A mum was pretty frustrated when she got a phone call from her child’s school asking her in for a chat about the contents of her daughter’s lunchbox.
The Mumsnet user explained that her daughter, who is in Year 6, gets free school meals every day apart from Wednesdays when, one particular week, she popped a mini Pick-Up chocolate biscuit bar in her lunchbox.
Along with the bar, she included a ham and cheese wrap with lettuce, cucumber and red onion, six cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, a pot of hummus and some grapes cut into quarters.
“I was asked if I could go in for a chat regarding her lunch,” the mum wrote, attaching a photo of the biscuit bar her daughter had. “The offending item is a mini Pick-Up bar. I was a bit taken aback on the phone. I would seriously think the school had more to worry about than a flaming, fun-size biscuit.”
Parents agreed the query seemed out of order: “What! Do the teachers actually have any authority to confiscate or tell you what to feed your children? Surely not?” one wrote.
Mums took to the thread to say their kids’ schools had similar policies. “My daughter has healthy lunches – sandwich and small side salad – and fruit, but no sweets or crisps,” one wrote. “On her birthday I put a cake slice in her lunch with a little note on it saying happy birthday. She came home with it uneaten and really upset saying she’d been told not to eat it.”
Others suggested the mother in question should discuss with her daughter’s school why kids get the option of having puddings on free school meals, but not with their own packed lunch.
“Schools that do this piss me off when they serve sponge cake and custard for dessert, which will have a far higher fat and sugar content than than biscuit bar,” one mum said.
A small biscuit alongside a healthy lunch is balanced and healthy."
And some said the mum should argue that what her child eats is her choice. “Tell them you are teaching your child that a healthy diet involves everything in moderation,” one parent wrote. “A small biscuit alongside a healthy lunch is balanced and healthy. Grapes are high in sugar but they are also high in vitamins and fibre, something that is lacking in cake and custard.”
Although many argued it was wrong, that the mum shouldn’t go into the school to talk, and perhaps she should just ignore them – one made the point that nothing will change because schools have heard it all before.
“You’re not going to get anywhere by arguing with staff,” she said. “If you want to see a change, start a petition, get as many signatures as you can and hand it to the chair of governors.”
The mum in question has yet to go in for “the chat”.
What do you think? Should teachers have a say on what’s in kids’ lunchboxes? Let us know below or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.