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to be furious with the 'healthy eating' advice being given to primary age children?

(110 Posts)
unlucky83 Thu 30-Oct-14 16:49:51

DD2 (7) came home with a slip asking for permission to calculate their BMI and to contact the parents if there are any concerns. All part of a group coming into the school talking about healthy eating etc with them. In general I don't think it is a bad idea...

DD2 is 'normal to skinny', you can see her ribs - I have no concerns. She eats relatively well - I don't buy fizzy juice, biscuits, crisp etc -she gets them occasionally as treats. She gets junk food/take away at the most every 3 weeks or so. I don't buy ready meals etc. I do buy cereals but not the really high sugar ones (cocoa pops etc). The worst thing is she probably eats too much fruit (as in not enough veg) - she'll only eat carrots, peas and sweetcorn at the moment...
I don't buy anything that has been tampered with - so don't buy 'fat free' things, or no added sugar things. I don't buy yoghurt in tubes, cheese strings etc... We have real (block) butter but in moderation -I don't buy 'spreadable' and definitely not any 'healthy eating' spreads...I agree in principle with 'if your grandmother wouldn't recognise it don't eat it'

DP & I do have semi skimmed milk but I still give the DCs (eldest 13) mainly blue 'full fat' milk... over the years I have heard various bits of research that suggest that dairy fat may not be as bad for you as previously thought and may have some health benefits. Eg. a Harvard study basically found that people who didn't eat low fat dairy were less obese than those that did ...there was recent study linking the presence of diary fat to reduced risk of diabetes and of course all the stuff recently that fat may not be causing as many weight problems as sugar. It needs more research. If my DCs had were overweight I might rethink but at the moment I think they are fine with blue milk...
I had vaguely realised that the blue milk wasn't going down as fast as usual - DD2 makes her own cereal for breakfast and pours her own milk to drink. Then DD2 told me yesterday that I might as well stop buying it -she wasn't drinking it - it wasn't suitable for anyone over the age of 2! I was furious -it is one thing to get them to discuss things with their parents - and take some responsibility for themselves - but not to tell them what to do without parental input - especially if they DON'T have any weight issues.
Now I'm a bit blush - I had a bit of a rant and showed DD2 research online etc. This morning she said she can't wait for them to come into school - she is going to tell them they are wrong . (Partly I think because she was annoyed with them because apparently they wouldn't give her her number (BMI) - didn't tell any of them)
Just been talking with another parent in DDs class with an underweight child with food issues. Sees a paediatric dietician. (Refused to get them weighed - which is fair enough). At the moment they basically have to get calories in them anyway they can. That child has also told their parent they are not allowed to eat crisp and should only eat low fat food shock
In the whole of DD's school there are no obese children, maybe one or two slightly overweight - I do know that may not be the case everywhere .
So AIBU to think that they should not be telling a whole class - no matter what their weight - to eat 'healthily' ? And maybe encourage them to discuss their choices with their parent?

WorraLiberty Thu 30-Oct-14 16:58:05

I really don't think they told the children they are 'not allowed' to eat/drink certain things.

It's a Primary school. Primary school children are often known interpret things the message that certain things aren't particularly good for them, will no doubt turn into 'you can't have it' with some children.

Speak to the school directly.

ConkerTime Thu 30-Oct-14 16:58:47


Have had a similar moment when my skinny child told me we oughtn't to eat chips, ever.

What really made it rankle was the fact school dinners offer sugared, flavoured milk as an option every day and the school is all round not very clued up in its own food offerings. Recently there has been a class reward of sweets and diluting juice for example.
They have a perfect opportunity every day at lunch to put good eating into real life practice, and they fail.

Sirzy Thu 30-Oct-14 17:01:41

What worra said.

And given the awful diets that so many children have then yes schools are right to cover healthy eating alongside the other issues they have to cover.

TattyDevine Thu 30-Oct-14 17:02:12

The whole thing gives me the irates, and I opt out of anything weight related at school.

No child of mine will ever be weighed or measured at school.

I am happy for them to eat school dinners as they are pretty balanced.

If they come home with any misinformation I will correct them, then correct the school.

ladeedad Thu 30-Oct-14 17:02:47

Your DD and her friends are likely to be exaggerating.

However I am also concerned at the "low-fat" food myth being peddled to youngsters that these are healthier than the less tampered, full-fat versions. I fully agree with you there. Stick to your dietary habits - they're clearly working.

carlsonrichards Thu 30-Oct-14 17:06:13

I would go to the school about this. This would enrage me. I would not give permission for my child to be weighed or have her BMI calculated, FFS.

