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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
For my son's grade 3 class this year, a note was sent home saying that no food is allowed to be sent in for Valentines Day. Last year they allowed it, but said none could be consumed until the child brought it home. Although my kids are not the allergic ones in my house, I am thrilled with this new policy. Call me a grinch, but I get tired with all the treats that other parents and teachers give my children. They have enough sweets in their life without being rewarded for good behaviour at school with candy. And when did it become common practice to send in goody bags for all the kids in the class for Valentines, Christmas, Halloween (the kids trick or treat--they don't need more!!). I'm sorry but I feel that it is my responsibility to decide how often my children get a treat. When we were young this did not happen. Is our society today so fixated on having the good stuff all the time--these goodies are no longer "treats", they are becoming a regular occurance. And we wonder why so many kids are overweight today?

Sorry for the rant, but sometimes I feel like I am fighting a losing battle trying to feed my kids a healthy diet. It is hard to expect them to eat the healthy stuff when the junk tastes so good and is so readily available. And it doesn't help that hubbie sees no problem with treats. When he gets groceries, there are always lots of treats included! Is this a man thing? My Dad was the same when I was growing up. Hubbie feels let them eat crap when they are young and can handle it. My viewpoint is that health problems can take years to develop and why not avoid the junk so that you never get to the place where it has to become strictly forbidden (high cholesteral levels or whatever).

Anyway, just wondered if I am alone, or do others find this a problem. Maybe I am just overreacting, but after suffering health problems that could have been prevented by a healthier diet in my younger years, I would like to protect my children from that.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:44 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I think you read my mind soccermom. If my kids did not have allergies I would still be upset with the junk at school and the whole idea that surrounds it that "food is fun". Absolutely kids develop life long eating habits and relationships with food at this age and the message they are getting everywhere that it is fun to eat junk is not a good one. Our childrens generation is the first generation in history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents...due to junk food. The rate of childhood obesity and diabetes has increased as well. Nice to see your school try to stop the other parents from pushing crap on the other kids. :D

And the whole "it is special, it is a treat, junk is so wonderful" sets them up to make poor choices when they have control over what they eat.

I was overweight as a child. Not severely, but definitely enough to be very bothered by it. We ate crap in our house all the time. We drank pop all day, no water, no juice...just pop. My being "forced to eat healthy" by the allergies was one of the best things that could have happened to our whole family. The allergies have done their job, now feel free to go away at any time. :wink: After having 2 kids I weigh the same as I did in grade 8...and that is not right. It is frustrating to see even more emphasis on food than when I was a child...even more kids need to face weight and other weight related health issues, and poor nutrition issues and everyone seems to be promoting "food for fun" to kids.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I found an interesting article about food dyes and "fun foods"

http://www.school-lunch.org/fat.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01224.html

This is interesting, a bit stunning that a law passed to keep the cupcakes! But hey, it is an american article.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
So nice to hear your comments, Saskmommy. Sometimes I feel so alone. Everytime one of our kids has some kind of get-together for sports there are chips, pop etc. Even for snacks at halftime for soccer can have parents bringing popsicles etc. I still like to bring oranges or watermelon as I feel the kids should have healthy fuel when they are athletic. When we go camping with friends, I bring a bag of cookies and a couple of bags of chips for the weekend. They bring chips, candy, cookies, cake, pop, and more chips. I feel like I am always the mean mom compared to the other moms!

I find we as a society just get into the habit of having snacks all the time. Who says we have to have (expensive!) popcorn every time we go to a movie, or a doughnut or something similiar everytime we go to the mall? It's not that I prevent my kids from ever having any treats, but the opportunities are there for them to have far more than I would like.

As for coloured ketchup and fries, when has a kid ever needed encouragement to eat these!!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:13 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
This year my son's teacher has sent home notes before party days (like Christmas) saying that if parents want to send in treats they can send in healthy snacks to share. (cheese and crackers, fruit, veggies)

My problem at the school is all the *food stuffs* that the parents committee provides. They have snacks at everything. (Hot Chocolate Drink, Kool Ade sippy things, chips, candies) This year, I've just thrown in the towel about the whole thing. I refuse to donate money for anything anymore. One of the women that runs a lot of the H&S stuff pointed out that i had not sent in the $20 *enrichment fee* required. I pointed out it was a *donation* not a board certified *fee*. She argued that it wasn't fair because my son was still getting the *enrichment* other parents paid for. First, half the stuff they call *enrichment* I call a waste of educational time. Second, stop feeding my kid all that junk and you'll save more then $20. It's ridiculous. I can't even count how many different bake sales they've had. I don't give my son money for that - but his friends usually have lots and buy him something. (He has no food allergies, so that's not the issue.)

OK rant over. :oops:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
Thanks for the info Anna Marie. When my daughter starts KG in the fall I will make sure not to contribute to any parent commitee "funds"! I also plan to boycott any bake sales and junk food fundraisers. I know one of my local schools (I live a block from a catholic and a public ) banned the selling of chocolates due to promtoion of junk food reasons. Apparently, chocolate covered almonds were sent to the catholic one, which is also nut free and the allergic kids parents were upset about the promotion of nuts, and the fact that suddenly nuts were okay in the school because they were for fundraising. The chocolates were sent back to the company, and the kids came around with coupon books...still full of junk, but better, and there were some bowling and rollerskating coupons as well.

