Playing devil\'s advocate

Posted on: Tue, 09/14/2004 - 1:50pm
doreen's picture
Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

What if there were no snacks in the 2-1/2 hour kindergarten class?

What if there was only fruit, pretzels, crackers and vegetables offered for an entire day of school because there were so many allergies at one school?

What if children went HOME for a two-hour lunch like some countries do?

What if kids today had to go more than three hours without eating?

I really am playing devil's advocate here, but the fact of the matter is ... they would survive wouldn't they? If they didn't eat anything but two apples from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- they would survive.

I just went to open house for my daughter's kindergarten, and parents seemed more worried about the fact that their kids couldn't bring goldfish or pretzels in for their kids snack then they were about anything else. (The school instituted a policy that kindergartners only bring in fruit, vegetables and cheese for snack to promote healthy eating.) I'll admit I want to give my kid the goldfish too. But GEEZ! the school is actually trying to do a decent thing here. It's two and a half-hours. Before going to school my daughter never even had an afternoon snack.

This hit me because of the peanut allergy, but I would feel this way anyway. The school sited the alarming rates of juvenile diabetes. One mom told me her kid doesn't eat fruits and vegetables and she didn't feel he should eat cheese sticks everyday. These are probably some of the same moms that first said because their kids eat peanut butter everyday that they can't eliminate that. I feel bad of course because I know they instituted the policy because of how many kids coming in with nut or peanut allergies. I can't believe how ridiculous people are. I came home depressed because I can't believe the things people choose to make an issue out of when there are so many things in this world that people should be concentrating on.

Posted on: Tue, 09/14/2004 - 2:29pm
doreen's picture
Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

Sorry -- still awake so bumping up for Weds' topics.

Posted on: Tue, 09/14/2004 - 3:19pm
Sandra Y's picture
Joined: 08/22/2000 - 09:00

I agree with you.
And I am dismayed that there is so much resistance among parents about a rule like this. It seems to me it is a golden opportunity for those kids who "won't" eat fruits or veggies to get the encouragement and peer pressure they need to start eating them.
At home, kids will hold out and not eat healthy snacks because they know there are goldfish snacks in the cupboard. At school, with nothing else available and everyone around them munching on apple slices and carrot sticks, that might be the perfect encouragement for them to try.
I really think the resistance is a sign of food issues that the parents have. It never ceases to amaze me how obsessed people are about food. I love good food, but why do we need cookies at a PTA meeting? Do we really need cake and coffee at the school open house? How come every single parents meeting I have ever attended in my entire life has included junk food? People can't seem to plan any meeting without including food.
I'm ranting. Sorry.
I wish I had been more successful at minimizing junk food consumption by my kids. I don't like to make a big issue about food, so I've tried to be flexible and not have strict rules or limits. But the fact is, with junk food always around, kids are naturally going to be attracted to it and turn up their noses at healthier choices.
Seems to me your school has the right idea. If the only choices are healthy choices, it teaches a lesson about nutrition. School is for learning, not for eating snacks.

Posted on: Tue, 09/14/2004 - 3:55pm
wendysco's picture
Joined: 05/03/2003 - 09:00

The school I will begin negotiations with in a month or so is the one my best friend's dd attends Kindergarten at this year. The afternoon snack is given about 1/2 an hour before they get on the bus, it is usually Oreos,Little Debbies and the like. The excuse the school gave my friend was that they tried "healthy" snacks last year and none of the kids would eat them. Well, let them eat in an hour when they're HOME.
I might also add that I was raised in a house FULL of junk food, (I used to LIVE for the Ponderosa salad bar as I loved raw broccoli) but now with a PN/Soy/and sunflower allergic child, if we want junk I have to make it. I don't do it very often. I sometimes wonder if I would be raising my kids differently if we had no allergies so I do try not to be too judgmental, but it's kind of hard when you see some of these really round children sucking down Pepsi's and junk food almost non-stop. If they're that hungry they'll eat veggie sticks and fruit, they can have the Doritos and Oreos when they get home. I'm also kind of saddened when I see the carts at our local discount store loaded with nothing but sugar and processed junk, instant canned meals and frozen dinners by the cases, never a bag of apples, salad or even a box of pasta or rice that is plain, and usually there's a couple of young kids in tow that you know are going to be eating this stuff all week. That to me isn't even economical, they could buy the healthier choices a lot cheaper and make some stuff at home. So into the school lunch bag goes a PBJ on white bread, some snack cakes,chips,Kool-Aid and while we're at it let's get a big bag of cookies so the class can have a snack every 15 minutes. The schools should definitely try to set a better example as I think the ONLY exposure some kids ever get to healthier choices would be at school. Again this is just what I have observed in our small town.
Huh, and here I said I try not to be judgmental...

