Isn’t it enough that we have to pack a lunch box and recess every week day? Not only do we have to worry about fussy kids, nut allergies, egg and gluten intolerances, but now the school lunch box police are dishing out strict lists of what parents can and can’t pack in lunch boxes.
The lunch box police have been around for a while now but they seem to be getting stronger and more ridiculous as the years go by. Now together with a uniform and stationery list, schools are also handing out lunch box lists and are downright banning a whole heap of food, leaving parents seething.
Asking parents not to pack nuts – yes, I totally get that. But schools do not have any right to tell me that I can’t give my kids a treat in their lunch box if I choose to do so. It is my prerogative as a parent to pack what I want in my child’s lunch – it’s not harming anyone else and I really think schools need to stop focusing on this.
They have ZERO Right To Tell Me What To Feed My Kids!
OK, if I am packing a lunch box filled with packets, lollies and chocolate and zero fresh fruit and veggies, a teacher may gently suggest that I vary things up a bit. But to be honest, they shouldn’t be able to force me. How do they not know that I don’t feed them a plate full of broccoli when they get home from school?
I have seen various posts on Lunch Box groups on Facebook, where parents are in a tizz as schools have sent out harsh lists of what ingredients parents can’t include. Some of the items are absolutely ridiculous, illogical and make no sense.
One mum posted a list that she had received from her school and posted it in the Lunchbox Ideas Australia group. The items on the “NO! NO! NAUGHTY MUMMY! DON’T YOU DARE EVEN THINK ABOUT PACKING THIS” list included:
- muesli bars
- crackers (such as jatz, cheds or shapes)
- packaged chees dips and crackers
- yoghurt pouches / tubes
- milk drinks
Of course, cake, chocolates, lollies, icing, biscuits and juice boxes were also on the banned list.
The odd thing is that pikelets, fruit muffins, jam, h0ney are allowed – it just doesn’t seem logical to me at all. Also, yoghurt is allowed, but yoghurt pouches aren’t! Just absurd!
The School Lunch Police Would Put Me In Jail
I seriously would be the worst offender at this school. I love my chocolate and lollies but I try to eat a (generally) healthy diet with treats in moderation. And my kids follow a similar kind of eating plan. I always include a small treat in my kids lunchbox – along with a mix of fruit, veggies and a sandwich. Do we honestly believe that none of those teachers at that school ever have a piece of chocolate or a cupcake for their morning tea? It’s hypocritical and unrealistic and it’s certainly not teaching our kids a good way to balance good food with sometimes food. Outright banning it is just making the kids want it more and making the parents mad.
Help! I Need Help!
The mum who posted a picture of the lunchbox list implored from other parents:
“Can I have some lunch box ideas, This is what my son can and can’t take to school, Also yes I know it’s strict and some things are ridiculous that they can’t have, but I have to make do and work around it!”
The post attracted over 500 comments, with most parents blasting the school for being so draconian.
For me, the most classic comment was one from a mum saying that she had gone to that school. Another mum replied with a cheeky comment: “How’s your diet these days…”
and the mum replied: “hahaha! I eat all the bad stuff!” So clearly the school’s ridiculous demands don’t work….
Shocked And Disgusted!
Most mums were just disgusted at the absurdity of the list:
“It’s a school not a bloody health retreat ,” said one.
“Oh jeeze this is so strict. My daughter would starve with this list,” said another.
“Oh gosh my sensory son would starve. all he eats at school is chips, muesli bars and pouches.”
“What happened to moderation! This is just promoting bad eating habits!”
Is This A Joke?
“That’s a joke! I understand soft drinks but the rest of the list is nothing short of a joke! My child would’ve starved! Your poor thing having to deal with that!”
“I just read the list to my daughter and she asked…what are they meant to eat…grass?? Lol”
“Unless the school is going to feed your child they shouldn’t be telling what you can pack them (aside from allergies)”
“WTF. I’d be pulling my kids out of there. That’s micromanaging 101. Ridiculous. They don’t have the right to dictate what you feed your children.”
Don’t Let The School Lunch Box Police Scare You!
One mum suggested:
“Pack what you want!! You are the parent!”
However other parents said that it doesn’t work like that, at these kind of schools and the forbidden items gets removed from the lunch box and the kid may have to go hungry.
I Support The School! (There’s Always One!)
Of course, there are always one or two that went against the grain and supported the school in their endeavours:
One mum said:
“Try writing a list of recommended foods to suit most kids and situations as well as healthy and removing waste issues and let’s see what you come up with…not as easy as you think!
I applaud the school for trying to set some good eating habits for kids & parents we need more of it!”
“I have to say I’m impressed with the school guidelines – only because I would probably think I was strict but I’m actually not if you go by this list. I agree that the kids will thank us later – we have to work for it.”
But this opinion was definitely in the minority!
But Wait….There’s More….
Another mum posted a very similar list from her school and shared:
It’s Just Nuts!!!
Many parents were shocked that nuts are allowed, saying the majority of schools these days are nut-free.
“Haha nah sorry I’d still pack my kid chips. Your child not theirs”
“I understand the healthy eating habits etc but they also need to be teaching children that it’s okay to eat chips etc as a sometimes food and that everything is okay in moderation. Limited and telling parents what they can and can’t pack is ridiculous and honestly if that came home for my son I wouldn’t take any of it on board lol one packet of chips isn’t going to kill the child!”
“I’d have to homeschool, my kid wouldn’t survive!”
“What the hell, why can’t he have muffins and cakes, they can be made healthy. You can also make healthy roll ups and healthy muesli bars.. I really can’t stand school that dictate what you can and can’t send for your children.”
“This is crossing a line I reckon. It’s not up to them to dictate what a child eats or doesn’t eat. I understand the no nut policy etc but this list is just wayyyy too OTT.”
“What a stupid list! If my child was attending a school that gave me a list like that, I’d be out of there!”
I Will Pack What I Want!
“Nothing annoys me more than kindy’s and schools dictating what a child can and cannot eat!
My theory has and always will be this: I will send whatever food that MY child WILL eat! End of story!”
YES, we 100% agree!
One mum was pretty adamant about the way she would handle the situation if she was sent this note:
“I’d be sending what he will eat, put a note in his lunchbox inviting anyone who has a problem to contact you about it, not to discuss/shame in front of others the contents of the lunchbox. This is a huge gripe of mine. Schools at there to teach, so do it. Stay the heck out of my kids’ lunch boxes. (Obviously when there’s an allergy in the class I can understand that food not being allowed, but this list is nothing to do with allergies)!”
I really do feel that the school lunchbox police are demanding and out of control. They need to focus on teaching our kids and leaving our lunch boxes alone!
How would you react if you received a note like this from your school? Do you have school lunch box police ruling the roost? Tell us in the comments below.