I’ve been wanting to write something about this for a very long time, even before our daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It’s hard to write this knowing I will be stepping on a lot of toes. However things are getting really ridiculous when it comes to treats being brought into schools. I think if a parent walks up with those unhealthy foods the teacher should turn it away. If a kid brings it, it shouldn’t be handed out. I know I’m being mean but it’s gotten out of hand.
In our T1D child’s class there is close to 30 students, that means 30 birthdays, which means 30 unhealthy snacks being brought into the classroom in one year. Then you add Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and end of the school year to that number of unhealthy snacks. It’s great we want to celebrate but we don’t NEED to celebrate with a cupcake. As a family we’ve sent cute pencils and small toys we got from the dollar store, just so my child doesn’t feel left out in the giving. But even that really isn’t needed.
Before our daughter was diagnosed with T1D I was getting frustrated with the amount of garbage being brought into the school. Now with our daughter who has T1D I’m even more frustrated. She CAN eat cupcakes and cookies but it doesn’t always fit into her carb count and even if it did I’d hate to waste her allotted carbs on unhealthy choices at school.
When a kid brings a treat in she has to sit and watch her friends eat it. She feels isolated and left out. IF parents would follow the requested rule set by the school and IF the teachers would just refuse those foods we wouldn’t have an issue.
I even think about other kids who have food issue. Celiac, milk allergies, nut allergies (homemade foods can be contaminated with nuts), kids who react poorly to lots of sugar in their system… There are so many food issues out there, un-needed treats need to stop! If everyone in the school would follow the rules then no one would feel left out either way. (no one would be sad that they didn’t bring a treat for their birthday, because no one does it. no one would have to sit and watch all the other kids enjoy the treats)
So I’m asking you all to think before you send those cupcakes to school. Is it really needed? Are we being fair to any kids with food issues in the classroom? Is it healthy? Plus think of it this way, you’re saving money by not making or buying something to bring to school.
And don’t get me started on what I’ve seen come in children’s lunches, I could go on and on. For example- Just because the word “fruit” is in doesn’t mean it’s healthy. “Children ages 4 to 8 who average 1,600 calories per day should limit added sugar to about 3 teaspoons (12 grams) a day” Welch’s fruit snacks have 11-18 grams of sugar in them! Fruit by the Foot has 9 grams of sugar. Real fruit juice 200mL boxes contain 18 grams of sugar. YIKES! In just one item we are already giving our kids too much sugar. Plus, just because it’s made out of fruit doesn’t mean it’s healthy. They’ve taken out all the fiber and nutrients to make those fruit snacks.
(Bring what you want but just know not everything that seems healthy is healthy. And not all real healthy foods cost that much, sometimes it’s even less then a box of fruit snacks)