School Has No Business Banning Candy From My Kid's Lunch

Rant 74

candyMy daughter got off the bus the other day as mad as a wet hen. I'd packed her lunch -- as I always do -- and I'd included a small treat, a lollipop, as one of her two snacks. I thought I was doing something nice for my hard-studying kiddo, but it turns out I'd just cheated her out of one of her snacks for the day. She told me she's not allowed to have candy at lunch time.

Coming from a school that sells ice cream and cookies in the cafeteria, I'm not sure it could get much more hypocritical.

To be honest, I've had this happen before. Every year, usually around Halloween, when I'm trying to break up that huge bag of trick or treating booty into small "everything in moderation" portions, the kid comes home in tears because I forgot the "rules" (rules that aren't in the school handbook -- yes, I checked). I slip in a treat, and she comes home upset that a lunch monitor decided to pass judgment on my parenting.

"You have to send something healthy, Mom!" she'll tell me. Huh. I thought the (antibiotic-free, humanely raised) turkey on whole wheat and the string cheese met that criteria. Not to mention the (BPA- and phthalate-free) bottle of water.

More From The Stir: Schools Are Sneaking Pink Slime Back Into Kids' Lunch

We pack healthy lunches in our house. We have a healthy kid. So I have a hard time with the sugar police stopping her from the occasional lollipop or Hershey's kiss, even if it is on school property.

I understand that not every parent takes the care that I do to pack something healthy. But is it really anyone's business what we want our kids to eat at lunchtime? Is it up to the school to decide what is healthy and "appropriate," or is it the parents?

I might be less inclined to complain if it weren't for the aforementioned ice cream and cookies that are readily available for our kids to gobble up (at a price, naturally). Nutrition-wise, who's making the wiser choice here? One Dum Dum lollipop (which is what I sent in her bag last week) has 26 calories, no fat, and about 3 grams of sugar. It's not healthy per se, but we're talking about one small lollipop. A Fudgsicle bar has 100 calories (18 from fat), 2 grams of fat, and 14 grams of sugar.

Come on, folks. It's a school; I'd hope SOMEONE can do the math there. I think I'm making the smarter choice.

Heck, I make a lot of smart choices for my kid, day in and day out, from bedtime to what she wears to what sports she plays and on and on and on. The government trusts me to make hundreds of decisions for her every day. But they can't trust me to know whether it's OK for her to have one lollipop with her meal?

Give me a break!

Do you send candy in your kids' lunch? Is it a problem for the school?


Image via chris.vandyck/Flickr

back to school, elementary school, kids nutrition, school lunch


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there... theresaphilly

They made that policy last year and the parents kept sending in candy. I just sent it in because I don't allow anyone telling me how to raise my children. So eventually it was overturned. 

ashjo85 ashjo85

^ You're my kind of mom!

the4m... the4mutts

Screw that! My kids' school has a policy of "send what you want, we dont give a fuck"

LoL they told us that while they dont advocate a lunch full of candy, if thats all we chose to send, then that was our choice. We get the same flyer around halloween every year, saying to send what we want, but remind our kids that sharing is forbidden, and that if our kids are spun out, and act up in class, then they'll get detention. Its great

mande... manderspanders

If I'm the one paying for the lunch that I pack and send, then the school has zero say as to what I put in that lunch.  Where does it stop? 

If they try to dictate this, then what else?

Demand everyone send organic, cage free, antibiotic/hormone free turkey/chicken on gluten free ciabatta rolls with only locally grown big beef tomatoes and organic alfalfa sprouts with homemade mayo?

mande... manderspanders

@mutts:  "sharing is forbidden"

SMH.  Although I understand *why*; I just feel a bit resentful about a "rule" like that.

sweet... sweetaspie630

But the schools can sneak pink slime into the food for our kids...  This is one of the reasons I homeschool.

nonmember avatar April

I would be in the office in a heartbeat. *I* get to choose what my kids are allowed to have. I pack a lunch for them (or they pack it) that contains a sandwhich, a fruit or veggie and yogurt (or applesauce, etc) sometimes, I'll go wild and throw some chips in. Every now and again, I will toss in some cookies or junk if we have it (I try not to buy it, because I will happily eat it all!) and if the school doesn't like it, they can kiss my ass.

Todd Vrancic

No, my kids were allowed to bring candy to school.  I think this rule is stupid.

Movie... Moviebuff

It is a stupid I will send candy if I want to.

Heath... HeatherMarieT88

I would be in the office bitching about it. It isn't their business to butt in and tell us what we can and cannot feed our children. Ice cream and cookies are considered candy in my household as well as lolly pops and chocolate bars. I would much rather send a small fun sized piece of candy in my daughters lunch than a package of Mrs fields cookies for a treat/dessert. At least I know she won't fill up on a large treat and will still be hungry for the carrots and sandwich.

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