What is your lunch policy??

Discussion in 'Montessori Archives' started by Pattypoo, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. Pattypoo

    Pattypoo Comrade

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    Nov 2, 2006

    We have had a parent complain because their child was not allowed to eat their chocolate frosted brownie at lunch. This wasn't in my class (thank goodness). The parent was upset because she believed that it was ok for her son to eat dessert first. We always encourage protein, veggies, fruit, and then a sweet. We usually run out of time before the child gets to dessert. I explain to parents at the beginning of the year that most of the food that they send gets wasted. Parents send huge sandwiches (most of the time the kids take the meat out and throw the bread away). I always explain that if you want the child to get to their dessert then they need to send smaller portions. I also send back food that has not been eaten. I usually include a note as to why the child did not eat the food. One little girl would not eat her peanut butter/jelly sandwich because it was too sticky. I posted this topic on another message board (not a teacher forum) and the people on that site said that they would be p-ssed off if a teacher sent back their child's candy. They said that they packed their kids lunches and know what they are eating. I explained that it is difficult to teach a child that is on a sugar high or hits a sugar low. How are we suppose to teach kids that don't have the stamina to learn? Have you came across a situation like this? How does your school handle it?
     
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  3. nyanne

    nyanne Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2006

    My last school had a low sugar policy and you just couldn't bring things like that to school...not even cookies. The policy was written up and if a student brought anything, it got sent home. That's just how it was. I think they went a bit overboard, though. Supposedly you weren't even allowed Propel, but with 2 grams of sugar per serving I brought it and allowed my kids to as well. Does your school have a written policy of this? Then the parents just have to accept it.
     
  4. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Nov 3, 2006

    We have a similar policy where we explain that including low-nutrient and high-sugar foods can adversely affect children's behavior. We ask that parents do not pack "lunch-ables", "juice boxes", potato chips and sweets. However, if they do get packed, it is the decision of that family and so we do not dictate to the child what s/he should eat first, or at all. Anything that the child does not eat is packed up for the parent to see. Sometimes, this helps them to start packing smaller portions or to see that the junk food was eaten at the expense of the more healthy food. Most children get very healthy lunches including a piece of fruit, some sort of veggie and a source of protein. Unfortunately, some children never see a piece of fruit at lunch; they routinely get 'fruit' roll ups or 'fruit' snacks. We also mention that if the parent wants to include something special that a note or photo from the parent is much more meaningful than a quickly forgotten sweet.
    We also have a "no-waste" lunch policy as part of our environmental studies ("green curriculum"). We are a LEED (Leadership in Environmental Education Design) certified school. What this means is that families are encouraged to use reusable or recyclable containers and we provide real tableware, cloth napkins and tablecloths for the meal, we also recycle and compost.
     
  5. Pickles

    Pickles Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2006

    We have a no-candy/junkfood (no chocolate, no chips) policy at my school. I'm a new teacher, so I haven't figured out what to do when it does get sent. Lucky for me there hasn't been any child that repeatedly brings treats like this. When I've seen it, I've made a mental note to bring it up at the conference with the parent.

    I hear you on parents packing too much. It's hilarious. Who do they think they are feeding? I think a good presentation would be to pack a few small tupperwares with food and spill it out on the plate to show the parents just how much food it is. We encourage the children to put all uneaten food back in their lunchboxes (unless it's an open yogurt or something like that.) I gave a lesson on unpacking lunch, and in it I mentioned thinking about how much you are planning to eat before putting it on your plate. After this lesson, and since they get snack in the morning, often kids will only put out a very small amount on their plate.
     
  6. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Nov 4, 2006

    protein first...we can't control what the child eats at home, and many children are malnourished. It is our responsibility, not to allow the children to eat the dessert first. The children need the proteins more than they need the sugars and fats. Once that glucose, and fructose hits their blood stream their brains tell their stomach that they are much less hungry. Therefore, they are less likely to eat their proteins. I would explain to the parent even though their child might have a balanced diet at home (so eating the dessert first once in a while at school may not hurt their child), you have seen many children in your x number of years in teaching where the students don't get a balanced diet. Therefore, in fairness, we must have the same expectations for all students- that they eat the more nutritional foods first.
     
