Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Lunch Boxes


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

 

 

We have a few children that are beginning to bring in chocolate and sweets in their lunchboxes, but not much in the way of fruit or yoghurts.

 

I am a mum and know first hand how hard it is to get children to eat healthily, so i don't want to offend anyone.

 

However I would like to give parents some information about eating healthily and use the "5 a day" info

 

Do any of you give parents a guide to healthy lunchboxes??

 

Many thanks

 

 

x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have only just started lunches so we haven't yet but we will be from September some of our lunch boxes are terrible

e.g.

- 2 packets of crisps

- 5 wheat free cakes/ biscuits, mostly chocolate, yes the child has allergies but is it any wonder he isn't well much of the time.

- a cold, leftover? cheeseburger

-

As a parent I am very much pro advice my children were very happy eating a healthy balanced diet until they started school and discovered cakes and crisps, if the school had had a tighter policy my life would have been much easier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there

 

The contents of some of our children's lunch boxes have been terrible lately, one child had 3 packets of fruit pastels, another has chocolate spread sandwiches, a pack of malteasers, a fudge, a bag of crisps and an apple. When we've addressed it with parents we often find they say that the 'goodies', are for them to eat at the after school club, even though they also have a healthy eating policy.

 

At my friends school the head introduced a zero tolerance policy to sweets & chocolate, even for Birthdays. You could see changes in behaviour straight away.

 

I don’t like to moan but it makes you worry about their future attitude to foods.

 

I have ran workshops & another teacher ran a healthy heart drop in session.....I don't think it's always about parental knowledge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A different perspective, please don't fire at me as I put my head above the parapet.

 

My feeling is that we (educators, government) have absolutely no right to tell parents what to feed their children. And even if we do try, we are very unlikely to do more than alienate those parents we most need to get on side. If it's a welfare or child protection issue, that is someone else's job and you need to call in the experts.

 

This is a very slippery slope, once you start making judgements about what a 'good' parent (usually translates roughly as a middle class one, even though you'll be horrified that I say it) looks like.

 

Far better to focus on offering interesting fruits/veg at snack time, growing crops in your preschool garden, that kind of thing. Change the child's attitude through education and not the parent's attitude through preaching.

 

Sorry, I'll get off my high horse now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A different perspective, please don't fire at me as I put my head above the parapet.

 

My feeling is that we (educators, government) have absolutely no right to tell parents what to feed their children. And even if we do try, we are very unlikely to do more than alienate those parents we most need to get on side. If it's a welfare or child protection issue, that is someone else's job and you need to call in the experts.

 

This is a very slippery slope, once you start making judgements about what a 'good' parent (usually translates roughly as a middle class one, even though you'll be horrified that I say it) looks like.

 

Far better to focus on offering interesting fruits/veg at snack time, growing crops in your preschool garden, that kind of thing. Change the child's attitude through education and not the parent's attitude through preaching.

 

Sorry, I'll get off my high horse now.

 

 

Sorry got to agree with you and will probally be slated for it,

But also ask Are you currently studying as you almost quoted the assignment I was writing on Sunday and I know I don't know you!!!????? :o

 

We ask parents if sweetie could be saved for home time and this is happening, at snacks we offer fun and healthy snacks with new things to try and thats working :(

Also when we do cooking we do different things for children to discuss and often they tell their parents about it, great CLL activities xD

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My feeling is that we (educators, government) have absolutely no right to tell parents what to feed their children. And even if we do try, we are very unlikely to do more than alienate those parents we most need to get on side. If it's a welfare or child protection issue, that is someone else's job and you need to call in the experts.

 

I agree!

 

Have you eaten food from a lunch box that has been prepared hours in advance and left in a warm classroom? At least some of those foods do not deteriorate as rapidly.

 

Hopefully the child has a balanced diet overall and I dont think it is really our place to judge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that it should NOT be our place to judge, but we should advise parents and give practical advice on what COULD go in the lunchbox. That said, I think that OFSTED expect us to not just judge but actally the expectation is closer to policing!!