I NEVER support junk food fundraisers, never sell it either. I will ALWAYS donate to kids collecting bottles, raffle tickets and sports-a-thons. My daughters gymnastics gave parents a choice between raffle tickets and chocolates...guess which one I went for?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
My son's school, which has a peanut/nut ban does sell chocolate, but it's always been the safe Nestle.

They used to sell cookies, but one of the products was brownies with walnuts on it. Last year they sold the cookies (same company) but the brownies were not available to be ordered at our school.

The bake sales also don't sell anything with peanuts. Personally, I would consider everything a *may contain* because I have no idea where it came from - but may contains are not banned from the school - just actual peanut and nut and peanutbutter.

At least they do seem to *get* what a ban means.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
AnnaMarie,

How nice that your son's teacher promotes healthy snacks. Is he in kindergarten? When my kids were in JK and SK, healthy snacks seemed to be more common. Now in the primary years, snacks aren't really a part of day to day life. Only the gum and candy handed out when kids are good!!

Soccermom


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
At my daughters preschool kids take turns bringing snack to share, and my daughter always brings her own, but still will bring for everyone when it is her turn. Healthy snacks are encouraged, but not required, and I think the teachers are too concerned with being "people pleasers" to tell anyone that their snack is not acceptable. Snack has turned into a "my kid brought the coolest snack" contest it seems. The other day, the kids had ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, sprinkles and oreo crumbs! :roll: My daughter had her fruit from home. She likes to tell me when she gets home what the other kids had. Lately there seems to be a lot of crap! She does not even seem jealous of it, she does not like crap because it has never been "normal" for her, she just does not like being different.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 926
Location: Oakville, Ontario
I feel the same way as all those that have offered their opinions on this subject! There is so much junk food out there these days. As a parent these days, we have to work doubly hard to educate our children about healthy eating. I recently read that the most important years in forming a child's eating habits FOR LIFE is between the ages of 2 and 5, so it is very important to feed young children a healthy diet - these are very formative years in this regard. I feel like our kids are bombarded, constantly, with food - and mostly junk food. Is there no end to it? When we drive down any major city street, or watch TV commercials, food beckons our children. It's so difficult to explain to children that so many of these are poor food choices. It's not like we don't have treats in our home - we do. But we make sure a healthy diet is first and foremost, and treats are once in awhile. It just doesn't help when a school allows for so many candies, chips, etc. in a child's day. When a school supports this type of eating, and they are involved in educating our children, what kind of message does this send?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I studied Early Childhood Education in my post secondary years. I never really used it career wise, but really like that I took it for my life as a parent, and I still have all my books which I like to read, just for enjoyment reading. Yes, I am a nerd!

The majority of a childs personality, morals and numerous other MAJOR areas of their development of the person they will become are formed by age 5. Lessons they learn about the importance of placing healthy things into their bodies remain the same lesson, as they age and the "substance" changes. (I am trying to make sense...I am really drowsy from tylenol cold ) If they learn "it is fun, your friends are doing it, it is not good for you in the long run, but momentarily it is wonderful", imbeds itself into their thought processes, and as the issue shifts from junk food to smoking, drugs and ** the underlying message they have learned that "momentary pleasure is more important that long term health" has definite impact on their choices.

And yes, in school we learned that you NEVER reward a child with food, and you DO NOT promote unhealthy foods in a "isn't it fun to eat unhealthy foods, momentary satisfaction over long term heath" kind of way. It does frustrate me to see schools pushing ideas that I have actual child psychology related books that say "DO NOT DO THIS" because it comes with significant consequences down the road.

:oops: Forgive my tylenol cold enduced rant if it did not make sense.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
soccermom wrote:
AnnaMarie,

How nice that your son's teacher promotes healthy snacks. Is he in kindergarten? When my kids were in JK and SK, healthy snacks seemed to be more common. Now in the primary years, snacks aren't really a part of day to day life. Only the gum and candy handed out when kids are good!!

Soccermom


My son is in grade 2. I'm also very pleased with his teacher's attitude. It doesn't mean she never gives out sweet treats - but it is definitely not a normal thing this year.

He does get apples from the school a couple times a month. Not sure who is providing them.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 12:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
This is totally off topic, but I just had to share - my 13 year old son's fundraiser was a "fridge full of beer". I thought this was totally irresponsible and as I was the "TEAM MOM" I refused to participate for our team. Well, the uproar!!! 2 of the kids on the team had Dads who had died in the past year from drug and alcolhol abuse, and yet most of the adults thought I was overreacting. I guess I'm just a nerdy-girl...


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 6:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Pamela Lee wrote:
This is totally off topic, but I just had to share - my 13 year old son's fundraiser was a "fridge full of beer". I thought this was totally irresponsible and as I was the "TEAM MOM" I refused to participate for our team. Well, the uproar!!! 2 of the kids on the team had Dads who had died in the past year from drug and alcolhol abuse, and yet most of the adults thought I was overreacting. I guess I'm just a nerdy-girl...


You're not a nerdy girl... It's hard to believe that people use such poor judgement sometimes and really don't know what is inappropriate for children. Fridge full of beer?? Let's promote drinking! Drinking is fun! One day you'll be old enough to have a fridge full of beer too! :roll:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 9:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 12:17 pm
Posts: 252
Location: Niagara region, Ontario
Pamela Lee,

I guess that makes me a nerdy girl too, because I totally agree with you. Alcohol for a children's fundraiser is absolutely innapropriate. I also feel like a nerdy girl when it comes to the nutrition thing too. All the cool moms serve ice cream at school (as above) while this nerdy mom says "have some fruit"...... Awwww MOM!!!!

Soccermom


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