So, less than a week after I grumble about a sudden dearth of new things to say about being a SAHD or even a parent, I stumble across this little tidbit on a parenting blog (which I found via a convoluted process I don't remember and could never repeat). In short, there is a plan afoot in the UK to limit what parents can send in their kid's school lunches.
What to make of this? I find it interesting because there has been a move in this country to get junk foods out of schools as well. I basically support this effort. But here for the most part it is has been a matter of removing or changing the contents of vending machines, not serving ice cream as part of a school-supplied lunch, and not allowing teachers to use candy as a reward (this last is mostly honored in the breach as far as I can see), and improving the quality of school-supplied lunches.
I recall the brouhaha that erupted here a couple of years ago when the state imposed these new guidelines. We were at a start-of-school meeting where a mom complained that she would no longer be able to send a coke in her kid's lunchbox. Neither the mom nor her daughter were exactly svelte, if you know what I mean. As it happened, the rules did not extend that far. Oddly, what had people most exercised was they would no longer be able to send in cupcakes on their kid's birthday. Or at least I have to infer this, because this part of the rule was later rescinded.
We already have a fair number of limits on what we can send in to school with or on our kids. Guns and machetes are frowned upon, and I think see-through clothing or thong bathing suits might be considered gauche as well. But I have to say this idea that schools can control what I feed my kid (even if, admittedly, its on their property and on their time) creeps me out, no matter how much I agree with the idea that kids should not have a lunch consisting of Coke and Twinkies. It's a nasty grey area, and I'm well aware of the fact that parents (including myself) are always fine with schools teaching stuff that isn't strictly speaking academic (manners, for example) until they get to a topic we don't like, whereupon the school becomes a parent-undermining busybody.