What do most people think of when it comes to Easter? Well, chocolate. Especially if you’re a kid.
Last week my son wanted to give his preschool friends a small chocolate egg with a card saying ‘Happy Easter’. Sweet, right? He spent an afternoon signing all 25 of the cards which is no mean feat when you’ve only just worked out how to write your name.
That morning he was super excited to give them out. I didn’t want it to be an issue so we agreed that I would put the eggs in the parental communication pockets so the parents would see them first and decide whether or not to give them to the children at pick up time. I also checked with the preschool director to ensure that all was okay in relation to allergies and was given the all clear.
All went well and I left him at preschool happy to share his little surprise with his friends at the end of the day. (A few other mums had the same idea so he was equally as excited to bring home an egg).
You can imagine my surprise that night when I opened an email from the preschool director explaining that chocolate eggs would no longer be allowed at school because a complaint had been received by a mother who doesn’t like her children to have chocolate and felt the giving out of chocolate eggs ‘put her in a difficult position’.
A difficult position? What, pretending that chocolate doesn’t exist?
Now I’m sorry. I respect people’s personal approaches to food but asking three year old children not to give their friends a tiny chocolate egg at Easter time as a sign of friendship has gone too far. Especially when the egg was placed in the child’s communication pocket for the parents to see first. If you don't want your child to have chocolate, don't give it to them. But please don't ruin it for everyone else.
We all know that Easter means chocolate eggs for the majority of families. It is simply as part of the traditional celebration of the day. If your family happens to reject the traditional chocolate approach, that’s fine but don’t impose your beliefs on the rest of us. (And before anyone asks about religious issues, it’s a Christian preschool so Easter is celebrated openly.)
Surely this is a case of one parent having a particular view of food which differs from the majority and having to manage that within their house but asking an entire preschool to change their traditional approach to a holiday because of it is just too much.
It seems that I am not alone though in this situation. When I raised this issue with a fellow mum she told me that her son’s primary school had recently banned the giving out of chocolate also. Recently her son went to school with a chocolate egg as a gift for his teacher. She handed it back! Traditionally on the last day of term each teacher places a chocolate egg on the chair of each student. What a nice surprise for the kids. However this year chocolate has been banned and in it’s place children will be given skipping ropes. Still a nice surprise for the children but really? I understand that skipping ropes promote a healthier lifestyle but this is where I would argue that parents simply need to teach their children moderation. A small chocolate egg is not going to spark an obesity epidemic, is it?
Chocolate is not the enemy, people. Of course consuming large amounts is not good for you and if allergies are present well that’s a whole separate situation (however I checked with my preschool and there are no chocolate issues). In fact, apart from a special treat every now and then my kids don’t eat a lot of sugar either but it’s about moderation and common sense. Pretending that chocolate eggs do not exist at Easter because of the nutritional beliefs of a small amount of people is ridiculous.