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I don’t know if this has been discussed before but I wondered what everyone thought about the amount of junk food in churches today. 

We moved to a new state a few years ago and got to play musical churches as we visited half the churches in the area. 

I was so annoyed at the amount of junk food at every church we visited. My kids were given a handful of candy for getting the right answer in Sunday school or for being able to recite a verse. Donuts or danishes were everywhere and all the adult classes were filled with unhealthy food. In one church they served cupcakes and cookies to the kids during Sunday school - this was weekly and not on special occasions. 

Now I got the list of requested VBS snacks at the church we now attend (which has less food than most). It’s chocolate ding dongs and m&ms and sherbet cups and gummy worms. There’s not a single healthy snack on the list. I’m just floored. 

I guess I’m hyper sensitive to it because my kids have food allergies and can’t have that stuff anyway so it makes me doubly frustrated to have to navigate unsafe and unhealthy food at every turn. 

I don’t understand why junk food is so ingrained in churches. It seems like other community events have an awareness of health and allergies and often serve healthier snacks. 

Have you found this in your area? Has anyone ever successfully talked with staff about the issue? 

It just seems like the church is promoting gluttony and unhealthy living and I feel it’s not biblical. I have not found a single church that did not serve quite a bit of very unhealthy sweets on a weekly basis. I’m just feeling discouraged by this mindset and wondering if there’s anything I can do to help make a change. 

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Maybe it's the denomination/local customs?  I grew up Catholic and attend every now and then.  The only unhealthy thing there was the communal cannibalism. ?  Treats were never handed out.  The Methodist church here doesn't do snacks like that, either.  They do potluck for adult classes and after church. 

Breaking bread is an important bonding tradition.  If I were to ask someone to change their snack policy, I'd volunteer to bring the snacks myself or set up a plan for the church where people can sign up. 

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13 minutes ago, lexi said:

I don’t know if this has been discussed before but I wondered what everyone thought about the amount of junk food in churches today. 

We moved to a new state a few years ago and got to play musical churches as we visited half the churches in the area. 

I was so annoyed at the amount of junk food at every church we visited. My kids were given a handful of candy for getting the right answer in Sunday school or for being able to recite a verse. Donuts or danishes were everywhere and all the adult classes were filled with unhealthy food. In one church they served cupcakes and cookies to the kids during Sunday school - this was weekly and not on special occasions. 

Now I got the list of requested VBS snacks at the church we now attend (which has less food than most). It’s chocolate ding dongs and m&ms and sherbet cups and gummy worms. There’s not a single healthy snack on the list. I’m just floored. 

I guess I’m hyper sensitive to it because my kids have food allergies and can’t have that stuff anyway so it makes me doubly frustrated to have to navigate unsafe and unhealthy food at every turn. 

I don’t understand why junk food is so ingrained in churches. It seems like other community events have an awareness of health and allergies and often serve healthier snacks. 

Have you found this in your area? Has anyone ever successfully talked with staff about the issue? 

It just seems like the church is promoting gluttony and unhealthy living and I feel it’s not biblical. I have not found a single church that did not serve quite a bit of very unhealthy sweets on a weekly basis. I’m just feeling discouraged by this mindset and wondering if there’s anything I can do to help make a change. 

I can't even imagine.  We have no food in our place of worship. Maybe once a year for a lunch for a special meeting.  

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We go to a church where my kids are the only kids that are regular attenders.  Some of the older people just love to buy them treats so every Sunday they have at least a few pieces of candy or donuts or something.  I've chosen to let it go.  The kids eat healthy most of the time.  Our relationship with our church family is more important than a donut or a candy snack once a week. 

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Oh, and thatblist of snacks items for DVBS probably comes from the publisher of the program.  It probably coordinates with the week's theme.

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Yes. This is not just communions or even having a meal together. This is junk food served every Sunday. And these churches are from a couple different denominations that we visited. 

The church we attend now does not usually serve food in the children’s Sunday school and doesn’t usually give out candy. So I do appreciate that I don’t have to deal with that. 

But it frustrates me because I do try to teach healthy eating to my kids and the church undermines that in a huge way. (Which is not to say my kids don’t get dessert at times or get candy on occasion, it’s just that I try to model healthy snacks and healthy eating with moderation on the sweet stuff). 

