to raise this healthy eating problem with school or just let it lie?(23 Posts)
The school PSA are selling various things in the playground at the moment to raise funds, and one of them is a kind of fruit and nut bar, a bit like those Nakd ones - all pressed fruit and nuts.
I don't have a problem with them selling them, but what does bug me is they are being presented as 'healthy eating' and 'good for you'. The bars are minuscule, but contain the equivalent of 4 teaspoons of sugar. This is a primary school, so that's 2/3 of the sugar that a child should be getting in the whole day.
There's background to this, in that the school doesn't seem to have much idea about sugar (encouraging children to take huge bags of sweets on trips and so on) but I have kept my mouth shut so far.
I think it's giving a pretty poor message about food, but should I go in or just concentrate on re-educating the DC at home
and DH who got quite comprehensively told after making the mistake of buying some
You need to look at the bigger picture. Yes, they've got sugar in, but also vitamins, minerals, protein and essential fatty acids. So very unlike a bag of sweets.
If the bars are minuscule, are you sure about the sugar content?
While I agree that it is misleading to call such bars healthy, there is probably a place for them in most small children's diets, as part of the overall balance.
I don't think they should be called healthy as such - not much better to eat them than a small bar of chocolate - but I do think they have place in a balanced diet. Everything does, including chocolate and sweets. Nakd bars shouldn't be advertised as being good for you though - they don't even taste nice, especially considering all the sugar etc in them. I'd much rather a bar of choc.
Better to be eating sugar in this form with all the other nutrients which are so good for you. Very different to a bag of Haribo! I would leave it.
The sugar does more harm than the nutrients are doing good because it's in a larger percentage. It's possible to get nutrients without the sugar so yes, raise the issue if it bothers you.
Schools shouldn't be selling sugar loaded snacks.
Who is calling them healthy? Are they being sold under a big sign saying 'get your healthy snacks here'?
Are they packaged?
In which case it does say on the packaging...
Who is buying them? Children or parents?
I'm amazed that a nut product is allowed in Primary school grounds! Someone was hung, drawn and quartered once over a tracker bar in a lunch box (said bar does not even contain nuts!!!)
Healthier than sweets but also shockingly un-healthy when you look close. This is more common than you might imagine.
Chocolate bars are definitely shrinking to come in at under 250 calories. But those yummy flapjack bars are still the same size, they are about 500 calories each... not really healthy at all!!! (But soooooo nice).
You are not being unreasonable - I am diabetic and crap like this drives me bonkers.
For example agave nectar, honey and dates all have sugar in them - they do not make something 'sugar free'.
All those cereal bars are chock full of sugar and it pains me people think they are healthy options. They're not. Just have a Cadbury's instead.
I think I would worry about something else tbh. Yes monitor your dc diet at home if you wish but really making a fuss about this will mark you out as either a loon or someone with too much time on their hands.
To answer the questions:
- yes I am sure about the sugar content. They are approx 45g a bar, with 17.1g being sugars. Most places estimate a teaspoon of sugar being 4g.
- school are calling them healthy in the school newsletter, the phrase 'good for you' is their words.
- they are packaged. The packaging says, amongst other things "this delicious snack is perfectly paleo, ideal for fuelling a workout and wholesome for kids too".
- small school, not sure there is currently a nut allergy amongst the children but interesting point.
They're also 200 calories a bar, which annoyed me a bit as DC were being encouraged to buy them and eat them after they'd had a perfectly good breakfast, but I'm less annoyed about that than the sneaky sugar.
Just to reiterate: I have no problem with the school selling them, otherwise there would be no bake sales and so on. I do have a problem with the school promoting them as 'healthy'.
Also, I'm not a loon, well either that or the government is. If a child eats one of those bars, then eats school pudding that day, they are eating more sugar than the recommended govt maximum for a child per day. What's loon about that?
Dried fruit is awful for teeth. It sticks in all the molar crevices. I worry about that more than I do about sugar. At least a Dairy Milk wouldn't hang around in the molars.
I'm guessing they're sold in the playground at drop off or pick up times to raise money for the school? If that is the case then the parents can use their own judgment and decide for themselves whether to buy the snack bars for their children.
I would find it patronising if a parent thought I couldn't understand food or nutrition or make those choices myself.
The food industry is awash with sugary foods dressed up as healthy or low fat alternatives. This is just one small example.
At most primary schools, the PTA will organise regular cake sales. Selling the snack bars is on a par with that.
It's annoying that they are presented as a healthy snack but it's really not worth kicking up a stink.
Complain to the manufacturer if you feel very strongly about the way their product is advertised.
i would hate it too.
but our school lets the PFA sell giant cookies & doughnuts from sainsbury's at £1 each (bought in sainsbury's 5 for £1 so a very good fundraiser), drives me bonkers.
think i'd prefer the nak'd bar, only because my dds wouldn't want them anyway.
I don't think i could work up the energy to get riled by this. Bit of a first world problem really,
Teachers are dealing with a lot of serious issues every day, don't expect them to be get too invested about this,
Think you will sound like someone with too much time on your hands to be honest.
This stuff annoys me as well. I just tell my son what is really is.
e.g. unhealthy snack day I refer to as 'take what you like day'.
He will form the foundation of his long-term eating/nutrition and exercise habits from what he sees, eats and learns from home, not from school.
It would annoy me in the same way that schools monitoring contents of lunch boxes annoys me. Apparently you are not allowed to have any high fat or sugar snacks in lunch boxes, but if you have school dinners it's fine for them to serve sticky toffee pudding and the like
My solution is to ignore the rules and give the DC whatever I/they like.
Ilostit - good point about going to the manufacturer, I will do that.
But I don't think it's on a par with a cake sale, or selling the giant cookies, because it's easy to tell that they are sugary snacks. The bars present themselves as healthy, and it's hard to work out that they are not if you don't know. The parents I have mentioned the amount of sugar to are shocked.
Also, I didn't realise this but current NHS dental guidance is that children should only have dried fruit at mealtimes, because of both the sugar and the stickiness that Sancia mentioned. All the more reason not to call your bar 'wholesome'
Depends. What are the school dinners like? If you haven't questioned that how can you question this?
School food is cooked onsite and mostly OK, with a good range of veg + salad and in the main home-made puddings, or yoghurt. Once a week no pudding but hummus and veg instead.
Think you will sound like someone with too much time on your hands to be honest
Or like someone who actually gives a shit about being misinformed about what's good for your kids.
Just because some parents can't be arsed doesnt mean those who do are loons or have too much time on their hands. Perhaps they have little time but are not prepared to just like stuff like this go by.
Reading your update I'm inclined to agree. It would be fine if they sold them as sweets/cakes which is what they are.
Actually most small chocolate bars would be less calories too.
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