A dietitian mother from Queensland, Australia has accused her son’s school of ‘food shaming’ children after she found a note in her son’s bag from the school teacher when he came back home one day.
When she saw the ‘We love your healthy lunch’ card in her son’s bag, she wrote a post on her blog, ‘Delectable Dietetics’, offering advice to teachers about supporting families and the choices they make for their children’s packed lunches.
‘Your opinion of lunch box situations is just that…your opinion only. Your opinion does not give you permission to police lunch boxes or students’ dietary intake,’ she wrote.
‘Students are at school for 6 hours out of ~14 hours waking hours. That’s 2 meals out of on average 5 meals or 40 percent of the dietary intake out of the whole day being at school. We don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes in the student’s family household.’
Ms. Thompson said ‘parents will seek help when they are ready’ and that unless a teacher is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) it is ‘not within their scope’ to ‘provide dietary advice or attempt behavior change’.
“On the second day of school my son received a card stating ‘We love your healthy lunch’,” she wrote.
“I also noted in a newsletter that ‘only healthy food is allowed to be eaten at 1st lunch break. Treats and left-over food can be eaten at 2nd lunch break.’
“Judging food as ‘healthy’ and ‘treats’ is assigning morality to food, which is a typical dieting behavior leading people to feel a sense of fear, guilt, and shame, particularly around their weight, body shape or body size.”
While Ms. Thompson admitted her son was proud to have received the card, she also said that he ‘naturally viewed his friends as less superior for not receiving a card’.
“He now views foods as ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ and is fixated on receiving another card,” she said. “As a concerned dietitian and mother, I am now working to repair the damage this school nutrition guideline has caused my son and our family.
“I am particularly concerned that if the next round of cards are given out and my son does not receive a card he will become distressed.”
‘Feeding a child is complex and some parent struggle with providing a variety of food. Food shaming or shaming behavior does not change behavior,’ she said.
Her recommendation to her son’s school was to cease utilizing the ‘card’ system in lunchboxes, cease outlining when kids may eat their ‘deal with’ meals and help the youngsters by appreciating there may be all kinds of meals they usually can eat it without judgment.
In consequence, the varsity instantly stopped utilizing the playing cards and spoke brazenly about Ms. Thompson probably that includes of their publication together with her personal dietary recommendation.
At the moment in Australia, there is no such thing as a monitoring or reporting of the meals out there in faculties and in response to the Wholesome Children Affiliation unhealthy foods and drinks that are ‘nutritionally poor’ remains to be free out there to kids.