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#1 of 34 Old 11-08-2012, 08:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS who is in Kindergarten came home last week and said the kids were making fun of his lunch.

He is used to eating very healthy so I pack him things like Hummus and pita,soups etc etc.  Last week

I made him tortellini's (not so healthy) and I added some cooked peas.  I always try to add a veggie.  He loves this.  Well, he came home and said the kids at his table said his lunch stinks.  Then today I packed him hummus and pita and he did not eat his lunch at school  Said he only ate his apple b/c he was not hungry.  Then I find out that this girl that they just moved beside him at lunch said his lunch smelled again.  So its one girl that says his lunch stinks and all the other kids around him make fun too.  I'm so thankful my son loves to eat healthy things and I don't want to have to send him mac and cheese everyday.  I have told him this girl just wants attention and to just ignore her.  He sat beside her in class at the start of the year and she bugged him during class too. He started giving her mean looks so she stopped .They move the kids around so luckily she was moved to another spot.  So regarding lunch should I tell him to ignore her,? tell him to make fun of her lunch? tell the teacher?. I thought maybe I should email the teacher whats going on just so she is aware. What would you do?

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#2 of 34 Old 11-08-2012, 09:06 PM
 
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I would email the teacher. She can see if the lunch staff can seat her at a different table. It may be too late, because the pack mentality...early stages of bullying, have already kicked in. The other kids are already teasing, but it really seems like she was the main problem, since there were other issues. She seems to have it out for him, or for everyone in general. Probably not an ideal home situation going on there.

 

I would maybe pack lunches that don't smell for a few days until the memory fades...and the other kids will probably cut him a break. Gosh, my folks used to pack me tuna and egg salad! Talk about a stink! I did get teased a little sometimes because my family was from France and I would sometimes have pate (EWWW! LIVER!) sandwiches!

 

I wonder if kids ever say anything to my son about his lunches being weird. I often pack organic fruits, yogurt, carrots, sunflower seeds, edamame, etc. I used to throw in organic "oreo" style cookies every now and then and he told me one of his teachers said that he shouldn't eat that at school! How dare she? You should see the junk other parents pack...and the school lunch?? Really? All the holiday parties are filled with candy and junk too. Whatever! I can see her point, but I couldn't believe she singled him out after seeing what most kids eat. 

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#3 of 34 Old 11-09-2012, 04:24 AM
 
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i hear you. i hear you loud and clear. my dd is in 5th grade adn this is still an issue.

 

two things. first understand that the kids are not really teasing. they are voicing their opinion. it starts out by being an observation, then turns into others joining in and becoming teasing.

 

i have done two things. educated the class. and empathised with dd. i have done show and tell and gone over how to cook certain foods and then brought in samples for kids to try without expecting kids to actually try it. i have taught dd how to respond. 

 

but remember the need to fit in is huge. i have catered to dd's needs by changing her food to more appropriate food. taken out all the food that looks like poop. been more careful about what the food looks like so make it look more appetizing. 

 

i have not told the teacher only because i didnt really consider it as teasing. a friend or two stood up for dd. 

 

i started having dd eat a big breakfast so she wouldnt need a big lunch. so snacky type food.


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#4 of 34 Old 11-09-2012, 08:33 AM
 
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My daughter went through this, too. It helped that her friend has to bring gluten-free food and there are a couple of kids who are more adventurous who spoke up. A 6-yr. old might still enjoy the book Yoko by Rosemary Wells:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Yoko-Rosemary-Wells/dp/0786803959

 

We were also told not to bring a small piece of chocolate or candy when my kid was bringing soba noodles with spinach and tofu and other stuff like that & her classmates were bringing Takis. shrug.gif


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#5 of 34 Old 11-09-2012, 09:53 AM
 
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I would email the teacher. She can see if the lunch staff can seat her at a different table. It may be too late, because the pack mentality...early stages of bullying, have already kicked in. The other kids are already teasing, but it really seems like she was the main problem, since there were other issues. She seems to have it out for him, or for everyone in general. Probably not an ideal home situation going on there.

