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Snack Time?
Old 07-05-2016, 10:41 AM
 
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Does every K class do snack time? My school is very impoverished (100% free breakfast/lunches). I'm not sure if I should assign a student for a particular day to bring snacks for the whole class. I doubt I could get any parents to bring them.

Another option would be to have students being their own healthy snack every day. And those that don't bring anything would do something else during snack time...?

Or just no snacks at all?

What do you guys think?


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Old 07-05-2016, 11:18 AM
 
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We used to have a snack time when I first started teaching years ago and it was only half day kindergarten. Now I am back teaching full-day kindergarten and there is no snack time.

When we did have snack parents sent in money. I purchased the snack for the entire class. Two students rolled the little wooden wagon down to the cafeteria to get the milk.

Then we had the students bring in their own snacks from home. I kept extra snacks in my closet for students who forgot their snacks. I paid for those snacks.

Due to our Health and Wellness policy and students having different food allergies, we no longer have a snack time in kindergarten.

I think it is easier to not have to deal with snack time. You don't have to worry about collecting money, about a student bringing in a snack that another student might have food allergy to, the issue of students not bringing snack and whether that is because parents forgot/don't have the extra money or simply don't want their child eating a snack and you don't have the extra expense of money/time to purchase snacks to keep on hand. Plus you don't have to clean up the mess afterwards. It is especially hard to have snacks in your classroom if you have a student with severe food allergies.

All that being said, it would be nice to be able to offer something at the beginning of school when the little ones are transitioning to full day of school. That first month they are tired, hungry and grumpy by the end of the school day. Our school starts/ends later than the other schools in our district due to bus issues. Some of our little ones are up early to go to babysitters/child care so even though our school starts later, they have been up for a long time. Kindergarten eats the first lunch and then has a very long afternoon. It is 3:50PM until our last students are dismissed. Some can be on the bus for a half hour or so. They definitely need a little snack when they first get home or at least have an early dinner.
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Snack time
Old 07-05-2016, 12:01 PM
 
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I teach in a school with the same demographics as your for 19 yrs

We don't do snack time anymore bc we provide all students free breakfast & students have lunch time

But...

When we did do snack about 12 yrs ago, I did individual snacks bc most of my families could not afford to buy class sets of snacks

But...

The kids who didn't bring snacks would not have a snack. I did not provide snacks bc that would be too costly.

So..

I figure since we provide & give all students free breakfast & lunch then they can eat snack when they get home.

Last edited by Dr. A; 07-05-2016 at 02:21 PM..
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Old 07-05-2016, 12:26 PM
 
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I do group snack daily. Every student is assigned a day to bring snack for the whole class. For families this presents a hardship for, I leave them off the calendar (putting NO SNACK NEEDED instead), but still have the class say thank you to that student, so s/he isn't left out. When I have a kiddo with a food allergy, we just tell the families snacks need to be peanut/soy/whatever free. I've never had an issue with group snack.

With your population...I don't know what I would do, to be honest. Providing a daily snack might actually cost more than once a month for the whole class?
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:05 PM
 
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We do group snacks too. I send home a few letters each week asking families to bring snack the next week.

Last year I had a student that had MANY allergies. He brought his own snack in daily and I never asked him to bring in snack for the class.


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We have
Old 07-05-2016, 02:28 PM
 
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snack time! 70% free/reduced meals. We all have the same thing. I send letter out asking for crackers, cereal, pretzels, etc. parents send it, when I run low note goes home. I've found that many parents are so proud to even send one bag of cereal and so is their child. We have a late lunch 11:50 so mine are hungry and need a little something to tie them over. I wonder if there is a grant you could write to cover the cost for the year. I enjoy snack time as I learn so much in that short amount of time about them by just listening to them visit with their neighbor.
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:29 PM
 
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We don't have snack time, but kids are welcome to get a snack during their morning recess. Some classes do a group snack but I gave up on that years ago. Many kids bring a snack from home, but not all and it all works out just fine.
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:59 PM
 
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I work with the same population as yours, and the group snack was WAY more trouble than it was worth. Some parents will ignore your directions and send whatever their child asks for/they can afford, so we would get on-sale cupcakes ("I just wanted to give them a treat!") that we couldn't serve or only Kool-aid juice boxes ("I didn't realize you needed food!"). Even with explicitly clear directions with reasons (allergies being the big one), the directions were ignored. Some families just never sent anything, so it turned into the same handful of families sending snack for the group whenever I asked. The last thing you want to do when trying to build a positive relationship with a family is hound them about spending a large amount of money.

