Friday, November 20, 2009

Seriously...?!?!

It is Aloha Friday! In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that people take it easy and look forward to the weekend.

alohafriday1
Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your comment below and link in Kailani’s blog. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

This weeks question is:
Do you send candy in your children's school lunches as a dessert (especially now that we all have too much Halloween candy.) Or growing up did your parents send you with candy as dessert once in a while? Does your school have a no candy policy in lunches brought from home?

Ok, so I have a fire under my butt this week.

I received this letter from the school Monday...

"Dear Potters Road Families,

This year, Potters Road Elementary has joined the other elementary schools in West Seneca and neighboring districts that have made the decision to eliminate lunch visitations.

In addition, in an effort to promote healthy food choices, pop, candy, and restaurant food (i.e. McDonalds) cannot be brought into the school cafeteria. This policy is consistent throughout the district. I encourage you to contact me with any questions.

Sincerely,
Holly Quinn
Principle"

This has gotten out of hand. On Monday, my son came home upset because I sent him to school with part of a chocolate bar (he bought in school) for dessert in his bag lunch. Seriously? My 8yr old is worried he is going to be expelled for bringing candy into school. Seriously? I can no longer send in a tootsie roll as a special dessert in his lunch? Or leftover pizza? WTH? BUT the schools can serve my kid chicken nuggets, pizza, cake, ice cream and fruit cups stored in heavy syrup? Seriously...? When did I stop being the parent and loose my right to choose what my 8yr old is fed? While I understand that as a society we should be healthier, but seriously? Who hasn't sent Halloween/Christmas candy in their child's lunch as a dessert or as a child had their parents send it? Instead of policing what I send in my son's lunch, why don't you take a look at your own lunch menu?...
Where did the input come from for this decision? When did candy become evil? When my husband talked to the principle, she told him that it is unacceptable to send in that "tootsie roll" in our son's lunch and when asked why they are selling ice cream & chicken nuggets in the cafeteria, she stated that she has no say in the lunch menu and that we as parents have the right not to purchase the ice cream or school lunch. NICE! It's great to hear I have some rights. At the beginning of the year we sold candy for the school's PTG and I picked it up on Tuesday in the cafeteria...loving the irony. I talked to the vice-superintendent on Wednesday and have been assured they are not going to police the lunch rooms for candy.

BTW...this is the second ridiculous letter from the principle. The first one told all the parents that we are not allowed to pick up our children between 2:30-3:00pm (school ends at 3pm) without a dr's excuse. I bit my tongue then, but she just keeps getting more ridiculous. What's next?

If you are still reading, thank you for listening to me rant. It just rubs me the wrong way when people are trying to take my rights away as a parent.

***edited to add***
We are not huge candy people, I will send a couple small pieces in my son's school lunch if we have it (ie. Halloween candy) as a dessert.

My Signature

38 Sweet Comments:

jaime said...

First, my mom was never big on candy, so we didn't have candy in our lunches. It wasn't really around the house, and even at Halloween, we'd have some after school.

I don't have kids, but my husband is a teacher and while the principal of your son's school is a little out of hand, I know that the candy and sugar can get out of hand at the schools. My husband often has to deal with kids who are dropped off with a Red Bull energy drink for breakfast. What 12-year-old needs a Red Bull?? I think the candy can be done in moderation (like you were trying to do) and the principal needs to understand that....and change their own lunch menu :)

Kiy said...

THIS is why I am struggling with schools. Teach my kid, let me parent. Little Bit is only two and I am already worrying that I am going to be the trouble mom, the rebel mom, the mom who is always questioning why. But then, since I want to raise a daughter who is *exactly* the same way, I don't feel that's a bad thing.

I know I don't want to home school. It's not a bad thing, it just isn't my thing. Also, I think Emi needs someone else (not just me!) to sit on her and make her tow the line. (Strong willed, oh my.) I am just not sold on the fact that once we enroll her in school WE cease to be in charge of her: schedule, meals, life.

