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Old 08-13-2004, 05:10 AM   #1
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Default School and kids' nutrition

I saw Lisa Lisa's perfect lunch post (in my humble opinion!) and had to post this.....

Am I the only crazy mom who thinks it is rediculous that the kids are not allowed to eat cupcakes and icecream at school? We live in San Antonio, TX, and last year when my daughter started school, we got a notice that she cannot bring anything that has no nutritional value (gummy bear, most hard candies, etc) for snack or school event (Christmas parties, kid's birthday, etc.). Chocolates, however, were allowed because it had cocoa, milk, etc.!!

I was rivid then but yesterday we went to meet the teacher night (our school starts next Monday) and they said they are now banning cupcakes, icecream (PTA used to sell icecream for fundraising on Fridays and kids used to get icecream coupons for good behavior), and other snacks with "minimal nutritional value".

Obesity in children is a problem here in San Antonio, but give me a break. It was not like everyone was bringing cupcakes every week. It was for special occasions. Kids did not get icecream for free - parents had to approve and give money for them to buy icecream on Fridays. (Some kids not having the money to buy ice cream was not an issue at my daughter's school).

What is our kids going to have for valentine's day party next year? Carrots and celery sticks?

And how am I going to convince my daughter that eating icecream makes you young when she catches me eating icecream watching Saturday Night Live?
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Old 08-13-2004, 05:23 AM   #2
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I don't agree either and I am kind of fumed all snacks have to be store bought!!
What ever happened to being able to bake! I feel it's cheaper.
I used to bag up trail mix( of course blah no m&m's, marshmellows or peanuts) now they can't have that!

It's not like they'd be eating the ice cream and cupcakes ALL DAY LONG!
Oh well!!
Not much we can really do they have their guidelines for reason!
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Old 08-13-2004, 05:26 AM   #3
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where do they come up with these things? I have "terrible" eating habits (which my DH reminds me of frequently). I spoke to a nutritionist ( I think I spelled that wrong but I can't figure out ow else to. oh well) about it - specifically about the amount of chocolate and drive-thru food I was eating. She pretty much laughed and said if I was eating a whole chocolate cake and deep-fried food all the time then she would be concerned but a small bag of MnMs once or twice a week was not a huge deal. Plus, a hamburger is a hamburger... so while the food you fix at home is better - a Mcd's hamburger is still a hamburger and has protein... and the lettuce is letuce, etc. It sure was nice to tell my DH what the nutritionist said

but back to your post - NO ICE CREAM??? there should be a law against rules for no ice cream. Ice Cream and Chocolate are two of the most important food groups! Maybe you should move?!
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Old 08-13-2004, 05:44 AM   #4
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It's all to do with State guidelines about food available in schools. Instead of taking out the soda and snack machines which make money for the schools, the Stae (in its infinite wisdom) decided that parents are not able to make good choices for their children and banned everything. So, while certain snacks can still be sold at the lunch -line, parents are not allowed to send things in, unless they are for educational purposes - marshmallows can be used for geometric designs with toothpicks, but the children are not to eat them!

However, I think do not think that they will be monitoring what my child takes in his lunchbox, so I may sneak in a tootsie roll every so often (but he will take Ritz Bits or cheese and crackers or a Nutrigrain bar for snack time).

If only the State would focus on the whole school funding issue instead of passing laws that penalise parents or make children say the US Pledge of Allegiiance, followed by the Texas Pledge of Allegiance (doesn't that create a conflict of allegiance - and how insluting to non-Texans, not just non-Americans) and then a minute of silence, but no prayer!

Sometimes this State just doesn't make sense to me.

Confused of Texas!
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Old 08-13-2004, 05:45 AM   #5
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If you are wondering what Chi Chi is referring to, here is a link to a doucment from the State of Texas that outlines what students can and can't have to eat during school hours. This applies to all schools who participate in a school breakfast/lunch program.

http://www.agr.state.tx.us/foodnutri...ion_policy.pdf


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Old 08-13-2004, 05:59 AM   #6
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Sure and why not on top of that RAISE the school lunch price every year. It's now $19 for a two week lunch ticket here. It's not all that bad, but when you have 4 boys...it is. And of course we don't qualify for the reduced or free lunch program because my dh makes too much money.

Ok so they pack right? But now they're looking at what kids eat for lunch each day. Last year around Halloween, I was letting the boys take some of their candy in their lunchboxes. The 7 year old comes home crying with a note saying that his candy was thrown away and they are not allowed to have candy in school. I had a little chat with the principal about destroying my son's personal property and invading his privacy and they stopped for a while. Then the oldest, 11, comes home one day with a note from a "lunch aide", otherwise known as that overzealous mom that volunteers for everything and is the food police, that it is unacceptable to pack the same lunch every day for him because he needs variety in his lunch. Well excuuuse me Miss Hoity Toity but he refuses to eat anything else but peanut butter sandwiches, Cheezits and apple slices for lunch. I think that's a pretty darn good lunch...AND he packs it himself!