I had a 5 minute snack time. Kids had to be at their desks and had the option of eating snack or doing anything else at their own desk. Otherwise, we had snack crumb trails and juice drips all over the room. Making it 'free time with the option of snacking' made it a little easier for the kids who didn't have anything. 5 minutes is long enough to eat enough to tide you over, but not enough to make a meal of an entire sleeve of cookies plus a package of Ring Dings. I stopped providing snack after a few years because the kids that didn't bring one just assumed mine was there for the taking and no matter how often I reminded them, there was no incentive for them to remember their own.

FYI, you can't control it being a 'healthy' snack. Be prepared for some kids to have an apple and some to have a family-sized bag of Takis. All I could do was make a big deal out of the healthy snacks that arrived ("Wow, an apple! That is so good for making your body strong and your brain ready to learn! You will feel really ready for math after you eat that fruit!"). I did snack if we had more than a 3 hour stretch before or after a school meal.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:18 PM
 
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We have a snack time. The school provides the snack. It definitely helps the kids to focus because they don't have to wait so long between breakfast and lunch.
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:55 PM
 
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Quote:
FYI, you can't control it being a 'healthy' snack.
I am very explicit with my families it needs to be fruits/veggies and a protein. Cupcakes are for birthdays only.


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Snack
Old 07-05-2016, 06:31 PM
 
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We have snack every day. At the beginning of this month, I send home a snack calendar. Some parents will send snack and others don't. Luckly, I have had parents that send in big bulk items from Sams that last a couple od days. If we run out before the month, I can get extra fruit from the cafeteria or buy extra snack.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:10 PM
 
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EC, I fought the battle for years and in two different states before I gave up. I taught kids what a healthy snack was, I sent it home in writing with lists of ideas, I brought in examples for the kids to eat. Kids continued to bring in individual snacks like Doritos, 6-packs of Oreos, and Lunchables. Part of the problem is that those foods are sold at the corner store close by, while the grocery store requires a ride on the city bus. When you're trying to stretch your paycheck to last until next week and grocery shop for a whole family, then transport it home on the city bus with your 6 year old and 2 year old, making sure you have a veggie and a protein for your kid's entire class is not a priority. If you're going to break your budget and struggle home with a class snack, you want your kid to be the class hero who brings cupcakes and not the kid that brought boring old apples. Plus, we can't very well say to a kid, "No, you can't eat your individual snack, it's not healthy," because parents get angry that we didn't let their child eat.

All of the "If they only..." or "That doesn't make sense because..." reasons that you're thinking of drove me nuts before I let it go. I agree with you. I can teach and suggest and request a policy. It's just not a policy I can enforce - If I want the kids to have a snack, I have to accept the snack the family sends. Since the OP is in a low-SES school, she might be in the same boat.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:58 PM
 
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Oh do not get me started on the inequity of grocery store locations. It's ridiculous.
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Class Snacks
Old 07-06-2016, 04:06 AM
 
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LastMinute123..

both of your posts are spot on in identifying parts of the problem. I could have wrote both posts myself based on my similar experiences- Sadly.

Most of my students walk to school with older siblings & on their way to school they stop to the corner store to buy snacks & like you mentioned fresh healthy fruits & snacks are not found at the corner store.

When students would bring in powered donuts, Doritos, & other not so healthy snacks-
I allow them to eat some of them & take the remaining back home.

It is heartbreaking to see their faces when you tell them that it is not healthy & they can't eat it. They don't understand & it is unfair to them.

These issues are part of the reasons I don't have snack time any longer.

So eating in moderation helps.

When we have class parties, it is the same issues.
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:51 AM
 
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Thank you all for the thoughtful replies!

I think this first year I will only have snack time the first month of school, just to ease kids into the routine. Our lunch will be the first one at 10:45. So that will help with the morning hungriness. It will just be the afternoon that they will start to get hungry (they leave at 2:50).

Some ideas that I've tossed around are just buying off-brand dry cereal myself or perhaps the principal has an account that could contribute. She is very supportive and has even bought things out of her own pocket for the school.

