It is the start of the school year and even though we are only a few weeks into the term, already I am hearing stories (both in my personal life, from colleagues and via social media) that some schools are monitoring school lunch boxes. As a mother myself with school/pre-school aged children, I too make school lunches each week and I understand how daunting this process can be. Not only does it require forward planning to shop, prep and to pack snacks, meals and drinks each day, it also requires food variety to satisfy varying taste, texture and nutritional needs for each child.
Now throw into this mix, the added pressure that your child will potentially have the school, indirectly criticise some children by complimenting/rewarding the ‘lucky’ children with an ‘acceptable’ lunchbox via special cards or stickers. By ‘lucky’ I mean the children who’s parents have packed the lunchbox with ‘acceptable’ foods. The children are not the ones to target for food change within a family, it is the parents who have the financial control, the final decision on food shopping and in most cases responsibility for packing the lunchbox.
As a response to the frustration I have been hearing from parents and professionals alike, I have put together 3 documents that parents can use for schools in response to lunchbox audits. A general letter to the school regarding nutrition education, a information slip in response to your child receiving a positive reward for their lunchbox and an information slip in response to a negative note for the lunchbox. Each document refers the school to the Ellyn Satter Institute where they can find more information regarding alternative views on child nutrition and education and also encourages them to contact an Accredited Practising Dietitian who practices in the Non-Dieting and Intuitive Eating principles for further assistance.
Please feel free to use the resources and let us know what experience you have had with using them. For more information about Optimum Intake call us on 0499 008 451.