What do you think?

amsterjo

Cathlete
There was a lady on GMA today fighting the Junk food at school. She called is second hand junk food : ie: Birthday cupcakes, pop tarts, teachers hand out candy as rewards. She may be going a bit over board in her methods but I applaud her. IMO the food that our schools server our children is atrocious. What does everyone think?
 

cindi1

Cathlete
Our school district has switched to healthier treats. Holiday parties allow for 1 treat and the rest of the food needs to be relatively healthy - pretzels, cheese, fruit, etc.

They still allow kids to bring in birthday treats but they stopped giving out candy as rewards/prizes.

The lunch program has also improved in the past few years - they have a salad bar available every day along with carrots, and fruit for sides.

I'm actually pretty happy with what is served at our schools.
 

kathryn

Cathlete
There was a lady on GMA today fighting the Junk food at school. She called is second hand junk food : ie: Birthday cupcakes, pop tarts, teachers hand out candy as rewards. She may be going a bit over board in her methods but I applaud her. IMO the food that our schools server our children is atrocious. What does everyone think?
ITA!
I regularly go to presentations and workshops on teaching methodology, and every time a presenter mentions giving candies out as rewards, I cringe.

Another thing I find appalling is vending machines in schools. They are full of junk food (and perhaps a token piece of fruit or mineral water---though kids shouldn't have to pay for water), and even when companies agree to sell "healthier" products in them, it's still crap (like 'sports drinks' that are full of chemicals and artificial colors and crap, or 'granola bars' that are just glorified candy bars). But it's a hard fight, because schools are now making a pretty good income from their contracts with the vendors.

I've read about how companies want their products introduced to children as soon and as often as possible, because people develop brand loyalties from childhood, and getting kids to want Pepsi or Coca-Cola means they are more likely to continue to buy it as adults.

Wouldn't it be nice if, instead of vending machines, carts were set up selling (for cheap) organic fruits and nuts and fresh-made smoothies and things like that?

(Some schools that deal with children with behavioral problems that have gotten rid of all junk food and feed healthy things to their students have found that the behavioral problems are reduced just by that.)
 
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Lynn M.

Cathlete
Good for her, I am in total agreement!

In my son's class, they have two snacks a day and each child in the class takes a turn in bringing in the snacks for the whole class that day. ( works out that each kid does this 1x/month.) The teacher has requested that the snacks be "healthy" but the problem is that alot of the parents think Cheezits, candy bar granola bars, and those fruit snacks are healthy. So, 2x/day, my son got these treats when he really should have been eating fruit, nuts, or something w/ calcium in it most of the time.

In regard to healthier school lunches, it is definitely an issue. I appreciate the challenge school foodservice administrators have on trying to make healthy food appealing to the kids while staying within a very cost restrictive budget. I certainly don't envy them!

Lynn M.
 

jacmar

Cathlete
I can speak from personal experience

This woman lived in my community about three years ago -her tactics are deplorable.

She not only emailed PTO members nonstop to the point of the police getting involved, she would show up at school at lunch to "review" what ever child was eating for lunch. The kids were afraid of her, as she always has a snide comment to make. Because of the way she acted, no one listened to what she had to say.

If you listen to her, we were feeding our kids craps all day long everyday. We are talking about a small treat on birthdays only (at least at our schools). It worked out to maybe one or two cupcakes, brownies, cookies, etc a month.

If she did not want her kids to eat the "crap" that fine by me, but do not try and tell me (or the rest of the community) what we can feed our kids. It's none of her business.
 

LaughingWater

Cathlete
Birthday cupcakes are always good. :)

I'd like to see schools make better choices available to kids for lunch, so that's cool with me. Though I wouldn't like a Lunch Police atmosphere. What parents privately feed their kids is, I agree with Jacmar, no one else's business.

Handing out treats as rewards in classrooms doesn't sound like a good idea. We never got treats, now that I think of it. It was only if someone had a birthday or it was Valentine's Day.