 

I would maybe pack lunches that don't smell for a few days until the memory fades...and the other kids will probably cut him a break. Gosh, my folks used to pack me tuna and egg salad! Talk about a stink! I did get teased a little sometimes because my family was from France and I would sometimes have pate (EWWW! LIVER!) sandwiches!

 

I wonder if kids ever say anything to my son about his lunches being weird. I often pack organic fruits, yogurt, carrots, sunflower seeds, edamame, etc. I used to throw in organic "oreo" style cookies every now and then and he told me one of his teachers said that he shouldn't eat that at school! How dare she? You should see the junk other parents pack...and the school lunch?? Really? All the holiday parties are filled with candy and junk too. Whatever! I can see her point, but I couldn't believe she singled him out after seeing what most kids eat. 

Dd's cookie made with organic quinoa and honey was returned in Pre-K. I sent it because dd used to say another child brings cookie everyday. Since then I haven't sent cookies but dd insists there are other kids bringing it. And the school lunch... :)


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#6 of 34 Old 11-09-2012, 11:30 AM
 
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In Kindergarten kids are just starting to test the waters with pack mentality/bullying/whatever you want to call it. Also I don't know if your DS's lunchroom is like mine's, but there's almost no supervision of the kids. Sure, there are helpers walking around keeping the peace, but the kids are mostly on their own. And they know it-- that's why they feel comfortable to say exactly what's on their minds even if it's mean. I think 5/6 is a borderline age of getting the teacher or the school involved for something like that. I would be inclined to "protect my baby" but at the same time, kids need to start learning how to hold their own at that age. Maybe ask him if he would rather have a lunch that's similar to what the other kids have and roll with it. We've definitely changed what we've packed for our kids over the past couple of years after complaints of ALL the other kids (sure) having pudding, cookies, lunchables, etc. So now we do a PB&J, some sort of substitute for chips (pretzels, cheese crackers, etc) and then a little "treat" (fruit snacks, dried fruit, mini granola bars and yes sometimes pudding) and the complaints about lunch have stopped.


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#7 of 34 Old 11-10-2012, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies.  When I pack DS's lunch's I do try to keep in mind not to pack anything to odd or smelly.  I purposely packed the tortellinis b/c they are kid friendly.  I thought hummus was pretty normal too.  Some days I even send him Annies Mac and cheese.  I get the whole grain one and throw in some steamed broccoli.

Then on Wed I allow him to have pizza at school.  So its not like I am sending him sardines or anything.  LOL.   Thats what bugs me. So I think I may say something to

the teacher so that they can keep an eye out.  Like I said she was telling my son he was not doing his work right etc etc.  I'm sure the teachers must know.  Its not like I want her to reprimand her just to keep theiir eye out.  My DH told DS to call her Miss Piggy b/c she was eating ham and cheese.  Plus alot of other crazy things. I can just see my DS getting in trouble.

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#8 of 34 Old 11-10-2012, 07:07 AM
 
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 I thought hummus was pretty normal too.  Some days I even send him Annies Mac and cheese.  I get the whole grain one and throw in some steamed broccoli.

Then on Wed I allow him to have pizza at school.  So its not like I am sending him sardines or anything.  LOL.   Thats what bugs me. 

Hummus IS 'sardines' in the kids world.smile.gif in fact to them it looks like poop. its a rare child who brings hummus to a traditional public school.  

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#9 of 34 Old 11-10-2012, 08:17 AM
 
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Hummus IS 'sardines' in the kids world.smile.gif in fact to them it looks like poop. its a rare child who brings hummus to a traditional public school.  

I think this must be regional. Hummus is really, really mainstream where we live. And our public school has a nutrition policy that would disallow most of the junky treats being discussed in this thread.

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#10 of 34 Old 11-10-2012, 09:03 AM
 
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I've spent lunchtime at probably 13 public elementary schools in the past two years, and have seen hummus plenty of times. My own kids like to bring hummus with veggie dippers for snack and/or lunch.

