food

Teachers have a right to snack shame parents.

I saw kids loaded up with snacks everyday, and the saddest part? It’s not hard to change.

A school in Sydney’s North Shore has launched an attack on school lunch boxes, in an attempt to improve the eating habits of their student population.

After noticing a spike in unhealthy foods, teachers are now monitoring what their students bring to school for recess and lunch. If they notice a high presence of snacks, such as a chocolate bar or packet of chips, they “recommend healthy alternatives” to the parents.

And if you think these North Shore parents might be angered by this decision, they’re not. One mother told The Daily Telegraph, “I would completely understand. It wouldn’t bother me at all.”

And just like this mum, the decision by this school makes me want to launch a massive fist pump into the air. This is because as a former teacher, I know too well that some of the lunches that came to school in my student’s back packs were not only poorly affecting their health, they were negatively impacting their concentration and ability to learn.

You may ask, what exactly is a bad lunch and how does my kid’s measure up? Let me put things into perspective for you.

Donuts, oh. The donuts.

Here is a list of some of the “lunches” that I witnessed being devoured in my classroom.

  • 5 packets of Salt and Vinegar Chips (yes, for the whole day).
  • A Jam Donut, a McDonald’s Cheeseburger and a frozen Chocolate Sundae.
  • A LCMs Bar, a Freddo Frog and a Meat Pie.

May I remind you, these are not snacks in conjunction with a sandwich or a piece of fruit, these are lunches in their complete entirety. Just writing about it is enough to make my stomach gurgle. After my students ate these meals, you could see an almost instant change in behaviour.

Some students went on a massive sugar high, before crashing and burning in the afternoon. Others were sluggish for the rest of the day, as their body went into overdrive to digest the thousands of unnecessary calories they had consumed.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we should ban snacks all together. Snacks can be a welcomed change in the school lunch box and enjoyed in moderation. But it’s important that students have a rounded diet, something that I rarely saw in my classroom.

Do you think teachers should be allowed to snack shame parents? What does a healthy lunch box look like to you?

Like this? Try these:

Stop with the pram-shaming already.

Sick of feeling like you're being mum-shamed? Take back the power. We have.

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