It is so frustrating. The boys have to sign a slip every year understanding the school's policies regarding behavior and rules, but there is no regard for their rights as humans. They are well behaved, polite and sweet gentlemen. I am tooting my horn and I can because I've crafted my 3 stepsons to be respectable humans. They are teaching their little brother (my son) to do the same as well. They deserve some sweet tooth escape once in a while don't they?

Ok so I'm done rambling now...back to slaving over my stamps!
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Old 08-13-2004, 06:06 AM   #7
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I agree with my sweet neighbor ChiChi. (She lives not even 2 miles from me!) I have several teacher friends who've complained about it also because of the rewards - remember when you'd get a Super Bubble gum or a sucker for a reward? Now it's stickers or some cruddy toy from the treasure box. What kid wants a STICKER? Gimme a break! And the lack of ice cream & now I believe chocolate is outlawed too. . . how frustrating!

What I don't get it how a big old cinnamon roll can count for breakfast? I mean, at Chandler's school, he has choices for breakfast & for lunch. One of his favorite breakfast choices is a FREAKING CINNAMON ROLL DRIPPING WITH SUGAR! And he tosses back a carton of CHOCOLATE MILK! This is what they serve up as the hot breakfast choice (alongside SUGARED CEREAL and fresh fruit or eggs & sausage), and they won't allow ICE CREAM on Fridays? Or special treats for birthdays.

Jeezzzzzzzz. . . .
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Old 08-13-2004, 06:11 AM   #8
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Crystal Cloud,
I am in a similar position. My son eats a cheese sandwich, some cheese Ritz Bits, an apple or a banana, crunch carrots and drinks Orange juicy juice - every day. On Fridays he likes to have the school's pizza and then he drinks milk.
I have to be very careful about the amount of chocolate he eats (he gets migraines), so occasionally I let him have a couple of cookies. My feeling is that as long as he is eating a healthy lunch THAT HE LIKES, then that is my business and certainly not another mother (who may well be feeding her own inadequacies, because your son does eat apple slices!). It is not the school's job or the State's job to police what my children eat, but if they want to try then "bring it on".
Sorry, but there is such a thing as personal responsability here - you are what you eat, and as parents we have to help our children make right choices, which is what I am trying to do. I get so angry when people try to blame others for mistakes (oops, sorry, poor choices) they have made.

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Old 08-13-2004, 06:12 AM   #9
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cristal Cloud
Then the oldest, 11, comes home one day with a note from a "lunch aide", otherwise known as that overzealous mom that volunteers for everything and is the food police, that it is unacceptable to pack the same lunch every day for him because he needs variety in his lunch. Well excuuuse me Miss Hoity Toity but he refuses to eat anything else but peanut butter sandwiches, Cheezits and apple slices for lunch. I think that's a pretty darn good lunch...AND he packs it himself!
WHAT THE HECK? My kids are the same way - creatures of habit. When we actually did the pack lunch thing, Chandler would take his turkey rolls, crackers, and apple slices. Snack was twisty string cheese - and if we forgot it or ran out . . . LOOK OUT! He'd be miffed, and in a bad way the whole day! Then it was the pattern - hot lunch, pack lunch, hot lunch. . . very much a creature of habit.

If someone was actually sending a NOTE about his own choices, Id've been that lunchlady's ear and told her to keep her nose out of my business. We're in a brand new school, and I go have breakfast with my son at least once a week - so many times I had little kids asking if I could get them some milk & some cereal cause they did not have breakfast at home and did not have money in their account to eat. I'd go buy those kids breakfast! They were too afraid of what the lunch lady would tell them, I think. I say, Worry about THOSE kids, and leave mine alone!

UGH! Nice to know there are many more frustrated with the lunchroom police!
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Old 08-13-2004, 06:17 AM   #10
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Oh my word Cristal-I can't believe that woman wrote you a note about eating the same lunch. I swear that I ate the same lunch every day in elem school. I honestly can't believe your school allows parents to send notes home if they are volunteers!

It is too bad that the actions of some parents have led to the policing of lunch for all. I have had kids in my classroom bring in lunches of chips, kool-aid bottles, and candy for lunch. It is most likely that b/c of these types of lunches, all the parents who understand what moderation is are being penalized.

On the issue of money and buiying snacks-we had some kids claiming they had forgotten lunch money in the office to borrow when they really had brought lunches from home. Then they were using school money to buy the snacks. Or, kids use milk money for the junk food. Also, in our school kids have lunch cards where the parents can put money on them and it deducts it automatically from a card, and teh kids were using that for snacks as well.

