Even though these parents took the time to pack their children lunches and snacks for school, their kids were left without food.
Parents in Durham, Ontario, are sharing stories of how teachers are taking away snacks and lunches from children that they deem to be unhealthy. According to The Star, the foods being discouraged vary depending on classroom and school but include "Goldfish crackers, Bear Paws cookies, granola bars, string cheese, Jello, juice boxes, pudding cups, gummy fruit snacks, raisins, Animal Crackers, chocolate milk and Sun Chips."
However, Durham District School Board Superintendent Luigia Ayotte said in a statement that there is no official list of banned foods. "We understand there may have been some issues with regard to certain foods students bring for snacks and lunches, but food preferences and choice remain with students and parents unless they pose an adverse allergic danger to other students," she said.
Yet 30 local parents have shared their troubling stories. While many understand the allergy risk of certain foods, they don't believe their child should be singled out for the food choices that are in their lunchboxes or backpacks that don't pose any allergy threat.
Last year, Elaina Daoust sent her picky eater to school with a small piece of banana bread for his morning snack. However, the junior kindergartner was told that he couldn't eat it because it contained chocolate chips. "He came home with a chart (listing healthy snack ideas) and told me he and the teacher talked about it and healthy choices. She also sent a note to me. I was really, really, really mad for several reasons," Daoust told The Star. This mom said she purposefully picked that snack because teachers discouraged homemade treats, it was labeled nut-free, and she assumed it was safe for school.
Avani Chaudhary also experienced this issue when she sent her daughter and son to school with Goldfish crackers and chocolate chip granola bars. Her second grader was told that these aren't "welcome snacks," while her kindergartner didn't have any issues. "It's basically the teacher's opinion," Avani said. "Is a muffin healthier than a granola bar? Maybe, maybe not. It depends what is in them. Is the teacher qualified to make these decisions? It should be up to the parents."
For one little girl, her lunch was withheld and sent home because it contained pizza outside of the designated pizza days or chocolate chip granola bars that were viewed as unhealthy. "I felt it was more unhealthy for a child not to eat at all, than to eat a granola bar with chocolate," said the child's mother, Janae Brangman.
This post was originally published on Oct. 3, 2016.