This sensitivity went into melt down proportions yesterday. All revolving around the bane of my existence...The Preschool Snack. (Really any kid outing snack for that matter.) This year at preschool it was decided that state regulations regarding snacks should be followed. They are that no homemade food shall be distributed to the wee children due to allergies (peanuts are the big one) and food born illnesses, i.e. e. coli and a big one for Colorado Hep. A. Apparently prepackaged spinach is a perfectly safe food as long as we forget about the e. coli in the spinach of a few years ago. But whatever. A list was sent out regarding what "healthy snacks" to bring. Healthy snacks being in quotations because I beg to differ on the healthiness of saltine crackers.
So yesterday during "circle time" a fellow mommy who was in the boy's class volunteering went into a spiel about how fruit snacks were bad because they are full of sugar and sugar is bad and can make you too wiggly for school. Circle time follows snack time, and what was fed to the kids at snack time? Yep, fruit snacks...you know the chewy not made with fruit sugar bombs, not actual fruit. Apparently these were thoughtfully purchased in the Cars and Princess varieties to keep the kiddos happy. I completely agree with the mom who stated that fruit snack are too full of sugar and while it is debated if sugar makes kids hyper I can attest to sugar causing the wiggles. However, (please climb into the soapdish with me at this time I am about to splash) I have a HUGE problem with another mom volunteer voicing her opinions about snack to the entire class, especially after the kids just ate that snack, thus singling out the poor four year old that brought that snack.
My son, who did not bring that snack, but did bring cheese sticks and raisins on Monday, misunderstood the whole fruit snack verbiage...being four and because when I do break down and by those delicious little chewy things every once in a while, I call them "chewies." (I really do like the things, seeing as they are oh so close to gummy bears.) When I picked the child up from school he stated in the car that raisins where not a good snack, he couldn't bring them because they are full of sugar and make you wiggly. I tried to figure out what he was talking about and then got most of it out. All except the term fruit snacks. He just kept saying raisins...which literally is a fruit snack. He was crying because he thought he had done something wrong and was just not buying my argument that raisins are an acceptable snack (they are on the "list") and they have lots of potassium, fiber and antioxidants. All of this was lost on him of course and he was beside himself.
We have had these kind of meltdowns before. Last summer during t-ball the boy lost it when it was our turn to bring snack and someone else did as well by mistake. Being non confrontational I let the other family dole out the snack. The boy apparently had *really* been looking to being a gracious giver of food and a large crying jag ensued.
After getting no-where with four year old I called the school to find out what exactly had happened. I am generally not a person who calls the school but he was really upset and I had to know if someone really did object to the raisins. Because there some people who object to fruit because of the sugar in it, and I disagree with that opinion. So after being the second parent in line with the phone call I learned that subject in question was not raisins but fruit snacks and the poor child who had handed them out and her mom were quite upset as well. Why? Because a boundary had been crossed. I am all for teachers teaching about healthy eating choices while not putting down a four year's snack choice (or really her mom's) but not a parent volunteer giving opinions. (While I agree with that opinion it was inappropriate to discuss with the class of preschoolers, and instead the newly published "list" should have sufficed for the mom unless there was a continuation of unhealthy snack bringing in and then I feel it is the teacher's place to speak with the mom or the director's).
After telling the boy about the mix up and explained to him that Girl in Class X did nothing wrong as well, perhaps she had been good the day before and wanted to share her special snack with the class he seemed to understand. But this morning he was rather insistent that I stay with him for a few moments at the start of class. And poor Girl Child X called in sick.
Oy vey! The drama of childhood sensitivities and suburban preschool.