  7. K3instructor

    K3instructor Rookie

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    Nov 4, 2006

    It is good that you're school does not allow foods like that at my school they have vending machines with candy {Mike N Ikes,Chips,etc.} . Maybe you could send a note home saying no junk food with the schools policy. If a child does bring that and they dont have much of anything else make sure to have a little cabinet with a couple of nutritional things to eat {gold fish, crackers, etc.}! Well hope you have a WONERFUL year! Welcome! Bye
     
  8. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    Nov 5, 2006

    We have a rule that children must eat half their lunch before they can take out their snack from their cubby. Everything that is not eaten gets sent home. If a parent complained about the food being sent home, I would say that we can't dispose of all that food in school, because we have a limited amount of "trash space" in the classroom.

    One of my students very consistantly refuses to eat her lunch first. Thursday morning, when we realized that the reason she was impossible the whole afternoon on Wednesday was because she had repeatedly refused to eat more than the equivelant of one mouthful of yogurt, we the director called her mother and asked her not to send any snacks at all, even though we do have a snack time in the afternoon when students eat the snacks they bring from home. Starting tomorrow, the teacher will be providing snack for this child, to prevent all battles. ("I will give you one of my snacks after you eat the lunch that mommy sent.")
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 5, 2006

    The teacher did NOT tell the child they could not eat their dessert. She said they could not eat it FIRST and then time ran out. Just state to the parent that this is an ongoing rule in the cafeteria, and that you hope they understand. Let it go. You can't please all parents. The parent went home and heard the child's version, and got all bent out of shape before they heard the reasonable one. Happens all the time.
     
  10. Yenna

    Yenna Companion

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    Nov 5, 2006

    As far as I'm concerned, my duties as a M educator consist of presenting a lesson (in the case of the parents, providing education) and then leaving the child or parent free to make their own choices. I do not "police" the lunch room and walk around telling the children what to eat and when to eat it. I sit down and eat a healthy, well-porportioned meal.
    We give the lunch box lesson to our parents at the first parent ed. evening. We have an actual lunchbox packed with child-sized portions so that they can see what it looks like and put it out on the child-sized plates. We encourage a wide variety of wholesome foods. Giving the lesson to the parents has been a very positive impact on what gets packed in lunchboxes.
    Also on this topic, did you know that Dr. M advocates sugar for children? I have read in a few different places in her writing where she refers to children "needing" sugar.
    "In those days also, sweets were forbidden to children (whose organisms require sugar, because the muscles consume a great deal of this during growth), in order to teach them to overcome greediness". (The Advanced Montessori Method, pb. 129)
    She is actually talking about nourishing the psychological and spiritual hunger that children have, but digresses to make this point about sugar. I have to look up the other references I've seen. I'm assuming that she is referring to "natural sugars" (fruits, honey, syrup, etc) rather than the processed/refined sugar that is everywhere today. Interesting, huh?
     
  11. Tigers

    Tigers Habitué

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    Nov 5, 2006

    everything we eat eventually turns to sugars. our body breaks everything down to glycogen. The different types of foods i.e. proteins, carbohydrates (complex and simple), and fats, are all turned into glycogen sooner, or later. they each have their importance in the body. yes children do need sugars (simple carbohydrates). Our body will usually turn things like high fructose corn syrup into fat if we do not burn it up immediately, because it has such a simple structure it does not need to be broken down much more. More than sugars children need essential amino acids found in proteins, b vitamins and fiber found in whole grains, and vitamins, fibers and antioxidants found in fruits and vegitables. Moreover, fruits and breads do have sugars which are healthy for children. Rest assured though, a child bringing dessert or candy in their lunchbox is most likely getting plenty of sugar at home.
     
  12. Pattypoo

    Pattypoo Comrade

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    Nov 5, 2006

    Maria lived over 100 years ago. Times have changed. Children today do not eat or get the exercise like children did back then.
     

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