I’m seeing it at so many churches that it made me wonder why it’s a part of church culture at some churches. And when it began. When did church become synonymous with donuts? 

We wont be participating in VBS because it’s right around my due date and we’ll have family in town and I can’t handle more chaos. But I guess maybe I should send my kids with their own snack all the time. Or maybe let everyone know that my kids don’t need a snack for the one hour that they’ll be attending an event. I’m not sure. 

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10 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

Maybe it's the denomination/local customs?  I grew up Catholic and attend every now and then.  The only unhealthy thing there was the communal cannibalism. ?  Treats were never handed out.  The Methodist church here doesn't do snacks like that, either.  They do potluck for adult classes and after church. 

Breaking bread is an important bonding tradition.  If I were to ask someone to change their snack policy, I'd volunteer to bring the snacks myself or set up a plan for the church where people can sign up. 

Perhaps it is regional.  I also grew up Catholic and we had donuts and coffee/tea after mass most Sundays.  And CCD (which was usually on a weeknight) always had a snack at the end of every class and was usually something like Rice Krispy Treats and milk, or Hostess Cupcakes and Juice boxes.

Although, my experience with Catholic mass is different than my experience with Sunday morning church in the Protestant denominations that I have been to.  There's no Sunday school before, during, or after mass, no childrens church, etc.  We showed up to Mass, it usually lasted about an hour, there were donuts in the lobby and coffee/tea as we left, and that was it.  And CCD was for kids, show up to class, usually about 45 minutes to an hour, snack at the end, leave.   I remember attending church with a friend of mine once, it was all freaking morning!  We went to an all ages study group, then kids sunday school, then childrens church, then the childrens church joined the "regular" service, and then, youth group afterwards!  

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I can’t say we have seen much of that. A few small pieces of candy for the older kids if they get the answer right (like, two or three total for the entire morning) plus some Cheerios in nursery and maybe a half donut between services was the max.

 

The secular preschool one of my sons attended gives the same volume of junk under the guise of snack time each day, so I don’t think it’s solely a church thing!

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I think it must be a denominational or regional thing?   We do have donuts after services for coffee hour, but it is along with other choices like fruit/veggies and proteins.   To my knowledge there's never been candy handed out in Sunday school.  I've helped or attended VBS for several years and I don't think there's regularly been candy doled out either, except  perhaps the last day as a celebration.

When I attended a more seeker friendly type Baptist church I don't recall candy being given out either.  There was never sweets or any type of food after church... we just visited with a few people and and went home.   

The church before that was a small church using a rented space.  We never gave candy to the kidsand I'm sure the pastor's wife would have nixed it if it was ever suggested.  

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Not in the Catholic Churches I’ve attended. Ocassionally donuts or before break treats. Vbs is always goldfish crackers and gummy snacks and they bring their own lunches. Water or lemonaid provided. 

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I think it's been pervasive since the 90's too.  When snack food started getting widespread marketing.

You could try a denomination that features a lot of dietary discipline.  I know 7th Day Adventists seem to focus on healthy/vegetarian food most of the time. Eastern Orthodox churches have a lot of fasting. Of course they're both challenging in different ways.  I don't know of a mainstream protestant church that doesn't at least have donuts and coffee after services.

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I've seen some of that but not often.  The church we belong to (for the past 10 years) has coffee/snack after every Sunday morning service, and monthly-ish potluck lunches.  I think having food  and drink is nice after a worship service; it gives people something to do if they feel awkward . Standing alone and see no one to talk to?  Go get something to eat, maybe there'll be someone else in line to chat with.   It seems to help people stay longer and get to know each other better.  

People who want to bring snacks get on a rotation and there are 3 people each week. There's almost always a vegetable tray, a fruit tray, some sweets, and cheese/crackers or chips/salsa.  People don't coordinate but most people have their thing that they always bring when it's their turn. One woman makes really good cookies that are on the healthier end of the cookie spectrum, with WW flour, nuts, seeds, fruit.  

When there are donuts, they go fast, but there are not always donuts.

The only thing I hate is when someone brings popcorn.  I love popcorn and think it's a great snack. But when you have preschoolers running around with little cups of popcorn, it gets everywhere. And then it gets stepped on.  It's a mess.  There's a cleanup crew that vacuums after the service on Sunday and it always takes longer when there is popcorn. 