In our school the PTA and administration came up with this:
*no lunch card $$ could be used for snacks, only milk or lunches
*snack purchases could be made only after 15 min. of lunch had passed, and the kids would raise their hands and be called on to buy lunch if they had eaten a portion of the healthier food
*snacks were sold only Tues. and Thur.
*if kids did bring in candy (like after Halloween, etc.) they could bring in 2 pieces (not 2 full size bars)

In our school they were sold from the cafeteria, no machines. This policy in TX probably stems from good intentions, but you know what they say about good intentions!
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Old 08-13-2004, 06:28 AM   #11
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Yes, Britta,
It is from good intentions, but it has just gone too far in Texas. I once read a book about feeding children and the doctor said that a jelly/jam sandwich is great, because the child is getting what they need and the jelly/jam counts as a small serving of fruit. Try to introduce variety, but if it doesn't work try again later.
My real feeling is that because they can't sort out the whole finance/funding thing they have introduced these bills/laws to show that at least they are doing something about someting. Cynical, yes, but I hvae little faith on politicians of any persuasion these days (good thing I can't vote - but I still pay taxes!!!)
We start school next week and so I am awaiting the news from our school's admin about this.

Are school breakfast cinnamon rolls next on the hit list?

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Old 08-13-2004, 06:35 AM   #12
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I just read that Texas policy. There's a section that says that children in behavior modification programs can have candy in school if it is part of their reward system for their program.

Yes yes, let's teach our children with problems that food is comfort. That sort of behavior modification lasts into adulthood and turns into eating disorders and alcoholism/drug abuse. What is wrong with these people? Well I guess that part of the population is small enough that they need not concern themselves with it.

It took me YEARS to reteach my stepsons that they don't get candy or food for good behavior. (Long story about their deadbeat mom.) They get me to READ a book with them or we write another page to our story together.

Why does it always seem that I'm two steps forward and someone knocks us three steps back?

Ok I'm done...back to stamps. LOL.

---

After I posted this the mail came with their school packets and lunch menus. The breakfast menu is unbelievable! Every Weds. you get a chocolate chip muffin, fruit choice and milk, every other Tuesday it's a Fruit pie instead of the muffin, Mondays it's two pop tarts instead of the muffin....oooh how about cinnamon sugar breadsticks on Friday. Come on now. Grrr.
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Old 08-13-2004, 06:42 AM   #13
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Cate-my school did away with the cinnamon rolls for breakfast-but it was a teacher request, not policy!! We don't get breakfast calendar menus, but we started noticing that our kids came in buzzed many days. So many of our kids get free/reduced breakfast that they were on a sugar high since ours were covered in syrupy glaze!
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Old 08-13-2004, 06:47 AM   #14
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I actually agree with the teachers and school on that - it's not part of a "healthy breakfast" no matter what the commercials say! Children do not need to be laden with sugar first thing in the morning and the school cafeteria can provide healthier selections (even reducing the amount of glaze helps!). And they wonder why children have discipline problems and are not learning!

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Old 08-13-2004, 07:00 AM   #15
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I work for the school district and we field calls like this from both ends of the spectrum all the time. This week we received a call from a mother, she was furious that the corn dogs were now made from turkey dogs instead of just being wieners. It was not because her son didn't like them, she just had issues that they weren't beef. Sorry to inform her, they weren't all beef last year either. The turkey dogs, which her son really liked, were better for him than the old wieners they used to have.

Our districts have gone to healthier meals in the cafeteria for the reasons that those children on free lunch and breakfast have nutritional issues at home because of lack of money. Some children go to bed with only the two meals they've received at school in their stomach. And while it shouldn't have to be the school taking the lead on proper nutritian, it does for some children. Our schools have eliminated all fried food this year from the menu (those corn dogs are baked) in an effort to teach proper nutrition and increase productivity in the class room.

As a parent I'm happy. As the person getting the calls, well, that's what I get paid for.

In regards to Texas ~ wow! Too harsh! A cupcake once in a while, ice cream after school on Friday, they don't hurt kids. That's just being too over zealous.
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Old 08-13-2004, 07:08 AM   #16
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I am here in TX and when the note came home that we can no longer bring cupcakes to school my eyes welled up with tears. Last year for my children's birthdays we brought in cupcakes and spider rings. The teacher and lunch ladies were upset that I bought two different color spider rings in because the kids didn't get the same thing! Give me a break! At least everyone in the class got something. Also this gift came out of MY pocket!!! We brought in snacks at lunch time because with all the birthdays in our house we just have not done the birthday party thing. Our mini party was at school. Some of the kids sang Happy Birthday and it was great. The letter we got home this year suggested we bring in pencils for the kids........I am thinking about bringing in noise makers! hee hee! If the teachers and lunch ladies complain I will have to tell them that cupcakes would be a quieter treat!