 

It's a very difficult one!! Education education education (clearly for the parents rather than the kids) in this case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A different perspective, please don't fire at me as I put my head above the parapet.

 

My feeling is that we (educators, government) have absolutely no right to tell parents what to feed their children. And even if we do try, we are very unlikely to do more than alienate those parents we most need to get on side. If it's a welfare or child protection issue, that is someone else's job and you need to call in the experts.

 

This is a very slippery slope, once you start making judgements about what a 'good' parent (usually translates roughly as a middle class one, even though you'll be horrified that I say it) looks like.

 

Far better to focus on offering interesting fruits/veg at snack time, growing crops in your preschool garden, that kind of thing. Change the child's attitude through education and not the parent's attitude through preaching.

 

Sorry, I'll get off my high horse now.

 

 

Hi Suzie C8,

 

I agree with what you are saying and I often think that we should also be helping parents (Educating!!??) to realise what else can be put in lunch boxes.

 

At my ENCo training, I was advised that we can no longer stipulate what parents should pack their child, we can give guidance and of course that is our role and of course promotoes our parent partnerships.

 

So I would really like to do this in a way that would enable us to help parents but without being obvious!! If that makes sense.

 

Some parents pack very good lunch boxes - certainly put me to shame with their home made cheese and herb puffs!!! It then seems hard on the other children when they are watching their friends eat a pack of maltesers! Which I would class as sweets.

 

Thanks for your link Maz - very helpful! x

 

Many thanks for all your replys and help, I love this forum and enjoy reading and getting advice and of course tips from all of you!

 

xx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, I'm going in... Yes I think that children should have treats and that fats and sugars and salt in small amounts are not going to kill them. What parents choose to feed their children when they are in their care is their business so long as the child's other nutritional requirements are not being neglected. That is the parent's perogative. BUT not at school/nursery/playgroup/childminders'.

 

When colourful, highly processed, low nutrient foods that taste really delicious or have peer group appeal, are made available to some of the children in a group, the others are going to want them too. And so the cycle continues.

 

Be professional, stand upt to the crowd and let the parents be the good-guys who give them treats at home.

 

Just had very nasty tooth extractions so apologies if not worded to your taste. Nasty taste in my mouth.

 

Fe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jenpercy

The Inspector we had last year implied that it was a duty under the EYFS to tell parents about healthy lunchboxes, and I had to promise that we sent out letters regularly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In terms of promoting healthy eating there is a very colourful and fun looking healthy plate poster available on mrspancake.com. I would start by trying to share information and getting the children on board if at all possible, a kind or reverse pester power. I do agree though that children should have everything in moderation but sometimes the parents need support in the moderate intake of the good stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always had a lunch club policy which states 'no chocolate, sweets or fizzy drinks'. It also says no nut products due to allergies as peanut butter sandwiches often creep in.

 

If a child comes with some chocolate products we ask them not to eat it and put a gentle reminder in their parent's file.

 

I have not had a complaint yet and have been doing this for 6 years.

 

I always have a few packets of small raisins in stock to replace their chocolate if the child gets upset.

 

I feel parents should follow sensible guidelines at school , children can have their chocolate treats at home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A different perspective, please don't fire at me as I put my head above the parapet.

 

My feeling is that we (educators, government) have absolutely no right to tell parents what to feed their children. And even if we do try, we are very unlikely to do more than alienate those parents we most need to get on side. If it's a welfare or child protection issue, that is someone else's job and you need to call in the experts.

 

This is a very slippery slope, once you start making judgements about what a 'good' parent (usually translates roughly as a middle class one, even though you'll be horrified that I say it) looks like.

 

Far better to focus on offering interesting fruits/veg at snack time, growing crops in your preschool garden, that kind of thing. Change the child's attitude through education and not the parent's attitude through preaching.