Good luck, and good for you guys - keep up raking crazy principal over the coals!

Kiy

JDaniel4's Mom said...

We didn't take candy when I was little. JDaniel isn't in school yet. Who knows what the rules will be in four years?

mannequin said...

I agree with Kiy, schools need to attempt to educate and we will deal with the parenting. I DO NOT appreciate anyone telling me how to raise my child.
My son doesn't NEED a big desert but I always liked to add something sweet in to to off the meal. THerefore, there were times when I sent in a small piece of candy with his lunch.

I would be inflamed!!! This is one of those issues that I would be a troublemaker, I'm sure.
OH? And NOT allowed to pick up my son during some time frame? Heh. Watch me. I would purposely drag him out then just to prove my point.

Eww...... I'm so mad I could spit.

Kimberly said...

Wow, I don't even know what to say! That's something else. I'd be mad too. I understand the point in trying to foster healthy eating habits, but you don't do that by telling the parents what they can and can't give their kids to eat, and then offering them a bunch of carbs instead. (Honestly, their menu reads like it's right off a fast food menu - chicken nuggets, chicken patty sandwiches, sandwiches, pizza, pizza and more pizza.) Craziness...

I am Harriet said...

I think the school has over-stepped it's boundaries. They should be teaching math, not telling parents how to parent.

http://iamharriet.blogspot.com/2009/11/what-is-sexy.html

Andrea said...

Sheesh! Does that "no visitations" mean that parents aren't allowed to come eat lunch with their kids? That's horrible! I'd be more upset about that than the candy thing, but that's awful too. I think you should have the right to put whatever you want in your son's lunches! What's next? Are they going to tell you you can't pack lunches for him and he has to eat the school food? If you want to be a little pushy about it, you could question (to the principal's face) whether this new rule is constitutional.

I don't usually put that kind of stuff in my son's lunch. I used to put a cupcake in once a week or so, but found that when I did that, he ate it first, then wasn't hungry for the "good" food. I hate to think of him coming off his sugar high and being starved for the last hour or two of school because he neglected the other foods! Still, if your son isn't like that, you should be able to put whatever you want in there!

Casy Schweickart said...

First of all I would have killed for my mother to send candy to school with me. My mom hates candy and used to hide our halloween candy and give it out a couple pieces at a time usually after dinner. Second I see nothing wrong with sending candy to school in you children's lunch. If they have a healthy lunch don't they deserve a little bit of a treat? That is a little too far to tell parents what their kids can and can't eat especially if they can buy candy bars at the school itself.

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

Our daughter isn't school age yet, but she does go to Mom's Morning Out. Even though I know they TRY to provide healthy snacks, sometimes convenience food is easier. Still not an excuse.

I do think that sugary foods/drinks of all kinds need to be severely limited at schools because sugar interferes with learning when children are bouncing off the walls. However, ONE, even two, tootsie rolls, is not going to send kids on a sugar high.

I think so many parents have abdicated their parenting responsibility to the schools that when responsible parents show up at the principal's door, it's a shock. Sad.

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

OMG...
Now that would be the last straw for me. Sometimes our children need that little pick me up at lunch. It makes them feel good, and what in the heck is wrong with having a little tootsie roll. They can serve their junk food, but we can't bring our own treats in lunches??? Sounds to me like that are trying to force people to buy their lunches.

I am a Grammy to (7) grandchildren. I have heard the crap they must eat every day if they do not take their lunches. It is like reading a Fast Food Menu, and I know it isn't good for them. So if we send a lunch, and give them a treat, the school takes it away, but they can treat the kids that buy their lunches. Huummm what is wrong with this picture here?

I remember Moma tucking a little Hershey kiss in our lunches sometimes. It was her way of sending love to us during our day. I loved it.

