With the new school year now upon us, I want to address how you can deal with the oodles of candy and junk food in the classroom.
There is no way of dealing with this “politely” you need to make some noise! This is a HUGE issue and very close to my heart. Not just because I’m a nutritionist and advocate for healthy eating and living. But because I’m a Mom who’s daughter’s behaviour is particularly sensitive to sugar, additives and the like. I have been dealing with this issue since she started school and continue to fight this battle. Make no mistake, it is a constant struggle and this year she is going into grade 6.
But I continue to make my voice heard and so should you! None of us should have to worry about sending our kids to school, and them being rewarded with “treats” that contain anything from MSG (mini rice cakes) to all sorts of sugar, toxic food dyes, chemicals (i.e. nitrates in hot dogs) and artificial flavours.
I can not control what other parents choose to send their kids to school with and I’m ok with that. However, I DO NOT understand why schools allow any type of junk food in the classroom; it is suppose to be a learning environment. How on earth can you expect kids to sit still, listen and learn when their brain cells are crashing into each other due to MSG or Aspartame (excitotoxins) or suffering from sugar crashes due to massive fluctuations in their blood sugar?
Is anyone surprised that so many children get diagnosed with ADHD/ADD?
Take ACTION! Talking about it is not enough. Stop being afraid of being “one of those parents”. Stop worrying what people think of you! This is important! You need to advocate for your child. I recommend getting together with a few other parents and work with the school to raise awareness and change their policies. Sure, there may be parents or faculty that push back, but this is an important battle that needs to be won!
Having junk food in the classroom is affecting your child’s ability to learn, not to mention the numerous health consequences. Additionally junk food as a “reward” is creating an unhealthy relationship with food. We are currently facing an epidemic of childhood obesity. This is not something we can turn a blind eye to. Stop letting this happen to your child!
I make it known, in no uncertain terms, that my child is NOT allowed to eat anything that is not a fruit or vegetable unless they have brought it from home. She does not participate in pizza day and thank goodness the school doesn’t have a hot dog day. I communicate with her teacher so I know when class parties will be held. On the days that those things are happening, I send her to school with a healthy version of what she is missing out on. I use it as an opportunity to get her into the kitchen to create a healthy version of what the other kids will be having. If the class is going to have cupcakes for a birthday party, she makes some at home the night before and takes her creation with her. Then she can partake and feel proud of her work! I also educate her about nutrition so that she understands exactly why I don’t allow her to eat certain things. Doing so helps her see it as an act of love instead of feeling deprived.
Can I make sure that she never receives any junk at school? No, but I can make an effort to manage it to the best of my ability.