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magooi1234 magooi1234 is offline
 
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Can you give students food?
Old 03-23-2013, 07:58 AM
 
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I'm wondering what other schools polices are for giving out food. My school has recently told teachers that we are not allowed to distribute any food to our classes. That includes food for celebrations, birthday cupcakes, snacks when kids forget their own etc.

What are your thoughts on this? I'm really feeling like some schools are trying to take the fun out of a lot of things. The kids so looked forward to the day when I surprised them with treats or when a class parent brought in a healthy snack on a celebration day. Yes we know that some kids have allergies, but if we go out of our way to make sure that everyone can have a snack then what is the big deal?


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Old 03-23-2013, 08:06 AM
 
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So far we have not been too that we can't have food. We can not interfere with lunch, but other than that we have food for parties and we brought in pies for Pi day.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:10 AM
 
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We don't have any rules against food, but it IS supposed to be healthy. We DO have a rule on that. Plus, it's getting harder and harder to find things everyone may have. I have a diabetic and a student who cannot have dairy, gluten, wheat, or soy. Sometimes students still bring things in for birthdays, etc., so I just have a stash of treats for each of my students who would otherwise not be able to participate.
I agree with you, though. It seems like in the pursuit of trying to be more proficient in academics, we are leaving the fun out of school. They used to go hand-in-hand.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:10 AM
 
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The way some schools penalize the entire student body because one or two students have a food allergy is absurd! In 32 years, I have had ONE student who had a food allergy and he had been taught what he could and could not eat AT HOME. His MOTHER provided him with food for lunch and all parties. The whole class did not have to eat what this child ate.

In being "overly cautious", schools are definitely removing the much of the fun activities from schools.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:16 AM
 
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I tend to wonder why it seems some school districts have a ton of allergies and other don't. One of the classrooms in my grade level has 4 kids with different allergies!


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Maybe it's about a couple of things
Old 03-23-2013, 08:26 AM
 
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food allergies being one and the other a more nutritional concern regarding children seeing food used as a reward or treat or a "fun" activity. We've had this discussion at our school and these are the 2 schools of thought about not providing food.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:02 AM
 
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We have a district wide Wellness Policy that prohibits food being used as rewards. No food treats for birthdays but other suggestions are allowed - writing a birthday book for the student, parents bringing in non-food items like fun erasers or pencils. For class parties, 3 of 4 total parties may have food but it needs to fit into our healthy guidelines.
There have been some bumps along the road as we've transitioned but overall I really like it! I'm soo happy not to do the sweet stuff for birthdays and each parent trying to outdo the other. With 31 kids or more, that could be major sugar every week or sometimes three times in one week.
I was able to do one of my favorite lessons that included food which is a friendship fruit salad early in the year. There are a couple I can't do, like making Thundercake when we read Patricia Palocco's book, but I can send the recipe home and if they want, they can do it at home.
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I agree
Old 03-23-2013, 12:10 PM
 
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I really think it is silly to hyper-regulate everything like many schools do. I understand why--because of allergies and such--but if you are always on the defensive you will stop a lot of good things from coming in too. Especially for the younger grades things like cupcakes on birthdays is a really big deal, and it oftentimes provides an excuse for the mother or father to come in. Again, I can understand why the administrators make these rules, but I would have to disagree with a no-food policy.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:12 PM
 
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Same as 3drummers.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:53 PM
 
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I give out treats from my desk to the kids. My P does the same. We share snacks at snack time too. We have birthday parties complete with cake.


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Old 03-23-2013, 04:41 PM
 
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Health snacks may be given after lunch.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:00 PM
 
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I can give out treats whenever I want to, but I almost never do. I baked a cake once for kids who did an extracurricular activity I advised, and I gave out mints during state testing...and I think that's it, ever. I tell kids that I care too much about them to give them junk food.

I think that if I have a classroom (rather than pull-out) position next year, I might do an extra 10-15 minutes of recess in honor of birthdays, instead of cupcakes.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:22 PM
 
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We can give food treats which I do. I have lollipops for kids that have allergies. I tend to buy fruit snacks as rewards too.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:26 PM
 
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We can have store-bought treats for birthdays and parties but we're encouraging families to bring in healthy things.