OP, would your DS eat raw, or cold steamed veggies? Those would have less of an odor than hot broccoli or peas.
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#11 of 34 Old 11-10-2012, 09:09 AM
 
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I would email the teacher and ask if she can move the child but I don't think this is bullying. Saying someone is doing their work wrong or has food that stinks isn't bullying or even something that should hurt feelings. If a child thinks a classmate is doing work wrong (whether they are or not) they tend to speak up persistently. If a child thinks something stinks they say it. It isn't a mean spirited thing it is just how kids this age are. I would address this as a personality conflict and request a move based on that.

I think it may also help to.work with your son on not giving a reaction and on being proud of the values you're family has. These two things have really helped my dd become bully proof to a great extent. It took a few years to cut out giving a reaction but she never stopped doing what she loved doing because of teasing or bullying and once she cut out the reaction school became funner and she became better about letting little comments annoy her.
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#12 of 34 Old 11-10-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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Hello there....as a teacher, I would want to know if my parents are concerned about how others are treating their child.  The teacher may not know that the girl is making comments about your child's work, etc.  They can be pretty sneaky, even in Kindergarten!  If this were my class and you notified me, I would talk to the child one-on-one and then talk with the class about appropriate behavior (a general talk, without mentioning the girl's name).  I talk with my students about what to do/say if someone is doing something that you don't like, for instance:  tell the person to stop, get a friend to help, talk to an adult, and/or walk away.  Hope that helps.

P.S. Try not to worry too much!  You're doing great.

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#13 of 34 Old 11-10-2012, 06:25 PM
 
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I have a friend who taught first grade, and she said she taught the students "Don't yuck somebody else's yum."  

I would tell the teacher and ask that, without singling your child out, he/she give the class some explicit instruction in polite lunchroom behavior.

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#14 of 34 Old 11-10-2012, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the suggestions.  I laughed about the hummus and poop thing.  Hummus is pretty common around here.  He has brought hummus many times with raw veggie sticks and no child has ever said anything.  I agree the other child is not a bad kid.  I just want to handle it the correct way so my son does not end up hating

everything I have worked so hard for him to like.  MGuris thanks for your input. That is what I would have thought.  As a teacher I would want to know.  I just don't want to sound like a whiny complaining parent.  Also, like the "don't yuck somebody else's yum".

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#15 of 34 Old 11-11-2012, 06:05 AM
 
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I have a friend who taught first grade, and she said she taught the students "Don't yuck somebody else's yum."  

 

Haha! Love that.


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#16 of 34 Old 11-11-2012, 02:00 PM
 
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How ethnically diverse is your child's class?  I haven't heard of ANY lunchtime commentary from DD's school, ever.  (Except one friend being repeatedly jealous when DD got salami in her lunch.)  Her class is fairly diverse - aside from kids with first-gen immigrant parents, there are also kids with multiple allergies and vegetarian kids - probably some vegans as well, being where we are.  Of the kids who bring lunch, there's probably not a huge amount of similarity between them.

 

I think my DD has a bit of the same proud-to-eat-weird-stuff that I had as a child - I LOVED days when I got moose steak sandwiches.  But 90% of my classmates brought Skippy peanut butter on white bread - DD's class is vastly different.  DD herself is a big fan of the proscuitto-and-pear days, and diversity aside, she's probably one of only one or two kids in her school who refuses to eat sandwiches and wants what she calls "snack plates" but which most people would know as a Ploughman's Lunch - vegetables, pickles, cheese, meats, crackers.  Sometimes, a hardboiled egg, especially in spring when I can get tiny pullet eggs. "Cute" foods go over well, as does my canned homemade applesauce. Her only objection to "smelly" things like smoked salmon is that the smoked salmon currently sticks in her teeth because the gaps have gotten big. 

 

Like PPs have said, hummous is really mainstream here - DD doesn't like it but I'm sure it shows up in a lot of lunches.  Ditto veggie sticks, leftover-dinner-in-a-thermos, sliced fruits, yogurt...

 

I would say that it's a lot harder to pack a healthy lunch your kid likes when there's not a lot of diversity in the school.  When everyone's lunch is different, nobody has any expectations of what anyone else's lunch will look like. 


