The School Nixed My Son's Snack: Shame on Them or Shame on Me?

Linda in Waltham, MA
Oct. 26, 2017

I’d like you to meet Linda C., an Executive Assistant at Care.com.  I have to tell you, her blog made me laugh out loud. We all know how hard packing school lunches can be, especially when juggling a job, cooking dinner, managing homework and picking up the house. And Linda has a great story – and an interesting debate for you to chime in on.


A couple of months ago (before the collapse of Hostess) I sent my 8-year-old son to school with a Twinkie is his snack bag.  I really didn’t think much of it.  I hadn’t gone food shopping in a while (that’s a whole ‘nother blog) so I didn’t have many choices in my cabinets and refrigerator.  I gave him a piece of fruit, a granola bar and THE Twinkie.

That night, when I picked him up from after school care, he said to me "Thanks a lot Mom, I lost my recess time today because you packed me a Twinkie for snack."   My world suddenly went red. In the first minute my mind jumped around between defending my right, as his mother, to send my child to school with ANY snack I choose and "Oh my goodness, the teacher thinks I’m a horrible mother clogging the arteries of my 8-year-old!"

By the time we got home, I was able to collect my thoughts.  I was however, still disturbed at the fact the teacher punished my son for a decision that I made.  I needed to get to the bottom of it so I sent the teacher an email.  I repeated what my son told me and continued to tell him that I couldn’t imagine he would keep my son from enjoying recess (which is how he would have worked off the Twinkie in the first place, right??) because of the Twinkie and that there had to be more to the story, especially since he had two other healthy snacks in the bag. At least I followed the peanut-free rule!?

Okay, so it turns out there was more to the story (the teacher says he told my son not to eat the Twinkie, but my son says he didn’t hear him and he ate it). And I have no idea if my son is telling the truth. But it raises a different question: Should schools govern the snacks we give our kids?


Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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