When I was growing up, the kids whose parents packed Twinkies and Ring Dings and homemade cupcakes in their school lunches were some of the most popular kids in school. EVERYONE wanted to sit next to the girl who had the apple pie or the Coffee Cake Jr. But sadly, because my mom's dad was a dentist, I wasn't one of them. I had to make due with things like Honeycrisp apples and Nature Valley granola bars. Which basically meant that by the time I was ready to move onto high school, I'd become pretty slick at the art of making trades.
Of course, things are different today, with more and more cafeterias enforcing nut-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free rules. I have a hard time even knowing what to send in with my kids each day, for fear of my kids being called out in the lunchroom. Case in point is the mom of eight (yes, you read that right) who is currently going viral for stashing a slice of chocolate cake in her 3-year-old's lunch bag, then subsequently being food-shamed for it by her kid's teacher via a note sent home with a big ol' sad face on it.
Guys, this is not OK. When will we all stop trying to parent other peoples' children? I get that we all want our kids to have healthy school lunches. But food-shaming a preschooler definitely falls into my own personal Red Category.
And get this: Melinda Reist—friend to the mom-of-eight, who posted the note on Facebook—told Today that while the school policy says processed cake may not be sent into the class, the chocolate slice in question here was actually leftover from a homemade birthday cake, which means the mom here was not actually breaking any rules by packing it, and her kid got food-shamed for nothing.
"I understand that harried teachers are most likely trying to carry out school policy while not being trained dietitians," Reist told Today. "But my biggest concern is where shaming around food takes us. When children see food as 'good' or 'bad' it can set them up for eating disorders."
We totally agree. Whatever happened to "Everything in moderation?"