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#17 of 34 Old 11-11-2012, 04:46 PM
 
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I would say that it's a lot harder to pack a healthy lunch your kid likes when there's not a lot of diversity in the school.  When everyone's lunch is different, nobody has any expectations of what anyone else's lunch will look like. 

Well, our school is ethnically diverse, and I see kids eating Hot Cheetos for breakfast, so that's no guarantee.


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#18 of 34 Old 11-11-2012, 07:49 PM
 
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Hot lunch smells horrible so I'm surprised they're commenting on how any lunch smells. I would send an email to his teacher and have the lunchroom supervisors stay nearby and back him up, personally. My daughter says people comment on her lunch but they don't tease. They just aren't used to lunches made up of stuff other than bologna on white bread, Rice Krispie treats, cookies, and "fruit" snacks. My daughter tells me that's the kind of lunch most kids have. I said, "That's what you want for lunch?" And she said, "No, I'm OK with what I have. But everyone thinks my lunches are weird." It's sad that healthy food is considered weird.

Once they get used to it and have been told by an authority figure that his lunch is OK, I would think the issue should be resolved pretty quickly.
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#19 of 34 Old 11-11-2012, 08:15 PM
 
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Thanks for all the replies.  When I pack DS's lunch's I do try to keep in mind not to pack anything to odd or smelly.  I purposely packed the tortellinis b/c they are kid friendly.  I thought hummus was pretty normal too.  Some days I even send him Annies Mac and cheese.  I get the whole grain one and throw in some steamed broccoli.

Then on Wed I allow him to have pizza at school.  So its not like I am sending him sardines or anything.  LOL.   Thats what bugs me. So I think I may say something to

the teacher so that they can keep an eye out.  Like I said she was telling my son he was not doing his work right etc etc.  I'm sure the teachers must know.  Its not like I want her to reprimand her just to keep theiir eye out.  My DH told DS to call her Miss Piggy b/c she was eating ham and cheese.  Plus alot of other crazy things. I can just see my DS getting in trouble.

 

I think hummus is pretty normal, but then like some PP's have said, that may depend on region. I live in a tiny town, and there is not much diversity at all.

 

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How ethnically diverse is your child's class?  I haven't heard of ANY lunchtime commentary from DD's school, ever.  (Except one friend being repeatedly jealous when DD got salami in her lunch.)  Her class is fairly diverse - aside from kids with first-gen immigrant parents, there are also kids with multiple allergies and vegetarian kids - probably some vegans as well, being where we are.  Of the kids who bring lunch, there's probably not a huge amount of similarity between them.

 

I think my DD has a bit of the same proud-to-eat-weird-stuff that I had as a child - I LOVED days when I got moose steak sandwiches.  But 90% of my classmates brought Skippy peanut butter on white bread - DD's class is vastly different.  DD herself is a big fan of the proscuitto-and-pear days, and diversity aside, she's probably one of only one or two kids in her school who refuses to eat sandwiches and wants what she calls "snack plates" but which most people would know as a Ploughman's Lunch - vegetables, pickles, cheese, meats, crackers.  Sometimes, a hardboiled egg, especially in spring when I can get tiny pullet eggs. "Cute" foods go over well, as does my canned homemade applesauce. Her only objection to "smelly" things like smoked salmon is that the smoked salmon currently sticks in her teeth because the gaps have gotten big. 

 

Like PPs have said, hummous is really mainstream here - DD doesn't like it but I'm sure it shows up in a lot of lunches.  Ditto veggie sticks, leftover-dinner-in-a-thermos, sliced fruits, yogurt...

 

I would say that it's a lot harder to pack a healthy lunch your kid likes when there's not a lot of diversity in the school.  When everyone's lunch is different, nobody has any expectations of what anyone else's lunch will look like. 

 

Moose steak? Pickles, cheese, meats, crackers?? Hard-boiled eggs?? eat.gif Yes please!

 

Now I'm hungry.

 

OP, I would probably e-mail the teacher, and just mention it. Not really make a big deal about it, but let them know it concerns you, or bothers your son.


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#20 of 34 Old 11-12-2012, 09:51 AM
 
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My DH told DS to call her Miss Piggy b/c she was eating ham and cheese.  Plus alot of other crazy things. I can just see my DS getting in trouble.