I'd like to see better choices in vending machines too.
 

ldy_solana

Cathlete
i don't think a few cupcakes here and there are an issue with me personally. and my daughter's school always lets me know when they have something so that if i do not want her to have that stuff i can send an alternative.

but being a school nutrition(cute name for cafeteria worker basically LOL) i have to agree our school lunches are deplorable. i blame the program directors, the school board, and the government. sorry but program directors and schools should push more for health options and government should let go of some of that red tape so that we can do it on a budget. most of our food is paid for by USDA government programs and what do they send! freezer burned french fries, "turkey" dogs(just b/c there's turkey in it doesn't make it less of a hot dog to me),canned fruits and veggies!!!

now we do offer fresh items such as fresh made salads,apples,bananas, and veggie cups but i think if we just offered this and steamed frozen veggies(frozen veggies don't have all the salt canned ones do) and not offer all this other tempting stuff then kids would take it. we live in a so-so city where many of the kids get free lunch so they will take what they can just to eat so i think pushing more healthy options would at least give them two meals(breakfast and lunch) that are healthy instead of what is good for the budget. we are only going to be paying for their health problems down the road if this keeps up.

i could never be a manager they would hate me to death for such thoughts LOL. just trying to pay my bills and i suck it up.

kassia
 

Boingo1

Cathlete
I think it's fine to have cupcakes/snacks for special occasions. And this comes from a mom of a child with Type 1 Diabetes. Even though I wasn't thrilled with the fact that he was eating something so sugary and his blood sugar would probably spike, I still thought that kids should get something like that on their birthday at school.

The kids also have Pizza Day as a reward, or this week they're doing Make Your Own Sundae.

And again, i don't have a problem with that either. It's fun for the kids! I really don't think it's these occasional treats that make for "bad" eaters and child obesity. It's at-home , take-out, drive-thru's, fast food and inactivity that is the problem!

On the other hand, I've also sent in fresh fruit platters for events, and have been present , and the kids chose that first and more of it than the cookies and junk food.

Our school lunches probably do need improvement, but they have improved in the last few years for healthier options and fresher options.

That's interesting about that woman, Jacmar. Sounds pretty scary!!
 

elliemom

Cathlete
This is a really difficult subject for me.

I have 2 boys in school and it seems that everyday it is someone's birthday and the mom brings in donuts or cupcakes etc. My son came home one day with his whole lunch in his bag!!!! I asked him why he didn't eat it. He said " well Julie's mom sent cupcakes for her birthday, Tom's mom sent donuts for his birthday and kelly's mom sent brownies for her birthday". So he wasn't hungry for lunch. I really think that is over the top.

Why do we have to celebrate our child's birthday AT school, then have a party after school, then have a cake with the family???

It's too much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ellie
 

jacmar

Cathlete
better communication

The teacher should make a schedule, so there is only one or two treats a week.

Every kid has the right to celebrate his or her birthday.

I am sorry, but I just cannot take cupcakes away from kids on their birthdays - it just does not sit well with me.
 

lkl

Cathlete
my nephew was a picky eater and did not like eating meat, coldcuts, or peanut butter at school, he ate all of his biggest meals at home and preferred to eat light during the day. he enjoyed yogurt, so my sister sent him to school with a couple of yogurts each day, along with a snack. sometime during the school year, my sister received a letter from the teacher telling her that she should provide a more nutritious lunch for her child. she never questioned what he ate at home..such insanity. the school he went to also served sodas in the vending machine, along with candy. i wondered why she wasn't protesting that. i don't think that schools should be pushing sugared drinks and candy on kids in vending machines and cafeterias, but when celebrating birthdays and parties i say let em have the stuff. it never hurt me growing up. i actually had a teacher who printed up fake money (with her picture drawn on it) and we earned these dollars in various ways to bid at her weekly auction for candy bars. it was a great motivator for us and an exciting event to look forward to each week.
 

