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Snacks for children at school

(21 Posts)
cathym Tue 09-Sep-08 12:35:16

I have just started looking at schools for my daughter and discovered that most have a policy of only allowing fruit as snacks during the morning and afternoon playtimes.

The problem I have with this is that I have a very small daughter, who only eats very small quantities of food at one time. She therefore has a higher number of smaller meals throughout the day. She also has a high fat diet (compared to what you would normally give a child) to help her maintain weight gain. I'm not exagerating an issue here, we have had plenty of help and advice from nutritionists at the hospital where her growth is monitored to make sure we are doing the best for her.

I am annoyed that it seems that most schools are going to prevent my daughter from having fruit and something else as well (e.g. a biscuit) at snack times, and am angry that they have the right to impose this on us. Its not that I don't want her to eat fruit, she obviously needs it, she just needs other stuff as well.

Do I:
a) Go with the flow and just hope we can maintain weight gain with what she eats at home.
b) Kick up a fuss and become an awkward parent with a child that is embarrased about the fuss her parents make.

(a) might be a better option, I don't want her to feel she is doing something different from everyone else, but just thinking about following this restriction makes me angry.

Any advice from people who have faced a similar problem would be welcome.

Mutt Tue 09-Sep-08 12:36:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mutt Tue 09-Sep-08 12:38:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

likessleep Tue 09-Sep-08 12:39:42

Definitely B, but no reason why your daughter has to know? Could you not see her teacher separately and explain the situation. If you go with a, you will grow resentful over time and regret it if her weight doesn't go how you want it to.
Am sure they will accommodate too.

compo Tue 09-Sep-08 12:40:09

the afternoon snack of fruit is free as a replacement for the free milk we used to get as kids

we can take in fruit, a school bar or fruit flakes

Hulababy Tue 09-Sep-08 12:40:16

DD's school has a "healthy" snack policy, although does ban nuts completely.

So, no chocolate, crisps, sugar biscuits, sweets, etc.

But yes to vegetables, fruit, plain biscuits, flapjack, sandwich, etc.

If there is a medical reason then I am sure most schools would be happy to allow this. Just ask them.

coppertop Tue 09-Sep-08 12:43:16

When you visit the school(s) explain the problem to them. If there is a medical need then the chances are that they may be able to make other arrangements for your dd.

mrswotzisnotin Tue 09-Sep-08 12:43:48

You should present this to the school, if she has had nutritionists advice as you say , I am sure the school would help. You do need to be flexible and go in with the view that they might just say 'no'.

Can she start off with a larger breakfast. Beans on toast, or a thick milkshakes (banana, ice cream, milk, honey, chocolate powder) that kind of thing?

laweaselmys Tue 09-Sep-08 12:47:07

I would ask if an exception can be made, as I don't think you're being at all precious about this. If you talk to them about it get doctors note etc, I should think some kind of exception could be made.

Although I would go for something that you can sneak more fat into without it looking 'unfair' to the other kids, like a fatty flapjack instead of chocolate biscuits.

cathym Tue 09-Sep-08 12:50:14

Hulababy, I would be quite happy with a ban on chocolate, crips, biscuits etc. We don't have crisps at home ourselves anyway. Something like a cheese portion or a cereal bar would be a better snack anyway. I think when we look at schools we will have to ask if they would be prepared to accept 'healthy' snacks that included things other than fruit.

Mutt, I accept your point that things might change by next year, but given our experience so far and the information we have been given it looks likely it is a more long term problem.

Thanks for the reassurance from people that I am not being completely unreasonable.

PrimulaVeris Tue 09-Sep-08 12:59:29

I think the problem is that all the other children - and their parents - will see your dc's snacks and think 'why should she be an exception?' and bring them in .. some parents trying to control their own dc's diet will then find that they've been 'borrowing' other childrens snacks and so on. Some of whom may be trying to avoid a weight gain. Never mind complications of nuts etc in biscuits for those with allergies.

Is it possible to give her a small tea/larage snack as soon as she gets home instead? And/or make sure she has high fat before school, at lunch and at home aftewards?

OldBint Tue 09-Sep-08 13:15:35

I wouldn't get overly concerned about this - I think there is a big difference between what schools say on their website etc and what they actually do.

My DCs school says that it should only be fruit, but in reality they are only using that, I think, to stop real muck coming in. DS and his mates in year 1 have a craze for having cheese as a snack - fine by me, its healthy, nutritious and gives you loads of energy for running round the playground evading Darth Vader. Not fruit, but no one at school seems remotely bothered.

The only things I have heard being taken away are (i)krispy kreme doughnuts; and (ii) anything that even looks remotely like it might have nuts in (policy and quite a few nut/anaphylactics around).

I would choose your school on the basis of whatever other criteria you like and prior to her starting discuss the issue with either the head or the teacher, depending on who supervises breaks. If this is a medical thing, the school will want to work with you.

compo Tue 09-Sep-08 13:18:31

how ong do we send them in with a snack by the way? is it just reception and year 1 or is it all the way through primary school?

MingMingtheWonderPet Tue 09-Sep-08 13:25:00

I don't think any school would have a problem with accomodating your child's needs as long as you gave them the full picture.
DS's school has a fruit only policy, but he often takes in some fruit and a small piece of cheese without there even being a problem.

Mutt Tue 09-Sep-08 13:26:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mercy Tue 09-Sep-08 13:29:44

Compo, it varies.

For example, at my dc school they get free fruit and milk in nursery and reception, free fruit in Years 1 and 2.

After that we provide our own. I think you need to check your school's prospectus.

bozza Tue 09-Sep-08 13:40:20

When DS was in reception he got milk (full fat) and fruit in the morning plus a school dinner complete with pudding plus fruit in the afternoon. Could your DD have a high calorie snack (such as cheese or flapjack or whatever) on the way to school and similar on the way home? Also I think dried fruit often count as fruit, and might be more calorific, as would avacado or banana.

hana Tue 09-Sep-08 13:44:46

I htink yoiu need to chill a bit and wait til she's actually at a school then bring it up. don't be angry/annoyed/kick up a fuss or awkward before it's happened. And when it does, be calm about ti all

cathym Tue 09-Sep-08 13:58:39

I think you might be right hana. I'm sure I will calm down about it. Its just very frustrating when you discover the rules schools have these days - we weren't expecting it.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Tue 09-Sep-08 14:09:25

am im the same boat cathym. dd1 has always had 'ishoos' with food and weight. she also sees a nutritionist and has her weight monitored. she seems to be eating better now that she is at school, though we are only on week two so that might wane off after time.

she is on school dinners as i though that the dinners would be more calorific than packed lunch and the school are aware of her problem and are monitoring what she eats and encouraging her.

they said they would have made exceptions for her on packed lunch and let her have the more high fat things that other kids aren't allowed but i was worried that this would have her singled out and bullied.

i am giving bigger breakfasts and she has a high fat snack after school before dinner and desserts after dinner <we dont usually do dessert> if she doesnt eat a lot of that she has pancakes and high cal milk drink for supper.

cathym Tue 09-Sep-08 14:47:16

Glad to know I am not the only one in this situation, and that schools do seem to be supportive (in some cases, anyway). Maybe it won't be as bad as I initially thought.

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