Day 165 (of 183) they brought that for lunch. Really??
Kid was excited to share what they had for lunch today:
2 wagon wheels
2 Rice Krispy squares
A cup of peach slices
And a big can of iced tea.
Two approaches to this one:
- Get riled up and blame parent
- Understand why the lunch is what it is
Is it much easy to send the lunch home with a note chastising the parent about the food they send? Shaming is an approved strategy, isn’t it? (Really need a universal sarcasm font – or comic sans)
It is much harder to consider and work out ‘why’. Checking the calendar helps – our breakfast/lunch program gets higher use at certain times of the month and the ‘quality’ of lunches also ‘changes’.
Instead we/I will “supplement” the lunch with some proteins. We won’t say “what is your mom/dad thinking?” (as I have heard) we can’t make socio-cultural judgements about what is brought to school.
And I have worked at schools with full lunch programs and the words I hated most when critiquing the menu was: if they’re hungry they’ll eat it. Such a typically middle-class judgemental attitude…..and doesn’t show understanding of the bigger issues around poverty and hunger. It’s because of a variety of reasons that when I have organized a “class party” that included food, the invitation was to send something, but not dictating what it had to be (and fully knowing that it might end up being a higher calorie/lower nutrition item that many would prefer). I am an advocate for healthy choices…but in a timely and respectful way. …not “don’t you know bette” accusations (reminding families how unfamiliar/uncaring schools can sometimes be)
I’m also admittedly a poor role model as “lunch” is usually a thing that I get on weekends or at meetings – not so much in the school day. As well, Canada remains the one G8 nation to not have a national school- food program…..so is it really “important”?? I know I’m on the losing side of this argument….and I’m okay being ‘wrong’.
So when I also heard another boy had a bag of hickory sticks (deliciously salty but far from nutritious) for breakfast…..I made sure I touched base and see if he needed anything else….but didn’t take away the food that was sent with him.