Such a shame, we have come to this. I will be praying about this situation. No Lord's prayer in school, trying to take God out of the pledge of allegiance, and now you have a Lunch Box police.

Stop by and say hi. I would love to have the company. Please keep me posted on this issue.

Country hugs...Sherry

pam said...

I don't think the school really has the right to tell you what to send in your child's lunch. At the school my kids go to, the only rule is no peanut if there is a child in that class with an allergy. We don't have lunch programs either though. We have what is called the balanced day, two breaks when the kids can eat their packed lunch, one at 11 and one at 1. I think that in this day when many children don't have food that can be packed, schools should be happy that kids have food at all. What are the stats now, of people who use the food banks? Maybe they should take a look at that and consider those things. At my kids school there is a stash of emergency food for the kids that don't have enough lunch. The kids can just go and get something if they need it.

Sad but true!...now I have ranted on your blog.

Have a great day:)

Stefany said...

So, while I think things need to change with our kids and their eating habits, I think telling parents what to do is wrong. I think educating parents and children on good nutrition is much more important than taking away something. It would be a completely different situation if you were only sending junk food but there is no reason that your child can not have a tootsie roll in his lunch if you say so.

Watch out, next thing you know there will be no cookies, no jelly, and no fruit snacks. Can't have too much sugar now, can we? (insert sarcasm)

By the way, my kids do get something small in their lunch if we have it.

Shelly said...

I agree with you. You have a right to rant. Parents should be able to decide what goes into their kids' lunches. You can lead a horse to water but ultimately it's the horses' job to take a drink. Yes, we need to teach them good healthy choices. But to say that a parent has no right to put certain things in their kids' lunch bag is crossing the line. What are they going to do next? Where do you draw the line?

http://atticgirl.blogspot.com/2009/11/aloha-friday-black-friday.html

Jillien said...

i never had packed lunch. I always bought it at the cafeteria. But there was never any candy in the house, but I wasn't big into candy then and still am not.

My daughter's preschool doesn't allow them to eat the candies that are packed in with the lunchables... They send it back in their book sacks. But when she goes to elementary and is more independent, I would hope that they wouldn't take away or punish her for any of the candies i may have packed.

Good luck with this. I would be annoyed with a school stepping on my parental toes.

JM

Dee said...

My kids aren't school age yet but I think that is crazy!

Movie Nerd said...

I think your principle needs a PR person. She doesn't have control over HER school, yet she has control over what YOU do? Where is the logic in that?!?!

Silverwinds Photography said...

Wow that's a bunch of crap if you ask me. Yes this country may have problems and yes we may have more unhealthy kids but it's called education....! I too send a small treat here and there but I always send a very healthy meal as well.. and the rule is if you don't eat your good food first you wont keep getting a small treat. I also try to send a piece of fruit everyday as well. I think kids should be allowed to be rewarded with a small treat... I thought the school only had the right to step in when the child could cause harm or if the children was in harm....(like child pertective services).. Sorry hun like they don't have enough stress with body image issues lets just throw some more at them.. instead of teaching them to make healthy choices and love themselves for who they are.

Amy said...

First, we never brought candy to school as it was never considered appropriate. You know the rule - If you don't have enough to share with everyone, don't bring.

Also, for the same reasons, I do not pack candy in Madeline's lunch on the days that she heads to Pre-K. Plus, I wouldn't want Madeline's candy treat to interfere with "Joey" eating the boring fruit or carrot sticks that his mom packed.....and you know it would because you know how kids are.

So...MY OPINION...

In my mind, this isn't a battle worth fighting. For so many reasons, I agree with the school.

(a) sugar definitely affects kids in different ways. In some instances this affect is *dramatic*. The school certainly can't say that "Billy" can't have candy while "Suzie" can but they can enforce no candy at all.

