Snack

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by otterpop, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jun 27, 2016

    I allow snack in my classroom at a specific time.

    Last year, I told kids that it needed to be healthy. If they were going to eat oreos, or hot cheetos, fine, but it needed to be at lunch time. I also told them that it needed to be a snack. No sandwiches, no juices (I only allow water), no eating your full lunch an hour before lunch time.

    It worked well at first, but by the end of the year, all kinds of stuff was creeping in. I taught the kids what healthy snack meant, and they policed themselves, but it started to slide a little and by the end it just wasn't a battle I wanted to fight. There were Doritos, cookies, yogurt cups (healthy, but they'd get spilled), and some kids eating their sandwiches before lunch time.

    I was thinking that next year, to combat that issue, I'd simplify it and say only fruit or vegetable for snack. Period. Carrot sticks, apple slices, grapes, etc. I know that this may be something some kids and parents have an issue with, but really, I'd rather not debate whether organic fruit snacks are a candy or a fruit, or why baked chips are appropriate but other chips are not. Does this seem like a fair rule?

    {{Some background... I teach in a school where poverty isn't really an issue. Most kids bring sushi or curry or prepacked deli sandwiches for lunch, so I don't feel like this is a financial burden. I do usually have 2 or 3 students who have a lunch full of junk (pop tart, fruit roll up, oreos for dessert), so they are the only ones who this may be a challenge for.}}
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    I hate policing snack. Mine are also supposed to have a healthy snack, but other stuff does trickle in. I will veto candy/ cookies, but otherwise, as long as they keep working and throw their trash away, I don't say anything.

    I think it's fine if you want to say fruit or vegetable only, but I would be prepared for some push back from parents at some point in the year.
     
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  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    This is how my year turned out to be, because I don't want to police either. But I found it caused problems, because kids would tell each other, "Jake! You're not supposed to have that in class!" Then either Jake or the other kid or both look at me like I supposed to have an answer to that.
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I have allowed snacks in my class for many years. At first, I did have a lot of problems. Some of these included what you described and more. The policy I have now works pretty well.

    I make an acceptable and not acceptable list policy. Anything on the acceptable list is always acceptable and anything on the non-acceptable list is always not acceptable. Anything not on the list is not acceptable without getting permission from me first. The first time the students brings an item that is on the unacceptable list and chooses to eat it, they are warned and asked to save the rest for lunch. The second time I again warn them and have them save it for lunch. The third time students get a consequence. If there is a 3rd time, there is rarely ever a 4th time. I could see being more strict or more lenient, and possibly that might be necessary in the future. Right now it seems to work well the way it is.
     
  6. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    We don't allow students to eat in class. There are many kids who bring a snack to enjoy during AM recess, though (K-3 go to recess from 9:50-10:10 and 4-6 go to recess from 10:15-10:35). Twenty minutes is plenty of time for them to enjoy a treat and still have time to play or visit the library.

    The only things we don't allow: soda, Hot Cheetos/Takis, or candy.
     
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  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I like that, but my school doesn't have AM recess or allow food outside at all. :(
     
  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I used to allow my kids to bring snacks and decided it was not a hill I chose to die on. As long as the snack was small and could be eaten in 5 minutes, I allowed it. I chose to let their parents be the snack police so I didn't have to spend valuable time in snack discussions.
     
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  9. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    I don't normally do snacks but I will this year because we have such a late dismissal. We have lunch at 12 and school ends at 4:15. So I'm going to have a snack time towards the latter part of the day after math, but before we get packed up for dismissal. I don't plan on policing what they bring. I believe that most students will bring a piece of fruit from the cafeteria since they will have it after lunch.
     
  10. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    ,
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
  11. ChildWhisperer

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    I think it's a great idea to only allow fruits & vegetables for snack. Then there's no question about it, and it's healthy.
     