Thanks again for helping me think of ideas. I love pro teacher
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No snack time
Old 07-06-2016, 07:23 AM
 
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I've taught full day Kinder for 13 years and have never had snack time. Our lunch time has always been before 11:30am so they're usually hungry by 3:30pm dismissal. However, they do get free breakfast and lunch.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:38 AM
 
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My schedule was very similar to yours. Since lunch is so early, we had snack in the afternoon. The kids got used to the morning schedule pretty fast, and I encouraged kids who said they were hungry to make sure they ate school-provided breakfast tomorrow to solve that problem. They will have a 3.5 hour break between lunch and leaving, plus some will have another half hour or more before they get home. I either did an end-of-day snack that leads into pack-up or a mid-afternoon snack at 1 or 1:30 right before our last section of the day, and I did a 5-min read aloud (Shel Silverstein poems, short stories, longer stories with bookmarks, or at the end of the year a chapter from Junie B or another very early highly engaging chapter book) and kids could snack while they listened.
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Relating to snacks, this year...
Old 07-07-2016, 03:51 AM
 
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I had almost my whole class doing great bringing in snacks (meaning each child). However, there was this one or two kids whom always had to borrow from our community snack (this means that I had extra snack box just in case someone forgot). How do I help avoid this dilemma with the parent whom didn't send in the snack for their child?
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:04 AM
 
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I ask for community snack supplies on the school supply list and provide to those that forget - until they are gone. When they are almost gone I start reminding kids that there will be no more emergency snacks and they need to bring their own or save something from their breakfast if they want one. By that time of the year, the kids are doing better with their breakfast and lunch eating so it's not a big deal and they don't have their feelings hurt. The kids who don't bring snack usually have free meals at school so they have plenty of food and hunger isn't an issue.

At our school, we started having K have a later lunch so we always have a snack time and a recess followed by a second academic block before lunch. I LOVE the new schedule and the kids have responded really well to it.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:59 AM
 
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I do snack at recess and just put a note on a sandwich board outside my door about needing snack items. I teach at a 100% Title One school with many low income and working class families and most parents sent in snack items.We never were without a snack. The note always listed the allowed snacks so no junk comes in at all. It is a long morning and we begin at 8:10am . Lunch isn't served until 11am and many of my kids are not hungry enough to eat breakfast early before school begins. A snack really helps these kids concentrate on their academics in the morning. If I were to ask the kids to bring their own snack, I would see pure junk coming in their bags.
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:56 AM
 
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My school is also low income. Our former principal got us a free fresh fruits and vegetable grant. Our kids get a fruit or vegetable snack 3 days a week. The goal of the grant is to get the kids used to eating healthy foods. It looks good on paper, but it is a total waist of time. The kids are not hungry. They do not have to take snack. Most will at least try the fruits, but the vegetables go right in the garbage. It is a total waist of time and government money. The kids never complain of being hungry on non-snack days. I would love to get rid of snack and do something more productive with that 15 minutes or spend the money thrown in the garbage on things we desperately need.
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Risky
Old 07-28-2016, 08:18 PM
 
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Nope, no snack time in my school. Per district policy/rule we are not allowed to give or provide any food to the children other than what they bring for lunch, or get from the cafeteria. My district provides free or reduced lunches for children that qualify, but we are not allowed to do anything with food in the classroom.

You are running a risk having children bring food to school for other children, the sole reason we are not allowed to provide food in the classroom is because of issues with allergies, or diabetes. The last thing you want is for a child to become ill on something you served in YOUR classroom, guess who's fault it would be? not the child that brought the food...it would be YOURS. It is not worth the risk, if you want snacks in your classroom, run your ideas by your principal and have them decide what to do, and have your principal inform the parents of the decision. I personally would say NO to snacks in general, but if you want them, get your principal fully onboard before you make any decisions.

I have never had snack time in my classroom, even before the district-wide ban, and I have full-day Kindergarten. The children come to school around 7:45, and leave around 2:30, they eat lunch around 11:15.
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I teach K-4 in a EBD classroom...
Old 07-31-2016, 04:59 PM
 
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I do snack time a few times a week. Usually with left over breakfast items (we do breakfast in the classroom). I will also supplement with simple items that are cheap, like graham crackers and $1 store fruit. My local dollar store has a great fruit selection.

I don't do snack every day because I have found that the kids just eat it because it is offered. So if i need to fill time because a lesson finished early, or if my kids are getting kinda sluggish, i will offer snack.
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No way
Old 08-01-2016, 11:03 AM
 
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We have Breakfast in the Classroom for everyone and that is disaster enough for clean up. I've not met a teacher who likes it. Some teachers let the kids keep their breakfast items for snacks later and that usually turns into a backpack problem (and I don't think is allowed). We also had the fruit/vegetable program for a few years and that was horrible. Pomegranates were a mess, kids couldn't peel their oranges, some fruit had bugs .... We do have an early lunch which helps so we don't do snacks but if it works for some, why not!?
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