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To think teacher should ask for food diary from year 5

(153 Posts)
lisad123everybodydancenow Tue 23-Apr-13 17:44:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 25-Apr-13 09:40:45

Completely agree with you OP and many on the thread. At my school we found the best way to teach about healthy eating was to be very positive and to encourage children to try different foods, emphasising that it is good to try all different kinds of food. I loathe the idea that there are good and bad foods, or that healthy eating is just about fruit and veg. I know there is a huge issue with obesity but when I was a child I literally didn't think of food as anything but fuel till I was late into my teens. I don't think it's good for children to be hyper aware in this way.

WinnieFosterTether Thu 25-Apr-13 09:26:26

Svrider - you're exactly right. Ds now asks at every meal if the food is 'good' or 'bad' and will it give him a fat belly? He's 4 ffs angry

exoticfruits Wed 24-Apr-13 19:08:30

In the same way you have to take what they say about their parents with a pinch of salt! It is all in the interpretation.

sherazade Wed 24-Apr-13 18:10:22

Can I just say many children take things their teachers say deadly seriously, even if it isn't presented or taught militantly and from a bigoted perspective, children will parrot some things to their parents, omitting the things that balance the argument, and don't capture their teacher's tone, context etc. I always thought my children's teachers were harsh and weird and anal about odd things and my dds seemed wary of not going by the book; until I became a teacher. Now parents come and say their dc said 'miss said you have to ' for x/y/z when it wasn't said like that, and I'll explain that it was suggested or said in a particular context IYSWIM. Many many times, the kids in my class have repeated things at home and flustered parents have come in the next day saying 'do we have to do this?', when the answer was no.

exoticfruits Wed 24-Apr-13 17:40:14

exoticfruits,are you a teacher? a food diary is not part of the curriculum!! the curriculum doesn't suggest activities, it outlines the required knowledge and skills, shouldn't a teacher know that ?

A supply teacher. I did as I was told-life is too short to go rocking the boat.
I recall all my own DCs keeping one for a week. I can't see the big deal. They just did it-I can't see why you need to get involved as the parent.

daftdame Wed 24-Apr-13 15:12:01

Svrider - completely agree with you there.

Svrider Wed 24-Apr-13 15:06:16

Hi daft
I agree it should be covered

But not like this

We are a "healthy" family
Sit down and eat a "proper" dinner every night
Take the dog a walk daily (including DD)
She is by no means over or underweight

I think teaching portion sizes, eating little and often and eating a varied diet would have been better tbh

I really disagree with the concept of "naughty foods" angry

daftdame Wed 24-Apr-13 14:54:18

Svrider - Sounds like a bit of a clumsy attempt at your daughter's school. I do think finding exactly the right balance can be difficult though.

Doesn't mean the subject should (or can) be avoided altogether however.

I think this is where parents end up having to step in and support their children, whether that be reassuring them or speaking to the teachers if the problem continues or both.

Svrider Wed 24-Apr-13 14:39:56

Jenny I don't agree
My year 3 dd has gone from eating a varied healthy diet, with nary a care about her weight to bordering on obsessive about her calories a and reflection following a major "healthy eating" campaign at school
There are now many foods (incl. chocolate, chips, cheese, eggs, sausages, sweets) that she just won't eat at all
She wouldn't even eat an ice cream (her favourite food previously ) in the sun yesterday hmm

She constantly asks "is this food healthy" "how much fat is in grapes ?"

Interestingly regular excercise doesn't seem to have been included


ouryve Wed 24-Apr-13 13:52:35

Exotic - as far as DS1 is concerned, custard is the food of the devil. Rice pudding has him running for cover. DS2 only gets to eat it when big brother is out of the house!

ouryve Wed 24-Apr-13 13:49:49

I agree that the timing sucks and it can be a sensitive topic for kids with obsessive traits and food issues (I have one of my own in Y4 whose diet is becoming increasingly restricted and who often refuses food - he has ASD, too)

The teacher won't be monitoring intake, though, more likely looking at the nutrient content of various foods and comparing them with the standard issue food plate.

For people who are saying that kids know what they eat, of course they do, but many don't have the first clue about which foods contain protein or what a balanced diet looks like, even in secondary school.

It is a contentious issue, because for every child who is at risk of developing a disordered view of normal nutritious foods, there may be many other children who are able to take control when they've been fed a diet heavy in processed carbs and fats and low in nutrients all their lives.

DS1 sees other children eating processed crap, in their packed lunches and is increasingly rebelling against many of the foods I have been feeding him and demanding sugary treats, rejecting fruit and salads etc. I do my best to educate him on what a balanced diet is, but I'm just mum and he sometimes tells me that I'm just making it up so I can tell him what to do. From my perspective, even though he is at risk of eating disorder and we have had issues with his weight, in the recent past, through food refusal, I would love someone else to educate him in this respect.

Jenny70 Wed 24-Apr-13 13:38:25

And although not ideal timing with ED death in the school, eating disorders are not just about food, it's about controlling the one thing kids can control in a world they can't cope with.

Understanding food, nutrition and balance will benefit many students - a few might find it challenging, confronting, but it won't cause an ED.

Jenny70 Wed 24-Apr-13 13:36:09

My DS is Yr 5 and did a food diary earlier in the year... wasn't a big drama really. Wrote down breakfast, lunch dinner & snacks each day (no weighing or measuring). They analysed it, came back he lacked dairy - I asked whether he had counted the milk on his cereal and yoghurt for dessert each day (duh, no he anwered).

