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Whoever is against the healthy eating policy, say "I"...

(106 Posts)
purpleduck Wed 10-Sep-08 12:39:26

Ok, well, I am not really against it, but it seems to be an excuse take away some of the kids rights.

For example, my dd had half a jam sandwich in her snack box. On whole wheat bread. This was after she had 3 portions of fruit for her breakfast, and was going to have another four in her lunch...
The LSA looked in her snack box, and said "That's not healthy.."

I am so angry!!! As a girl, my dd will face so much pressure about her body/diet etc - how dare they start her feeling anxious about it at age 6? sad

Now my daughter -who is a fantastic eater- is anxious about her snack.
I am fumingangry - she sits quietly through her lessons, does as she is told, and gets along with everyone...

While I agree in principle with promoting healthy eating, surely this should take the form of EDUCATION????
And if a child really is having trouble sitting still, THEN look at his/her diet.

I just feel my rights as a parent are being sidelined....

What do you guys think? Has it gone a bit far?

mabanana Wed 10-Sep-08 12:42:31

No, I don't. Have you ever helped out on a school trip and seen what some poor sods are given for lunch? It's enough to make you cry sometimes. Of course your dd isn't fed crap all the time, but some kids are, and it's horrible to just pick on them. Instead a rule for all is fairer IMO.
I think the odd jam sandwich is a wonderful thing, but your dd won't die from not having her jam sandwich on one day.

SmugColditz Wed 10-Sep-08 12:45:38

It's not being enforced by people who have been officially educated by a nutritionist, that's the problem. Some of the dinner ladies at ds1's school - I've known them all my life and they are pig ignorant, and not very bright to boot, luckily they have very little interest in enforcing "healthy" eating at ds1's school, and go for balanced eating instead.

Take a print off into school, asking them to point out any of the 'healthy snacks' that they feel are unhealthy and ask them who is making the decisions.

Hulababy Wed 10-Sep-08 12:46:45

Sorry, but I can see why t has had to come in. Some children come into schoolw ith such dreadful packed lunches, and make dreadful choices in canteen style school lunch halls. Something had to happen.

Food is the ket in many cases to a child's behaviour. You can see, when a teacher, a hge change in pupil's behaviour after a lunch break deending on what they have eaten.

I do think school staff such exercise some common sense when looking as school packed lunches, and should not be adddressing young children drectly about it either. I prefer the positive example reward type of approach, rather than commenting on what isn't as great.

purpleduck Wed 10-Sep-08 12:49:35

Yes, I have seen what some kids have in their lunch, and it is generally the children who are wiggly...

The thing that I am getting more and more upset about is the whole "fruits and veg only" as a snack. People need a variety of food to be healthy. My kids walk to school, and they need energy as well by snack time- and I don't for a minute think it should be in the form of chocolate and biscuits...

I really think this all should be backed up with information.

Our school has had a healthy eating policy for a few years now, and I have helped in the school lots - it seems to me that the kids who need the good food are the ones whose parents ignore it anyway...

FlightofhteGiantHardon Wed 10-Sep-08 12:51:39

I can also see why it had to be implemented but tbh it is taken waaaay too far in some cases.

For instance. last year when ds1 was in reception, I sent him in with a piece of fruit for break (he had school dinners) and we had to name the fruit, and you can't use permanent marker on a pear so I put it in a small plastic box.

This resulted in him being sat at the packed lunches table, where they obv thought I had only provided one pear for his entire lunch hmm as they said something to that effect. He came home telling me they said I needed to send sandwiches too next time blush


Another day he was sent in with a cereal bar for snack - this was actually confiscated, it wasn't healthy enough I mean for crying out loud.

Beyond ridiculous.

cocolepew Wed 10-Sep-08 12:52:29

I would have a problem if anyone looked at DD2 lunch closly hmm She's very fussy and a very slow eater, she's only getting about 10 minutes to eat, she needs an hour shock. I put stuff that I know she will eat quickly but also fill her up. I try to put fruit in but she only eats fruit puree so she has the apple and pear pots that are meant for babies. She has cold toasted muffins, cheese and a(small) piece of chocolate cake and a bottle of water. She takes crisps for her break. About 2 or 3 times a week she goes to school dinners as it's so hard to think of what to make her.

SmugColditz Wed 10-Sep-08 12:53:48

It's because stupid people are being allowed to do an intelligent person's job, and don't have the resources to cope with the judgement calls required.

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Wed 10-Sep-08 12:56:18

I agree with it in principle - some of the lunches the children bring into school would make you weep. They're not even worthy of the title 'lunch' TBH

But lunch is just a snapshot of a child's diet and as you say a jam sandwich on decent bread in an otherwise healthy diet is fine. And some of the staff judging what is healthy and what isn't need a little educating themselves. <breakfast club serving fruit-shoots and cup drinks for example> IME those parents who really need educating about healthy diet don't give a toss what school say anyway. I think it would be better for school to have a few basic rules like including a piece of fruit or vege snack everyday, no fizzy pop, no sweets.

jollydo Wed 10-Sep-08 12:58:48

I agree with purpleduck that it can be taken too far. Maybe if teachers or LSAs notice a regular unhealthy snack they could mention discreetly to parents that school needs to encourage healthy snacks for everyone, but I don't think they should say something direct to the child at age 6. Even if the child ALWAYS had something REALLY unhealthy - it is the parents who need to be told. The child shouldn't be made to feel bad about it.
And I think jam sandwiches are fine - ds1 had one earlier!

