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Can we talk about "healthy" food?


Moxie
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My son has "parties" once a month for all the children born that month plus parties for holidays. Sometimes there are Friday pyjama parties too. These involve the children sitting at their desks while the teacher hands out candies, cupcakes, chips, crackers, and fruit that various parents bring in rotation. Sometimes there are also movies and board games. Is this not too much? What good does it do? Other than the board games, it does not teach socialization the way a real party does.

 

My son learned about candy, Coca-cola and Dorites at school. :( Before he started school his favourite food was cucumbers.

 

We never has anything like this (I grew up in the 1970s). I remember an occasional tiny cinnamon heart on Valentine's Day or a small candy cane before Christmas. Parents never had to provide the whole class with treats and that was before there was an awareness of allergies like there is today.

 

So when did things change? When did these treat parties start? It just doesn't make sense given that we are more aware of health issues and the dangers of overconsumption of sugar and given that there are more food allergies and intolerances and greater awareness of allergies.

 

My son spends about a month in the classroom learning about nutrition and how to read labels but then he is given the very foods he is told not to eat by the teacher!

I don't see anything wrong with having a class party once a month and other parties for holidays. If it was a daily thing, I would think that was excessive, but once or occasionally twice a month? I have no problem at all with that. My ds has "treats" at home all the time, so I guess I have a different perspective on this.

 

Edited to add: I started school in the late 1960's and we always had parties (with cake and other treats) in class for kids' birthdays.

Edited by Catwoman
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My ds was told by a teacher he couldn't have flavored seltzer because it was "soda" grrrr

 

I have been surprised by people assuming that seltzer is sweetened.  My FIL called it "sugar water" once and no amount of explaining seltzer would make him change his mind.  

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It must have changed before the 70s. I recall getting cupcakes for different holidays and a little candy at some. DH's mother is still fondly remembered at his school for her sugar cookies. (I didn't believe him until I met an old teacher of his and that was the first thing she mentioned lol!)

 

Not that I'm hinting or anything, but I was just thinking that someone might want to post a good sugar cookie recipe right about now... ;)

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I have been surprised by people assuming that seltzer is sweetened. My FIL called it "sugar water" once and no amount of explaining seltzer would make him change his mind.

My MIL is so upset that dh drinks seltzer because "it is full of sodium." There is no explaining in the world that will convince her otherwise.

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My kids went to a wonderful, private kindergarten that did not allow cake or cookies for birthdays or other parties.  At first it seemed like an overly strict rule; parents thought it would be OK as a special treat, but from their experience the directors saw that the special treat became an almost daily treat as there was always a birthday or celebration and that parents would start trying to outdo each other--last week someone brought a cake for Johnny's birthday, so the next week someone needs to bring a cake and ice cream for Sally's birthday; then the next week it turned into cake, ice cream, and a treat bag for Billy's birthday...  

 

Instead students were encouraged to treat their class to their "favorite" food.  The choices were not always the most nutritious if they were considered in isolation, but it exposed the children to a wide variety of foods that they would not have necessarily tried on their own and the children celebrated their special day with someone that was meaningful to them--from plain yogurt with homemade jam to crawfish!

 

 

I think it's sad that school and other children's activities so often dictate to parents what their kids will be eating. My kids get cake at their birthdays, birthday parties of friends and family, and sometimes I might want to make them cookies or something and enjoy some with them. I don't need them to be fed treats at other events, too. It can quickly get out of hand. I have heard school parents complain about classrooms where it is someone's birthday every other week and cupcakes are handed out to all, and then teachers give candy and there are other holiday classroom celebrations with more sugar. I agree that eating is a communal activity, but most grade school classrooms are not really like a family or community, so that cupcakes at the end of the school day does not have the same significance for celebration in the way that your birthday party or Thanksgiving table does.

 

 

 

I don't know - surely it's fairly simple to say "we'll only have cake at these designated holidays, or once a month for all birthday's that month"?  If it's every week and that seems to be too much, don't do it so often.

 

This all or nothing business doesn't serve a healthy attitude to food.

 

If a classroom doesn't count as a community, I am not sure what does.  Those kids are spending a good deal of their life there.

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Instead students were encouraged to treat their class to their "favorite" food.  The choices were not always the most nutritious if they were considered in isolation, but it exposed the children to a wide variety of foods that they would not have necessarily tried on their own and the children celebrated their special day with someone that was meaningful to them--from plain yogurt with homemade jam to crawfish!

