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Chocolate spread ban in lunchboxes

(37 Posts)
GeorgianMumto5 Fri 12-Oct-12 14:45:37

The dc's primary school has recently banned chocolate spread sandwiches from lunchboxes. To be honest, I'm not that fussed about it - it makes no odds to me to feed them choc spread at home, rather than at school - but it has a caused a few people to be put out. Chocolate Philadelphia (which sounds vile, if you ask me) has also been banned, on the grounds that it looks like chocolate spread. Main reason for it being banned is that Nutella contains nuts. Someone asked if a nut-free variety would be OK, but the school said they 'couldn't police that'. Thing is, Mr Kipling's cakes all contain nuts too (or did last time I checked) but nobody's banning them. Likewise those 'Pitch' brioche things. Am I therefore BU for thinking these rules are applied with only half the thought necessary to a sensible decision and a coherent ruling?

I know this isn't AIBU, but I'm not feeling well and haven't the energy for a bunfight. I would, however, like to know what you all think. The school has a fairly relaxed attitude to lunchbox content generally and the 'nut-free' rule is there for a good and specific reason (even if it isn't all that well thought out or applied).

GeorgianMumto5 Fri 12-Oct-12 14:47:02

Should have added, 'in my opinion' to that last sentence. Sorry to sound all arrogant, where I am, in fact, just opinionated. grin

madwomanintheattic Fri 12-Oct-12 14:48:48

If it is a nut free school, parents shouldn't be sending anything that isn't designated nut free. So all of those cakes.

School sound like idiots, but so do the parents who are ignoring the safety issues and putting other people's children in danger.

I don't see a problem with banning chocolate sandwiches in any form personally, but would only nanny-state it for non nut free varieties. I bet they have a big fat healthy schools sticker in the hallway.

Iceflower Fri 12-Oct-12 14:51:05

YANBU! If ds's school banned Nutella, he would starve!

I understand nut allergy is extremely serious, and my best friend has a ds who has it, BUT as you say, lots of other food has got nut content and are not banned.

madwomanintheattic Fri 12-Oct-12 14:54:35

All foods with nut content in are banned here.

How the actual feck can you have a nut free school and still allow nut products of any description? It's selfish to the point of stupidity.

GeorgianMumto5 Fri 12-Oct-12 15:02:05

I think Nutella should be banned, tbh - the clue is rather in the name and the school should be nut-free. What annoys me is the fact that it isn't. It's only nut-free as regards foods that any idiot should (but clearly can't) get their heads around having nuts in. It's all a bit half-arsed, which makes me reluctant to obey it to the letter. I do, for an easy life, and to stop the dc's getting a little note in their lunchboxes. Also, I should clarify that I do not and would not send in foods containing nuts, including the many nut-containing foods that aren't on the banned list.

Some of the parents have queried the rules on the grounds of having superior knowledge of nutrition. I couldn't tell you if they do or not, but it's not hard to imagine that some of them do, to be honest. In the school's favour, they are there to do a job, much of which gets buried under this kind of crap, and they do need rules in place to protect the children who have serious problems with nuts. I see all that and I support it. I'm just a bit hmm about the haphazard way in which the rules are rolled out and applied. I should also add that I'm not pefect and some of my household rules are probably slightly bonkers.

madwoman, I think they do. I shall look, next time I am there!

GeorgianMumto5 Fri 12-Oct-12 15:03:05

I know, Madwoman. In their case, I think it is stupid to the point of selfishness, though. I may gently appaise them of this, next time I am feeling brave.

radicalsubstitution Fri 12-Oct-12 16:24:49

From what I can remember of Epipen training, there is quite a long list of common allergens that can cause anaphylaxis. They include strawberries, apples, kiwi fruit (very common apparently), shellfish, wasp stings, latex, nuts and sesame.

Are we going to ban all of those from schools? I quite like the idea of banning wasps, but think it would probably not be practical.

I think the safest option would be to ban all food from schools and just give th children protein shakes. That way the choking hazard would be eliminated as well.

The world has gone entirely mad.

adeucalione Fri 12-Oct-12 16:31:12

I wouldn't send DC with nutella because I am a rule follower, but it seems mad to ban some nut-based products and not others so for that reason I don't blame parents for feeling a bit irritated, pointing out the inconsistency and/or asking for clarification.

Tgger Fri 12-Oct-12 19:54:39

Well, I gave DS nutella sandwiches for about a year before I realised that yes, they contain nuts and it is a nut free school so he shouldn't have had them. one brought it to my attention that I was breaking a rule and no one else touched/ate them so no harm was done. He's on school dinners now.

GeorgianMumto5 Fri 12-Oct-12 22:01:09

Ooh, Tgger, upthread I amy have called you an idiot. I do apologise! blush

radicalsubstitution, I do take your point, but there are children in the school who have severe allergies to nuts, so in this case I think a nut ban is justified. If they were banning foods, 'just in case,' then that would be an over-reaction, but banning specific foods to protect specific children makes sense to me...or would if they got it right.