There is occasional candy given at SS but it's not a regular thing.   At a church we went to for a while, my daughter's teacher gave them candy every week for some reason. It was always cheap dollar store stuff that she threw out when she got home.  I didn't like it and didn't understand the point of candy.

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We don't have that at our UU church at all.  The youth group does sell donuts on Sunday but that's the only junk food there.   That's actually a little controversial and they put them in a corner so it's easy to avoid the donut sale if you want.  Snack in the pre-school rooms is typically GF whole grain cereal.  The Wednesday night meals are gorgeous, healthy, and made on site by volunteers.  At some events, they might have bagels out, but they'd have some more allergy friendly options and a fruit tray out.    I'm pretty sure my kids have never tried a ding dong and they are teenagers.  LOL.

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1 hour ago, lexi said:

Yes. This is not just communions or even having a meal together. This is junk food served every Sunday. And these churches are from a couple different denominations that we visited. 

The church we attend now does not usually serve food in the children’s Sunday school and doesn’t usually give out candy. So I do appreciate that I don’t have to deal with that. 

But it frustrates me because I do try to teach healthy eating to my kids and the church undermines that in a huge way. (Which is not to say my kids don’t get dessert at times or get candy on occasion, it’s just that I try to model healthy snacks and healthy eating with moderation on the sweet stuff). 

I’m seeing it at so many churches that it made me wonder why it’s a part of church culture at some churches. And when it began. When did church become synonymous with donuts? 

We wont be participating in VBS because it’s right around my due date and we’ll have family in town and I can’t handle more chaos. But I guess maybe I should send my kids with their own snack all the time. Or maybe let everyone know that my kids don’t need a snack for the one hour that they’ll be attending an event. I’m not sure. 

 

I don't think it's so much church culture as "babysitting/fun classes/kids' groups" culture. It seems like 15 minute snacks are built into every kid's class no matter the length of the class. It keeps the kids corralled and fills in the schedule easily. Thinking back over the years: kids' sports included snack after a ho-hum practice (sometimes healthy, usually not), robotics team, various one-off classes, VBS, Mom's Morning Out, etc.

Our church does do candy on occasion (not often - a few times a year) and has a coffee/donut shop attached, but no potlucks, etc. My in-laws church has donut hour after every sermon and a monthly potluck. 

VBS programs list the snacks as part of the program; my MIL is helping with snacks at VBS at her church and the first day uses a Little Debbie snack cake and it doesn't get better from there.

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I do think sugar is a draw for kids, so that may be part of it.  I remember as a kid walking quite a ways to VBS because they gave yummy snacks.  ?

Our church does have a "coffee hour" every Sunday for the 15 minutes before Sunday School.  The usual fare is donuts, bagels, and a few fruits.  You get there late, you are generally outa luck, LOL.  I am sure they give candy to the SS kids on special occasions, but I don't think it's every week.  No idea about their VBS since my kids have never participated in that.  I would guess they give one sugary snack and a sugary drink in the middle of the morning.

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If you're talking about one snack per day for one week in the summer, that would not bother me.  Life is short, eat dessert first.  ?  At least when school isn't in session.

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Well, I'm not sure the a donut on sundays equals gluttony, so I may be coming from a different perspective. But, no, we don't have all that at my church. The kids in Sunday school are preschool aged, everyone older than that goes to Mass with their parents. The preschool kids do get a snack, a small amount of goldfish crackers or maybe animal crackers, and only on special occasions (a holiday party or last day of the year before summer) do they have something really fun like a donut. 

At VBS they got junkier food, but it's for one week, so whatever. And that was mainly to have fun "themed" food, like gummy fish in a sea of blue pudding for the Shipwrecked theme. (my kids wouldn't even eat it, they thought the idea of blue pudding was gross..but it was only from 9am-12:30 so they didn't starve)

We don't have a coffee hour after Mass, people just congregate in the Narthex or the lovely outdoor areas in front of the church, again except on special occasions. So after First Communion masses each year there is cake so the whole parish can celebrate with the kids. Now and then there will be donuts and lemonade, usually on the day they kick off the Fall Festival volunteer sign up, as well as a few other times a year. 

