‘Please choose healthier options’ Note sent home over chocolate slice in a lunchbox goes viral

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  • A note sent home by a school in Australia has sparked debate amongst parents after instructing the mum who received it to ‘choose healthier options’ for her child’s lunchbox.

    The message was shared on Facebook by writer Melinda Tankard Reist on behalf of her friend, a mum of eight, in a post which has since been liked over 1,000 times and received almost 500 comments.

    ‘Your child has chocolate slice from the Red Food category today,’ it states. ‘Please choose healthier options for Kindy’.

    ‘My friend (mother of 8 healthy children, what follows relating to no. 7) received this today from her 3 year old’s kindy,’ Melinda explained alongside a snap of the letter.

    ‘I told her to put in two slices tomorrow and tell them to get lost.’

    Many of the comments on the post are in defense of the mother, with one person writing: ‘I would send the kid back the next day with a note….”Educate me, don’t dictate what I eat for lunch”‘ and a second saying: ‘Kids are going to school with no lunch. Spend time on a real issue.’

    A third noted: ‘If the child has a sandwich, piece of fruit, drink and a piece of chocolate slice I’d be fine with that! I’m sure a homemade goodie is much healthier than a packet of chips even. When I was a kid I used to look forward to a goodie in my lunchbox, it used to keep me in a positive mood all day knowing that mum may have put a little surprise in my lunchbox!’

    ‘The thing is the child will immediately recognise the big red sad face as a negative communication, so is this the same message (emoji or not) being used with the child directly regarding food, or are the emojis saved for parents?’ another commenter added. ‘I would be all sorts of pissed off if this came home in my child’s lunchbox.’

    However, others argued that the school had certain policies in place which the parents were likely to have been aware of, and should have been following.

    ‘Schools have to stick to healthy eating policies and unfortunately parents need to follow school policies or remove their children,’ one said. ‘Parents cannot make rules in school.’

    ‘Well, it looks like there’s a plan in that school, because that is not a note, but a form,’ another agreed.

    ‘If you noticed, that type of food goes in the Red Food Category, which tells me that the mom should have notice of the school’s eating plan categories, since day one. This is a note remind a parent there’s a plan in place.’

    ‘I don’t think is about being mean to the kid or the parent, because I believe the cake wasn’t taken away from the student. It’s just school policy and procedures.’