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September 02, 2011


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Your life sounds like mine right now (excepting the teaching part). No homemade snacks at our school either. And on the list of nutritious possibilities: fruit snacks. What about actual fruit, I say? All this mouth service about childhood obesity -- and then fruit snacks are marketed as a healthy choice?

How about clementines? You have to unwrap them!

If I had to provide treats to a whole class of kids and wasn't allowed to make it myself, I might go with a yogurt cup of some kind. I usually fret about the sugar in such things, but my husband who is much more up on the nutrition literature keeps reminding me that all the studies that suggest yogurt consumption is good for you, were done on people who ate all kinds of yogurt, most of it sugar-sweetened. I may be a weirdo who eats plain yogurt, but I should not treat sweetened yogurt as if it were kid-poison.

My kids' school doesn't allow homemade snacks either (and we're required to bring snacks for everyone in kindy and 1st) and it totally irks me too. I think carrot sticks and orange slices would be allowed, but the whole thing just ticks me off and I end up buying go-gurt on double coupon day. My second grader now needs to bring his own snack daily and I was so happy to send him with crackers and home-canned blueberry butter.

Two years ago I would have been with you on the home-baked-snacks-at-school bandwagon. Now I have a preschooler with severe allergies, and I must say that I totally support the school's rule.

Rules like that are the only thing that allows me to let my son out of my sight without turning into a nervous wreck.

I'd like to trust that all the other moms in my son's class understand that an improperly washed spoon in their kitchen could mean that their entirely nut-free brownies are deadly for my son, but not everybody "gets it."

And that's totally understandable. Until recently I didn't get it myself. I used to think the allergy thing was fake at worst and overblown at best. But that was before I saw my son's face swell up with hives and his head drop onto his highchair tray from an anaphylactic reaction. It's real. It happens. I get that the rules about snacks are an inconvenience for some people, but in my opinion they're a small price to pay.

In years past we've had kids with allergies in my sons' classrooms, and I am certainly sympathetic to their situation. If I were asked to adhere to strict guidelines to meet the actual needs of an actual child, I'd be happy to comply. I'm still opposed to a district-wide policy of no homemade treats anywhere ever, regardless of the allergy situation within a particular classroom or school.

Part of the Public System, is NOT thinking for yourself and also plausible deniability. Our children got a very serious and potentially life threatening case of e. coli from the public school cafeteria (where they only serve prepackaged, gross, overprocessed, nutrion labeled food), so don't ask me because I think the people who makes these policies are unreformable idiots.

Don't worry about the Grade Speed thing (that's what ours was called). At first you check, then the individual teacher's competency with software becomes an issue, then they finally get it working. At which point, you will forget about it. Of course, at some point you will remember. Then you might consider just setting a GPA to monitor. And then there will be peace in the land, until your kid gets a 79 and then you have a talk about math and college scholarships. Or maybe that is just us.

Got a son with significant food allergies, so I don't trust homemade goodies or pre-packaged treats. I usually just send something for him that I've made myself. But I also don't like the rule. Who wants to eat a plastic cupcake from Wal-Mart?

Regarding grades: I'm all about allowing my kids the chance to take responsibility for their own school work. This worked for the first 9 years of school. Now my daughter has texting and I've had to insert myself into her academics and confiscate her phone every evening to ensure reduced distractions. Instant messaging is a drug!

I'm considering allowing my daughter to access the grades on the system in order to monitor herself.

Congrats on the teaching post. I'm so excited for you.

I send in pre-packaged Rice Krispie treats (that I would have otherwise made myself) and call it a day. Yes they surely get extra preservatives that otherwise wouldn't be in the homemade version, but I can live with it. I try not to think about my housekeeping being scorned or any other kind of pettiness. I do the baking = love thing other times, and just try to accept that it won't work all the time.

Grades: our school has a planner for every kid and they want the parent to sign it each and every night and then the teacher signs that the parent signed...wow, overkill much? Last year's teacher even sent notes home all the time about how much he appreciated parents "doing their job" and signing the planner and keeping up with whatever assignment the child had. I disagree strongly with it being a parent's job to remember for the third graders. Why must they lose an opportunity to learn to accept responsibility? I like that the school prides itself on teaching life skills like personal finance and character development, but this just seems so basic to me in that context. They release interim grades online rather than on paper now, so I do feel like I should check that even though I much prefer paper. I think it's better if that comes home with the child...I don't like having the computer as an intermediary there...not sure why.

I thought of your post when I opened an attachment sent from my children's elementary school today. There will be no more bringing in a treat for individual student birthdays. "Instead, we will be honoring each of our students during our special, monthly, Birthday Bash parties!" Not a fan.

I've been griping about food and school this week too. My daughter's kindergarten (full day) teacher asks that the kids bring in their own AM and PM snacks each day-- only fresh fruits and vegetables. Both homemade and packaged foods are considered too dangerous. (Apparently we can't be trusted to read labels.) Dried fruit is out--too sticky, no fruit cups--too messy. I'm glad she'll be eating healthy snacks, but it's definitely more of a pain than throwing a couple of granola bars into her backpack and calling it good. And the pickings are going to get mighty slim in the winter. All citrus fruits must be peeled prior to school. Hello bananas and baby carrots. Oh-- and birthday treats? Forbidden. We are encouraged to bring a non-food favor or donate a book to the classroom. Sigh.

Glad to hear you're liking your teaching, though! :)

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