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  12. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    My kids eat lunch at 10:30 (though I've heard that might be different next year - yay!) and don't get dismissed until 3:40 so we had a snack time. A nearby grocery store provided snacks for us, but I let the kids eat their own snacks if they brought something and as long as they cleaned up after themselves and kept working while eating, I paid no attention to what it was. Middle schoolers will argue about everything, and that was just not an argument I cared enough to have every day.

    That said, if you're willing to police snack, I think fruits and veggies only is pretty clear cut. You might get some pushback from kids and parents, but it's pretty straight-forward if their snack fits the guidelines or not.
     
  13. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jun 28, 2016

    Alright, so thinking through this gray area thing... would I allow things like banana chips and dried fruit? (Sure, that doesn't sound too bad.)

    I'm also thinking I could also say just no chips, cookies, or dessert items (kind of what I did this past year). But, what about crackers? Some of them get pretty chip-like, haha... which brings me back to the fruit/veggie only thing.

    I could also do just no snack. But that's lame.

    I do like your 5 minute rule, swansong. I think that could work, except... I generally don't mind them eating any time they're working independently as long as it doesn't become a problem. In the past, I haven't said, "Snack time!" or "Snack's over!" That part has worked for me, no problems there, just don't like what they sometimes bring in. Maybe I could do snack right before specials or something, and give them 5 minutes like you said. I'd just have to remember to actually let them know when it was time.

    {By the way, I feel bad about this entire thread because I think it makes me sound like a food-snob. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy junk food too. I would just rather they saved their dessert for lunch time. Last year, I had a kid who would honestly blame his bad behavior on his lunch food - it's not my fault, my mom packed me poptarts for lunch and they make me crazy. I think it's good to promote healthy snacks, even if they enjoy other things at other times.}
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  14. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I went through a variety of feelings this year about this - from being strict, to trying to remind parents, to deciding it wasn't a big enough deal...my mindset next year I think will be all about teaching and modeling proper snacks and giving them some background/education on the importance of it, but then telling them that so long as they're usually making the right choice, that it won't be something I will worry about policing. Basically, I think if I trust them, while still modeling it (I'll bring something small and healthy to at least nibble on) and occasionally reminding them / having them explain why a proper snack is important, they'll follow through. When kids see a model, and have a reason for why following that model is important, most will follow through just fine.
     
  15. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I like that. More laid back. :)
     
  16. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Definitely my approach in the classroom, which both is beneficial and is one of my weaknesses. Trust the students, let them discuss the importance of certain rules/procedures, and then have a few side-conversations when necessary.
     
  17. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Grrr snack time! I deplore snack time. I guess because they eat SO MUCH! It's a snack! We start school at 7:15 have lunch at 10:30 and go home at 2:15 so last year many parents asked if I would have a morning and afternoon snack because they would not eat breakfast and were so hungry by the time they got home. Why I said yes, I do not know! But next year I am only having 1 snack, in the afternoon!
    I would hesitate on just fruits and veggies only because some parents cannot afford to have fruit and veggies. It is cheaper to have crackers. You could have a parent sign up where they donate snacks to the whole class? OR maybe you could have a healthy snack person each day and they pass out napkins or get to do something special for the day. This will encourage more students to bring more healthier choices so they can be chosen too!
     
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  18. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Jun 28, 2016

    We don't police snacks here. What kids eat is a parenting decision. Kids have to clean up after themselves and not share food. We only allow water for a beverage.
     
  19. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    We did a lot of Graham crackers, animal crackers & like cheez its when I taught. We brought snack for whole class & people would send extra box in. Like someone said it was a snack. The other teacher in my grade level did a am & afternoon.... I only did am. A lot of specials in the afternoons. Her concern was kids who rode bus for a long time.
     
  20. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    My team does allow snacks during one period in the afternoon. We used to be much more lenient on the time, but we found that some of the snacking was a distraction. Students are encouraged to bring something healthy, but that is the extent of our policing'. Our rationale for allowing a snack in middle school was the fact that our students eat a very early lunch, and then they go straight from school to after-school activities.
     

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