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Old 08-13-2004, 07:24 AM   #17
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At the risk of upsetting anyone...and the Lord knows I do not want to do that...but I have 17 years experience working in schools. I would like to try to give the schools perception. First, a cupcake or ice cream (except, apparently in Texas) are wonderful treats for a birthday or holiday party. The problem occurs during everyday snacks. We literally had children bringing bags of candy, sugared cereal, and sugared soda, to school as their snack. Brain research tells us that initially there is a quick sugar high that is immediately followed by a sustained drop in energy level. Schools and teachers are CONSTANTLY drug through the mud in the media for not doing a good job teaching. We've been taught to smile, and be professional, while being kicked in the gut. The No Child Left Behind act is a MAJOR threat that is constantly held over our heads. How can effective teaching/learning occur if we have kids bouncing off the walls with a sugar high and then immediately struggling to pay attention due to an energy drop. Granted, I believe that improvements need to be made in education. And quite frankly, I believe we need to be held accountable for student's achievement, but its a job that needs to have the parents as partners for it to work. That may mean sending your child to school with a good night sleep, homework completed, bathed, AND bearing a healthy snack. Healthy snacks such as peanuts, peanut butter crackers, yougurt cups, granola, fresh fruit, string cheese, etc. You would be horrified by the number of children who come to school NOT ready to learn.

That brings me to my next point, store bought treats. This is such a sensitive issue. I believe your school has that policy in order to protect your children. There is a percentage of children in every school (some a small percentage others a large percentage) that the school can not trust the cleaniless of the child's home or how safe a treat made in that home will be. It is politically incorrect to single out those homes as being the only homes that have to bring store bought treats. Call it a cope out, its just easier, and more polite, to have a school-wide policy.

I know this won't cool down the heated words I was reading, but may be it will put a little light on both sides of the issue.

Are we still friends?
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Old 08-13-2004, 07:30 AM   #18
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That is really too bad about not having cupcakes and ice cream, especially for a birthday! I got a note from my child's kindergarten teacher at the beginning of the year not to bring cupcakes for birthdays due to several food allergies in his class. Her suggestion was to send fruit snack (roll-ups, gummy bears, etc) and fruit juice boxes instead! This was the one sweet that no child had allergies to. Some of the Moms were glad, they could just go to the store and buy these treats without having to make or buy the cupcakes! Later on in the year (I can't remember the holiday or occasion), we did have a party with cupcakes and ice cream. I bought special non-dairy ice cream for the two kids who couldn't have milk and another mom made special (non chocolate and non-dairy) cupcakes for the three kids who couldn't have them. That was the only day the whole year that they got to have cupcakes and ice cream! They did get to eat candy at Christmas time when they made gingerbread houses and on Valentine's day. (The teacher didn't remind the students about chocolates, though, my son received several chocolate candies!)

Texas' policy does seem too harsh. I do agree that kids should eat as healthy as possible at school, especially if they are on the free or reduced breakfast and lunch programs, but give them a treat now and then!
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Old 08-13-2004, 07:43 AM   #19
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Ok, just looking for some clafication: They still have soda machines in the schools where they are enforcing this policy?? I've had big issues with our local schools selling caffiene beverages out of machines for some time, and I would have an even bigger problem if there were still soda machines AND they had this policy in effect!
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Old 08-13-2004, 07:50 AM   #20
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Our schools still have the machines, but they don't have soda in them. They have fruit drinks, sports drinks, and water. The snack machines have healthy snacks. I don't know about other schools, that's just our schools and my daughter's school (different district than the one I work in).
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Old 08-13-2004, 08:01 AM   #21
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No kids here...but I still have an opinion...

I have a couple of nephews with NASTY food allergies. In Canada, my understanding is that they have only limited certain foods (and I'll have to check with my sister in law the teacher) such as peanut butter (allergies to peanuts have risen by over 57% in the last 8 years) in elementary schools. I can't speak to the school lunch programs because I am in an isolated area, and our schools don't have them. (The elementary school in town has a microwave.....that's their hot lunch program, LOL....)

Kids have to go home for lunch because there is no funding for monitors during noon hour.

The school has banned things like Ichiban noodles (57% sodium content and 33% fat per package) as they have no nutritional value. We have a very high percentage of low income families here...if anyone at the school tried sending home a note about Jimmy's lunch, they'd likely be the guest of honour at a lynching!! Seriously. It is NOT the school's place to tell the parent how to feed their child.

If the school has concerns, they should contact Child and Family services......or better yet have a discussion with the parents first. It's easy to point a finger and say someone else should do something differently...but the old saying of "walk a mile in their shoes" comes into play. Who knows why parents send what they do? Kids can be fussy eaters! Most parents (not all, most) have some common sense.

And the schools should try to remember who funds them.....the taxpaying parents. The same parents who run the PAC and volunteer all their time to extracurricular activities.
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Old 08-13-2004, 08:12 AM   #22
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I just got the welcome back letter from my kid's elementary school, and the lunches have gone up to $1.85 each. My kids usually pack, but they love a couple of things on the menu and buy those days and on pizza day, Friday. Our cafeteria does sell snacks, but only to fourth and fifth graders, and only if the parents consent. We send checks in to the school for lunches, and they're put on an account that the kids access each day with a PIN. We can block snacks through the system.

Our school cut out birthday parties for kids 8 years ago. We only have two parties per year, Halloween and Valentine's Day. The treats for these parties have to be store bought with a clear ingredient list on them. We have many children with various dietary concerns from food allergies to diabetes.