I love this idea!

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My MIL is so upset that dh drinks seltzer because "it is full of sodium." There is no explaining in the world that will convince her otherwise.

 

Club soda does (or used to) have sodium.  I think people get the two mixed up.

 

If I'd had some flavored seltzer at hand I'd have showed the label to my FIL but that might not convince him either.  'Cause, he knows what he knows, and nothing will change his mind.

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Another issue is there still is a lot of argument about what is healthy.  Some people still believe fat is the devil so they are way happier to see Cocoa Puffs with fat free milk than eggs with cheese. 

 

I've been the "snack table" shopper for one co-op, and am getting ready to do it for another co-op.  YES, everyone has different ideas about what is healthy!!!  It is literally impossible to accommodate everyone's food philosophies.

 

(Fortunately, we're able to allow people to bring in anything they want as long as it's nut-free. But there are always complaints, anyway.)

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I don't see anything wrong with having a class party once a month and other parties for holidays. If it was a daily thing, I would think that was excessive, but once or occasionally twice a month? I have no problem at all with that. My ds has "treats" at home all the time, so I guess I have a different perspective on this.

 

Edited to add: I started school in the late 1960's and we always had parties (with cake and other treats) in class for kids' birthdays.

 

Yeah. Once a month a yogurt or some pretzels is hardly the path to al if of ruin. 

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When I was in first grade, way back in the mists of time, the teacher used to bring Graham crackers with sounding heaps of chocolate frosting on them for our weekly treat. She served it at 2:15 and we got out of school at 2:45 thus all the crazy this sugar overload may have caused went home with parents or got on the bus! I wonder if the bus driver hated her.

 

At any rate, we six year olds thought she was "da bomb"!!

 

Oh the good ole days....... ðŸ˜

When I was in first grade, way back in the mists of time, the teacher used to bring Graham crackers with resounding heaps of chocolate frosting on them for our weekly treat. She served it at 2:15 and we got out of school at 2:45 thus all the crazy this sugar overload may have caused went home with parents or got on the bus! I wonder if the bus driver hated her.

 

At any rate, we six year olds thought she was "da bomb"!!

 

Oh the good ole days....... ðŸ˜

Edited by FaithManor
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It must have changed before the 70s. I recall getting cupcakes for different holidays and a little candy at some.  DH's mother is still fondly remembered at his school for her sugar cookies.  (I didn't believe him until I met an old teacher of his and that was the first thing she mentioned lol!)

 

 

I concur. I did all of my elementary AND middle school years in the 70s. We had parties for every holiday imaginable (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines, Easter, May Day (huge deal), and End of Year party) and definitely had sweets and junk at them. And most kids parents sent in a treat for the class to share on their birthday. I think its sad when I hear of schools that don't do Halloween and some of the others.

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When I was in first grade, way back in the mists of time, the teacher used to bring Graham crackers with sounding heaps of chocolate frosting on them for our weekly treat. She served it at 2:15 and we got out of school at 2:45 thus all the crazy this sugar overload may have caused went home with parents or got on the bus! I wonder if the bus driver hated her.

 

At any rate, we six year olds thought she was "da bomb"!!

 

Oh the good ole days....... ðŸ˜

 

You know, last year I pretty much decided, to heck with it, and started giving my kids chocolate for breakfast in winter.  Usually hot chocolate with whatever else they might have, but sometimes nutella on toast or a banana or apple.

 

Part of my feeling was that thousands of French kids seem to be ok on that kind of diet, healthy and eating lots of foods.

 

I also remember going to stay with my grandmother as a kid, and she would give us hot chocolate every night before bed - it wasn't actually very good hot chocolate, but there was something really comforting about the ritual.

 

Going out into the cold Canadian morning, it's just a nice way to start the day.

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What is the reasoning behind this rule?

 

Probably to avoid people explaining their kids drink is okay because it isn't really soda, just flavored carbonated water.  And thus causing hurt feelings that other kids can not bring similar in.

 

In our house, we put these in the same category. Both are special foods.

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Probably to avoid people explaining their kids drink is okay because it isn't really soda, just flavored carbonated water.  And thus causing hurt feelings that other kids can not bring similar in.

 

In our house, we put these in the same category. Both are special foods.

Not all carbonated water is flavored.  Some mineral water has natural carbonation.  

 

I would much prefer my kids drink unflavored carbonated water or apple juice mixed with carbonated water than cranberry cocktail or Gatorade.  

