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Hi everyone, hope you are all enjoying the lovely weather! We have a few problems at the moment with parents following our healthy lunch box policy! Can anyone point me in the direction of a website or does anyone have a leaflet they provide for parents about this issue? Many thanks - ems :o

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there was a thread a few months back about lunch boxes - there were a couple of leaflets on there. If you can't find it, let me know and I'll do a search

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there was a thread a few months back about lunch boxes - there were a couple of leaflets on there. If you can't find it, let me know and I'll do a search

 

Yeah thanks cait and you know the funny thing is I answered that thread with just the leaflet i was looking for!! Think my brain has been frazzled by the sun -thanks for pointing me in the right direction! :o

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Hi

 

This FSF article written by Amanda Grant (Amanda is a broadcaster, food writer and mother of three young children. Amanda recently fronted the Back to School series on GMTV and speaks frequently on radio. She has written several books, most recently specialising in baby and toddler nutrition. Her books, published by Mitchell Beazley, include Healthy Eating for Pregnancy; Healthy Baby and Toddler Foods, Baby Healthy Eating Planner and Toddler Healthy Eating Planner.) might be helpful.

 

You can find the article here

 

Hope it helps

 

Sue

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Sorry, rant warning, please don't feel that you must read!!

 

I find all this healthy eating stuff that's coming from schools now really really intrusive. It's another example of the nanny state telling us what to do. As a parent I am fully aware of how to feed my child, but I think a little of everything is the right route, and I will still be giving my daughter olives which she loves and also marmite on her toast despite the warnings I read somewhere about this. In fact I'm often tempted to start putting sweet stuff into my kids lunch boxes just to stick two fingers up at the powers that be who tell us not to.

 

It also worries me that some children who don't like to eat certain things might even have their nutrition put at risk. For instance, my daughter really doesn't like to drink either milk or water, but this is all that is on offer at pre-school because it's 'healthy'. I send her with squash for her lunch. But presumably she doesn't drink much during the morning until it's lunchtime.

 

Those parents who you most want or need to reach with this stuff are probably going to be very resistant to it. The audience you really need to work with is the children - healthy snacks that are tasty, growing your own veg, that's the kind of thing that really makes a difference.

 

Sorry, rant over, please ignore if you disagree!

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I know exactly where you are coming from SuzieC8. I too feel resentful when I feel that I am being told what to feed my child. She has packed lunch about once a month as a treat and the school have rules about what she may have in it.

 

On the other hand I have cared for a little girl for several years who was with me every day and the most healthy thing I saw in her lunch box for a long time was a hot cross bun with jam on it. She used to come with a box full of sweets, chocolate, crisps and squash. I only provide water or milk apart from mealtimes and she always drank plenty of water with me but would refuse it at home. I did feel then that I had a responsibilty to try to educate this mother about healthier food options for the child's long term health.

 

Although this mum was hard to reach and resistant to change I still worked at it because I thought it really mattered. We did make progress but it was long and slow.

 

It is a shame that parents who are already giving their child a balanced diet get caught up in the system too and feel very patronised.

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It is a shame that parents who are already giving their child a balanced diet get caught up in the system too and feel very patronised.

 

And there in lays the problem.....those of us that understand healthy eating do ensure our children have a balance, everything in moderation but some of the information that is supplied can be useful if, as a setting you are trying to preach to the non-understanding who continue to send their children with unhealthily balanced lunch boxes.

 

The information supplied by government etc can give suggestions as to how to approach those people but sadly if you look in the supermarket it is far cheaper to buy junk food than it is healthy food. Having said that I see many are starting to do value priced fruit and veg more often...it is still not as cheap as value choc biscuits and crisps though.

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It is a shame that parents who are already giving their child a balanced diet get caught up in the system too and feel very patronised.

 

I do agree however we too are trying to get to the parents who (and yes this is true) send in 5 different bits of cake as a packed lunch, or one large swiss roll as the only thing in their lunch box! I believe that if Parents are choosing to send their child to school with a packed lunch then yes it is their choice on what to send but we are starting to have issues over food being stolen from other lunch boxes as they are still hungry or they want to be like everyone else. It is those children we are trying to help and within reason I agree it should be the parents choice. :o

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Thanks to everyone who responded to my rant! At least I feel I'm not completely alone in my thoughts.

 

Ems, it does sound shocking that parents might do that. Would it work to have a quiet word with individuals? Could it be a financial issue? Are you able to offer better nutrition to these children at snack times, or to do some healthy cooking with them?

 

We have found our pre-school garden is a brilliant way to change habits - the children were almost fighting over who could get to pick a pea and eat is straight from the pod.

 

Good luck.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi all,

 

Read this with interest both as a practitioner and a parent!! As I have experienced problems from both sides.

 

As a practitioner, I think we do have a responsibility to help educate parents - and some do need this (do disrespect needed), parents often worry that their child is going to go hungry especially if they are new to all day care or lunches and so pack in as much as possible.

 

It is difficult when children are fussy eaters but we need to encourage the children to eat healthily AND sometime to give parents ideas for what to include.... knowing that we will support their child in trying new things or actually eating them..

 

I firmly believe that behaviour is greatly influenced by diet and so when you are presented with a child who can't concentrate even for a minute, rushes around with no regard to anyone else and generally behaves badly and then you see he has no protein but lots of sugar in his lunch box EVERY DAY - you can begin to understand why.

 

At the end of the day I think we should offer advice but when it comes to rules - that's different again - we say no sweets and no fizzy drinks, but I like the idea of an advice sheet.

 

I also like the idea of a reward scheme for children who have lunch covering all groups..... don't know how controversially that might be!! :o

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I've tried a search, as I'm sure there was a poster somewhere on here which gave parents ideas of what to put in lunchboxes.

 

If anyone has seen it I'd really appreciate a link,

 

thanks

 

Jackie.

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A really interesting topic, this. As a practitioner I often see lunchboxes that are less than nutritious, yet I know that every parent wants to do the best for their child and is doing the best job they can at that moment in time. As a parent I worried when my five year old went to school because all he would eat was peanut butter on ryvita. He wouldn't eat them in a sandwich, they had to be separate. How on earth was I going to get that in a lunchbox, and would I fall foul of the lunchbox police? With a bit of forward planning we managed it in the end, and reached a compromise.

 

I like to think that parents will take the information I provide them and do one of two things with it: think it is relevant to their lives and take it on board or just disregard it. Whilst I would hate to think parents thought we were looking at their children's lunch boxes and judging their parenting skills, we do have a responsibility to promote healthy eating just as we do early learning. The trick is to get the balance right and not alienate anyone or make them feel inadequate.

 

Maz

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