So, it’s that time again – back to school. Parents can be seen rejoicing everywhere and social media was full of back-to-school photos. Then, one particular post caught my eye. A friend of mine, whose child is in elementary school, was told that lunches could not include sugar of any kind – no juice boxes, no granola, no gummies, no pre-packaged cookies, etc. To be clear, this was a classroom rule, not a school rule and the rationale behind it was because the teacher said that sugar made the students more rambunctious.
The question is, who makes the decision for what kids should eat? The parents or the teacher?
Arguments were made on both sides. Some said that they were glad the teacher was taking a stand towards better nutrition while others stated loudly and clearly that no one was going to tell them what could be included in their child’s lunch. Still others went with the evidenced based research route, providing links to studies stating that sugar consumption doesn’t impact behaviour.
You could tell with the number of responses that this topic was a hot spot – no sooner had I finished reading a comment when multiple more would appear. Some felt that since the teacher imposed ‘unrealistic’ rules, she should provide all food for the class that abided by her restrictions. Others asked what recourse the teacher would have if the contraband continued to arrive in lunches. Finances showed up too through questions about families possibly being unable to afford fresh, unprocessed food.
Where’s the line? Should the teacher have a say by outlawing certain foods or is she overstepping her bounds?