School Food Patrol: Are you kidding me?

My daughter pipes up one evening, ” Mama, you need to start sending me to school with healthy snacks. My teacher said that my snack wasn’t healthy, and also the kid who sits next to me was telling me that my snack wasn’t healthy.” 

What do you mean it wasn’t healthy? Simply because it wasn’t a fruit or vegetable?  

“I told the kid that it was healthy and that it had cheese in it. She just said again that it wasn’t healthy, then my teacher also said it wasn’t healthy.” 

“Every day at snack time the teacher says ” OK class,  let’s see who has a healthy snack! Then whoever has a vegetable, the teachers says their name out happily that they had the healthy snack of the day.” 

Everything I give you is healthy. Nothing I give you is unhealthy. This whole food inspection/food patrol isn’t your teachers role.  

I then proceeded, in my infuriation, to fashion a note to the said teacher.

This Food Patrol is absurd!! I am disgusted, and must say, it’s gone on long enough.

From my first grade circle time, where teachers took it upon themselves to question each student as to what they had eaten the night before for dinner, to the year 2014 where snacks are being inspected and rated as either “healthy” or ” not healthy”, is shocking. It’s clearly not done out of concern, as I have yet to hear about bins of “healthy” snacks on hand for free doling whenever a child’s snack is deemed ” not healthy”.

So what is the purpose behind this ludicrous practice?

Here’s my concern with this food inspection/food patrol practice,

  1. You are shaming the child by telling them that what they have put forth for ‘inspection’ isn’t good enough, and is actually “not healthy”. They have failed, in their minds.
  2.  The inspections are being done openly in front of other classmates, further adding to the embarrassment of the child.
  3. The inspections in themselves aren’t “healthy”. They create an SS-Gestapo environment which isn’t conducive to a learning environment. Children are getting involved in the inspections and informing on their classmates. This is pruning children to become future corporate minions, looking for reward, praise and power.
  4.  Children are, in essence, being brainwashed into believing that their parents don’t know what’s best for them, the school institution/system on the other hand, does. This sets our children up for lifetime of servitude to the ‘system’ without question, because the system has their best interests as first priority.

Teachers need to stick to their roles as educators not government indoctrinating patrol officers.

There’s a fine line between teaching healthy eating habits, and en mass brainwashing and enforcement of something that is the sole responsibility of the parents. What comes next, force feeding?

Granted, there are instances where children aren’t eating healthily, so why not dole out some healthy goodies if you see the need, rather than shame the child? Why confuse children as to what’s considered healthy and not healthy, simply because what they brought for a snack wasn’t a fruit or vegetable?

I am one hundred percent against this food inspection/food patrol, needless to say, and that concludes my rant for the day.

Peace and love

9 thoughts on “School Food Patrol: Are you kidding me?”

  1. My younger daughter (now 25 years old) is a picky eater, and when she was in grade school, packing a healthy lunch for her was a challenge. She loved pumpkin pie, so one day I made a pumpkin custard (no crust) with lowfat milk and very little sugar so she would have a healthy snack. She brought it home uneaten with the message that she wasn’t allowed to eat “dessert” for her snack. Instead, her teacher gave her a package of processed “cheese”-filled crackers and a stern warning to bring something “healthy” in the future. I was livid for all the reasons you write about, not to mention I didn’t buy that packed crap for a reason. Even if a child brings a candy bar, there is no excuse for bullying or shaming that child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your input! I just wrote you an essay of a reply and went to hit post and poof! it was gone….
      You hit the nail on the head. Most children are picky eaters, hence the reason for teaching them healthy eating, but..when a child’s tastes are changing and food texture makes specific ‘healthy’ foods unappealing, it’s very difficult to get them to eat anything!
      Packing my daughter’s lunch is just like you said ” a challenge”.
      That specific day I had packed her what she was willing to eat, bagel and cream cheese, and I made it into a sort of sandwich then cut it in half. Gave her the instructions to eat half for snack and half for lunch so that she could finish the whole thing. Bagel and cream cheese ‘not healthy’ ? It simply didn’t comply with their set food items deemed as healthy.
      The school system is lumping everyone into a “one size fits all” box and allowing no exceptions, this is a known fact. It’s also a known fact that you can’t do that! It’s not realistic and it’s detrimental to learning.
      What you mentioned with the note regarding not being allowed to eat dessert for snack or lunch, that happened when she was in kindergarten. Also, when my son had no snack he was given a garbage filled granola bar, which I purposely don’t purchase because they are highly unhealthy! The hypocritical practices are astounding!
      Your last statement is bang on. No matter what, there’s no good reason for shaming and/or bullying.
      The school system is exercising undue authority, it’s an invasion of our homes and it’s simply not their place. Their role isn’t food patrol, and I didn’t sign up for that.
      Was great hearing from you, thanks for your input once again 🙂

      Like

  2. Good Rant! Never, had a clue I could post my ‘rants’ here…lol. I hold your views strongly, teachers have enough on their plates already, as an ECE, I have seen children come to school with all kind of ‘junk’ in their lunch boxes, and am like, ok, what’s up with this picture? Teaching nutrition should be a must and so is budgeting…lol, and hey, honestly, if we start teaching these things early in a child’s development, think of the wise men and women will have tomorrow! ♥jjf

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha thanks! I think people relate to everyday rants! You never know who else is going through similar situations. We are all connected!
      I am grateful to all the teachers out there, they have tough jobs with little thanks. I homeschool my eldest daughter and can’t imagine having 30 more students in my home to teach!
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ugh! No, no, and no to any kind of shaming at school!

    I recently had a related discussion with one of my older son’s teachers. My son reported a teacher had said “too much sugar” when I sent him in with a chocolate croissant and hot chocolate one morning. (Not a daily affair by any means!)

    The conversation went much better than expected. I prefaced it saying I respected the teacher and was so grateful for her loving efforts getting my son enthusiastic about school again after his one-month experience at a school that unabashedly embraced public shaming.

    The long and short of it was she explained another mom had asked if she was giving her kid too much sugar. She’d replied–because asked– that donuts for every breakfast probably was too much sugar. She assured me that she’d never, ever try to act in a parental role.

    I thanked her for that, affirming that I believe (i) it’s my role to make these choices for my son and (ii) he should not be penalized at school for choices he is not making. She agreed as a parent of five and we hugged.

    I wish it could be like that everywhere. Shaming kids versus correcting their own, individual suboptimal actions is not only not useful but damaging, IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good points. The children aren’t the ones packing their lunches, and it’s not the teacher’s role.
      It’s obvious it’s gone beyond education and over into the area of enforcement.
      What it is ‘teaching’ are all the wrong things, including that parents don’t know anything and need to answer to the school. This authority is nonexistent and the limits are being pushed, while our children are being shamed.
      it is damaging, you’re correct. Children’s spirits are very sensitive and get crushed easily. I’m happy you were able to come to an understanding 🙂
      thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think categorizing foods as “good” foods and “bad foods,” and food shaming is bad because it can also lead to restrictive dieting. The habits we teach children are the habits they grow up with and teaching them they deserve to be shamed for what they eat sets a dangerous precedent.

    Liked by 1 person

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