Biscuitsneeded Fri 12-Oct-12 22:57:42

Our school is also nut-free but also very hot on healthy eating, so they ask us to avoid choc bars, crisps etc. Which is fine. However it's sometimes hard to think of anything sweet to put in their packed lunches, with chocolate and cakes banned, no cool place to store lunch bags so yoghurts etc get a bit too warm, and they all have lots of fruit at break so I want to put something different in lunch bags. For ages I thought I was being so clever sending them in with cereal bars.... until I suddenly realised loads of them have peanuts in! Luckily nobody had come to any harm, but honestly I think it wouldn't hurt to let them have a sodding kitkat once in a while!

GeorgianMumto5 Tue 06-Nov-12 12:00:20

Biscuitsneeded (apt user name!), I completely agree! Organix bars are nut-free and I think some of the Geobar ones are. Are you allowed malt loaf?

trockodile Tue 06-Nov-12 12:09:05

In Germany I have not heard of any schools being nut free, or of there being any problems. Most of the children seem to bring Nutella on bread for mid morning snack!
Not being one of these " people make allergies up" sorts-but surely there cannot be any more or less sufferers here? I kept asking when DS started Kindergarten, and people thought I was crazy!

kilmuir Tue 06-Nov-12 12:25:55

i understand banning NUTella but would would ignore the ban on philly choc spread, ? just because it looks like it is pathetic

OneMoreChap Tue 06-Nov-12 12:39:40

Sorry, your school bans nuts because some children are/may be allergic to nuts?


If my child was allergic to animal dander, would that make it reasonable to force all children from homes with pets to change into clothes not kept at home?

see School Food Trust guidance.

... this approach may induce a false sense of security for those pupils with a nut allergy, and does not teach pupils avoidance strategies for outside of school where they may come in contact with nuts. Also, from the school’s perspective, there is no absolute guarantee that a nut ban will ensure there are no nuts on the school premises.

cavell Tue 06-Nov-12 12:44:24

Dd2's old school banned not just nuts, but also fish (e.g. tuna) and eggs due to having children with allergies.

Karoleann Tue 06-Nov-12 14:18:44

I think most schools are nut free now, I think its fair enough, some children can have a very severe anyphaltic reaction to nuts and seeds, whilst it does tend to be less severe with other allergies.

I don't think children should be having chocolate spread on sandwiches (or jam for that matter) on health grounds, much too sugary and very little nutritional value.

Betty5313 Tue 06-Nov-12 14:43:11

A really difficult one: if the school is nut free then anything containing nuts should be banned. I understand that just being in the same vicinity as nuts can cause a reaction for some sufferers. But the school also needs to take responsibility for ensuring that the nut allergy suffering child doesn't come into contact with them. Banning nuts is only doing half the job.

My own dd (2.9) has a severe type 2 allergy to milk protein soy and lactose. In practice this means that a mouthful of bought bread, the tip of a teaspoonful of yoghurt can lead to digestive problems for a month, during which time she wouldn't be fit for school. I don't expect her preschool or reception when she gets there to ban anything with milk or soy (ie pretty much anything bought/pre packaged) but I do expect them, until she is old enough, to make sure she doesn't inadvertently eat them.

diabolo Tue 06-Nov-12 19:34:30

What I'd like to know is why so much disparity between schools? My DS's old Primary banned almost everything sweet in lunch-boxes apart from fruit, no cakes, crisps, chocolates, definitely no nut products - but were happy to serve sweet puddings including Bakewell tart (with almonds) as part of school dinners. It was painfully "middle class" in all it did.

I work at a school in the same LEA with absolutely no policing of lunch-boxes - the only difference I can see is that it has a vastly different demographic of children.

Heads are keen to blame LA's for these rules, but from my experience, it seems to be down to individual Headteachers.

bruffin Tue 06-Nov-12 19:40:28

They shouldn't be banning nuts at all, it's against advice from the anaphylaxis campaign.
I Say that as a parent and wife of people who have but allergies.

Would love to know if the ban humous as ds is allergic to 2 ingredients in that.

bruffin Tue 06-Nov-12 19:40:59

Nut not but

snowmummy Tue 06-Nov-12 20:07:30

Nut free sounds ridiculous to me given that many products, even bread sometimes, carry a warning that it is produced in a factory where nuts are present and so cannot be verified 'nut free'. Surely children with nut allergies need to be educated about their condition so as not to put themselves at risk.

However, I'd ban chocolate spread on sandwiches on the basis that it doesn't constitute a nutrious meal :/

bruffin Tue 06-Nov-12 20:21:10

Print this off and give to school [[©anaphylaxis advice for schools]]

bruffin Tue 06-Nov-12 20:22:08

[[ link]]

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