When should a school intervene? Never? (school lunch issue)

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  • SarcasmIsMyLoveLanguage
    SarcasmIsMyLoveLanguage Posts: 2,668 Member
    edited May 2015
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    There was a related thread on this last week that got a lot of feedback.

    I think you have to consult your school's policies and adhere to them. End of story.

    My son's school has a strict policy on what can and cannot go to school in his lunch, and if I don't follow those rules, I will get a reminder. I once sent a small Halloween chocolate and it came back. My son and I had a conversation about how mommy made a mistake and forgot the rules. End of story, not a big deal. If I don't like the rules I have a choice to remove my child from that school. Although some would choose to have a hissy fit, cause a scene and call the media; a complete waste of time and isn't doing anyone any favours (in fact makes one look ridiculous).

    I have a friend who is a teacher in the public system and she has a grade 1 student who comes to school every day with a can of pop and a chocolate bar or chips for his lunch. She is not permitted to say anything. Can you imagine how hopped up he is? How is any other child going to get the education they deserve when the teacher is spending most of their time dealing with an unruly child on a sugar high?

    It seems different schools have very different guidelines in place. The safest thing for any teacher to do is to familiarize themselves with the rules and follow them to the letter.

  • janjunie
    janjunie Posts: 1,200 Member
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    At my kids' school there is a rule. There has to be at least one fruit or vegetable in the lunch bag. Many times I've packed a banana or apple etc with crackers or popcorn or whatever and the teachers won't let the kid touch the crackers etc until she's eaten her fruit. On the odd day I didn't pack a fruit, she wasn't allowed to eat the crackers etc....now that pisssed me off because the lunch itself would be healthy ie chicken with wild rice. A kid who is getting chips and a unnaturally colourful drink daily needs to have a conversation with the teacher and the teacher with the parents.
  • janjunie
    janjunie Posts: 1,200 Member
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    Don't do it. And don't judge. At least this kid has food. She probably packs her own food, from what is in the home. I doubt anyone packs her lunch, or even pays much attention to her.

    Some kids just survive childhood.

    That is so sad, so if the parents don't care the teacher shouldn't either?
  • haibu
    haibu Posts: 67 Member
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    I would talk to the whole class about healthy eating and physical activity and send a note home to all parents expressing that your class is focusing on healthy living habits and that you encourage children to bring a well balanced meal/snack to school.

    This. Work it into your lessons/curriculum if you have space or where you can.

    Good luck.
  • dalem48
    dalem48 Posts: 86 Member
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    Unless the child is your child, it's not your business.
    [/quote]

    Exactly this!!
  • Ldbg289
    Ldbg289 Posts: 236 Member
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    When I was in jr high and high school, the school officials would make a big deal if I didn't eat lunch or if I ate out of the machines. They would watch to see if I was buying school lunch(my mom gave me cash instead of paying for it upfront)and if I headed toward the machines or just sat with my friends without lunch in front of me they'd head to the office to call my mother. After a while when they said they were going to call my mom if I didn't eat lunch(trying to scare me into eating)I called their bluff and said "go ahead, I'll tell you what she will say" they in turn called my bluff and asked what I thought she'd say. Well, my mom told me that since I ate a good breakfast and a good dinner, lunch was optional.
  • skinnyinnotime
    skinnyinnotime Posts: 4,078 Member
    edited May 2015
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    The school should have a policy on what foods are allowed to be eaten there.

    If a child isn't fed a nutrional diet it is neglect.
  • FitForL1fe
    FitForL1fe Posts: 1,872 Member
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    The amount of nanny state replies in this thread is alarming. Apparently Doritos = throwing your kid down a flight of stairs.
  • spyro88
    spyro88 Posts: 472 Member
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    I would not intervene. There are safeguarding policies and procedures to follow if a child is looking malnourished or you think they are being abused. Coming to school eating a bag of Doritos in itself doesn't count as abuse, so no, I wouldn't intervene unless there were other concerns. I might think 'if that were my kid I would have given him/ her an apple'... but as a teacher, there is a boundary.

    I agree with the people saying to educate the class as a whole about a healthy lifestyle and there could even be a whole school policy of only healthy snacks. That would be perfectly appropriate. Singling out one family is wrong and judgmental and crosses boundaries for a teacher.
  • thesupremeforce
    thesupremeforce Posts: 1,206 Member
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    My niece is obsessed with Doritos and it annoys me to no end. I'm not against Doritos, but I'm pretty sure that she'd eat nothing but them if given the opportunity. There are days where getting her to eat anything other than Doritos is an uphill battle, so she's going to eat Doritos. I don't have enough control over her diet (since I only see her a couple of days per week anyway) to try and force that to change. I imagine that your situation is similar in that regard. You're not in a position to get the student to adjust a diet, so there's little to be gained by trying.
  • staticsplit
    staticsplit Posts: 538 Member
    edited May 2015
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    I agree with the idea of having a group activity. Also--what is the student eating for lunch? What is she eating for dinner? You don't know what her day-to-day nutrition is like.

    I remember when I was 8-11 I'd often eat a ramen noodle block smashed to high heaven with the seasoning powder mixed in every morning break. Beef flavour was my favourite. Horrific to think of the sodium levels now. I was a super active kid and ate relatively balanced meals the rest of the time and had no health problems.

