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School Has No Business Banning Candy From My Kid's Lunch!

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Posted by on Sep. 26, 2013 at 8:31 AM
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School Has No Business Banning Candy From My Kid's Lunch

by Jeanne Sager

candyMy daughter got off the bus the other day as mad as a wet hen. I'd packed her lunch -- as I always do -- and I'd included a small treat, a lollipop, as one of her two snacks. I thought I was doing something nice for my hard-studying kiddo, but it turns out I'd just cheated her out of one of her snacks for the day. She told me she's not allowed to have candy at lunch time.

Coming from a school that sells ice cream and cookies in the cafeteria, I'm not sure it could get much more hypocritical.

To be honest, I've had this happen before. Every year, usually around Halloween, when I'm trying to break up that huge bag of trick or treating booty into small "everything in moderation" portions, the kid comes home in tears because I forgot the "rules" (rules that aren't in the school handbook -- yes, I checked). I slip in a treat, and she comes home upset that a lunch monitor decided to pass judgment on my parenting.

"You have to send something healthy, Mom!" she'll tell me. Huh. I thought the (antibiotic-free, humanely raised) turkey on whole wheat and the string cheese met that criteria. Not to mention the (BPA- and phthalate-free) bottle of water.

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We pack healthy lunches in our house. We have a healthy kid. So I have a hard time with the sugar police stopping her from the occasional lollipop or Hershey's kiss, even if it is on school property.

I understand that not every parent takes the care that I do to pack something healthy. But is it really anyone's business what we want our kids to eat at lunchtime? Is it up to the school to decide what is healthy and "appropriate," or is it the parents?

I might be less inclined to complain if it weren't for the aforementioned ice cream and cookies that are readily available for our kids to gobble up (at a price, naturally). Nutrition-wise, who's making the wiser choice here? One Dum Dum lollipop (which is what I sent in her bag last week) has 26 calories, no fat, and about 3 grams of sugar. It's not healthy per se, but we're talking about one small lollipop. A Fudgsicle bar has 100 calories (18 from fat), 2 grams of fat, and 14 grams of sugar.

Come on, folks. It's a school; I'd hope SOMEONE can do the math there. I think I'm making the smarter choice.

Heck, I make a lot of smart choices for my kid, day in and day out, from bedtime to what she wears to what sports she plays and on and on and on. The government trusts me to make hundreds of decisions for her every day. But they can't trust me to know whether it's OK for her to have one lollipop with her meal?

Give me a break!

Do you send candy in your kids' lunch? Is it a problem for the school?

by on Sep. 26, 2013 at 8:31 AM
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Anonymous
by Anonymous on Sep. 26, 2013 at 9:10 AM
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Mine are out of school. The school has zero business telling parents what to send in a packed lunch. If you buy the schools lunch they have the right to serve no candy. If they have cookies and ice cream, what is the difference? It is all sugar. They gonna hire the candy police???
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momofsixangels
by Colleen on Sep. 26, 2013 at 9:23 AM
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Mine get school lunch.I agree with you.They do not have the right to say what your child can and cannot have in their lunch

bhow
by Bronze Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 9:33 AM
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It most likely isn't coming from the school, it's all the new government regulations they are afraid of.   I have several friends that work at the schools here and they are afraid to let their classes bring birthday treats to school now.  Used to be we all did, not any more.  Some of the conversations about this, with them, have been quite interesting.

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Sep. 26, 2013 at 9:37 AM
I remember in my brothers elementary school you couldn't pack juice, candy, snack cakes, lunchables, or soda. And alot of times they bitched if you brought something home made.

They said bringing those items made other kids jealous and were no longer allowed.

And they said home made items were not allowed for "safety reasons.".
NDADanceMom
by Bronze Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 10:49 AM
10 moms liked this

 I dont understand parents these days.  The school has told the author that there is no candy. Its happened before that it was taken away yet she continues to do it.  UHHH. OK.

Send your kid to a school that allows candy or give it to her when she gets home.  Is it really that big of a deal?

jessesbride
by Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 11:37 AM
2 moms liked this

The principals office would be hearing from me!!!

Lindalou907
by on Sep. 26, 2013 at 11:45 AM
1 mom liked this

I always used to pack a piece of halloween candy after the holiday, sheesh. I'd be annoyed.

chicagoliz
by Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 11:57 AM
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None of the government regulations deal with what a parent can send in their child's lunch.  I agree it is ridiculous to take away something from a child's lunch (although I would understand if, for example it were a peanut-free, due to a kid with severe allergies, and the school said you can't bring in a PBJ or something like that.)  But if it is a piece of candy, seriously - who cares?  A lot of candy is probably better than the JELLY sandwich on white bread that I used to have to send with my son because he literally would not eat anything else, yet is a perfectly acceptable alternative.

As far as rules that don't allow school cafeterias to SELL candy or other junk food -- I actually have no problem with that, and think it's perfectly fine to have the philosophy that if the kid is buying lunch or receiving lunch from the school, it should be healthy.  (I know that this isn't what your point was, OP, but it came up in responses.)  

But yeah - I see no reason for the school to be the lunch police, especially if they sell goodies that are the same or worse nutritionally as what you send in.  There's nothing wrong, especially, with sending in a Fun Sized piece of candy as a small treat with lunch.  

chicagoliz
by Member on Sep. 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM
1 mom liked this

This is nuts.  Especially about the 'home made' part.  So the school would prefer the kid have something packed with preservatives?  If they're concertned about "safety," then they need to simply enforce a no sharing food or trading food or giving away food policy.  


Quoting Anonymous:

I remember in my brothers elementary school you couldn't pack juice, candy, snack cakes, lunchables, or soda. And alot of times they bitched if you brought something home made.

They said bringing those items made other kids jealous and were no longer allowed.

And they said home made items were not allowed for "safety reasons.".



Anonymous
by Anonymous on Sep. 26, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Is it really that hard for your children to wait to get home for a piece of candy..I don't think a school should tell you ne to things you pack for your childs lunch. It could be a safty issuse like not all the info about what is in the candy is on the lable so they want to make sure there is nothing in the candy that will harm a child with allergies. It is better to be safe..and as for the school having cookies and stuff like that well they can supervise what the school buys since they are buying it so they can pick snacks like that that will not harm any children who have any type of allergies.

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