A school in Australia is receiving some backlash after a writer posted on Facebook that a friend of hers, a mother of eight, was sent home a note with her child advising her to “choose healthier options,” not “from the red category” like the slice of chocolate cake that she gave her child.
It was leftover birthday cake.
“Your child has chocolate (cake) slice from the Red Food category today. Please choose healthier options,” the note read.
My friend (mother of 8 healthy children, what follows relating to no. 7) received this today from her 3 year old's kindy. I told her to put in two slices tomorrow and tellthem to get lost.Posted by Melinda Tankard Reist on Thursday, February 2, 2017
The story has brought up familiar debates about childhood obesity and adults being told how to parent their children.
“My friend (mother of 8 healthy children, what follows relating to no. 7) received this today from her 3-year-old’s (school). I told her to put in two slices tomorrow and tell them to get lost,” Melinda Tankard Reist wrote.
Reist’s friend and husband hold degrees in health science and make all their food from scratch, Yahoo News Australia reported.
“My friend ended up digging out the kindergarten’s food policy, which banned only 'processed' cakes and biscuits. She hadn’t broken the rules after all,” Reist later wrote in an opinion piece.
“My friend felt bad that she has broken the rules. I posted the image because I reacted to it. I support healthy eating, but I’m concerned about where this approach takes us,” she told Kidspot. “Organic sugarless zucchini muffins and banana and almond muffins (have been) sent home. Cupcakes were sent home which had less sugar and calorie content than the approved muesli bar.”
Reist contended that such an approach to food is harmful.
“Treating foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ contributes to eating disorders,” she added. “Parents are telling me their children are being shamed at school for having treats in their lunchbox and are taking that shame home, impacting their ability to enjoy a range of foods.”