Done and dusted.

Don't overthink it, if you have issues, then draw up a "good meal guide" for a week and say it is a meal planner for the week ahead.

daftdame Wed 24-Apr-13 13:35:32

The subject is problematic, I think, because there is a mass of conflicting 'good' advice out there regarding the fine details of ideal nutrition.

Education should therefore aim to enable children to navigate their way through this advice and make good decisions.

In my opinion, this would not necessarily mean avoiding the subject altogether or bombarding children with more unsettling detail than they can cope with.

The key is good differentiation, something which all teachers should aim for, but as it is no small task timely support and advice from parents (re. their own child's abilities) can be invaluable.

If the teacher / school doesn't seem to listen (they won't always - hubris) all you can do is support your child to the best of your abilities and tick it off as good life experience.

SpanishFly Wed 24-Apr-13 12:57:02

Of course nutrition is crucial in educating children (regardless of whether it's at school or home) but if they use the diaries to analyse their own diets then that's potentially going to cause problems.
My ds has a very varied diet and is slim (age8) but even he says some days "I should lose some weight." We dont say things like this so he's getting it from school or tv (although I'm dubious as to how much weigh loss is discussed on Cartoon Network)

WorraLiberty Wed 24-Apr-13 12:37:48

Why is it too young? I really don't understand this.

UK statistics show that one child in three is overweight or obese, by their last year in Primary school (year 6), so teaching this sort of thing in Year 5 is necessary.

The parents don't seem to be listening, so the kids are probably the last hope.

quesadilla Wed 24-Apr-13 12:31:57

I agree... That would make me a little uncomfortable too... There is a place for teaching nutrition in schools but year 5 seems too young and likely to exacerbate any underlying anxieties. I can see where the teacher is trying to go but I don't think that is appropriate at that age.

sherazade Wed 24-Apr-13 12:16:27

exoticfruits,are you a teacher? a food diary is not part of the curriculum!! the curriculum doesn't suggest activities, it outlines the required knowledge and skills, shouldn't a teacher know that ?

The curriculum states wrt to healthy eating for key stage 2
that they should know:
b. about the need for food for activity and growth, and about the importance of an adequate and varied diet for health

how you teach that is up to you/your school/class etc

AmberLeaf Wed 24-Apr-13 12:15:10

Why are they frightened of that though?

IMO it is because they don't want to get it 'wrong' they are trying to give the 'answer' they think the school wants to see.

exoticfruits Wed 24-Apr-13 12:09:28

I was the supply teacher.
They were supposed to draw a meal-a typical dinner. A few years ago they wouldn't have had the least problem -now they are so screwed up they are frightened to draw anything because they don't know whether it is healthy or not! They were not drawing examples of different food groups-that is not what it asked. (I'm not at all surprised since someone once posted on MN complaining that their DD had to sit next to someone having a school dinner with custard-as if custard was the food of the devil instead of being perfectly healthy as part of a balanced diet).

PrincessScrumpy Wed 24-Apr-13 11:47:17

I would just tell dd what the menu is for the week and keep it simple.

I hate Healthy Eating lessons. Dd had one at nursery and told me at the age of 3 that she didn't want an ice cream at the beach as it would make her fat! I was stunned and furious she'd been taught that language. She told me last night she has fat legs. She is 5yo and very tall and slim. After being ill at Christmas she was borderline for underweight. I'm far more scared about eds than obesity in our family, just because of the kind of child dd is.

AmberLeaf Wed 24-Apr-13 11:35:31

As a supply teacher I had to do a science assessment with year 4 - all they had to do was draw a healthy meal on an empty plate. A few years ago they would simply have drawn spaghetti bolognese or fish with potatoes and peas or similar but one drew a recognisable meal - they just had oddments on a plate- most if them had some broccoli - quite a few had cheese It all seems to coincide with people getting upset with simple things like a food diary or getting weighed

To me, that sounds like they were drawing examples of food groups...something that is taught!

Not saying teaching about food groups is wrong in the slightest, but that's just how the above comes across to me anyway.

imour Wed 24-Apr-13 11:09:01

my daughter did this subject , we had to be creative when writing the diary , chicken nuggets was just chicken , chips became potatoes , crisps became potatoes , so all in all it looked pretty healthy and she didnt get picked out for eating the (wrong ) things , forgot to write in the few odd choc bars as well i think they became apples smile

daftdame Wed 24-Apr-13 11:03:56

My advice would be to play it down. I doubt what they are being taught is really in-depth (at a nutritionist's level) advice, so I would make the diary lack the same depth eg breakfast - cereal, lunch - sandwiches, fruit, yoghurt, dinner - chicken, salad and potatoes etc. I portion of - covers a multitude.

I also think, personally, the teaching of 'healthy eating' can open a can of worms, however we do not live in a bubble - advice is everywhere.

I think if your child realises you are stressed about this they can pick it up. It doesn't matter if they go off sweets for a bit. You can explain that yes some meat is less healthy but it is a good source of protein and we choose good quality meat because...then cite any marketing tool which is used on the label - lean etc. grin

If you have had trouble before about your child eating a balanced diet explain how you are always very careful to make sure you provide good food that is liked.

WTFisABooyhooISBooyhoo Wed 24-Apr-13 10:30:43

"What this is really about is the extent to which special needs gets to dictate what work the class is set. And the answer is, it shouldn't. Can't invididual children be exempted, or is that too much like common sense?"

yes, put all the chidren with SN out of class. bloody SN kids slowing the whole class down. hmm

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