 

I can understand, as a parent, having a mean thought like that about a kid who isn't being nice to your kid, but this little girl is only 5, just like your son, and is still learning appropriate behavior. Resorting to namecalling isn't the way to go. (It sounds like you're not on board with your DH's suggestion, but if he's already planted the idea in your DS's head, who knows, your DS might get frustrated and say it anyway.)

 

That said, I think a quick e-mail to the teacher is fine, and I love the phrase, "Don't yuck somebody else's yum." It has just the right, light tone, and is easy for kids to remember (and help each other remember -- they love to call each other out on rules like that, and maybe some of the other kids will repeat that phrase if they hear the girl doing it again at lunchtime). 


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#21 of 34 Old 11-14-2012, 12:17 PM
 
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All of the above suggestions are great. Someone mentioned that the "stinky" comment may have simply been observational rather than bullying. When my DD told me someone had said her lunch was gross, I reminded her that she's gotten opportunities to go places, see things, and eat foods than many children haven't been able to, and that's something to be proud of. Maybe OP's DS could offer to share something individually sized out of his lunch with the girl? Or maybe he could invite her to tell him about her favorite foods.

 

In case it has progressed to bullying, I work hard with my DD (whether I'm successful, who knows) to help her find her voice and not to be a victim. I was bullied as a girl, and I never said a word about it, not to the bully nor to anyone else...and that's the kind of person bullies like to bully. I also think it's a very good idea to work with kids on not bowing to peer pressure long before they get into situations where they're around drugs, sex, etc. I encourage my DD to practice a "Mommy voice": firm, confident, and assertive rather than whiny, angry, or submissive. Might it work to announce to any children giving him a hard time, "It's my lunch, and I like it. Let's talk about ___ instead"?

 

Good luck!

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#22 of 34 Old 11-15-2012, 11:36 AM
 
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 its a rare child who brings hummus to a traditional public school.  

eat.gif  I pack hummus and veggies for my DD almost every day and she laughs about it, says no one know what it is!!  She asked, How can they NOT know what hummus is.  LOL..  I guess that what you get when you have a vegetarian mother in the deep south. thumb.gif

 

 I would go to the teacher.  Maybe she can even talk about good nutrition one day and explain what hummus and other health foods are... 

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#23 of 34 Old 11-21-2012, 04:04 PM
 
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Maybe I'm just getting old, but I'm blown away by the idea of a teacher, lunch aide, or other school employee "returning" food to my home with the implication being that my child can't bring it, have it, or eat it, and that I've done a shoddy job in feeding my child and making decisions about their intake.

Allergen issues aside, of course  - ie, "Kid So-And-So has a peanut allergy, so we had to return YourKid's peanut granola bar."

But, assuming there weren't any extenuating circumstances...What else is your kid supposed to eat, then? An incomplete meal? I'd be furious. I plan my son's meals around balance, variety, nutrition...and he eats in our living room, for poo's sake! My child should feel hungry at school because someone didn't want him to have an organic pseudo-oreo? What if I'm packing a lunch based on a lifestyle, financial, religious, or medical issue the school isn't aware of? What if I have a sensitive child and they're now feeling embarrassed over their lunch? hopmad.gif
 

Okay, lemme breathe. I used to get ribbed mercilessly for my lunches, and I was never confident enough to tell the kids to STFU. I ended up throwing a LOT of my food away and lying to my parents about it. I don't want my son getting that message from his peers, and I find it COMPLETELY unacceptable that adults are sending that message about ANY portion of what parents are packing.

 

I'm interested in the two posters telling us more about the information that was sent home when their children's food was returned. Was there a rationale? Did they offer your child an exchange, so they didn't have an incomplete meal? (And wouldn't THAT just frost your buns...I can picture someone saying "You can't have the quinoa cookie because it's a COOKIE, but here's some mass-manufactured Froot-Snak-Thingz instead! Your RDA of Red40 wasn't going to be met any other way!") eyesroll.gif


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#24 of 34 Old 11-21-2012, 05:10 PM
 
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Hummus IS 'sardines' in the kids world.smile.gif in fact to them it looks like poop. its a rare child who brings hummus to a traditional public school.  