LaughingWater

Cathlete
The teacher should make a schedule, so there is only one or two treats a week.
That would work. Maybe have one treat day for every kid whose birthday is in a particular month. (So...January 10th, have a cute little party with treats for everyone born in January.) You'd have to double up for the kids who are born during the summer, but that would still be only twice a month then.

(I would totally make theme cupcakes! :eek: )

Anyway, we have so many birthdays in our family, we pick one day out of the month and combine everyone's birthday into one party. Much easier and lots of fun.
 

sparrow13

Cathlete
Honestly my first thought after reading the interview with this woman was how much I loathe these shrill busybodies.

And that her kids are in line to have eating disorders down the road.
 

lkl

Cathlete
now we do offer fresh items such as fresh made salads,apples,bananas, and veggie cups but i think if we just offered this and steamed frozen veggies(frozen veggies don't have all the salt canned ones do) and not offer all this other tempting stuff then kids would take it. we live in a so-so city where many of the kids get free lunch so they will take what they can just to eat so i think pushing more healthy options would at least give them two meals(breakfast and lunch) that are healthy instead of what is good for the budget. we are only going to be paying for their health problems down the road if this keeps up.

i could never be a manager they would hate me to death for such thoughts LOL. just trying to pay my bills and i suck it up.

kassia

i'm so glad i'm not a kid today! i'm really sorry if i offend anyone, but i would never eat in school if this is all i could have. what torture. i still have difficulty getting my vegetables! and my fruits are usually in smoothies or oatmeal. i love salads now, but never as a child and i hate salad bars! my mother was always keeping me at the dinner table at night (threatening to call the hospital to come get me) until i finished my vegetables! i'm sure some children would love this stuff, that's great, but for most it's torture. i think jerry seinfeld's wife had the best idea, make a puree and put it into tasty foods.
 

horseshowmom

Cathlete
I saw the segment...she scared me!!! While her underlying purpose is certainly good, her methods seemed out of control! Throwing out food at the YMCA (not her food, food purchased by others, for others) because they wouldn't give into her demands for a healthy alternative? Disrupting activities to the point where police have been called to stop her antics? Not cool.
 

elliemom

Cathlete
The teacher should make a schedule, so there is only one or two treats a week.

Every kid has the right to celebrate his or her birthday.

I am sorry, but I just cannot take cupcakes away from kids on their birthdays - it just does not sit well with me.

And every mother has the RIGHT to decide how to celebrate that birthday! Being a mom of children with food allergies, it is increasingly hard to keep them safe when a mother stops at a supermarket and picks up pre-made cupcakes made with nuts.

I by no means deprive my children of a birthday celebration. They wake up in the morning to the table set in their theme, with the birthday present there and we make a special breakfast. They love it.

But IMHO school is for education, not birthday party central.

ellie
 

carres1973

Cathlete
While I agree that kids should have healthier choices at school, I don't think it is right to mandate what can be brought in for birthdays or what other children bring in for lunch. As someone else stated, if she doesn't want her children to eat sweet snacks, then they don't have to participate. There are several children in my DD and DSs school that do not participate in birthday celebrations (Jehovah's Witness) or the pledge of allegiance. IMHO, she should police her own house and stay out of everyone elses.

Carrie
 

Fembot40

Cathlete
This was a few years ago, when my DD was in fourth grade, and the school policy was no junk food for snack. I sent her to school with a homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Keep in mind I used 1/4 the amount of mini chips called for, used whole cut oats and shredded carrot in place of some of the sugar. Her teacher yanked her cookie off of her desk and threw it in the garbage and told her not to bring in any more junk food. Their policy is also no junk food for birthday celebrations, only fruit or vegetables. I ended up spending roughly $25 for a fresh fruit salad for her to bring in. What happened to the good old days when you could make economical cupcakes that were sure to be eaten, rather than fresh fruit, most of which was never touched? :rolleyes:

It's okay for kids to eat chewy granola bars, fruit chewies, Pop Tarts, and Cheese Its, but not a homemade cookie. Teachers need to teach, not police our kids lunches and snacks.
 
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