My kids also are creatures of habit. They always take a PBJ, apple slices, a nutrigrain bar, and sometimes a frozen Gogurt if we have them in the house. I cannot imagine someone telling me what my kids need to eat, but if they did I'd welcome them into my house to find and fix other things my kids like. Till then, they're eating what they like, and what I know they won't throw away.

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Old 08-13-2004, 09:54 AM   #23
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I have to say I agree with the school systems "trying" to give children healthier foods. If you want to send foods with sugar in your lunchbox, I think that should be your choice, but some kids are more sensitive to the effects of sugar than others and I think it's harmful to have so much sugar-laden food as their "school lunch" options. And what is wrong with eating healthy, anyway?

As for birthdays, most of us probably associate birthdays and celebrations with food - but maybe we would all be a lot healthier (and happier?) if we focused on the celebration itself and not the sugar that tends to go along with it.

Sorry for sounding like I'm on a soapbox - I truly don't mean to be and certainly don't mean to be judging anyone's parenting - just stating my 2 cents! If you are interested in reading some theories on the effects of sugar in the body, check out this site: http://www.littlesugaraddicts.com/
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Old 08-13-2004, 10:35 AM   #24
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Ok, I have to put in my 2cents and yall can give back change if ya want...

I have a 6 yr old and a 10 yr old. B/c I am not working and b/c it is cheaper, both kids pack lunches. My son's school has machines but they sell juices and juice wannabes. I can handle that. We are still allowed to bring in homebaked items for room parties and such. I have been in school districts where it had to be store bought. I can understand that but it is still frustrating.

My son in ADHD with impulsiveness to boot. He is a very intelligent kid and very kindhearted. Give him too much sugar and he is a tazmanian devil. I agree that we should limit the amount of sugar intake but to eliminate all is also not the way to go. As parents, we should be responsible for making good choices and teaching our children to make good choices for themselves. Unfortunately, we do not live in a world where we all take responsiblity for ourselves. Schools have had to step in.
I am one of those parents who volunteers alot at the schools and I see what kids are eating. I have been poor and I have qualified for free lunches, we don't now but I try to make my kids lunches or choices for lunches (they pack their own) as healthy as possible without them going to school and trashing their lunch. Some of the kids were bringing in candy, chips, and wannabe juice/koolaid. Nothing you can really do about that. I would try to bring an extra sandwich or piece of fruit but they always refused it b/c they wanted what they had. The teacher tried the same. The Leave No Child Behind act that the Bush administration pushed thru has made the lives of the schools even harder. You would not believe the kinds of things schools have to do now. Talk about set up to fail.
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Old 08-13-2004, 11:20 AM   #25
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Michelle Y:
I agree that sugar highs are so bad, and understand from the teacher's point of view. The NCLB act is creating terrible strain on teachers and adminsitrators and if they could only be left to do the job they are trained for then things would improve. NCLB seems to me to have the basic premise that all children have a certain level of intelligence to start with and a certain lifestyle. Politicians need to butt out and let teachers teach.

Have you seen the level of sugar in some of the "sports drinks"? Glucose and high fructose corn syrup are sugar by another name. I stopped buying them when the buzz they gave my children was unbearable and the migraines became worse.

As regards the soda machines - I was at Middle School open house and my daughter wanted a Sprite (she's only just started to drink them at age 11, and doesn't like Colas, my sons still don't like fizzy) so my DH went to the machine. Out came a Coke. I thought the soda machines were supposed to have been removed. I will check.

Good nutrition does not have to mean the latest fad - it means being aware of what we eat and being sensible. If a child's only hot meal is at school then let's make sure it's a good one. Can we make pizza sauce with less sugar? YES. Do we need to add sugar to everything? NO.

SO while I agree with the need to reduce sugars in children's diets, I object to Government regulations that are so high-handed and intrusive.

How about more money for Education, teachers and particularly nutritional education and less for the politicians who dream up unworkable schemes and make teachers' lives a misery?

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Old 08-13-2004, 01:46 PM   #26
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As much as I LOVE to bake, especially cute little treats for birthdays and holidays, I have to agree with a school system's decision to ban homemade goodies. My 6 year-old has a severe nut allergy. He knows that he can't have nuts, but more often than not, it's not that obvious whether something has nuts in it or not. And you can't rely on a child that age to say no to a tempting treat, especially when everyone else is having it.

I know I am extra sensitive on the allergy issue, but I think the school system, on this issue, is just trying to make it a safe environment for everyone. This is a potential life-threatening situation. At our school, homemade treats are still allowed but a letter goes out in the beginning of the year advising parents of the prevalence of food allergies and requesting to not bring those types of foods. Based on the treats brought in, it seems that at least half of the parents either didn't read or chose to ignore this request. And I've never seen anyone provide an ingredient list when they bring in homemade treats.

