Should teachers have the right to police what goes in children's lunch boxes?

Should teachers be able to police what goes in children's packed lunch? [Photo: Getty]
Should teachers be able to police what goes in children’s packed lunch? [Photo: Getty]

When it comes to making children a pack lunch, most parents are full of healthy good intentions. But sometimes just how nutritiously-filled their My Little Pony/Star Wars/Angry Birds [delete as necessary] lunch boxes end up being boils down to how much time we have in the morning and what’s left in the cupboards or fridge.

When the fruit bowl is dwindling and the cupboards are bordering on bare, you may have no choice but to sling in a not-so-healthy chocolate brownie. Or you might think your little one deserves a post sarnie chocolatey treat. And that’s your choice to make right?

Well, not necessarily because it seems some schools and nurseries are actually monitoring the healthy-levels of children’s packed lunches and sending notes home to parents who don’t meet strict nutritional standards.

One parent who found themselves on the receiving end of this big brother-style lunch regulation allowed her friend to post an image of the note she got to Facebook.

A woman has shared the note her friend received from her child's nursery [Photo: Facebook/MelindaTankardReist]
A woman has shared the note her friend received from her child’s nursery [Photo: Facebook/MelindaTankardReist]

Australian writer Melinda Tankard Reist took to the social media site to explain that her friend had been given a note from her child’s nursery asking her to put healthier options in her three-year-old’s lunchbox.

“My friend (mother of eight healthy children, what follows relating to number seven) received this today from her three-year-old’s kindergarten,” she wrote.

“I told her to put in two slices tomorrow and tell them to get lost.”

The note the mum received was headed with a sad face and read: “Your child has a chocolate slice from the red food category today. Please choose healthier options for kindy [kindergarten].”

But the message wasn’t well received by some parents who admitted to being berated in a similar way by their own children’s school or nursery.

“This stupid PC nonsense has gone absolutely over the top,” one woman wrote. “If I decide to include a chocolate slice in their lunch, that is it. No parent or caregiver needs to be advised on giving, or what to feed their children by a pre school teacher…EVERTHING IN MODERATION is my motto.”

“I’m sick of the food police at school and I’m a teacher! I agree that [fizzy] drinks, lollies, bags of crisps should be banned but if a parent wants to send a cake or biscuit as a sweet treat to go with lunch then so be it,” another added.

“Mind your own business. You are not my child’s parent. Neither should you be the food police,” another parent wrote.

How healthy is your child's packed lunch? [Photo: Getty]
How healthy is your child’s packed lunch? [Photo: Getty]

But other parents could see the point of view of the nursery and believed educational organisations should be doing what they can to encourage healthy eating.

“Can understand it. Some kids have allergies to all kinds of things. Happy for Pre schools to promote fresh fruit for all the kids. Hard enough getting them to eat their veggies at home when they were little,” one parent wrote.

“I’m shocked that encouraging healthy eating creates so much anger. Parents need to be educated about what to feed their children. Childhood obesity = child abuse!” added another.

“I work with young children, and as much as I certainly think this note could have been portrayed in a more discrete way where the child was not singled out, I agree with it,” agreed another.

Should parents have the right to choose what goes into their little ones’ lunch boxes or should nurseries/schools have the right to police it? Let us know what you think @YahooStyleUK

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