(b) some children do not trick or treat. This is the case because either the parents do not believe in this holiday for religious purposes or maybe they just don't have the money for a costume or they are too darn lazy to take their kids out. Or...some parents might not allow their kids to bring candy in their lunches. So...to avoid the drama (and believe me it's there) between the "haves" and the "have nots", it is easier to put everyone on the same playing field. (Back to the whole old-school rule: If you don't have enough for everyone...." And besides, it *is* a healthy choice.

(c) As far as the school lunches go....believe it or not, the schools have very strict guidelines and portion control that they have to follow as per State guidelines.

Did the school take away your "right to parent"? No! Feed your kids nothing but M&Ms and Kit Kats on your own time. However, they are asking to follow some simple rules that have an affect on their day or the day of other children. There will always be rules and policies to follow in life - whether at school or work. Nothing wrong with learning to follow rules.

Save your energy for bigger fish to fry. I am sure the kids can wait until they get off the school bus to have a Snickers bar.

Jennifer said...

My kids never packed their lunches. Now they are in high school and eat out half the time.

sheila said...

I'm with you. And while they're at it, why the heck don't they let kids get some exercise during school? Ughhh!

There's no harm in a piece of candy. Maybe they should serve nutritious food.


btw, thanks 4 your comment that I'm a cool mom for taking my kids to the midnight New Moon movie...lol. I'm not that cool...I stayed home and gave the the house key (they're 17 & 19) I went to sleep. ha ha ha!

Elaine said...

I'd be a little concerned with the principal's edicts too. My daughter is in middle school (and most schools here don't have cafeterias in middle or elementary school) but they always asked in elementary for parents to avoid sending candy, pop or takeout as well as common allergic foods like peanuts.

This doesn't mean she doesn't get a granola bar, cookies, muffins or a few halloween candies, just that we try to keep those for treats.

The menu for the school's cafeteria reads like an average kids fast food menu by the way.

Angela said...

I guess that rules out lunchables, they come with a little piece of candy! I don't send candy to school because my kids don't go to school yet, but I'm sure I probably would if I could!

Cascia said...

Wow! This is something else. It sounds like your school is really hypocritical. I know a lot of school's are trying to cut back on the junk food and that is great. Although, I believe that parents should have the right to chose what to pack in their child's lunch.

Kristin said...

I'm sorry what? Someone's on a power trip. You can't pick your child up when you see fit? That's going way too far!

~ Noelle said...

That is just wrong...
I mean, a little candy never hurt anyone...
I think it is up to the parent on that... NOT the school, but if ALL you ever send is candy, then I could see the point in no nutrition.. but as a treat?! Come on

Thom said...

What a stupid ass letter. When will they ever learn. It's your child do as you see fit :)

Sue said...

That is ironic about selling candy at school, but then they don't allow them to have it in their lunch.

And I know what you mean, some of our school lunches aren't the healthiest. My son gets pizza every day for lunch - lol.

I think my daughter's teacher has said she prefers no candy (also nothing with peanut butter) , but the school hasn't officially said that. They have advised not picking them up right before school gets out, because it can cause some problems.

Serendipity is Sweet said...

I agree that it's a stupid letter. We homeschool so we don't have to deal with that crap except when they lose my NOI and test scores once a year.

Kelley said...

You are sooo right... look at the lunches they are serving.
"Hello, Kettle"
"Yah, its me the pot."

I appreciate what they are trying to do; but to scare the kids is just not the right way to go about it.

blueviolet said...

I went through this exact same thing with my children. If I wanted to send my kids candy in their lunch, that's MY decision, not the school's. They don't have to serve it if they don't want to, but I can do whatever I want.

Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma said...

I think that the school is definitely overstepping their bounds. It is the parents decision whether or not to give their kid junk food. They can promote healthy eating in other ways with school lunches and what they offer in the classroom for parties and things. I do send him with a tootsie roll or tootsie pop occassionally and I think that a little bit is okay. I don't do it all the time but come on - even lunchables have a sweet treat in some of them!

Joy said...

Talk about a nanny state! I would be ranting too.

mellisarock said...