Dd's school serves hummus as one of their regular classroom snacks. Like a pp said, I think this very much depends on the school/regional culture. 

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#25 of 34 Old 11-21-2012, 05:35 PM
 
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Hummus IS 'sardines' in the kids world.smile.gif in fact to them it looks like poop. its a rare child who brings hummus to a traditional public school.  

 

I think the kids in dd's lunch room would have been thrilled if I send her with hummus since it smells so much less than the yummy canned herring I used to pack for her  FIREdevil.gif.    (Dd wasn't particularly bothered by their complaints, and it's nutritious and nut free).

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#26 of 34 Old 11-22-2012, 09:33 AM
 
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This brings up insecurities I had when I was a kid.  I never wanted leftovers because of the smell, and I thought the food was too ethnic and emphasized my difference.  I perhaps, got some questions, like, "What's that?"  I was sensitive to being different, and definitely noticed nearly all the other kids had sandwiches.  I was one of 2 or 3 non-white people in the ENTIRE school.  I would converse with the kid, and then, most likely, I would tend to try to figure out how to make my kid's lunch healthy and something that "fits in".  But this decision is very much informed by my past experience, and I'm not saying it's the "right" thing to do.

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#27 of 34 Old 12-07-2012, 09:54 PM
 
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I'm waiting for this to happen to our dd (5) , because I've volunteered with her class, and the other lunches are white bread and meat slices all the way. We send all kinds of "weird" healthy foods. I think talking to the teacher is a good option, but personally I would be more inclined to make breakfast and dinner more varied, and pack lunches that are a little more discreet in terms of unusual healthy ingredients. For example a sandwich on healthy bread with a veggie spread. I think I am extra sensitive to the issue because I'm half Italian, and the enormous sandwiches I used to bring to school with salami and stinky cheese, really garnered some attention! 

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#28 of 34 Old 12-12-2012, 03:27 PM
 
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Dd's cookie made with organic quinoa and honey was returned in Pre-K. I sent it because dd used to say another child brings cookie everyday. Since then I haven't sent cookies but dd insists there are other kids bringing it

 

That's ridiculous. Who are they to tell your kid she can't have a cookie? I think balance is important and sweets can be included as part of a healthy diet.


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#29 of 34 Old 12-12-2012, 10:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post

 

I think the kids in dd's lunch room would have been thrilled if I send her with hummus since it smells so much less than the yummy canned herring I used to pack for her  FIREdevil.gif.    (Dd wasn't particularly bothered by their complaints, and it's nutritious and nut free).

before dd became a vegetarian she loved herring, sardines and mackerel sandwiches. esp. in spicy olive oil. and i'd actually use hummus instead of mayosmile.gif

 

dd has gone thru phases over food. lately in the last 6 months or so since she turned 10 she is standing up more for herself and is taking the lunch she wants to take. she is also learning she'd rather take something she likes than not. however i am noticing the cattiness down in 5th grade. it was super high and high in 3rd and 4th grade. no longer so much teasing about food. 

 

one thing that i have discovered about food is the social aspect. (duh.giftaken me 5 years to realise this) - sharing. i now pack some junk so that dd has something to offer the kids. mostly its fruit (a variety since her friends like different fruit) and sometimes a little junk here or there - yes including candy (though we havent made candy sushi yet. she has taken veggie sushi and made converts of some of her friends so i think she wants to take more of her food). 

 

in K - the teacher always had extra snack on hand for those who forgot to bring theirs. but yes the school actually sent home a list of what is appropriate snack for the class. and no candy and cookies was on the list. 


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#30 of 34 Old 12-13-2012, 09:55 AM
 
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In my DD's school they have a strict "no sharing" policy for snacks and lunches.  Logistically I think that's a good idea, but sharing food is such an important part of human behaviour... it's hard on DD when a friend looks at her lunch with envy and she CAN'T give him or her a bit of it.  But there does seem to be at least one kid in every class with anaphylactic reaction to something, I guess this policy saves the teachers some worry and grief.  They do occasionally have days where they prepare foods together.


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