At the Fall Festival there is food - a variety of stuff. There is usually a Greek stall selling hummus plates, and that would be the healthiest option I would think. Then a German stall with sausage and pirogie, a barbecue stall with pulled pork, and one with pizza and hot dogs and hamburgers. Oh, and a Filipino one, which is my favorite. And one of the three days there will be a meal catered by an italian restaurant you can get. They do also have a beer tent with craft brew as well as a few wine offerings.?

 

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1 hour ago, lexi said:

But it frustrates me because I do try to teach healthy eating to my kids and the church undermines that in a huge way. (Which is not to say my kids don’t get dessert at times or get candy on occasion, it’s just that I try to model healthy snacks and healthy eating with moderation on the sweet stuff). 

I

I think maybe most people think once a week IS moderation of sweet stuff. 

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1 hour ago, lexi said:

I’m seeing it at so many churches that it made me wonder why it’s a part of church culture at some churches. And when it began. When did church become synonymous with donuts? 

 

Well, there is the idea that Sundays are a "feast" day, where you eat stuff that is yummy and maybe "better" than the rest of the week. Even during Lent, Sunday is still a feast day, never a fast day. So maybe from there? I use that to justify why we often stop at Starbucks for something yummy on the way home from Mass, lol. I do tend to get them a special treat on Sunday though, that I wouldn't normally get them, like a non coffee based frappuccino, or a frozen lemonade, or whatever.

As for food being at church in general, up until Vatican II Catholics fasted all morning before Mass. Now, the fast is only for one hour before receiving communion, but back then people ate afterwards because they were HUNGRY. Eastern Orthodox still fast all morning, if I remember correctly. 

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Oh! I just remembered, at VBS with all the junky snacks (one snack a day, but junky) they specifically sad that they also had bananas as an option instead, for anyone that wanted one, and that you could send in your own snack if you wanted. That was given out in the informational material way ahead of time and again on the first day of camp. 

For Sunday school I seem to remember they did offer to accommodate allergens and such, but can't swear to it. But I am positive anything like that would ahve been accommodated, that's how they are. 

And drinks for kids are water, not sugary stuff, except on maybe a handful of occasions in the last 5 years, like twice? And lately not at all, they do water only. 

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3 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I think maybe most people think once a week IS moderation of sweet stuff. 

Yes, I would agree with this.  

It is more complicated for people with allergies, that's for sure.  One thing that can help is to get on whatever committee organizes this stuff and start to (gently, gradually) suggest changes. 

I know in our church we changed to gluten-free bread for communion when someone complained that they could not participate.  But no one knew the person's GF needs till they complained!  (OP I am not chiding you as complaining! Just citing a specific example.)  This is off the topic of food, but I got our church to start using plain soap in the restrooms. They used to just refill pump bottles with different things. For a while they had a milk and honey soap, and my daughter would break out in a rash from it. (She has a weird milk allergy.) It took us a while to figure it out because the bottles weren't labeled!  But I saw a bottle being refilled one day, saw "milk" on the label, and  asked them to switch next time they bought soap.  And they did, no problem. 

Some stuff is ingrained in a culture and only changes when new people come in.  So many church I have been to have had the same people on the same committees for 20 years or more and nothing ever changes.  So new people are needed to shake things up sometimes. But one must tread carefully... I know that too.  :-)

OP I am not unsympathetic, in case I sound like it. 

 

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We attend a fairly large church that offers a handful of animal crackers or fish crackers and water to preschoolers.  There is an alternative snack for kids with allergies.  The elementary kids have a large group meeting, then break up into small groups.  Many of the small group leaders bring candy and give one per Sunday or bring the occasional treat, but otherwise there is not food offered to elementary kids.  Food is provided in a back room for people involved in the music/tech ministry and pastors because they are there for hours on Sunday morning. (two services and early morning sound checks) There are usually some sweet choices, but there are also nuts, fruit, and egg casseroles or some other hot dish with protein.  That is a huge blessing for those volunteers!  VBS has junk food with alternatives for kids with allergies or dietary needs.  One of the issues I have seen in VBS in the past is that if healthier choices are offered, kids are not happy and so much food is thrown away.  Some of the better nonsweet choices, like nuts have been eliminated because of allergies, which I totally understand, yet makes it harder to find something that a big group of kids will eat that is not loaded in sugar.  Many of the healthier snacks would cost more, be harder to purchase in bulk, or require a LOT of prep work.  So, we don't have food everywhere we look (partly because of all the maintenance that would be needed to keep the building clean if there was much food every week.), but we do have some junk food and some food that is less junky.  Food is not a focal point.