Rant when you need to!! I think that's just absurd! They can't tell you what you can and can not put in their lunches! I am so fed up with my kid's school too...Last year they had 3 options for lunches...this year they have 3 also...except every day 2 or them are chicken nuggets and pizza. I mean what are they teaching my kids with this crap!! You can eat pizza every day of your lives!! Oh man I got so mad...but I sat my kids down and told them that they have to learn to make choices in life...as there will always be food out there (ie fast food) and you have to know that it is not an every day food...I am proud to say that my kids choose the Chicken Salad option quite often!!! Oh yeah I almost forgot about aloha!! My mom never sent lunches but I send a little candy every once in a while...as a treat!

Stacie said...

We can send whatever we want in their lunches at school. They took out the pop machines and put in juice and water machines at school. The school itself is trying to be healthier. I see more fruit served then I do dessert on the school lunch menu.

I don't think they should dictate what your child can and cannot bring to school to eat.

Heatherlyn said...

That is definitely over reaching. I always like to put a little treat in my kids' lunches. Frankly, if everything else in the lunch is well-balanced there is nothing wrong with a hershey kiss or some small thing like that. In fact, dark chocolate is actually supposed to be good for you in small amounts!

JamericanSpice said...

I never got candy as a child for school and only during the holidays.

I am not sure if I'd give my kids candy in their lunches. However I don't think the school should tell me what to feed my child.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

Oh, my goodness! That is completely out of hand. How ridiculous! Sounds like someone at the school is on a bit of a power trip, if you ask me. So sorry that you had to deal with that. I can't get over the irony of picking up the candy from the school's cafeteria! Ha!!!

Lauranie said...

Ok..I am super late with this comment..but here are my two cents... I can understand both sides, but because there are ppl out there whose parenting choices are questionable...sometimes schools feel like they have to "step in" to regulate...which is ok most of the time because I do feel they have the well-being of my child in mind. But I have also learned with my somewhat "newness" to this game (my oldest is in 2nd grade), that principals and even teachers DO have a say in what goes on in the school...and to say otherwise is a total "cop out"!! So do I sneak little treats in with my daughter's lunch when we choose to send one...yes!! But I have also taught her to not make a big deal out of it and yell it through out the cafeteria or her teacher would be forced to take it away!! ;)

The BIG rant I HAVE is definitely with the check-out/ pick up procedures!!!!! Our school gets out at 2:55...when I asked what would be the earliest I can check my child out and not have it count against her attendance/tardy...I was told 3:09!!! WTH!!! Now our school has only one entrance/exit..buses and cars p/u around the same circle...when I am at the school doing various PTC things...I am constantly being told to go ahead and go so I can "beat the buses" so I don't get stuck there for 30 min waiting for all of the buses to clear the circle....well imagine how surprised I was last year to get a letter from the TRUANCY BOARD saying that I would be PUT IN JAIL AND HAVE TO PAY A $250 fine if my child was absent/tardy one more time!!!! I was like....wait, WHAT???!!! My daughter had only missed 3 days and I had sent dr. excuses for all of those days...as far as Tardies...my daughter rides the bus in the morning, so if she is late getting to school/class on time...it is not my responsibility!! Well when I called the phone # on the letter I recv'd a recording and they got back to me FOUR DAYS later!!! I was then told that TARDY means any time my child misses during the school day...so apparently when I was told BY THE SCHOOL to go ahead and leave at 2:30 to "beat the buses"...they were recording those instances and reporting back to the Truancy Board!!!! Needless to say I do not check my daughter out from school this year...we wait until the buses have cleared before we leave....but it really Pd me off when I told the school that I was being threatened with JAIL because of them....they had NO IDEA!! Apparently the school board just decided to start enforcing that midway through the school year...so all of the schools were FLOODED with phone calls by parents!! Oh girl...sorry to go on and on!! Thanks for letting me RANT!! :)

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