TakemedowntoPotatoCity Thu 30-Oct-14 17:06:23

My DD was IUGR and has always been stuck on the.low centiles unlike her mother so I sympathise with the stupid 'one size fits all' government advice, which HV's seem to think is a bible. DD also has to get more calories into her diet, so - shock- she gets chocolate quite a bit, obviously in balance, but is also very fussy....what can you do? You know what's best for your own child. I would be annoyed too (and have been in the past).

unlucky83 Thu 30-Oct-14 17:07:09

I know they might not actually be told they are 'not allowed to' but that is the message they are coming home with ...
They are teaching primary aged children - surely they should take that in literally children can take things?

ConkerTime Thu 30-Oct-14 17:07:59

Some children are sensitive to rules and rule breaking at this age and telling them to cut back on fatty foods is going to cause confusion when their parents are (quite rightly in my opinion ) giving them high fat, but minimally processed foods at home. Nutritional advice is probably too complicated to be dished up to 7 year olds. Far more sensible to feed them decent food at at school.

pluCaChange Thu 30-Oct-14 17:08:29

I think the "healthy balance" message is crucial. I use it to reassure DS about various snacks and also to remind him that he can't have a supper of cucumbers and ketchup!

Yama Thu 30-Oct-14 17:09:03


Dh and I scoff at the ridiculous information our eldest is taught at school about nutrition.

We explain to her why they are wrong. She believes us.

I have two skinny children who are no strangers to blue milk.

BeGhoul Thu 30-Oct-14 17:10:12

they could start by not giving out ice cream as "pudding" with school dinners!

they lecture about healthy eating and then feed them cheap sweets/pudding with every lunch

<bangs head on desk>

SaucyMare Thu 30-Oct-14 17:11:13

i hate the low fat mantra, as it usually means high sugar instead.
So with you there.

m0therofdragons Thu 30-Oct-14 17:11:18

Dd is a very literal child so takes healthy eating lessons too literally. Last year she was told burgers are bad for you so I had to ask the teacher to explain about moderation and that homemade burgers are different to mcds. Dd borders in underweight - has a small appetite and has been aware of her body since 3 years old (after doing healthy eating at nursery which led to dd refusing to eat ice cream as it will make her fat). I'm terrified she'll develop an eating disorder so mention it to her teacher every school year so they don't make a flippant remark that will have a massive impact.
Having said that, sadly they do need to teach healthy eating as so many parents don't have a clue.

LiegeAndLief Thu 30-Oct-14 17:12:23

We had a similar leaflet from school (think it was part of the change4life government thing) about "healthy eating". It was all about low fat. Switch to low fat spread, low fat milk, low fat cheese (didn't know this one existed!) - I threw it straight in the bin.

LiegeAndLief Thu 30-Oct-14 17:13:10

Oh and low fat yoghurt... Erm... The ones that are packed full of sugar so that they taste of something?!

CleverPlansAndSecretTricks Thu 30-Oct-14 17:14:43

The food policing drives me mad at my sons preschool. He has such a healthy diet (like the one you describe in OP) and has never been a big eater so is skinny. I comply with the no nuts no chocolate rule, and then he comes back with his muffin totally untouched saying he wasn't allowed to eat it. It is full of grated carrot and courgettes ffs (and delicious!).

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 30-Oct-14 17:15:29

I would talk to the school but more importantly I would complain to your mp. The teachers are delivering the curriculum, the curriculum, in this occasion, is bad/wrong/actually potentially harmful for some children.

I had a similar rant when my 5th percentile ds with very restricted eating came home and said he couldn't have blue milk any more.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 30-Oct-14 17:17:20

Oh and yy - it is particularly galling when you see the state of school meals. One of my friends ds came out with his school packed lunch the other week - a chocolate cookie (huge!), chocolate milk, a white egg mayo roll and an apple. Disgraceful.

cardamomginger Thu 30-Oct-14 17:18:15

DD is 4 and starting school next year. I am already girding my loins for this kind of nonsense!

WhispersOfWickedness Thu 30-Oct-14 17:20:07

We had a change4life leaflet last year, given to children in preschool for their parents which gave some 'healthy' substitutes, one of which was to swap normal coke for diet coke shock FFS angry

Fabulous46 Thu 30-Oct-14 17:22:07

Can I ask OP is this the Max in the Middle team that are coming to see the children?

Got99problems Thu 30-Oct-14 17:24:41

This really, really pisses me off. Is there a campaign or anything to get the government to change their healthy eating advice for children to reflect an actual, healthy diet? No doubt change4life was sponsored by some dodgy diet food company angry

DuchessofMalfi Thu 30-Oct-14 17:24:51

We have had a letter from the school inviting all parents to attend a six week cookery course where we will "learn" how to cook healthy nutritious meals for our DC.

The tone of the letter was so patronising it gave me the rage angry. Do they seriously think I don't know how to feed my children? The incentive for attending this course was some free swimming sessions. Seriously, do they think parents have nothing better to do with their time? I doubt there will be much take up for it - most parents work.

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