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I honestly hate it too.  Every single Sunday.  I call it "trick or treat church" LOL  I don't buy candy except on holidays. Once my (then) 6 year old got a starlight mint during church.  I did not know he had it.  He choked in the car on the way home.  His brother was back there with him and whacked him on the back.  It was scary! I did tell them and they made sure "he" never got hard candy again...

Sometimes they serve pizza and cake.  At 9:30am?!?

I think they just REALLY want the kids to have fun! And want to come back.  It's a huge multicampus church.  Never the type of church we expected to be, but it's where we landed. ? I was tired of dating churches. I do think it's a good fit in so many ways, but I hate that there is always garbage.  But, whatever.  I try to compensate.

VBS- well, yeah...It is its own beast. LOL  Kids waste the junk food too.:)  We once did a VBS that I was in charge of food and we had a "bring them hungry" policy and fed them a breakfast every morning.(sensitive to food allergies) Not pop tarts...Real food.:)

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At our church, preschoolers get a snack - usually cheerios or small cookies. I don't think they do snacks with elementary school students, I know they don't with middle & high school students. College students are fed a complete breakfast every Sunday morning. There is always coffee in the church lobby. Adult Sunday School classes do whatever makes them happy. In ours, we have a snack list and each person/family signs up to bring snacks. They range from fruit to donuts - whatever the person wants to bring. It's no big deal. I don't eat snacks there, neither does my husband, it's too close to lunch time for us. Others have already been at church for several hours and find something to eat helpful (some serve in the nursery/children's areas for the first hour, attend service the second hour and then come to our class for the third hour - a 4 1/2 hour time span, more if they arrived early). Special themed snacks are sometimes available during VBS, but I don't know what they were this year, I don't remember seeing a donation list. Sharing food is an important part of hospitality and community building in some faith traditions. I see nothing wrong with that. It is not gluttonous to have a snack, and it is not gluttonous to have an unhealthy snack. Gluttony is a heart issue, not one that can be measured by looking at what a person eats in a particular moment. It is also not one where others can typically affect change on another person - heart issues are like that.

I've said this before here, and I'll probably get flamed for it, but I think our culture overall is obsessed with food. If you just look at this forum alone, the number of threads on food is astonishing. Personally, I think it's really weird to spend so much time thinking about what to eat, what other people eat and making judgements about others based on what they eat. Most children aren't going to die if they have a few pieces of candy once a week, and neither will adults. If your child can't eat the snacks typically offered, explain that to the teacher and provide alternate snacks. If your child has a life threatening food allergy or diabetes, make sure the teacher knows and that accommodations  are made. Let everyone else do their own thing. I think this is my approach to life in general though - I do my best not to judge people and not to gossip. It's not always easy, and I'm not always successful,  but those two things are a significant part of who I am as a person. People are complex - what someone eats says very little about them as a person, IMO.

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The church we attend these days doesn't serve much food at events, so I guess I don't see that a lot.  On occasion they do serve donut holes with coffee though, because I suppose it's easy.  I do think that the food churches serve simply reflects the food that the culture is eating.  So, all the junk food you talk about is what I see EVERYWHERE these days...  school parties, meetings, lunch room treats, birthday parties, parades (ugh -- all the candy that's thrown around during parades!), concession stands, athletic games...  Sweets and junk foods seem to be the first thing most people think about when they need to serve food at an event -- it's generally very easy and a lot of people like it.  It really is baffling though when you think about how bad it is for you.  And I agree (as someone who does like sweets :)) that a little now and then isn't going to kill you.  But, multiply the "little" by sometimes serval times per day and many times per week, and it pretty quickly becomes a lot.

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The church my kids attend is similar, though the fellowship snack after church is usually cheese and crackers with some donuts or cookies, with lemonade and water. The kids snacks are all junk food.  I don’t sweat it; the stuff that’s offered at school is just as bad.  My kids are attending a summer enrichment program this year at their public school and both breakfast and lunch are provided(poverty stricken community, so the grant included breakfast and lunch free of charge).  Breakfast menus are boxes of sugary cereal, donuts, French toast sticks.  Lunch isn’t any better.  Since eating together is part of the program, I think it would be hard to have my kids eat breakfast at home and then sit there while the other kids eat.  My guess is that they are offering things they know the kids will eat, because there are children there that won’t be getting food at home and this way, at least they’re fed even if it’s crappy food.

