. over $2 or $3).

I'm not saying that you insulted me, or that yours was a bad idea...but there are some things to consider, ykwim? I'd be fine with them suggesting A&E as one brand that does not sweeten, to help direct those parents who truly are clueless or don't care enough to read labels.

To the OP: I hope you've said something to the teachers. Does your DC's school give out newsletters as my son's did? Perhaps the teachers could put a special reminder in the newsletters something like **Parents are reminded that all juices brought in must be 100% fruit juice with no additives. Your cooperation is appreciated. Thank you**

If you speak to them and things don't change, maybe you could have the school hold on to a few juice boxes or a small container of juice that you purchased just for your DC--with name printed on it--to have on hand for when the junk is passed out. (i'm pretty sure A&E makes juice boxes )

Best Wishes,
Kelly

Kelly, mama (12yoDS), doula, RN, and writer.
There's no where you can be that isn't where you were meant to be, its easy
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#13 of 19 Old 03-27-2005, 08:12 PM
 
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I'd be more worried about the fact the juice isn't organic. Personally. I'd rather my ds drink something sugary than conventional pure juice. Apples, strawberries, and raspberries are in the top 5 highest pesticide fruits.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#14 of 19 Old 03-28-2005, 08:24 PM
 
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Hmmm.... I'm kind of middle of the road on that one. (Wait! Are you sitting down? I don't have a strong opinion one way or another! :LOL )

I always buy 100% juice (however I've never heard of Adam and Eve - is that something sold at health food stores?) for my kids - both juice boxes and just to have on hand in the fridge.

But twice a week at preschool - those little cups - how much is he really getting? It would bug me that other moms weren't following the request for 100% juice, and I would probably ask the teacher if we could put a memo in the cubbies - but I don't think I'd make a big deal over it.

A note telling me one specific brand that I must buy - now that would get me defensive. Maybe a list of brands that sell 100% juice - to make it easy to find them. My grocery store (usually Safeway) sells two different brands of 100% juice plus their store brand has it too. Store brand seems to go on sale about once a month.

How well do you know the other moms? Could you mention at the parent meeting (or in a friendly email - with other information to disguise your master juice plan...) that QFC has their store brand 100% juice on sale this week?

Few side notes -

1) My dd2 has a real sensitivity to apple juice (it is a fructose thing apparently). Her preschool is great about just giving her water instead of juice (SO much of the time, juice is apple juice! She does fine with cran-grape or others, just not apple for whatever reason). Really has not been a big deal at all. Dd2 doesn't seem to care; the teachers tell me it is no big deal to do it (when I apologize for the inconvenience). So maybe if it is a big deal to you and the other moms don't respond to a friendly memo home in cubbies, he could just have water - water down the "juice" they give?

2) Some programs have gone to just water to drink with snack - under the very real nutritional statement that kids don't need juice. A glass of water and a little fruit (grapes, apple slices, orange segments, 1/2 banana, whatever) is much better for kids than juice, even 100%.

3) When my dd1 was an only child (and I had more time to worry about similar stuff), one mom brought SUGAR FREE PUDDING for snack at co-op preschool. I thought it looked weird (it was the light green pistachio flavor and just didn't look right consistency wise) and must have had a funny look on my face - which I think she took for "you're not about to give my kid a bunch of sugared up pudding, are you?" She says "oh, don't worry, it's sugar free!" Which horrified me because I really believe that fake sugar is linked to cancer. I don't let my kids have anything with fake sugar in it - including gum, vitamins, snacks, etc. I was standing there trying to decide how to handle it diplomatically when I noticed dd1 wasn't putting any on her plate anyway - she thought it looked as odd as I did.
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#15 of 19 Old 04-01-2005, 08:27 PM
 
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For any child out in public, there are going to be lots and lots of food temptations in his/her lifetime...school vending machines, mall food, fast food, etc. As a scratch cook with a limited wheat, no dairy diet and lover of fresh food, I don't sweat the junk food when served by others. At age 4, my ds has already come to appreciate some really good food and the little bit of junk he gets at preschool hasn't hurt him. When it's his turn for snack, we typically bring something very high in nutritional value, but sometimes we make cupcakes! It's a long childhood, folks. Lighten up. You can't police everything and your values will shine through in the long run. Another approach is to be proactive and provide a snack or lunch for your child each day, but expecting the school or other parents to share your values isn't realistic in a lot of school settings.
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#16 of 19 Old 04-09-2005, 12:12 AM
 
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i've never even heard of a preschool allowing juice drinks. i think we have a state law about 100% juice. I *know* that there is one for daycares but I think it might apply to preschools as well. Either that, or most preschools are connected to daycares and so it's just automatic.

i agree that organic is a bigger concern that sugar. sugar is sugar is sugar. but pesticides are poison.
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#17 of 19 Old 04-12-2005, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to thank everyone for their responses. Sorry I didn't get back to this thread sooner. Anyway, I did mention it to his teachers and they agree with me but so far they have not sent out any reminders or anything to the parents. So for now, I am just going to let it go.

Sarah : , mama to Lucas (8) , Ryan (5) : , Andrew (1yr) , and someone new : due early Dec.
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#18 of 19 Old 04-12-2005, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malibusunny
i've never even heard of a preschool allowing juice drinks. i think we have a state law about 100% juice. I *know* that there is one for daycares but I think it might apply to preschools as well. Either that, or most preschools are connected to daycares and so it's just automatic.

i agree that organic is a bigger concern that sugar. sugar is sugar is sugar. but pesticides are poison.

Well its a private preschool, and the parents bring in snacks so its not really regulated. We can't afford organics, so I don't mind them not being organic. We do also eat some sugar and junk food but I was just concerned about him having all that sugar and artifical colorings at school, sometimes twice per week.

Sarah : , mama to Lucas (8) , Ryan (5) : , Andrew (1yr) , and someone new : due early Dec.
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#19 of 19 Old 04-12-2005, 05:29 PM
 
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You should say something, but don't expect much. I told my son's private Montessori school that birthday celebrations should be limited to less sugary items. They stated they couldn't tell the parents what to do. The other Montessori school my son attended for 2 years did state specifically what was acceptible birthday celebration items, so saying they couldn't was really saying they wouldn't. I suspect they valued the parent with money over the parent that cared about their child's health. I was told, "we can withhold the snack from him if you do not want him to have sugar". Yeah, tell a 4 yr old he can't have a cupcake because his mother said so -- not the solution people.

However in the case of juice, I might tell the daycare my child is only permitted to have water and I will provide it in a cup for him or her daily. I'm a firm believer that juice for small children should be watered down 50/50 at least. I wouldn't want my child drinking straight juice, it developes the taste for sweetness.

The first Montessori school my ds1 went to did get milk from the state to serve with lunch, but water was always available. I directed them to serve him only water, no milk.
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