Snaf Wed 10-Sep-08 12:59:26

The only way a healthy eating policy works is if the staff are properly trained to tell the difference between genuinely healthy and unhealthy foods - and to remember that a child's nutritional needs and an adult's are different, too... Reception teaching assistants, for example, are not qualified nutritionists.

I absolutely agree that something needs to be done to prevent some poor kids turning up everyday with two packets of crisps, a mars bar and a can of coke for lunch. But I don't see the problem with the odd biscuit etc within the context of an otherwise-healthy diet. That is, after all, the meaning of 'balance'.

Ds's school has a healthy eating policy (e.g: only fruit and water for snacks) - until they go to after-school club which serves up processed crap, with the added annoyance of taking the edge off ds's appetite so he won't eat the healthy meal I make for him when he comes home hmm

OrmIrian Wed 10-Sep-08 12:59:48

Whatever crap goes into a child's lunchbox it isn't up to the LSA or anyone else to go poking round in it and telling the child what she/he can or can't eat. Surely a note home to the parents if neccessary is better rather than worrying/humiliating the child. Horrible.

solidgoldbrass Wed 10-Sep-08 13:00:15

As usual, 'rules' are being enforced by officious fuckwits. A lot of this stuff aboutkids who eat sugar going mental is a bit of a myth, as well.

Smithagain Wed 10-Sep-08 13:02:22

In the OP's circumstances, I think I would be politely asking that any concerns about DD's lunch are addressed to me and NOT to my child direct. Because 6yo girls really do not need to be obsessed with food.

But thankfully DD's school is refreshingly free of food police, so far.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 10-Sep-08 13:04:08

I do get the objections. I do.

But I can't get overly exercised over the right to a jam sandwich.

Probably should, drip drip of erosion etc.

But I have also seen the state of some childrens' 'lunches' and the state of some children after a regular diet of them. And even if the sugar thing is a myth the long term affects of a poor diet are pernicious.

Anyway, what I'm saying I guess is that I support the principle (although regret the necessity for it), if not how it is put into practice.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 10-Sep-08 13:04:47


SquiffyHock Wed 10-Sep-08 13:06:57

It also worries me that children seem to under the impression that only fruit and veg are healthy snacks. If mine eat to much fruit they will get a sore tummy. I give cheese, breadsticks, yogurts etc as much as I give fruit.

<<whispers>> I also give them chocolate when they are flagging.

Kbear Wed 10-Sep-08 13:12:43

I give my children a bag of crisps on Friday in their packed lunch - they love it, it's a treat. DD was told she wouldn't get a certificate for healthy eating if she ate them, so she didn't. I was cross about that. I DECIDE what she eats thanks very much and a bag of crisps once a week is MODERATION. Kbear the MOD, that's me!

<<touched a nerve there!>>

purpleduck Wed 10-Sep-08 13:18:45

Madonna - its taken me about 3 years to get to this point. I DO think healthy eating should be encouraged, not policed.

I hate the idea of the lsa inspecting their snack boxes, and making a seriously uninformed JUDGEMENT.

goingonajolly Wed 10-Sep-08 13:37:59

My 5yp ds was told not to eat the popcorn I had put into his lunch. It was homemade without any oil, sugar or salt as he likes it plain. The school doesn't even have a ban on anything except fizzy drinks and other children take crisps every day. They have also made comments about him taking cake but I always make quite healthy cakes for lunches such as carrot or apple. ds is underweight and a slow eater so I like to give him quite high energy food. Other people take in chocolate bars but I think they think i'm odd for making homemade stuff. DS has a nut allergy and is not white so has medical and cultural reasons for not having the same as everyone else. I think they use the healthy food policy to pick on him tbh.

islandofsodor Wed 10-Sep-08 13:58:49

Yes I am against it in as much as full sugar juice (even pure orange) has been banned in favour of water and no sugar.

Ds does thankfully drink water but he has to watch all his friends drink no added suagr juice as he is intolerant. He was accidentally given it at after school club yesterday and was crying with tummy ache this morning.

igivein Wed 10-Sep-08 14:01:39

I'd be furious if some over-officious no-brain tried to tell me what to feed my child-I worked as a food scientist fgs and some of the stuff I hear being touted about as 'healthy eating' makes me cringe. People seem to confuse what they read in slimming magazines with what's a suitable diet for a growing child. there's also the 'forbidden fruits' idea, tell a child they can't eat chocolate and they'll stuff themselves with it as soon as they get a chance!

Tortington Wed 10-Sep-08 14:09:12

instead of the government parenting through schools circum navigating the parents, would it not be better to educate the parents.
learning in school about healthy eating is a different thing than lunchbox monitors.

the whole subject annoys me immensley.

esp. the argument " some children get a snickers and a fruitshoot, hence its a good policy"

thjats a pants argument. the govt is eroding your parental rights.

purpleduck Wed 10-Sep-08 14:14:50

Custy, I agree about the eroding parental rights.
Surely knowledge rather than force is a better instrument of change...?

Saggarmakersbottomknocker Wed 10-Sep-08 14:19:44

Absolutely, but the parents who need educating won't go along and get educated. We have healthy eating initiatives in school but the parents who really need to come can't be bothered. It's an age old problem.

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