My biggest fear is that the teacher will not know the ingredients, will assume it is safe, and will let him have it. (BTW, I do provide alternate snacks for my child as an alternative and request that they are used whenever there is doubt.) I hope this policy in my school will change to ban homemade treats before my son or any other allergic child needs an epi-pen injection and trip to the ER.

Whew! This was the most serious post I've ever made! Glad it's over! Now back to stamping!!!
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Old 08-13-2004, 02:03 PM   #27
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It seems to me that getting too overzealous as to what children eat will backfire in the long run. As soon as the restrictions are gone, they will simply binge on whatever they can put their hands on. Far better to teach moderation...eat something, even if the nutritional value isn't that great, in small amounts. Learn to TASTE the food as you are eating it rather than just shoveling it in! (Does this sound like a familiar lecture? Because it is!)

However, the problem of childhood obesity is not neccesarily what they are eating (though that does contribute to it). The actual problem is not what they are eating, it's their activity level.

Growing up in the 60's and 70's, I ate a lot of junk. My parents kept cookies, ice cream, chips, and pop in the house. We had sugar cereal available for breakfast if we wanted it (I didn't really care for most sugared cereal, except for Captain Krunch...mmmm...I don't buy this too often as I overdose on it if it is in the house!) We also were alotted one candy bar per week. Our bedtime snack was routinely cookies and milk. None of us were fat when we were growing up because we were active! We rode our bikes, we walked places, we were not allowed to sit around watching television all day. We had gym classes in school. There were no VCR's, no computer games, no game boys, no Sega Playstation to sit in front of.

This is the true reason for childhood obesity. What good is it to ban sugar in school if you don't address this problem, which frankly, cannot be addressed? You can tell people what they can eat at school all day, but if you send them home after a day with no gym class, to their SEGA playstation and all the sugar their heart desires, you are just p*ss*n' in the wind, IMHO!

Not only that, you can ban sugar all you want, but as long as the cafeteria food still contains processed white flour, you are wasting your time. That stuff turns to sugar in the bloodstream faster than you can believe. Far better to eat a nice oatmeal cookie than a piece of Wonder bread! Even a handful of M & M's has less effect on your blood sugar than a sandwich made with white bread.

That said, I happen to be the mother of the three pickiest kids on the planet. Despite the fact that their father and I eat a large variety of foods, the fact that we enjoy fruits and vegetables and different ethnic cuisine, my kids simply refuse to eat anything that has "sauce", is "mixed together" or looks like it is spicy. I figure they are all changlings. Someone else got the adventurous eating kids that I really gave birth to and substituted these three picky kids instead!

My son starts full time kindergarten in a few weeks and I have to wonder what I can pack for him that he will eat. He will eat yogurt and cheese cubes...that's pretty much as healthy as he gets. He will eat salsa and chips, so I buy the chunkiest, freshest stuff possible, but it's not really something you can pack in a lunch. So the lunch will have to revolve around the yogurt and I will be trying to put a few things that he's never eaten in now and then and see if he will actually try them.
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Old 08-13-2004, 02:36 PM   #28
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I agree with Jan that politicians are not focussing on the entire problem... they need to address the lack of funding for physical activity, along with the lack of nutrition education, along with the menu, along with the risks of food safety and allergens, and the tendency of children to be picky eaters.... not a job I'd like to handle. Well, I'll try for the nutrition education, since I like to think that I am educated on this matter (got my MS in nutrition in December, and just passed the exam for Registered Dietitians yesterday morning YAY!)

But at any rate, I think the issue is just like many issues out there... absolutely not black and white. There are so many shoes to put yourself in to try and understand the whole thing, and no solution will make everyone happy. I guess the important thing as a responsible parent is to do your best to teach healthful moderation to your own children and expose them to as many foods and as much variety as possible without forcing it too much. Sometimes it takes as many as 15 to 20 of offering a food to a child to have them accept it, but not forcing it... just having it on the table as one of the choices in the meal.

As a contractor to a school district nutrition department, I know that school district nutrition departments do have to meet federal nutrition standards, so the meals fall into certain calorie, fat, etc requirements, but they also have the tough job of getting foods that the children will actually eat, too, because it's no good if it's all thrown away at the end of the meal. So they get recognizable foods to kids (corn dogs) that meet healthier standards (turkey dogs).

Anyway, just on my own soapbox.... I'm sure I'll have an even broader perspective when my one year-old goes to school! Food is such a difficult topic, because not only is everyone different, so food affects them differently, but because it's such an integral part of being ALIVE (for sustenance as well as for emotional reasons) everyone's an automatic expert.... so emotions and tempers often flare.

Gonna try to go stamp now, but I think the little guy has woken up again and is planning on continuing the day the way he started it... he started whining for no discernable reason (teething?) the minute he woke up, and he has hardly stopped all day. Calgon, take me awaaaaay.

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Old 08-13-2004, 02:52 PM   #29
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JanTInk

None of us were fat when we were growing up because we were active! We rode our bikes, we walked places, we were not allowed to sit around watching television all day. We had gym classes in school. There were no VCR's, no computer games, no game boys, no Sega Playstation to sit in front of.