 

Sorry, I'll get off my high horse now.

 

I agree with you too. I would be very upset if somebody tried to tell me what I could and could not feed my child.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always had a lunch club policy which states 'no chocolate, sweets or fizzy drinks'. It also says no nut products due to allergies as peanut butter sandwiches often creep in.

 

If a child comes with some chocolate products we ask them not to eat it and put a gentle reminder in their parent's file.

 

I have not had a complaint yet and have been doing this for 6 years.

 

I always have a few packets of small raisins in stock to replace their chocolate if the child gets upset.

 

I feel parents should follow sensible guidelines at school , children can have their chocolate treats at home.

 

My son sometimes comes home with homework that is blatantly too easy for him, or that has obviously just been photocopied from a book because the teacher is short of time or didn't have the energy to be bothered to come up with something appropriate. Should I ask him not to do it and put a note in his book to his teacher, with a gentle reminder to make more effort next time?

 

Of course not! Overall she does a great job, it is not my position to judge her and nor is it her position to judge me. It is her job to educate my child and he is clearly getting lots of education about healthy eating which is great.

 

If educators put themselves in a position of being 'better than' parents in judging what is or is not right for the child, then parents might start to be more bullish about doing the same.

 

It reminds me of the saying: 'before you judge me, walk a mile in my shoes'

 

And just to lighten the tone, have you heard the funny addition to that saying: 'because then you'll be a mile away from me and I'll have your shoes'.

 

:o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also who is to say that 'they' (the powers that be) are in a better position to know what is right or wrong for our children. We should be open to suggestions but also question what we are told. Chances are the guidance will change next week anyway. Healthy eating is very much part of our curriculum, with the children currently growing their own vegetables, o make soup etc which they love and we balance that with making cakes and the like as part of a healthy balanced diet/curriculum.

 

I think some information is open to interpretation, for example only giving healthy friut and vegetables at snack time and omitting to give children a small amount of carboydrates too as was recently highlighted by the powers that be.

 

In our setting we also offer raisins regularly as part of our snack rotation, however, I read recently (probably from a link from this forum) that we shouldn't give raisins to children. If I remember correctly (and forgive me poor little brain for it is overloaded with writing an assignment - hence avoidance tactics of coming on here) it was to do with the fact that the sugary sticky little critters stick to children's teeth. So in the example given previously of replacing a item provided by the parent with the more healthy option of raisins provided by the setting, who is to say who is more correct? I sincerely hope this comment doesn't offend anyone, it is not intended to, just to illustrate a point. :o

 

Back to the assignment!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In our setting we also offer raisins regularly as part of our snack rotation, however, I read recently (probably from a link from this forum) that we shouldn't give raisins to children. If I remember correctly (and forgive me poor little brain for it is overloaded with writing an assignment - hence avoidance tactics of coming on here) it was to do with the fact that the sugary sticky little critters stick to children's teeth. So in the example given previously of replacing a item provided by the parent with the more healthy option of raisins provided by the setting, who is to say who is more correct? I sincerely hope this comment doesn't offend anyone, it is not intended to, just to illustrate a point. :o

 

 

 

I think raisins are fine within the context of a meal. Snacks are a different animal.

 

Fe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally and completely agree with Suzie. Yes we are educators but it is not up to us or any goverment to dictate to parents. I consider myself to be fairly well educated, have bought up 4 decent & healthy children, yet until he was around 12 years old all my youngest son ever had in his lunch was jam sandwiches,fun size twix or penguin bar & pkt crisps every other day. If I hadn't have given him that he would have eaten nothing and I figured that as he got a healthy balanced diet the rest of the time it wasn't going to kill him. I would really, really resent someone telling me not to give him a choc bar or the like. He didn't eat sweets and felt that a jam sandwich was better then no sandwich. He couldn't (no front bite) eat hard fruits unless cut up and then they would go brown, didn't like grapes or bananas. I somtimes feel we judge parents too quickly without knowing the full facts. I'm sure that dinner ladies over the years must have looked at his lunch and thought honestly look wqhat he has again!! We have a few children that come in regularly with cold cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. I think it stinks and looks disgusting, but they seem to like it and others would deem that as a really healthy meal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Have you eaten food from a lunch box that has been prepared hours in advance and left in a warm classroom?"