Posted on: Wed, 09/15/2004 - 12:09am
jami's picture
Joined: 09/02/2004 - 09:00

Good for the school. I hope the can make it stick an not give in to the "lazy" parents.
The preschool that my son goes to - does not have a snack time. If a kid is hungry , a snack is available, but they have to give up on of thir rotations at a station. My PA son has box of safe snacks at the school. But so far he hasn't stopped to eat. He is at school for 3 hours. The director stated that less then half of the kids ever ask for a snack.
So my next question is - why does the Sunday School that is only an hour need a snack time? And most of the parents attand the panake breakfast afterwards.
I know I spend a great deal of my day worrying about food. I'm diabetic and my son is PA/TNA. I have no choice but to think about what food is doing to my family at every meal. And with every activity. Why would any "normal" family want to think about food all the time?

Posted on: Wed, 09/15/2004 - 1:22am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

I really don't see anything wrong with snacks in school. Healthy snacks. Snack time is socializing as much as play time. I'm not saying this is correct but it will be very hard to change.
Unfortunately too many people are caught up in junk snacks, their kids are so used to getting it at home. Which is OK too but school should be different.
I would be ashamed to send my kids to school with some of the snacks I saw other kids getting.
Our school (kids now 19 and 22!) did not permit junk snacks but there was really no way to police that situation. It is up to the individual parent to send healthy food or not.
I think we depend too much on food for socialization but it is a convenient way to get the kids sitting and quiet for awhile.

Posted on: Wed, 09/15/2004 - 2:59am
doreen's picture
Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

I don't really see anything wrong with snacks at school either, but like the woman said about Sunday school -- our last town had an HOUR storytime and had snacks. We are just so focused on food. It's ridiculous. Maybe they were happy with everything else going on at the school and had to find something to pick on. I do think it gives them a nice break and probably a chance to relax with friends. I just think people freak out about nothing. If my daughter didn't have a peanut allergy, then I don't even think I would give the snack list a second thought. Like I said, we didn't even have it before my kids went to school. I feel sorry for the teachers, because they have to bear the brunt of this and they have so many other responsibilities when it comes to our kids. I really think it takes away from so many other things teachers need to worry about -- besides teaching the welfare and safety of 15 children, never mind a kid with a life-threatening food allergy!

Posted on: Wed, 09/15/2004 - 3:49am
Emmie's picture
Joined: 10/27/2002 - 09:00

I agree that having healthy snacks would be fine, but I am bothered by the constant emphasis on food. Story hours, Sunday school, etc. These programs are only an hour for the most part. I think a child could go without a snack for an hour. When I was in school we didn't get any snacks all day. We had lunch and that was it. We are constantly hearing about diabetes in children and obesity, well...

Posted on: Thu, 09/16/2004 - 8:13am
robinlp's picture
Joined: 05/14/2002 - 09:00

I like that policy!! I too am annoyed w/ the obsession we have with food. Since my daughter started school it seems like every day she comes home and tells me about cupcakes or cookies that were brought in. Why can't we teach our children to celebrate w/o cake and replace these desserts w/ stickers or pencils!! Also, kids not being able to make it 2 1/2 hours w/o eating is crazy! We can't seem to explain our obesity problem in this seems pretty simple to me.

Posted on: Sat, 10/16/2004 - 11:07am
doreen's picture
Joined: 06/23/2001 - 09:00

Well they expanded the list [img][/img] It's 2-1/2 hours for crying out loud. My DD's teacher held strong, but the others didn't. I did send a note back saying I disapprove of two things on the list -- the Teddy Grahams and the dried fruit -- just so they knew I didn't want Megan having them. Oh well at least they tried.
Our PTO is actually having a meeting this month to eliminate chips and ice cream from the cafeteria -- we'll see how that goes.

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