A mother has struck back at her son’s preschool for confiscating food from her son’s lunch box in an effort to ‘encourage’ healthy choices.
Mother of two, Emma Clarke, from the UK, said the preschool’s strict food policy means they seize everything from fruit, juices, smoothies, nuts and jam sandwiches.
She says they even ban cake on children’s birthdays and make them celebrate with a wooden cake.
Emma recently got tired of the lunchbox surveillance and decided to write a note to the school with a simple message…
Emma was first alerted to the strict rules when she discovered that her four-year-old son Archie’s packet of 99-calorie mini cookies had been removed from his lunchbox on his first day.
She was even more horrified when the same thing happened later that week with a packet of potato chips.
The preschooler returns the food to the lunch box at the end of the day “because they are okay to eat when [kids] They’re not in preschool.”
Emma claims that on both occasions she prepared her son a “well-balanced lunch” that included a sandwich, fruit, yogurt and a lunchbox-sized snack.
Once they even confiscated one of his two tangerines because “one was enough.”
Emma says she thinks teachers shouldn’t have a say in what her son can and can’t eat and is concerned about what this is teaching children.
Several similar incidents occurred during Archie’s 10 months at preschool, to the point that a teacher even pulled Emma aside and handed her a list of his “rules” for lunch boxes.
It says: “Please do not include candy, fizzy drinks, fruit drinks, milkshakes, chips, salty snacks, chocolate, cookies, cakes, or jam sandwiches. They also suggest “small portions.”
And then the menu outlines an ideal lunch box: a whole wheat roll, fruit, a single serving of cheese or yogurt, a serving of lean meat, and a bottle of water.
The school’s principal said his rules are “very similar to what you see in almost every preschool in the country” and defended his choices because they “encourage healthy choices for children.”
Emma’s son has now been left worrying about what his mother is preparing for him for lunch, fearing his things will be confiscated.
“They open the lunch boxes and take out the items in front of them,” Emma explains, adding that she worries about the kind of language teachers use around food.
So he decided to take a stand. “I told them she wasn’t happy about having her food taken away and once put a note in her lunch box telling them not to take any items and they still did,” Emma says.
This was the note:
It read, “Please can we have everything left in Archie’s lunch to eat, thank you.”
After the message failed to reach the teachers, Archie still worries about his lunch box.
“It feels like a checkbox exercise so that the daycare can be recognized as a place for healthy eating,” Emma reflects on the situation.
“It’s just that if someone from the council came in and looked at what was in his lunch box, he’d be in trouble if he didn’t stick to his healthy school lunches.”