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52 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I think maybe most people think once a week IS moderation of sweet stuff. 

I agree with this but we go to church activities 3-4 times per week. 

My kids get candy Sunday morning, treats during life group (which keeps them from eating a decent supper), a treat like fruit snacks at bible study, a welcome to Wednesday piece of candy Wed night, and then frequently they get a popcicle or ice cream bar Wed night as well. I once had to request to snacks so that I could take my kids to ice cream and was given pushback as the snack was a planned part of the lesson. We don’t have any food allergies but I would prefer to be the one to give my kids treats. 

When they were toddler and younger they would be given free reign of Cheerios and goldfish and then my kids wouldn’t eat lunch. It was pretty annoying. 

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We are pretty lenient about junk food at our house, with the philosophy that meals are healthy and the kids are active - I'm actually the mom who brings homemade cookies to the ball games (but they're homemade, and tween boys who have played a minimum of 3 ball games over a weekend always need food).  That being said, I, too, cringe at the amount of junk at church.  At music rehearsal, the kids get a single miniature (like a hershey's kiss) and I'm fine with that.  then there's something at the Wednesday night activity, which is only an hour long and many of the kids just came from dinner, which included a dessert (one cookie, so nothing huge).  Then Sunday school frequently has something.  The little kids just get a handful of pretzels or something similar, but my kid in K-5 classes often talks about cupcakes, cookies, etc.  It varies by who is in charge - we've had different childrens directors at different churches.  When tasked with making it 'fun', junk food seems to be common.  And, because it's not every single week, it's hard to plan around - our lunch might include something more carb-y that I'd prefer not follow a 10 am cupcake.  In the adult class that I'm in, we occasionally have a breakfast that might include sweets, but it's more quarterly, and announced ahead of time.  One church that I attended sold breakfast items each week as a fundraiser for youth, but you had the option of a doughnut, homemade breakfast burrito, or fruit/yogurt...and it was optional, outside of a class - just available in a gathering area.  

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I've seen this, too. Maybe not to the same extent, but there certainly seems to be a lot of junk served in church - especially in children's ministry. I think maybe it goes along with the "make church fun" thing. Like, if kids are eating candy or even animal crackers and juice, that they'll like church and want to keep going. I don't think anyone's thinking deeply about it, but I think we should be thinking about it. Is anyone asking, how can we honour God with our food choices? Is our body a temple, and, if so, what are we allowing to enter into it? Are our snacks going to allow us to concentrate on what we're learning or are they going to distract us and cause a big roller coaster of blood sugar levels?

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no, not noticed.  there are occasional "treats"- but they are by no means "normal".  usually a holiday, or other significant date.

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This is a big issue for us. Our teens no longer attend over this. My oldest had gotten overweight and was starting to teeter on the line to obesity. Since he stopped going, he has lost 40-50 pounds. I did not think it was that big of a deal, but as time went on, it became a big deal. Once a week, they had pizza and soda. Another day a week, some other type of fast food. And candy and cookies and cupcakes were always being served as well as juice. For the record, he was 5'8/10 but he weighed 220 when we stopped going. He is around 170-176 now. There were regularly 3-4 meetings per week. There were 3 set ones during the week but usually another set one. And this does not include special events. 

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Sharing food when people gather is extremely biblical. There are definitely arguments to be made for healthier food choices, but I would really urge you to drop the "not biblical" one. It could easily be countered by anyone with a passing knowledge of the book, plus it's going to make people defensive and less likely to be open to your suggestions. 

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39 minutes ago, rjand6more said:

 

Sometimes they serve pizza and cake.  At 9:30am?!?

 

Wow!!!! 

No, we don't ahve that. Once a year (well, it's actually two weekends) we have plan vanilla cake with vanilla frosting, small squares, with water, after the First Communion services, even then it starts at 10am and ends after 11am. So by the time you are eating cake it is 11:30 at least! Otherwise, like I said, a few times a year there might be donuts or cookies, but handed out by volunteers so each kid only gets one, and it literally is a few times a year. 

