Healthy Eating Habits
It is important that parents start teaching their children healthy eating habits early. The way a child is taught to eat will stick with them forever. Considering the childhood obesity statistics today, it is up to parents to pay extra close attention to what their children are eating.
Changes In School Lunches In the United States
In 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama started the Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 in the United States. The initiative helped more children to get free breakfast and free lunch at school. Another part of the initiative was to start offering children healthier meals at school. Starches were eliminated and replaced with healthier options. More fruits and vegetables were served. Public schools changed their lunch and breakfast menus so that they were healthier and had fewer calories.
Canada Makes Changes As Well
When parents in Canada started complaining about unhealthy school lunches, they instituted a healthy eating initiative. In Durham, Ontario, they started serving healthier foods in school and parents were encouraged to pack healthy lunches for the kids who brought their lunch to school.
How Far Is Too Far?
At the Ajax School in Duram, a little boy brought a lunch to school that his mother had packed. She also packed a snack for him to enjoy during snack time. The child was 4-years-old. While the boy was eating his snack, a staff member at the school took his homemade banana bread away from him and threw it in the trash. The boy was very upset. He didn’t know why the staff member took away the snack that his mother had packed for him. This 4-year-old boy left in tears after teacher throws away his lunch, says he can never eat it at school.
An Angry Mother
The boy’s mother was Elaina Daoust. When her son came home from school and told her that a staff member threw away his banana bread, she was furious. All he had to eat were the grapes that she put in his lunch box. The mother of two wanted an explanation from the school. According to the principal at the Ajax school, the staff member saw that there were chocolate chips in the banana bread and didn’t think it was healthy enough, so they threw it away.
A Note Home
When her son came home in tears, he also had a letter from the school. It included a chart that listed healthy snack ideas. Elaina was furious. She couldn’t believe that the school thought that they had the right to tell her what she could and couldn’t send with her son to school. She found nothing wrong with the banana bread that she made at home from scratch.
After speaking to some of the other parents, Elaina found out that she wasn’t the only one who was getting complaints about what she sent to school in her son’s lunch box. She discovered that over 30 parents were complaining that food had been taken from their children and thrown away as well. Some of the food included juice boxes, Goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, granola bars, chocolate milk, and string cheese. When Elaina heard this, she was outraged. Many of the snacks that were taken away from these children were healthy, including her son’s.
The School Department Makes a Statement
When the parents began complaining, the Durham Catholic District School Board made a statement. In the statement, they said, “Health eating is part of the school curriculum.” When James MacKinnon, a teaching and learning consultant with the school board, was asked about the complaints he said, “There is nowhere in our policy or procedures that says our staff is allowed to take food away from a student.”
Elaina says that she is having a hard time believing the school board. She says that her son wouldn’t lie about his banana bread being taken away and he had a hard time believing that 30 other students would go home and tell their parents the same lie that they claim her son told. At the end of the day, she believed her son.
Do Schools Have the Right?
Most people who have heard Elaina and the other parent’s stories believed that the school department didn’t have the right to tell parents what they could and couldn’t send with their kids to school. Schools can decide what they serve, but what a parent puts in their child’s lunch box should be entirely up to them.
More and more schools today are serving healthier lunches to their students. This isn’t just happening in the United States but all over the world. If your child doesn’t buy lunch at school and your pack it for them, do you think that the school has the right to dictate what you can and cannot put in the lunch box?
A mother whose son went to a Canadian school packed a piece of homemade banana bread in her son’s lunch box. When a staff member at the school saw the bread, they took it from her son and thew it in the trash. The mother was furious. She was even angrier when she found out that 30 other children had the same problem. The school says it’s not true but 31 students say it is. Watch the video and decide who you think is lying.