This is the true reason for childhood obesity. What good is it to ban sugar in school if you don't address this problem, which frankly, cannot be addressed? You can tell people what they can eat at school all day, but if you send them home after a day with no gym class, to their SEGA playstation and all the sugar their heart desires, you are just p*ss*n' in the wind, IMHO!

Not only that, you can ban sugar all you want, but as long as the cafeteria food still contains processed white flour, you are wasting your time. That stuff turns to sugar in the bloodstream faster than you can believe. Far better to eat a nice oatmeal cookie than a piece of Wonder bread! Even a handful of M & M's has less effect on your blood sugar than a sandwich made with white bread.
Amen to that!

We were almost too skinny as kids.....mom is a GREAT cook and none of us were that picky, but there was just SO MUCH to do, we didn't want to tie ourselves down! My neice was horrifed to hear that "Nanna" only let us watch 2 hours of TV during the school week!!! Yes, 2. We didn't have video games.....or anything like that. We had bikes, and friends....which is all we needed! We had 2 acres of a back yard to ride and run in...and we did! We were almost never home...except for dinner.

My mom was a SAHM ~ as she said, when she had kids, she knew what her job was......that was raising her children. I jokingly call her June Cleaver...because she was the epitome of a perfect mom. Baking, cooking, sewing, cleaning.....she did it all. And we never had pre-packaged, pre-prepared foods, EVER. The closest we came was the Shake and Bake she used on occasion. Everything came "from scratch" and she did/does all her own canning, jam making, etc.

Things are so different now. Kids just have no idea. Most can't imagine life before video games. If they only knew!!
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Old 08-13-2004, 02:54 PM   #30
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Hey, Jan, I've got a picky eater, too! You can send salsa to school (or in my child's case, ranch dip to go with her carrots!) A neighbor and I went in on a very large quantity of 2 oz. disposable cups with lids to put this kind of stuff in, salsa would work fine and is pretty healthy, too (well, if you forget about the chips!) They sometimes have these at Costco or Sam's, we got them at the local wholesale grocery. We ended up using them first for healthy snacks (veggies and dip) during our fourth graders' state testing (called the WASL here). Then we both us realized we could send all sorts of liquid snacks with our kids and have used them a lot since then! Anyway, just a suggestion for you!

I think your point is a good one. Today's kids just don't get enough exercise! We as parents probably don't either! (Here I am sitting at my computer instead of going outside to take a walk or weeding! Of course, it is 90 degrees and the air is filled with smoke from our local raging wildfires, so might be safer to be inside!)

On the other hand, as a psychologist (though not a specialist in children), it is very important to also let children have occasional treats, otherwise they will crave them or sneak them! My neighbor uses taking away sweets as a punishment for her two elementary aged boys. They are constantly over here in my closets eating sweet things, whenever possible! Although neither of them have weight problems yet, I am concerned that they are already sneaky, closet eaters and that kind of punishment really doesn't fit their "crimes."

Also, most successful diets for adults allow an occasional sweet treat, however small and simple (one or two chocolate kisses, not a whole box of chocolate chip cookies!) By successful, I mean the person is able to maintain their weight loss, or most of it.

Moderation in everything!!! Now, I am getting off of my bottom and going to do some housework (or stamping, does that qualify as exercise?)
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:00 PM   #31
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Ok....I am sitting hear eating ANOTHER bowl of caramel ice cream!!!! I think we are lucky here.......they stay out of our business. They encourage the kids to drink ANY kind of milk.....so chocolate milk every day is ok! School lunches are $2 each....way to much for me with 3 girls in school next year. They have snacks that the parents take turns bringing....usually crackers. I think they are pretty laid back compared to what you all have said. The kids can't chew gum and that’s about it! My kids east the same lunch every day too, they fix it, they eat it……works great for me!

One teacher a few years ago gave my daughter a detention for not wearing a suitable coat........it was fall, not winter.....sheeesh. I called her and gave it to her.....It's my DD, If I feel like her coat is warm enough then it's none of her business....I told her that it is our place to decide that not her. The poor girl was already sweatin'! She was a nut and a half.......sucked the creativity right out of the kids too. Man she did not like me........

so those of you who have said that people are getting into and trying to control that junk food consumption,....Jan is right on the mark (again!)....look at me....my mom was a health nut...and here I am, Again, eating the biggest bowl of ice cream you can imagine......call me a binger!!! Activity is the Key!!!

All you in Texas.....come to bellingham!!!!!
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:04 PM   #32
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Ok, just looking for some clafication: They still have soda machines in the schools where they are enforcing this policy?? I've had big issues with our local schools selling caffiene beverages out of machines for some time, and I would have an even bigger problem if there were still soda machines AND they had this policy in effect!