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Probably to avoid people explaining their kids drink is okay because it isn't really soda, just flavored carbonated water.  And thus causing hurt feelings that other kids can not bring similar in.

 

In our house, we put these in the same category. Both are special foods.

 

We do drink carbonated water (seltzer) here at home, as a mixer and on it's own.  I can imagine an institutional setting having a "no carbonated beverages" rule for simplicity.  If adults don't understand that flavored water doesn't necessarily contain sugar, I can imagine all kinds of confusion with a classroom full of kids.   

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We do drink carbonated water (seltzer) here at home, as a mixer and on it's own.  I can imagine an institutional setting having a "no carbonated beverages" rule for simplicity.  If adults don't understand that flavored water doesn't necessarily contain sugar, I can imagine all kinds of confusion with a classroom full of kids.   

But if the concern is sugar, why would Gatorade, or juice cocktails, or Starbucks coffee drinks, or popsicles, or Koolaid, etc be allowed.

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Maybe no carbonation because of the high potential for spraying all over the classroom?

Or belching contests.

 

I assume behind every inane school rule is a bunch of unruly 10-11yo boys who pushed the boundaries too far. The boys in my fifth grade class all got write ups for having a peeing for distance contest during a class break. They are why we can't have nice things!

Edited by BarbecueMom
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But if the concern is sugar, why would Gatorade, or juice cocktails, or Starbucks coffee drinks, or popsicles, or Koolaid, etc be allowed.

 

Ah.  I was focused on the carbonation part, and thinking of sweetened soda vs unsweetened seltzer.   The more I read this thread the more confused I get and the happier I am that I was spared the school snack rules by homeschooling.  Though I do remember some weird rules in Girl Scouts, but I think that was our leader specifically.  

 

Actually, I don't even know why sweetened "juice cocktails" are even sold in the juice aisle.   So misleading.  But that is a derail and not related to schools. 

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That seems like a heck of a rabbit hole to send a teacher down, and a bit snowflakey to expect her to take the time to parse an exception for your kid like that. If they are forbidding carbonated beverages it's because the majority are extremely high in sugar. Next thing will be someone with some health food store brand that does have sugar, but less, or they'll want to claim it's ok because the sugar is from fruit juice and it becomes a matter of degree which the teacher is then on the spot to make a judgment about, leading to misunderstanding one way or the other (either the kid being refused an exception or other kids seeing an exception being made). Why not just follow the rule and save it for home? Why raise a kid with the expectation of being able to "well actually..." themselves out of the innocuous standards set in a group situation?

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That seems like a heck of a rabbit hole to send a teacher down, and a bit snowflakey to expect her to take the time to parse an exception for your kid like that. If they are forbidding carbonated beverages it's because the majority are extremely high in sugar. Next thing will be someone with some health food store brand that does have sugar, but less, or they'll want to claim it's ok because the sugar is from fruit juice and it becomes a matter of degree which the teacher is then on the spot to make a judgment about, leading to misunderstanding one way or the other (either the kid being refused an exception or other kids seeing an exception being made). Why not just follow the rule and save it for home? Why raise a kid with the expectation of being able to "well actually..." themselves out of the innocuous standards set in a group situation?

Why should the teacher get to decide if anyone's child is allowed to drink a sugary beverage?

 

I think it's ridiculous that schools want this level of authority over other people's children.

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How is seltzer confusing? Do we think teachers are in capable of reading a label? The nutrition information is right on the can or bottle. If the other kids say something then you explain the label to them. Sounds like a teaching moment to me.

 

I think I said "confusing" and maybe that was the wrong word. How about "hassle?"  What a hassle for a teacher to have to read labels and explain why this is OK and this is not.  

 

It's a hassle for me in the grocery store, when I'm looking at different flavored water-type drinks.  My family likes to try new things.  Sometimes there are sweetened drinks in the house.  But I draw a line at aspartame and other non-sugar sweeteners.  So I have to read the labels.  It's fine for me because I want to know and it's for my family.  If I was a teacher of, what, 15+ kids? - I don't want to be reading labels.  

 

ETA:  related to Catwoman's question just above:

 

 

 

Why should the teacher get to decide if anyone's child is allowed to drink a sugary beverage? 

I think it's ridiculous that schools want this level of authority over other people's children.

 

I agree, but it seems some schools do have that level of authority for whatever reason.  (I think people mentioned allergies, etc., and kids sharing food, as one reason.)  So, it makes it easier on the teacher if the rules are clear and there are no exceptions.  

