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This isn't particularly healthy, is it? Or am I BU?

(65 Posts)
themummyonthebus Wed 25-Sep-13 12:11:47

DC1 has just started school. To "get the children to expand their palate" the class teacher wants 2 litres of juice to be brought in every day (there's a rota for the parents). There's enough juice for about 80ml each. They have this for a morning snack with a biscuit.

The after school club has just informed us of the menus they'll be offering:
juice + cake, bananas + biscuits, milk (with nesquik for those that want, so basically everyone with peer pressure) + fruit, cake + chocolate, bread + cheese. These "menus" rotate through the days. On the days without juice or milk there'll be water to drink.

DC1 has school dinners which seem to be well balanced with plenty of choice.

Ok, this is pfb I'm talking about but this seems like a lot of juice (we've been asked to bring 100% fruit juice and the after school club is offering 100% juice too) and the afternoon snacks seem very sugary. They've apparently been put together by a nutritionist. Tell me I'm BU!

Ihavethislittlesister Wed 25-Sep-13 12:15:28

I wouldn't be happy with that at all.
A biscuit and fruit juice ?? Way to much sugar for me at snack time.

ilikebaking Wed 25-Sep-13 12:17:15

I thought fruit juice was actually bad for you- lots of sugar etc?
I quite like the sound of these snacks, but I am a grown up, who is aware they do not sound healthy at all. Wouldn't be giving to my child, or wanting to be part of it.
Why can't the school provide juice if they are so concerned with getting the children to drink it?
I wouldn't want to contribute to tooth decay...

mistlethrush Wed 25-Sep-13 12:19:37

The after school club at infants (Nursery through to Yr2) did vegetable sticks and a breadstick and perhaps one biscuit with water (just in case that helps)

funnyossity Wed 25-Sep-13 12:27:30


The next dilemma is whether you are going to say something. I live in an area where many people feed their families loads of sugar. (The local dentists are busily coating all kids teeth whether or not they have decay.)

I say nothing re school food. But that's because support from other parents would not be forthcoming!

monkeymamma Wed 25-Sep-13 12:27:35

Well, fruit juice is sugary yes (as is fruit) but it is also full of vitamins, hydrates thirsty children and can be a good source of extra cals for children. I expect the after school club is trying to strike a workable balance between healthy, nutritious snacks (milk, fruit, cheese etc) and the kinds of snacks a lot of children WILL be offered after school/at home, and will expect. I remember being seriously knackered and incredibly hungry after school when I was little and often had eg toast with honey, a choc biscuit etc. not ideal maybe but I did need the energy boost (btw i am a very healthy adult normal bmi all my own teeth in case you are worried.) I think this type of thread often gets a bit hysterical in a "my child didn't even taste cake till she was 22!" type way (lot of competitive healthy eating on here imo) and really, I'd just be glad that my kid was in good after school care with a nice snack/treat to cheer them on and hopefully some fun things to do...

Not like they're offering greggs sausage rolls and fruit shoots now is it?!

ClangerOnaComeDown Wed 25-Sep-13 12:27:36

Dilute the juice. I always give dc half and half. I worry about their teeth.

You could always send in your own snack pack for the after school club.

funnyossity Wed 25-Sep-13 12:31:18

Fruit juice is very different to whole fruit in its effects on your body.

AKissIsNotAContract Wed 25-Sep-13 12:34:26

Fruit juice is very different to whole fruit in its effects on your body.

^^this, and teeth.

LePamplemousseMousse Wed 25-Sep-13 12:45:09

Fruit juice isn't particularly healthy actually, it's very high in sugar and does not have the fibre of the whole fruit to help regulate blood sugar so you end up with a big spike just after you've had it. If it's been pasteurised (most will have been) the vitamins are often added back in afterwards as the heating reduces the nutritional benefits. TBH (and I am definitely a bit PFB about food) I'd be telling the teacher that my DD shouldn't have the extra juice. I'd probably also be sending my own snacks on cake and fruit juice days for after school. That combo of sugary snacks would make me feel sick let alone DD.

I don't see how juice 'expands their palette' as most kids would have had fruit juice at home, wouldn't they? A lot of it just tastes like sugary water anyway. Wouldn't it be better for them to have a whole fruit instead with water to drink? Flavour and texture, and much better than a biscuit. When I worked in a school the kids only ever had fruit and water or milk for their morning break - and this was in a deprived inner-city area with very small budgets - so I am a bit surprised that any nutritionist would recommend this...

PeppiNephrine Wed 25-Sep-13 12:47:11

80ml each? they must be filling up the cups with water then because thats just a dribble.

wonderingsoul Wed 25-Sep-13 12:48:03

tbh.. its a non issue to me.

themummyonthebus Wed 25-Sep-13 12:49:42

Ok, thanks for your thoughts so far. I'm not a saint wrt my DC diet by any means or my own but this all seems a bit sugary even to me. I actually looked for some veg juice when it was my turn for the juice but didn't find any (left it too late to shop around).

The club organisers have said they'd welcome suggestions for next term so I'll suggest bread sticks with a bean dip, or some veg sticks to replace a couple out afternoon snacks on the current list.