I am a Texas public school teacher. They have removed carbonated cola drinks from the school. The replacements are bottled water, sports drinks and juice drinks. The juice drinks have more sugar and calories than the colas. I teach Consumer & Family Sciences (home ec) so I do have a background in nutrition. I believe that if they really want to impact health of children, the excessive amount of starches served should be reduced. It is very hard to provide required rewards when even a piece of gum has been banned by the state. The suggestions we receive for rewards are items such as stickers or a pencil. I teach in a junior high and those items are not rewards. It is frustrating.
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:28 PM   #33
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My kids are only aloud to buy one day a week (my rule). I feel that we can pack them a healthier lunch than the school can provide! They suggest not letting them have a bunh of sugary snacks and that is understandable, but going in someones lunch box and throwing food away that is outragous.
My dh says they are our children not the school's (this is regarding another issue that burns him up, but I won't add more fuel to the fire).
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Old 08-13-2004, 03:47 PM   #34
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I have to respectfully disagree that it is "very important to let children have treats" if you only mean candy and sweets when you say "treats." There are other ways to reward children, and I have had in-depth conversations with parents whose children no longer crave sugar and therefore do not need to "sneak" anything, as their family is totally sugar-free. (And btw, Jan, you are right on when you talk about white flour!) Granted my 4 yo DD is not totally sugar-free and probably never will be - BUT it's a cop-out, imho, to say they *need* sugar! What we do here at our house is try to offer the healthiest foods we can and make sure to include good amounts of protein with every meal and snack to limit the sugar-crashes.

I'm not going to argue this point further, as it seems to create a lot of negativity - and hey, we're here to stamp, right?? I do suggest, though, that all parents seriously consider this issue - and not just dismiss it with the "sugar isn't that bad" thoughts. Okay, no more from me. sorry if I offended anyone.

Back to your regularly scheduled stamping addiction....
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Old 08-14-2004, 06:17 AM   #35
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I don't know about all of you, but when I was growing up we had physical education every single day at school, and we practically lived outside when we weren't at school. My school district, one of the wealthiest in the country (not that we are by any means), has cut so much funding for the schools that my kids only get PE once a week. Not only that, but there's never enough time to get a whole day's schooling in, so the kids have an hour or two of homework every day. I'm not complaining about doing schoolwork with my kids, I just hate for them to miss time they could be playing outside. When it's regular, standard time, by the time they get home from school at 3:50 and get their homework done, it's dark here. Frustrating, to say the least.

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Old 08-14-2004, 06:44 AM   #36
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Our local school system (the one we just bailed out of, LOL!) is going to "Pay to Play" for the extracurricular sports. Just have to wonder how well this is going to go over, especially since the school board just voted themselves each a nice raise!

My children, despite their access to sugar, all seem to be doing fine as far as their weight goes. My 5 and 7 year olds are both very slender. My 9, almost 10, year old is a bit chubby right now, but that's a very common stage for a preteen. I discussed it with her doctor and she agrees with me; this is the way the body works to stretch the skin before a that big growth spurt when she hits 13 or so. I encourage as much physical activity as possible and we usually enroll them for some sort of summer or spring sport program each year to help keep them active.

I started raising my kids in the era where we were warned about making food too much of an issue, so as to avoid eating disorders later in life, so I have simply tried to offer as much healthy choices without making it a big issue.

The school system has done a great job of teaching nutrition, but it rings pretty false when you look at the cafeteria menus, especially the breakfast ones...they are just like what someone else posted up here: poptarts are a pretty common offering. I buy poptarts, but only on occasion. I don't keep them in the house all the time, but only buy them when they are on sale for a special treat. I don't keep cookies in the house all the time, only for an occasional treat; usually what is around for sweets are graham crackers, fruit snacks, and apples. But my children still LOVE anything with sugar!
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Old 08-14-2004, 07:40 AM   #37
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I love reading all the different sides of the story. I was telling my DH last night how great it is for us to "agree to disagree" on some of the serious issues here while we can have fun sharing our love of stamping and art.

Of course, we had this conversation at 10 o'clock last night while I was enjoying my Krispy Kreme donut

P.S. My hubby is a family practice clinician and gives nutrition classes, etc. He is more of an exercise freak than a nutrition police, though, but that is another hot topic, isn't it....
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Old 08-14-2004, 08:28 AM   #38
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Living in Texas, I had to chime in! The way I understand the new guidelines is that other parents or teachers cannot feed your children 'junk food'. As the parent you can send whatever you want for your own child. This may be the underlying problem. As expressed in a former post, some kids take lunches packed with colas, chips and candy. I guess having additional sweets helps cut down on the amount of junk food some kids have. It is a very frustrating situation because the state can't 'fix' this by putting limitations on treats! More P.E. and activity would be a major plus!
And to the 'food police' issue - my daughter takes her lunch everyday (won't buy) and she takes the same lunch EVERY DAY. She doesn't want variety. It is pretty nutritious, but I would be very upset if anyone from the school (parent or teacher) gave me advice on what to pack in my children's lunches!
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