Edited by marbel
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I think I said "confusing" and maybe that was the wrong word. How about "hassle?" What a hassle for a teacher to have to read labels and explain why this is OK and this is not.

 

It's a hassle for me in the grocery store, when I'm looking at different flavored water-type drinks. My family likes to try new things. Sometimes there are sweetened drinks in the house. But I draw a line at aspartame and other non-sugar sweeteners. So I have to read the labels. It's fine for me because I want to know and it's for my family. If I was a teacher of, what, 15+ kids? - I don't want to be reading labels.

Teachers have enough responsibilities -- they shouldn't have to be the Food and Beverage Police, as well! Also, parents get contentious about this sort of thing, and it's not fair that the teachers have to waste their time explaining a bunch of nitpicky rules over and over again.

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That seems like a heck of a rabbit hole to send a teacher down, and a bit snowflakey to expect her to take the time to parse an exception for your kid like that. If they are forbidding carbonated beverages it's because the majority are extremely high in sugar. Next thing will be someone with some health food store brand that does have sugar, but less, or they'll want to claim it's ok because the sugar is from fruit juice and it becomes a matter of degree which the teacher is then on the spot to make a judgment about, leading to misunderstanding one way or the other (either the kid being refused an exception or other kids seeing an exception being made). Why not just follow the rule and save it for home? Why raise a kid with the expectation of being able to "well actually..." themselves out of the innocuous standards set in a group situation?

 

But many beverages that are not carbonated are full of sugar, also.  It makes more sense to me if you are going to ban drinks with sugar that you ban drinks with sugar--not that you ban drinks with carbonation.  I have never seen a school policy that bans drinks with sugar; I have seen many that ban drinks with carbonation, which in some cases, increases (rather than decreases) sugar consumption. 

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I think it's reasonable for people who are caring for children for most of the day to have minimal restrictions like no soda. I think it would be really entitled to say, in effect, take my kid for seven hours every day but you don't get to have any standards for what goes on during that time. In addition to soda being really bad for kids there is the potential mess factor. Like PP said, rambunctious ten year old boys. In a communal situation not everything can be me, me, me. My special brand that doesn't have sugar. My precious angel who would never shake up a bottle or rub other kids' noses in the fact that he has a special brand that slipped through the rules. Etc. In a community situation you have to think about everybody, and yes, about the average. Half of this thread has been people mad that the school isn't strict *enough* about nutrition, according to *their* special dietary beliefs. There's no pleasing everybody. There has to be compromise and it's up to the people in charge to determine what that will be. Homeschooling is a valid choice but if you are specifically teaching your kids to avoid communal endeavors because they require compromise and following directions that aren't exactly how you think you would do it yourself, you are doing them a disservice.

Edited by winterbaby
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I think that if you are going to have rules about what students can bring, wear, whatever, it's best if they are pretty easy to follow, even if it means some loss of nuance.

 

I think it's pretty lame to think it is up to the school to tell parents what lunches to pack.

 

I think if schools want to get serious about eating well, they should start offering good lunches to the kids.

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Or belching contests.

 

I assume behind every inane school rule is a bunch of unruly 10-11yo boys who pushed the boundaries too far. The boys in my fifth grade class all got write ups for having a peeing for distance contest during a class break. They are why we can't have nice things!

 

:lol:  I can only imagine the reaction of the girls for that one!

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:lol: I can only imagine the reaction of the girls for that one!

It was a great relief that the boys, and only the boys, were punished for that one. Usually, when too many of us got rowdy, we had to copy the preamble of the Constitution five times before recess. I had amazing hand strength by the time 6th grade rolled around.

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But many beverages that are not carbonated are full of sugar, also.  It makes more sense to me if you are going to ban drinks with sugar that you ban drinks with sugar--not that you ban drinks with carbonation.  I have never seen a school policy that bans drinks with sugar; I have seen many that ban drinks with carbonation, which in some cases, increases (rather than decreases) sugar consumption. 

 

I don't see how banning carbonation would increase sugar consumption. Reality is that at least 95% of the carbonated beverages people would bring if there wasn't that rule are the sugary type, and they're a good bit more sugary than most other sweet drinks. If you are opposed to sugar consumption period, you can have your child drink plain water. It's not like your only choices are a sugary non-carbonated drink or a sugar-free flavored seltzer water. Or if you do... what are the chances that a kid who's been raised to be able to refuse plain water in favor of flavored has such a healthy diet anyway? I enjoy an occasional soda but I don't think that people who routinely substitute a commercial product for ordinary drinking water are in any position to look down at the rest of us in terms of lifestyle.

