|Photo by Clare and Dave|
I am not a strict, no sugar, no fat, no colour, no fun food kind of mum by any stretch of the imagination but I am aware of what my son is eating and I like to at least try to get some balance in his diet. Sugary snacks like cake and chocolate are not a daily occurrence in Millar’s diet.
It started at Easter…
Millar goes to kinder three days a week and occasional care one day a week. These all take place at the same community centre but each day is a separate session run by a different teacher. So the week before Easter, there was an Easter egg hunt on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday session. On Thursday he was just given chocolate without even having to hunt for it. Then of course it was Easter Sunday and there was chocolate there in our own Easter hunt.
He is back at kinder after the school holidays and it seems it is birthday season. The first three weeks there was maybe one or two birthdays each week and he would come home with a cupcake.
Then last week he was given a chocolate freddo on Monday AND Tuesday. He was away sick on Wednesday and Thursday. But on Monday, as he left, he cried because he wasn’t given any chocolate. I tried to explain that he doesn’t get chocolate every day. Or rather, he shouldn’t get chocolate everyday.
Today is Tuesday and he came home and told me he had cake in his lunch box. I opened his lunch-box and sure enough there was cake. He also hadn’t eaten his sandwich, which never happens, he eats it every day so I ask, was there other birthday food today? “yes, lots and lots from the white box that the man bringed” he says.
It is hard enough to get Millar to eat vegetables without filling him up with cake and chips and chocolate at kinder.
Everyone brings something when it’s their birthday. It is not something we did when I was at kindergarten but it’s definitely something that is done now and something that continues into the workplace later.
But in the adult working world we can make health based decisions when someone brings a cake to celebrate their birthday. (Or when the boss buys one if you have that kind of workplace).
Three year olds don’t balance morning tea chocolate cake by having a salad for lunch. Nor do they politely decline when offered chocolate because they think they’ve had enough this week.
It is starting to really annoy me that he is given these “sometimes foods” all the freaking time and I feel kind of powerless as a parent. Shouldn’t I be able to say what he can and cannot have? I don’t want Millar to be excluded from celebrations at kinder if everyone else is getting cake, (can you imagine the tantrum?) and I don’t mind the occasional treat, but every day is too much.
The enrolment pack sent out to me at the start of the year advised me to send a healthy snack with Millar each day and had some suggestions as to what to pack. Fruit, yoghurt, cheese, sandwiches etc. This is a joke if they are going to allow cakes, chocolate and party food in on a regular basis.
I think it’s time to say no to bringing cake and treats to kinder. Leave the party food for the party at home.
Let me decide what food my child will be offered each day.