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I dunno, pizza at 9:30am doesn't sound too awful.  I mean, is a sausage and cheese biscuit sandwich really THAT much different than a sausage and cheese slice of pizza?

 

And it's not like cake is all that much different than a donut lol

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18 minutes ago, Rachel said:

I agree with this but we go to church activities 3-4 times per week. 

My kids get candy Sunday morning, treats during life group (which keeps them from eating a decent supper), a treat like fruit snacks at bible study, a welcome to Wednesday piece of candy Wed night, and then frequently they get a popcicle or ice cream bar Wed night as well. I once had to request to snacks so that I could take my kids to ice cream and was given pushback as the snack was a planned part of the lesson. We don’t have any food allergies but I would prefer to be the one to give my kids treats. 

When they were toddler and younger they would be given free reign of Cheerios and goldfish and then my kids wouldn’t eat lunch. It was pretty annoying. 

Ok, yeah, that does add up. The only weekday activity for kids at our Parish is faith formation, and there is no food served. Kids in Kindergarten through 5th do it wednesday nights, from 4:15-5:30, no snack offered, not drinks. It's a learning time and not that long and they are old enough to last, lol. Plus food at that time would mess up dinner. Older kids in Middle school meet on a different night, and I think it alternates so that some sessions are learning (like the smaller kids) and some are more "fun" and there may be food at the fun ones..not sure. We haven't had a kid in that. Highschool was similar, with some sessions more serious and learning, and once a month a bit more "fun" fellowship stuff and at those they often served food, either hamburgers grilled by the Knights of Columbus or pizza or whatever, but it was served as a meal, not a snack, and it was not every week. And they did have snow cones or italian ice or something at the kick off party for the middle/highschool kids, but that's once a year. And they played basketball, flag football, etc all evening so they definitely were burning off what they ate. And it was a food truck thing brought it, so if the kids wanted it they went and got in line, it wasn't handed out to everyone. 

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At our former church there were always treats during coffee hour. Our current church has coffee for coffee hour. ? There is a snack during Sunday school, but it's almost always string cheese and mandarin oranges. The youth group does pancake breakfasts occasionally for fund raising, but they serve both regular pancakes and bacon and vegan pancakes and bacon, plus gluten free pancakes, so there's usually something for everyone. lol

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Hmm.  I had to think about this.  Sunday School for the kids... no food.  But if you bring a friend to Children's Church, you go home with a box of candy.

Sunday School for the teens... occasionally the teacher will bring doughnuts.

Church in the other building... there is coffee and baked goods in the church foyer between services.  

Sunday night Youth Group... they get dinner.  It's not usually junk but sometimes dinner is pizza.  Burgers, tater tot casserole, jambalaya, baked potato bar...

Wednesday night Bible program for kids... they get dinner, which is always from a fast food place.  Plus a gummy fruit snack for dessert.

I don't know.  it hasn't seemed too bad.  My kid has multiple food allergies, and we just do what we need to do to keep her safe.  Sometimes that is bringing her own food, sometimes that is eating beforehand. 

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14 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I dunno, pizza at 9:30am doesn't sound too awful.  I mean, is a sausage and cheese biscuit sandwich really THAT much different than a sausage and cheese slice of pizza?

 

And it's not like cake is all that much different than a donut lol

I guess not, but the kids already had breakfast.  They've been up for hours.  And I like to have lunch as a family.

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We actually left a church over the red Kool Aid and double stuffed Oreos! The pastor's wife (100+ lbs overweight) would actually tell my children to disobey me and eat them. And dd would end up in hysterics and tantrums by the time we turned onto our road on the way home. I would bring something decent to eat, and the woman would throw it all away and break out the Oreos. We visited another church one day (the older girls were involved with a special program) and the younger ones begged me to not go back. Screaming kids, getting thrown candy for bribes to be good--total chaos. I've never actually been appalled by a church program, but I was that day. 

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When I started attending the women's group at my current church, there was nothing but sweets there.  There would be sweet snacks during the meeting, and then a major dessert at the end.  I was on an extremely low fat diet at the time due to gall bladder problems, and couldn't eat anything they served.  So I started bringing a veggie and dip plate to share, and lo and behold, it was really popular!  Sometimes adding something healthy is easier than fighting the junk.