 

Besides, as previously stated there are reasons other than nutrition for not wanting soda in school.

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That seems like a heck of a rabbit hole to send a teacher down, and a bit snowflakey to expect her to take the time to parse an exception for your kid like that. If they are forbidding carbonated beverages it's because the majority are extremely high in sugar. Next thing will be someone with some health food store brand that does have sugar, but less, or they'll want to claim it's ok because the sugar is from fruit juice and it becomes a matter of degree which the teacher is then on the spot to make a judgment about, leading to misunderstanding one way or the other (either the kid being refused an exception or other kids seeing an exception being made). Why not just follow the rule and save it for home? Why raise a kid with the expectation of being able to "well actually..." themselves out of the innocuous standards set in a group situation?

 

But if they allow juice, but not seltzer, it's not about the sugar, is it? Or often Garoade and such is allowed, again high sugar. A rule of "no soda" doesn't have to mean "no seltzer". Heck it can even be "no carbonated beverages other than unsweetened seltzer". 

 

We don't think it is confusing to allow grape juice but not wine, despite those two probably being as similar as soda and unsweetened seltzer. 

Edited by ktgrok
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But if they allow juice, but not seltzer, it's not about the sugar, is it? Or often Garoade and such is allowed, again high sugar. A rule of "no soda" doesn't have to mean "no seltzer". Heck it can even be "no carbonated beverages other than unsweetened seltzer". 

 

We don't think it is confusing to allow grape juice but not wine, despite those two probably being as similar as soda and unsweetened seltzer. 

 

Sugar is not the only reason to forbid carbonated beverages. But in reality, most of the sodas out there have much more sugar than something like Gatorade. Almost twice as much. (I can't believe people are trying to pontificate about sugar, but don't know this.) That's what they're trying to target, in the simplest possible way. I'm inclined to let people who are dealing with large groups of kids have easy to enforce blanket rules that don't hurt anybody.

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I don't see how banning carbonation would increase sugar consumption. Reality is that at least 95% of the carbonated beverages people would bring if there wasn't that rule are the sugary type, and they're a good bit more sugary than most other sweet drinks. If you are opposed to sugar consumption period, you can have your child drink plain water. It's not like your only choices are a sugary non-carbonated drink or a sugar-free flavored seltzer water. Or if you do... what are the chances that a kid who's been raised to be able to refuse plain water in favor of flavored has such a healthy diet anyway? I enjoy an occasional soda but I don't think that people who routinely substitute a commercial product for ordinary drinking water are in any position to look down at the rest of us in terms of lifestyle.

 

Besides, as previously stated there are reasons other than nutrition for not wanting soda in school.

 

Not all carbonated water is flavored.  Some water is naturally carbonated. 

 

In some cultures it is common to drink fruit juices "G'spritzed"--watering them down with carbonated water.  If this is not allowed in the school, then the child can drink straight apple juice or Gatorade, but not a lower-sugar content G'spritzed apple juice. 

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Not all carbonated water is flavored.  Some water is naturally carbonated. 

 

In some cultures it is common to drink fruit juices "G'spritzed"--watering them down with carbonated water.  If this is not allowed in the school, then the child can drink straight apple juice or Gatorade, but not a lower-sugar content G'spritzed apple juice. 

 

....so? What does that have to do with a school's reasonable desire to avoid the types of soda that are actually common in this country? Undermining the school's efforts in order to teach your children to affect European habits is snowflakey as all get out... I almost can't believe this is serious.

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Not all carbonated water is flavored.  Some water is naturally carbonated. 

 

In some cultures it is common to drink fruit juices "G'spritzed"--watering them down with carbonated water.  If this is not allowed in the school, then the child can drink straight apple juice or Gatorade, but not a lower-sugar content G'spritzed apple juice. 

 

Spritzers are common in my house - my son always dilutes juice with carbonated water with seltzer, and I'll often make a wine spritzer for myself.  I'm not catching on what the "G" is for. But anyway, I am not sure how that's helpful in a school situation?  

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....so? What does that have to do with a school's reasonable desire to avoid the types of soda that are actually common in this country? Undermining the school's efforts in order to teach your children to affect European habits is snowflakey as all get out... I almost can't believe this is serious.

