We recently wrote an article about school lunchbox rules and what parents are really feeding their children and it comes as no surprise that parents had a lot to say about the issue.
Do you agree with school rules regulating what we put in our kids' lunchboxes? Are there some rules you disagree with? Send us your comments and we could publish them. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.
Here's some of the feedback we received:
"They are allowed sweets and chips on Fridays and birthdays"
"At my daughter's preschool the standard is no sweets, chips, processed food (like two-minute noodles), or fizzy drinks during the week, however these are allowed on Fridays or birthdays. Yogurts, icing-free biscuits and cereal bars are allowed for aftercare and a minimum 1 fruit per child is required daily.
The fruit gets collected from all children every morning and put in a couple of large bowls of fruit salad, which gets put out in class during lunchtime as well as on the porch during playtime, so kids who want some or feel peckish can just help themselves."
– Riana du Toit
Also see: Beautiful lunchbox ideas (that don't require cold cuts)
"Whatever they don't eat at school, they eat at home"
"I have two sons, one in Grade 1 and one in Grade 00. The eldest has no school lunch rules but the youngest, who is also type 1 diabetic, has strict lunch rules.
Both are not fans of bread so they get crackers instead, with a variety of fillings: ham; cheese; tuna etc. They also get 2 fruit options and a veg option for the youngest. They feel pressured to eat quickly as they also want to play during their break. Whatever they don't eat at school, they eat at home. Variety is very important as I hate eating the same things and I encourage my sons to try new things."
– Jill Theunissen
Also see: Lunch box tips for your little one
"I do not agree with someone else telling me what my kid must eat, that is not your job"
"We all know that kids on sugar can become little gremlin-like creatures who are impossible to manage.
I empathise with teachers. They need to be cool, calm and collected whilst facing a horde of little kids or temperamental teens, so it makes sense to request that sugary drinks and chips are limited.
But, I do not agree with someone else telling me what bread, spread, cheese (or not), ham (or not) my kid must have for school, that is not your job.
When did common sense die? Really, because I do think common sense died somewhere in the mid to late '90s? Anything that revs your kid up at home will have the same effect at school, use your noggin and the grey matter contained therein. If you MUST use jams… thinly spread, people – no need to lay it on so thick and that goes for any sugary spread–moderation. YOU know what triggers a sugar tantrum. YOU know what your child will and won’t eat, YOU know what their dietary requirements are, ergo, use YOUR common sense and pack lunches appropriately.
These specialist diets put up by some schools smacks of a certain type of “elitism” to me; and if you don’t match that well then you, sir/madam, are just poor parents… pun intended.
What about kids who don’t eat these things? What about costs? Anyone ever think of that? Eating healthy costs money, and food not eaten is food wasted is money down the drain. I’d rather my child at least have a meal than have a lovely fancy, stocked lunchbox that she doesn’t touch, and ends up going hungry, which will affect her learning ability far more than a small breakfast bar would.
Sorry, if I pay for the food, I get to decide what is eaten. If schools want to have special diets, by all means, supply. However, if I have to budget and supply and keep a little one’s stomach full, then using my noggin and the grey matter previously referred to, I will pack in what I can afford and what I know is reasonably healthy and acceptable.
No child should be eating chocolates and chips every day anyway, but what the hell is wrong with a square of cheese?
So, frankly, the fancy guideline is just that… a guideline.
The full irony is, of course, when birthdays come around, party packs are dished out. Teachers let the kids have the sweets, Oros, Coke or whatever other ridiculously sweet thing is brought for the class – and then send those little sugar-laden monsters (I love you, my child, but you’re a little sugary psycho after a cupcake too many!) home. Quid Pro Quo? I wonder sometimes, hehehe.
Just my 2 cents.
PS: I survived school on jam, peanut butter, jam AND peanut butter sarmies, polony (I SURVIVED POLONY – that should be a T-shirt!), WHITE bread (the horror!) and cheese and ham toasted sarmies, as did most of my generation… no fancy shmancy millennial diets for us. I reckon we did alright."
– Neil Hamilton
What are some of the lunch box rules you agree/ disagree with? Send us your comments and we could publish them. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.