Is this too much food for a six-year-old? Mum sparks debate between parents after teacher tells her daughter to bring smaller lunches to school – even though she eats it all
- A mum asked for advice after her daughter was told to bring less food to school
- She was told to pack less food so that she had more time to play at lunch
- Woman argues daughter is always asking for more food and complains of hunger
- In a Facebook group she asked members how she should approach the issue
- Has your child’s lunch been criticised? Email FemailAU@mailonline.com
A mum has asked the internet for advice after a teacher told her six-year-old daughter to bring less food to school because she was spending most of her breaks eating.
The mother, from Western Australia, took to a lunchbox-themed Facebook group with her dilemma and shared four photos of the lunches she packs for her little girl each day.
‘My daughter has been told by her teacher to bring less food so she has more time to play,’ she wrote.
A mum has taken to the internet to ask for advice after finding out that her daughter’s teacher said she was bringing too much food to school (pictured is one of her lunch boxes)
‘She is a slow eater, but we have 50:50 custody of her. On the week she’s not with us she gets a sandwich, packet of crisps and an apple. Every day.
‘She tells me all the time that it’s not enough, that she’s hungry and loves the lunches we pack for her.
‘Should I approach the teacher? Leave it? Pack her what the teacher wants?’
At a loss of what to do, she shared photos of the lunches which showed healthy skewers, fruit, vegetables and biscuits.
On one day she had a tomato, cabanossi and cheese ‘kebab’, mandarins, blueberries and kiwi fruits, carrot sticks, muffin and rice cracker biscuits (pictured)
On one day her daughter was eating strawberries, a banana, a caramel protein ball, tomato, wrap, banana, carrot sticks and a chocolate biscuit.
On another she had a tomato, cabanossi and cheese ‘kebab’, mandarins, blueberries and kiwi fruits, carrot sticks, muffin and rice cracker biscuits.
A number of the group’s members were surprised she was experiencing any backlash while others agreed with the teacher that it was too much food.
A number of the group’s members were surprised she was experiencing any backlash from authority – given how delicious the food looked
What should a ‘healthy’ lunchbox look like?
The six key parts to a healthy lunchbox include:
* fresh fruit
* fresh crunchy vegetables
* milk, yoghurt or cheese (you can use reduced-fat options for children over the age of two years). For children who cannot tolerate milk products, offer appropriate alternatives like calcium fortified soy or rice drink or soy yoghurt
* a meat or meat alternative food like some lean meat (e.g. chicken strips), hard-boiled egg or peanut butter. If your school has a nut-free policy, peanut butter and other nuts should not be included in your child’s lunchbox
* a grain or cereal food like bread, a roll, flat bread, fruit bread or crackers (wholegrain or wholemeal choices are best)
* tap water
Source: Better Health Victoria
‘These look like great lunches. I’d speak with the teacher – children don’t always get the full message in situations like this, it may be that what the teacher has said to her isn’t what she has interpreted,’ one person offered as a solution.
‘Unless less playtime was interfering with her in the classroom I’d tell the teacher if my daughter is happy eating then you won’t be changing her lunchbox at all,’ another added.
‘What right do teachers have to dictate what we send with our kids?’
A teacher also weighed in on the debate, saying she understands ‘all sides’ of the argument – she suggested talking to the teacher and explaining the situation
Many parents said that playtime was just as important as lunch, so perhaps smaller quantities would be a better option.
‘Playtime is also as important as eating. It’s a time to develop friendship and a time to move so she can concentrate when she goes back to lessons,’ one person commented.
‘You can just do smaller quantities. One cheese and tomato stick instead of two maybe.’
A teacher also weighed in on the debate, saying she understands ‘all sides’ of the argument.
‘I’d suggest talking to the teacher. Some children get upset if they don’t get enough play time, some children are happy to sit and eat throughout the entire break, some children tell different adults different things for various reasons,’ she wrote.
‘I’m certain from this post that you’re just trying to do the right thing by your child and any teacher will be able to see that. You may find that the teacher can give you some more insight given the teacher is spending six hours each day with your child.
‘I am sure with open communication you will be able to figure out something that works for everyone.’