    I personally hate people commenting on and policing my food. I had that happen all the time growing up (I was skinny and people assumed I didn't eat) and it made me really uncomfortable and eventually led to me having a messed up relationship with food (aka didn't eat enough) for awhile.
  • wilsonk93
    wilsonk93 Posts: 4 Member
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    As a teacher, it is incredibly frustrating when people have a "pick and choose" attitude towards the role of a teacher. If my job is just to teach and go home, I wouldn't volunteer to coach sports teams for no extra pay after school hours, organize field trips, offer extra- help sessions or help with fundraisers. As educators we care about the students, not just the subject matter.

    In Canada, we extensively study child and adolescent development on the physical, mental, emotional and social level. Why would we study that if the welfare of these students is none of our business.

    During school hours, we are the legal guardians/ caretakers of students enrolled in our class. If a student leaves the lunch hour without parental permission and gets hit by a car, the school's going to have some repercussions.

    At this grade, I would teach all students about healthy lifestyle choices and bring apples and water bottles and let students know that if they are hungry or missed break fast, they can take one without asking. I may send a letter home asking parents to participate in a healthy eating unit that the class is covering by signing up for one day in the next month to supply a healthy snack life sliced fruit, berries or grapes or whole grain crackers and cheese for the whole class with the understanding that their child would be provided a healthy snack every day for the rest of the month from the other families.

    This might encourage this child's parents to reflect on what makes a healthy snack/ meal and the note send home to all parents could include ideas for inexpensive healthy foods.

    This may or may not work but will give you an indication of how involved the parents are in the student's health. They may be busy but if they opt out of prepping a big snack one day out of the month instead of everyday, it may be a sign of neglect.
  • jorinya
    jorinya Posts: 933 Member
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    Don't they teach about healthy eating in the school curriculum? I studies Childcare Learning and Development in UK and healthy eating and exercise were definitely in the curriculum. Perhaps having a healthy eating, healthy lifestyle talk in the school for parents might be an idea. You can ask the child how they feel about having the food they are bringing to school or find out from them during a class conversation the reason why they take it as breakfast. It could be the parents are intending the food as a snack for lunch but the child has other ideas. Don't pry too much and don't offend the parents. Good luck!!!
  • JoRocka
    JoRocka Posts: 17,525 Member
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    The school should have a policy on what foods are allowed to be eaten there.

    If a child isn't fed a nutrional diet it is neglect.

    you can tell an entire child's diet from ONE bag of doritos and ONE can of red bull?

    I'm impressed- can you tell me the lotto numbers for next week too?


    PS- don't look at my weekend. It pretty much looks like I straight up had a weekend fling affair with the Debil.

    You know- because Sugar = Debil.
  • PrizePopple
    PrizePopple Posts: 3,133 Member
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    I work in a school, and that type of food is not permitted. It's against our lunch policy. I think what NinerBuff said would be a good approach. I also know that as a mother myself I couldn't sit idly by and watch a young child consume things like energy drinks every day. While that food option for an adult is one thing, it's not appropriate for a 7 year old.
  • jorinya
    jorinya Posts: 933 Member
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    draznyth wrote: »
    The amount of nanny state replies in this thread is alarming. Apparently Doritos = throwing your kid down a flight of stairs.

    Do you have any kids? If so, wouldn't you like them to be healthy? If not, wait till you do and then answer the questions.
    I have four kids and try my best to teach them from a young age about healthy food and healthy lifestyle. Its never too early to start eating healthy and can prevent later health issues. I give them snacks too but in moderation.
    Not having a go at you, just asking cos of what you commented.
  • wilsonk93
    wilsonk93 Posts: 4 Member
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    JoRocka wrote: »
    The school should have a policy on what foods are allowed to be eaten there.

    If a child isn't fed a nutrional diet it is neglect.

    OP stated that this student "usually comes to school eating from a gigantic bag of Doritos and drinking a brightly colored energy drink. That's her breakfast. Sometimes she has Cheetos instead."

    Meaning that this what the student usually eats for breakfast. Sometimes its Doritos, sometimes its Cheetos. Not just one bag or one energy drink when a family emergency came up and the parent couldnt prep breakfast.
  • JoRocka
    JoRocka Posts: 17,525 Member
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    jorinya wrote: »
    draznyth wrote: »
    The amount of nanny state replies in this thread is alarming. Apparently Doritos = throwing your kid down a flight of stairs.

    Do you have any kids? If so, wouldn't you like them to be healthy? If not, wait till you do and then answer the questions.
    I have four kids and try my best to teach them from a young age about healthy food and healthy lifestyle. Its never too early to start eating healthy and can prevent later health issues. I give them snacks too but in moderation.
    Not having a go at you, just asking cos of what you commented.

    Except Dorito's aren't inherently bad- context is important.
  • jorinya
    jorinya Posts: 933 Member
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    JoRocka wrote: »
    [
    Except Dorito's aren't inherently bad- context is important.


    Ah, didn't say they were, read again please. Comment not directed to you btw. Entitled to my opinion. Thanks anyway.