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I’d rather spend a moment talking with a kind and pleasant person who’s eating a donut, than with a critical, disapproving, and judgemental person who’s eating an organic apple.

 

 

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Yes   And especially with youth group. Especially candy. But even “meals” seem to be unhealthy. It seems like junk food is used to lure kids in. Not a single healthy thing and don’t feel able to say anything. Have been avoiding it largely for that reason. 

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At my current church, my DD5 Sunday school doesn't serve snack neither does my Sunday school except when the class surprised the teacher for his bday.

Special occasions we have pot luck and some bring dessert 

During the service preschool kids are in nursery and Wednesday Bible club my DD5 get's snack apples, crackers and cheese. That kind of stuff. Those workers are teachers/daycare workers for a living so most don't want to hype them up.

In some of my old churches (ifb) candy and donuts flowed like water even to the really little ones.

Community and Catholic churches I don't remember ever having food for unless church was having a special thing and it was potluck.

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21 minutes ago, Margaret in CO said:

We actually left a church over the red Kool Aid and double stuffed Oreos! The pastor's wife (100+ lbs overweight) would actually tell my children to disobey me and eat them. And dd would end up in hysterics and tantrums by the time we turned onto our road on the way home. I would bring something decent to eat, and the woman would throw it all away and break out the Oreos. We visited another church one day (the older girls were involved with a special program) and the younger ones begged me to not go back. Screaming kids, getting thrown candy for bribes to be good--total chaos. I've never actually been appalled by a church program, but I was that day. 

 

Oh, that gave me a flashback! Several years (um, decades) ago I worked for a summer Parks and Rec program. At the training the P&R director gave a power-point presentation anout superior service or something like that and he had his pockets full of mini candy bars which he threw at anyone who asked a question or made a comment. Apparently that was big in some management fad at the time to encourage participation. 

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I should add that my kids' youth activities (beginning at grade 5) generally have food involved.  Understandable since the kids are always hungry during those rapid growing years.  My kids' weekly youth group meeting is for several hours after school one day per week.  Since they have school lunch at 11:something, they need to eat at youth group or they'll eat the teacher.  ?  The teacher tries to make it part of the youth activities, e.g. they make tacos or pizza and then eat it.

When I was in Jr High youth club, we met on Wednesday evenings and it included dinner.  Not sure, but dessert was probably included.  The church wanted the kids to have the experience of sharing a meal (and acting like civilized humans for that hour).  I really enjoyed and valued that.

When my kids were little, I used to worry about what went into their mouths.  Now I worry more about what comes out of them, LOL - hey that is Biblical isn't it?  I figure my kids' bodies are now big enough to process a small amount of garbage, and they are active.  The benefits of fellowship outweigh the pitfalls at this point.

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VBS was a few weeks ago and my DD5 said the only time they were given a treat was a cupcake on the last day. Other then that it was healthy snacks.

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2 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

Eastern Orthodox still fast all morning, if I remember correctly. 

 

Yes, from midnight the night before receiving morning communion, we're not supposed to eat/drink anything.  (There are blessings for the ill, pregnant, very young children, etc., of course). Because of this a lot of Orthodox churches have an agape/shared meal after the service so usually you're getting real food, not just candy and cookies.  Some parishes do only offer things like pastries or bagels/cream cheese and coffee/tea, but some have full on potluck meals with a variety of foods.

Thinking of the OP's question, we used to go to a church in Colorado Springs and they had a HUGE donut spread set up every Sunday.  It was set up right by the door so it was the first thing you'd see when you walked in. Nothing like having my internal eating struggles and gluttony issues thrown at me from Second One on a Sunday morning. Rather than entering fully into the service, I was thinking about slipping out for another donut. Ugh. 

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Unfortunately, yes. Not every week but quite often. Donuts or some other baked thing. For father's Day, they handed out the old-fashioned "Dad Cream Soda." Not a huge deal as this does not happen weekly but not exactly conscious of sugar content and such. During potlucks, now and then I see a vegetable tray.

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I don't really see this.  We're liturgical and don't have food in church, and rarely in Sunday school. There is food at coffee hour or at some events, and the type varies a lot depending on who brings it.  Probably the stuff most likely to be unhealthy is the less well off people that pick something up at the grocery store - cheap pre-made snacks are to usually the healthiest.

I think really the only response that  i appropriate is to bring healthy snacks yourself.

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