I use food at times (maybe 1-2 x per quarter) during math as manipulatives and kids go bonkers for it. For example, I used Trix cereal for a probability experiment. And we did a bubble blowing exploration (using bubble gum) for mean, median and mode. It's not a ton of food for any one student, just a little baggie full for them to do their exploration, but it makes things fun.

I have a diabetic student and 2 with allergies so I have to be careful, just like the others have posted. However, I feel like the "Food Police" should back off. It's getting ridiculous. Mixing things up now and then makes school fun, especially when there are so many fun things we're not allowed to do any more.

Some in my school are using animals as rewards. For example, the class can earn a hermit crab or goldfish for behavior. I have to say, that bugs me a LOT more than having a small treat once in a while.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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We do have a wellness policy but the strictness of it is up to the individual schools and teachers.

I do not bring food in to share with my students. We have rewards but not with food. I am a firm believer that food doesn't need to be and shouldn't be used as a reward. My class is going sledding on Monday (darn snow is still here!) as a reward. One child asked about having a pizza party, and I said, "Who will provide the pizza?" They weren't sure so that idea was scratched. My students unanimously voted to go sledding anyways.

My coworker, who is a good friend, rewarded her students with a pizza and pop party. As a parent, I would NOT be okay with my child having pop at school. My kids do not drink pop (nor have they ever) and it is not up to the teacher to decide if my kids should have pop. BTW, this is first grade.

It isn't just about allergies anymore. It's about health and allowing parents to make the decisions about what they want their children to have. It is not my decision to give a child pop or cake or whatever highly processed food is brought in.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:11 AM
 
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I keep a pair of toddler pants (with the legs sewn up) attached to the wall behind my desk. Inside the pants are packages of SMARTIES. I use these as a random treat when I think I kid has behaved like a smartie. It is not an every day thing. No one, including me, knows if or when it will happen. The candy is to go home so parents can make the decision on if and when they are eaten.
I do not use food as an incentive and am so glad we are not restricted in what we can and cannot serve.
Some of our lower grades do regular cooking activities and one of my parents and I are about to start baking with my class to help them understand measurement.
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Wellness policy
Old 03-26-2013, 08:21 AM
 
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The district came up with one several years ago in response to 2 issues- allergies and health. How the policy is put into place is school by school. Lots of allergies, and of course teachers work with the parents about what can and can't happen. For example, some schools have peanut-free tables at lunch. My school doesn't. If you're eating PB and J and there's a nut allergy child at your table, the PB and J child needs to find someone to change seats with. No nuts in the classroom.
e. In my school, it's up to the individual teacher regarding birthday cupcakes. I let kids bring in something small and precut.And it seems like fewer and fewer kids each year bring them in, anyway! Part of the policy is no food as rewards, no food in curriculum unless it's there for a reason, like looking at orange peel under microscope, for example. That being said, I know that some teachers use candy for teaching math. I've never been comfortable about rewards in general, whether it's a pizza party, movie, or extra recess.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:00 PM
 
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Several years ago, my district made a big deal about our wellness policy - were given a presentation on a PD day about it. There hasn't been any talk about it since, and no enforcement. Last week, I had a bag of pretzels that I shared with the kids (5th grade - 4 small ones each) and you'd think I had just given them each their own cheesecake or something. I don't use food as rewards or prizes - instead it's a "just because" thing once in a while, usually when they're working quietly on something.

I think allowing kids to bring in cupcakes for their birthdays is fine. They are cupcakes, not giant pieces of cake. That's what sweets should be - a treat on occasion, not an every day. Having rules against this is silly.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:41 PM
 
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Students are allowed to bring in snacks as long as they are prepackaged and not homemade. Same with teachers that may hand out food to students. They want everything prepackaged. This is because of a student bringing in something that was homemade, several years ago, and it was nasty! I'm really glad they have this policy. It's for the safety of all.
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