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lunchbox/healthy eating policy


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We have a three year old boy who today had a large ham and cheese sandwich, a packet of crisps, a packet of cheddar biscuits, some cucumber and tomato, a cheese string, a 'frube' yogurt, a pot of yogurt, a cake, a packet of chocolate buttons, a packet of fruit flakes, and a fruit smoothie. Nutritionally, not too bad. But WAY too much!

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We have a three year old boy who today had a large ham and cheese sandwich, a packet of crisps, a packet of cheddar biscuits, some cucumber and tomato, a cheese string, a 'frube' yogurt, a pot of yogurt, a cake, a packet of chocolate buttons, a packet of fruit flakes, and a fruit smoothie. Nutritionally, not too bad. But WAY too much!

Do his parents expect him to eat it all or are they just sending in a selection for him to choose from?

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one of our children had a cheese dipper for morning snack, two for her lunch together with a small yoghurt and another dipper for afternoon snack !!!!!

we tried to explain to parents (eal) that this wasn't acceptable and give them pictures of foods that would be more acceptable - nutritionally and health wise - we wait to see what she brings in on monday!

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If find this really difficult in early years.

We want them to enjoy eating at this age, and not to grow up thinking food is 'bad', whilst at the same time we want them to eat healthy :mellow:

We give a suggestions leaflet for parents, and the children have made their own poster about what to eat- and in which order from their lunch boxes. Basically its lots of photos of the children picking items and eating their lunches.

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We want them to enjoy eating at this age, and not to grow up thinking food is 'bad', whilst at the same time we want them to eat healthy :mellow:

Same here. I have always believed that the best way to address it is to educate the children. Sensitive discussions around what is a healthy balanced meal, often using my own as an example, have led to children asking parents to include healthier options in their lunch. The knowledge they have gained stays with them and is more valuable, in my opinion, than setting rules and goals or parents.

 

I've always made a point of saying that they can get their children to eat or try food with me that they might avoid at home and that this is normal but, apart from that, I see my job as educating the children rather than the parents in all but the most extreme cases.

 

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We are on a school site so we follow their Healthy Eating guidelines.

When children join we send information about lunch requirements that states: in keeping with our schools healthy eating policy in your child's lunchbox we would expect to see:

 

a sandwich (1 slice of bread should be sufficient) with a savoury filling such as ham, cheese, egg etc. alternatively pasta, rice.....

 

A piece of fruit or vegetable.

 

A yogurt.

 

We offer water or milk to drink, but you may supply your own if you wish.

 

Please do not send your child in with crisps, sweets, chocolates etc as this can be upsetting for the others, instead save these items for at home.

 

The above suggestions will be enough for your child to eat as they are offered snack in the morning and afternoon.

 

Your support is appreciated.

 

Seems to work!

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We are on a school site so we follow their Healthy Eating guidelines.

When children join we send information about lunch requirements that states: in keeping with our schools healthy eating policy in your child's lunchbox we would expect to see:

 

a sandwich (1 slice of bread should be sufficient) with a savoury filling such as ham, cheese, egg etc. alternatively pasta, rice.....

 

A piece of fruit or vegetable.

 

A yogurt.

 

We offer water or milk to drink, but you may supply your own if you wish.

 

Please do not send your child in with crisps, sweets, chocolates etc as this can be upsetting for the others, instead save these items for at home.

 

The above suggestions will be enough for your child to eat as they are offered snack in the morning and afternoon.

 

Your support is appreciated.

 

Seems to work!

Im afraid that a policy like this would be very difficult to stick to in our setting as we have a lot of SEN children who will refuse to eat anything that is out of the ordinary (and in some cases that's a packet of crisps a day) and we also have a little one with a diagnosed eating condition. He requires regular input of high calorie food like chocolate!

The problem with blanket policies is that it can cause more issues than it solves

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We don't get any parent complaints. Some children do bring chocolate spread sandwiches. Those who don't really eat fruit of veg tend to bring in a fruit purée.

 

It's never been an issue.

 

I suppose if we had a child who was a fussy eater etc we would have to rethink.

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Please dont get me wrong Thumper but there is a huge difference between a fussy eater and a recognised and diagnosed condition.

Having re-read your post it is obvious that you are talking about guidelines...not policy. But i do think we need to take in to account all the issues that parents and families have around food.

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I would never have a policy telling parents what they can and can't put in a childs lunchbox, they are the paying customers and its their choice what to give their child for lunch, I do, however, offer advice and give out a lunchtime suggestion sheet to all parents as their child begins lunch with us but if the parent continues to put food in, that in my eyes, is not suitable then I'm afraid there is little I can or will do about it. We do cooking every week and alway bake healthy food as well as providing healthy options at snack time and this gives us an ideal opportunity to educate the children on what is healthy and what is a treat/ non healthy.

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I'm afraid I agree.We would never have a policy saying what parents are 'allowed' to put in their children's lunch. They are the parents and although we can give them advice, ultimately its their choice. We have no idea what they are eating at home - the lunch provided may be part of a balanced diet so its not our decision telling them what should be part of lunch. Of course we can suggest and educate but there is a huge difference.

As a parent, we have all been in the situation where you are scrapping around the kitchen cupboards because you haven't had time to get to the shops and there is no fruit left in the fruit bowl and there is only jam to go in the last piece of bread and a biscuit is all you have to hand. This should not make parents feel inadequate - parenting is hard enough!

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Always a tricky subject this one and people do get quite emotive about it, especially if some parents think their little ones are going to starve if they don't have access to things in their lunch box that they like

I think there are things as a setting you can ban like bags of sweets!!!

As for the other content of a lunch box I think it is a guidance thing and as professionals we can support our guidance with information to explain why we are making those recommendations

This is a nice article written by a parent in the setting I used to work in 'Snacks and lunches for early years children'

I have to say if crisps had been banned from my children's lunch boxes I would have really struggled to get enough calories in them some days :(

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I think there are things as a setting you can ban like bags of sweets!!!

 

Well you could ban them but how does that educate anyone?

 

Wouldn't it be better to set up a dialogue with any parents who were sending sweets in for their child's lunch (I know it does happen) and work with them to find healthier alternatives? That way you get to know the reason behind the choice they are making and may be able to offer more sensitive and appropriately targeted support.

 

If a parent is sending sweets because they are at their wit's end about their child refusing food and feel that sweets are the only thing they will reliably consume in any quantity, banning them is just going to amplify an already stressful situation. They need reassurance and support to manage a very difficult situation, rather than blanket bans.

 

I've had parents like this and their anxiety was often through the roof. I needed to show them that their child could enjoy more appropriate foods while in my setting before they could change what they were sending. I did this by introducing healthier foods in other ways and sending evidence home, plus having supportive conversations about how I managed mealtimes and snacks to help them make changes at home if they wanted to.

 

 

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