 

I would hope that education includes teaching, and demonstrating, critical thinking skills.  If the school wants to ban drinks with a particular type of sugar or a particular content of sugar, then I think it is better to do that than to ban carbonated water, which has nothing to do with sugar content.  If the school chooses to be in a position of dictating food choices based on its standard for healthy eating, I would like for it to be consistent about that; if the community wants to send students the message that Coke is banned because of its sugar content do that; but, I would prefer it not send the message that "carbonated drinks = bad" and "noncarbonated drinks = OK"  There are many high sugar content drinks--where I live, for example, iced tea is often served with as much sugar in it as a Coke, that are allowed under this type of rule. 

 

I also prefer an educational system that is open to allowing, even encouraging, children to be open to trying many different tastes and ways of doing things.  I am not of the belief that my child should be treated differently or special or that my child should be allowed to have something that other children in the school cannot have. I am of the belief that ALL of the children in the school should not be denied an option that is deemed a reasonable, even healthy, options in some parts of the world because it isn't the most common carbonated beverage in the US.  I am not understanding how that is snowflakey.

 

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I don't see how banning carbonation would increase sugar consumption. Reality is that at least 95% of the carbonated beverages people would bring if there wasn't that rule are the sugary type, and they're a good bit more sugary than most other sweet drinks. If you are opposed to sugar consumption period, you can have your child drink plain water. It's not like your only choices are a sugary non-carbonated drink or a sugar-free flavored seltzer water. Or if you do... what are the chances that a kid who's been raised to be able to refuse plain water in favor of flavored has such a healthy diet anyway?

 

Pretty high. I fail to see how apple juice is better than apple juice diluted half-and-half with carbonated water. I have never bought soda for my kids; they got carbonated water with a little bit of juice for flavor. Much healthier than plain juice.

Some kids don't like plain water. I don't like plain water either. (certainly not unfiltered; most tap water in this country is chlorinated and I can taste the chlorine. Yuck.). I eat a very healthy diet, but we drink only carbonated water. Banning carbonation makes no sense because it says nothing about the nutrition.

Edited by regentrude
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How is seltzer confusing? Do we think teachers are in capable of reading a label? The nutrition information is right on the can or bottle. If the other kids say something then you explain the label to them. Sounds like a teaching moment to me.

At most public schools, at least in my area, lunch is supervised by aides, a position that does not require a high school diploma. Ratios approach 1:100, and staff are stretched thin to monitor behavior, open containers etc . . .

 

I have mixed feelings about rules on the content of a kid's lunch box, but if you are going to have them they need to be simple, obvious, and easy for a family member with limited literacy to understand.

 

No bubbles, no candy, no chips is a list I've heard. It isn't perfext. It disallows some reasonably healthy things like spritzers and dark chocolate and allows for things like lemonade and fruit by the foot. But as a tool for putting a dent in sugar and salt consumption it seems helpful.

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... Undermining the school's efforts in order to teach your children to affect European habits is snowflakey as all get out... I almost can't believe this is serious.

 

WTH? Healthier drink options are "European habits"?  As opposed to good old American grape juice and gatorade?? What a weird argument. I thought this was about health.

Edited by regentrude
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No bubbles, no candy, no chips is a list I've heard. It isn't perfext. It disallows some reasonably healthy things like spritzers and dark chocolate and allows for things like lemonade and fruit by the foot. But as a tool for putting a dent in sugar and salt consumption it seems helpful.

I find lists like this confusing and open to so much interpretation that what a child is allowed to bring one day is all of a sudden a problem the next day.  Are chocolate covered raisins candy?  What about craisins?  Are cookies OK--are oatmeal cookies OK as long as they don't have chocolate chips are M&M candies in them?  A pretzels chips?  What about bagel chips?  Kale chips?  bread crisps?  

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Regentrude, that was specifically in response to "well, in ~other cultures~..." My family is actually from Europe but hypothetically, if something we were accustomed to was considered out of bounds at school growing up - like say there was a problem with kids being sent with coffee, and a rule was formulated in a way that also ruled out our tea - I really doubt we would have gotten all wrought up about it rather than just having it at home. Being all "but what about me, what about this, what about that, but *I* want to..." is consummately American.

 

And I stand by what I said about plain water vs. flavored. If I'm drinking water and you're drinking diluted apple juice the fact that it's less sweet than regular apple juice is immaterial to the comparison. Being too particular for the basic substance on which our life as animals depends seems consumeristic in the extreme.

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