 

Im going to join in now too - how come you are still allowed to let the lunch boxes sit in the "warm classroom" havent Ofsted picked up on the fact yet and come up with some sort of "cooler room" or something to store them in ? Thats like me as a CM leaving my mindees lunch on the side in the sun all morning !!!?

 

that is one rant over heres the next....

 

Parents differ all over depending on lots of things I dont want to get into socio ecomomics or whatever but I expect the "school" to readdress the educational balance and if necessary re-educate the parents because most of the time they DO need it. Your in a position to dictate about most things as a "management" decision re class numbers/ not moving someone up a year or whatever so why is it so difficult to adopt the "zero tolerance to chocolate /cake " as someone else posted ? Not everyone has been "brought up " the same way but surely that is the point of school to create a level playing field ? Keep sugar out of it Mon- Friday or if it has to be there have plenty of other good stuff AS WELL!!

 

Right - feel a little better now !!! :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We give our parents suggestions of healthly inclusions for lunches, what we don't say on that handout but I think should say when we update it is that all the lunchboxes are stored in fridges until lunchtime and a member of staff sits with the children at lunchtime to cut up fruit etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

how come you are still allowed to let the lunch boxes sit in the "warm classroom" havent Ofsted picked up on the fact yet and come up with some sort of "cooler room" or something to store them in ?

 

We store ours on a trolley in our entrance foyer. Ofsted didn't say anything about it when they came in. Admittedly it's always fairly cool in there. A few years ago, when on a course I queried why schools didn't have to store lunch boxes in a cool environment (at the time my childrens school used to store them in an entrance) I was told it was because they weren't providing the food and the rules were completely different. As long as it's not stored in a warm place then it's fine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few years ago, when on a course I queried why schools didn't have to store lunch boxes in a cool environment (at the time my childrens school used to store them in an entrance) I was told it was because they weren't providing the food and the rules were completely different. As long as it's not stored in a warm place then it's fine

 

Same here - I asked enviromental health same question a couple of weeks ago and got exactly the same answer. She suggested that we tell parents to add an ice pack -but as they provide the food it is their responsiblity to provide a safe lunch - she even said we were entering a whole new ball game it we started to store them in a fridge....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Inspector we had last year implied that it was a duty under the EYFS to tell parents about healthy lunchboxes, and I had to promise that we sent out letters regularly.

It is in the welfare requirements somewhere, I seem to remember.

 

Maz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is in the welfare requirements somewhere, I seem to remember.

On page 27 it says:-

 

If parents provide packed lunches, providers should inform them about what can be stored safely and about appropriate food content.

 

Maz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

in safeguarding and promoting childrens welfare..

 

 

legal requirement

 

where children are provided with meals snacks drinks these must be healthy balanced and nutritious..

 

we should also have regard for...

 

if parents provide a packed lunch, providers should inform parents about what can be stored safely and about appropriate food content...

 

so while not an essential or MUST.. is in the guidance that we should promote and inform parents on contents of packed lunches.

 

Inge

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the comment 'appropriate food content' is left wide open to interpretation IMO, and as childcarers is it for us to dictate what is deemed as 'appropriate'? We can make suggestions, point out about things like Change for Life but at the end of the day it's for the parents to decide what they want to feed thier child I feel. The whole issue of lunchboxes is a real minefield, I am so please we have cooked meals and a chef, 2 choices of meal,one meat/fish, one veggie, and that parents are happy to fit in with what we offer,and are grateful that we do 'proper' meals does make life easier. :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)