I agree they're looking to balance best sources of vitamins and calories with what the children will most likely eat, but I think they might have tipped it a bit too far. The school meetings have all been very well attended so far and the parents seem quite engaged so hopefully I won't be the only one making alternative suggestions.

topicofaffairs Wed 25-Sep-13 12:51:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsDibble Wed 25-Sep-13 12:51:48

I wouldn't mind if my daughter's school did this, but then it doesn't sound particularly healthy or palate expanding either. It doesn't sound like any of the food will be that new to them. That said, it doesn't sound like there's anything "wrong" with the foods as such.

Perhaps they could have asked the parents for healthy suggestions?

If it's an after school club they probably need something to eat during the time because it will seem a long time since lunch.

Perhaps rather than complaining it might be better to make some alternative suggestions for snacks?

monicalewinski Wed 25-Sep-13 12:54:37

It's after school club and morning snack - a biscuit/piece of cake/fruit and a cup of juice/water/milk is perfectly reasonable.

monkeymamma is spot on with her post.

manicinsomniac Wed 25-Sep-13 12:54:55

For an adult it's very unhealthy.

For an active growing child who shouldn't be obsessive (or even thinking about) what they eat I think it's fine.

I work in a school where, daily, the children get orange squash, biscuits, a pudding and, if they go to after school club, more biscuits. Boarders have tuck boxes and almost all children bring in cake for their birthdays.
Out of about 400 children I can think of 10 who are visibily overweight. They do sport every day for at least an hour and have a very mixed healthy/unhealthy diet. I think that's perfect for children.

My own 10 year old doesn't join in with any of this fun. She will only drink water, is terrified of anything with sugar in and has to be coaxed by a specially assigned staff member to eat at least some of every meal. She is under CAMHS and I am on the point of having to accept that, like me, she has an eating disorder.

I would give anything for her to be a child who happily tucks into all the cake and juice she can get, even if it isn't technically 'healthy'.

I think YABU

Thumbwitch Wed 25-Sep-13 12:58:34

YANBU and I don't think much of the nutritionist who suggested that lot!

MY DS1's preschool had a very healthy eating policy and wouldn't allow juice to be taken in. They had water and milk only, no flavouring, but people with CMPA or lactose intolerance could bring in special milks labelled for their use.

Limited cake (things like scones, fruit cake but not anything with icing or excessive sugar), no biscuits, no fruit yoghurts (only natural), no chocolate, no sweets, no crisps - I thought it was brilliant as it set the scene for his packed lunch for school, although I have added in fruit yoghurts now.

Far too much sugar in that lot.

WilsonFrickett Wed 25-Sep-13 13:04:00

TBH I think the after school snack is fine - they are trying to please everyone, including older children, and a little bit of something sweet is OK - my DS often has chocolate as his after school snack.

I think for a school snack though, that's weird. Our DCs only have water to drink in school, and they get free fruit up to P3 (Scotland). I've never heard of a biscuit for a school snack. Imagine the sugar spike after that lot!

it's also not school's jobs to 'widen palates' but that's another thread I guess

LePamplemousseMousse Wed 25-Sep-13 13:05:23

I'm a bit shocked at the amount of juice, biscuits and cakes that some schools seem to be giving out daily! So we spend all the early years being told by HVs, dentists, weaning specialists to avoid juice and sugary foods as much as possible and then they go to school and get biscuits twice a day. Sheesh. DD actually never has juice, biscuits, cakes etc. at home (yeah, yeah, I know. I am not being 'competitive healthy eating' I promise, it's a genuine preference) so this lack of control once she's at school would bother me.

Manic I'm really sorry to hear about your daughter's eating difficulties. That must be so tough. I don't see how if something is 'very unhealthy' for an adult, it can be perfectly fine for a developing child. Being overweight is not the only indicator of health, dietary or otherwise.

jammietart Wed 25-Sep-13 13:17:55

Its another example of school interfering with children's diets without a good understanding of nutrition.

Floggingmolly Wed 25-Sep-13 14:46:07

Expand their palate? With fruit, bread and cheese, chocolate, cake and juice?? Do they seriously imagine the kids haven't tried this stuff before, and even if they hadn't; consider it so necessary that they insist on them having it?
Beggars belief shock

zatyaballerina Wed 25-Sep-13 16:27:26

What's with all the biscuits, cake and chocolate??confused That's even worse than the juice! Children shouldn't be eating sugar every day, it's a ridiculously unhealthy habit to get them into.

If parents want to ruin their kids health (and looks) by filling them with crap they are legally entitled to (unfortunately), they'll have to pay the dental bills and look at the damage they've done. The school has no right to ruin the health of kids whose parents actually care, yanbu.

Retroformica Wed 25-Sep-13 17:24:58

Email the after school club and school explain you find the menu too sugary and you will be sending in water/milk and a piece if fruit/oatcake/rice cake instead. I think if the school were just offering the odd treat every month or so it would be fine but obviously their suggestions amount to a daily overload. Also if the school are giving daily treats, id feel unable to give treats at home.

Retroformica Wed 25-Sep-13 17:29:06

Email them a new preferred menu plan. Water/milk/oatcakes/rice cakes/carrots/cheese /cucumber/apples/orange/bananas/pineapple band other fruit when cheap.

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