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#1 Old 06-26-2007, 03:59 AM
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My 11 year old son is starting secondary school in Sept, already hes asking if he can have money to spend in the tuck shop there. Thing is i feel the food there selling is so unhealthy, i dont want him to eat that junk.



I was chatting with another mum today who said her son has taken £2 per day to school because he loves to buy hot dogs, crisps, pop, sweets and toasties from the tuck shop. I really dont want my kids eatting this kind of stuff. They have been raised veggie, im very fussy about food and have told them for as long as they could understand the importance of eating a balanced healthy diet thats animal free.



I really dont feel they need all this food. My son has breakfast at home which is usually cereal, oats, or toast. I always pack him a lunch of sandwiches, fruit, veggie sticks etc then he has a cooked meal when he gets home with a small desert. Why do the school feel they need to stuff hot dogs, toasties, crisps and sweets on kids?



Strange thing is though this is the same school i once did supply work in and the staff were constantly complaining about the state of the kids diet, weight issues, lack of exercise etc so why feed them this stuff during break, it really annoys me.



Im worried my son will want to stay school dinners too even worse what if hes tempted to try meat to fit in with his mates? He ate a burger once at a friends, hed always had veggie burgers, he never thought other families ate animal ones i dont think, as soon as i told him what it was he said he wouldnt eat it again. When he was younger at school they gave him fish fingers, again he didnt know what they were cause they were disguised as dolphin shapes in breadcrumbs (yes they knew he was veggie, but their response was some veggies do eat fish ). When i told him he ate fish he cried.



I dont want meat eating kids, what am i going to do. I also dont want him to hate me for not giving him money for the tuck shop.



Its parents evening at the new school tonight, im worried ill start taking over the meeting with questions about food issues.



This is when my veganism crosses into ocd i think, scares me sometimes. Im getting all worked up about it.
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#2 Old 06-26-2007, 07:33 AM
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before i start... i'm not a parent.... but i was an 11 year old veggie kid once .



when i was at school, i didn't have money for the school tuck shop very often, and i survived the huge social stigma of it. our tuckshop/canteen was full of junk too, so looking back, i'm glad i didn't have 'food' from it very much. in my case, my mum just didn't have the money to throw away on doughnuts and fries - £2 a day works out to nearly £400 over the school year- thats more than 10 pairs of school shoes (or 5 pairs of really swanky trainers)!



i don't think you should feel obliged to give your kid money for junk food if you don't want to... he'll just have to get over it, really. while you can't control what they choose to eat outside of your home, or their personal ethical choices to choose to eat veggie or not, you are within your rights to decide where your money goes- and if you don't want it going to the tuckshop, thats your perogative.



if he really wants tuckshop money, maybe he could get a part-time job (like a newspaper round) to fund it? i bet he'll want it less if it means getting up at 5am and dragging a bag of newspapers about, lol.



or perhaps you could negotiate on the issue, and suggest your saving the £2 a day instead, for spending on something better instead? it'll soon add up, at a tenner a week, and he could save to buy a bike or a computer with it, or go to the cinema on friday nights, buy some skateboarding (or whatever he's into) magazines, or rent a few random videos weekly with his mates, instead.



if his main concern is that his lunch isn't cool, or that he feels left out, maybe you could work with him on adapting his existing lunch a bit so that its more inline with what his friends take, but still healthy, as well as cool looking. seriously, whatever he thinks, he won't be the only person in the whole school with a packed lunch and no tuckshop money... not by a long run, and he will actually survive the experience.



as well as a few peanut butter and jam sandwiches, he could take pizza, potato wedges and dip, veggie nuggets and salsa, etc. you could add a few healthy cookies and muffins that look like tuckshop junk to the stuff he takes to school for lunch every day, too. you could even throw a veggie hotdog in a roll in there every once in a while.



also, you could work with the school to improve the state of the junkfood, or to at least get veggie versions of a few things on the menu- for everyones benefit.



i know that probably wasn't very helpful in the whole 'interpersonal communication with your child/parenting dynamics' sense of things... but i hope it helped a smidgen until someone who is good at that stuff shows up.



good luck!
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#3 Old 06-26-2007, 12:43 PM
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I understand your concern! I have an 11 year old boy too. He would gladly eat junk food all day long. He has another year before he starts middle school so right now his choices are restricted. Luckily, our middle schools have taken the vending machines out and the lines are so incredibly long at the school store/cafeteria that I'm sure it will discourage my son. A 15 minute nutrition break isn't much fun when you spend 10 or 12 minutes in line for a snack.



We had a conversation the other day and I explained to him how it works. He has two older sisters and they would bring food from home. He'll do that too and I will send money for when the school has special after school treats on sale. In September/October it's quite warm here and the school will sell popsicles after school. In cooler weather they sell churros. They are sugary but at least it's not every day.
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#4 Old 06-26-2007, 06:40 PM
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I'm also not a parent, but I like Jen's idea of giving him his money and allowing him to save it up. This is what my parents do for me, since I pack my lunch instead of eating the school's food.
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#5 Old 06-26-2007, 07:33 PM
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When I started secondary school and asked my mum for tuck shop money she told me to take a hike. She also said "I make you a perfectly good lunch so eat that instead of that crap they're selling."



Ahh, tell-it-like-it-is parenting



Occasionally I'd use my own money to buy something, but she never gave me money all the way through school and it didn't kill me or my social life. I'm surprised his school's still got a tuck shop, ours was closed down two years ago because it was unhealthy.



And despite my mum's flowery language, she was right. £2 a day for junk is discusting and works out to £10 a week - is that child getting pocket money too? Is she a mum or a bank?
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#6 Old 06-27-2007, 05:18 AM
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Thanks for your relplies everyone.



Had a chat with my son about it last night and we have come to an agreement. One day a week he can have a school dinner (cringes and squirms) other days he will take packed lunches but will have more imput into them, he loves cooking so i said he could make his own salsa dips, coleslaws etc even said id throw in sausage rolls (veggie kind) and hot dogs now and then.



As for the tuck shop i told him he could take something of his own choice. Id rather him have a choc bar or crisps id bought rather than the cheap nasty stuff they sell over there.
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#7 Old 06-27-2007, 07:59 AM
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nice work mum!
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#8 Old 06-28-2007, 11:16 AM
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I'm going to take a slightly different approach and tell you I'm slightly concerned about all the 'worrying' you're doing over your son's diet and the effect that's going to have on him. One of two things might happen: 1) he becomes unduly concerned about your worry, trying always just to do what makes you happy, stressing himself out in the process...or 2) he gets tired of the constant worry you do over food and goes into full out rebellion.



Thus I have this to say, "RELAX!" Childhood is so full of real, life threatening issues. Yes, it is good to make sure your children have a healthy, animal free diet, certainly it is. But it is also good for them (and you) to be able to relax and get over the fact that they've inadvertantly eaten an animal product. It is good to give your children information that will help them one day make informed decisions for themselves. It is great to not give them money to spend on junk food and to ask if they are going to buy junk food, that they use their own money....my daughter and I have successfully used this plan for a long time.



But...it is also good that you realize now...that you are not 'in control' of your son's decisions away from you. Hopefully you've raised a well rounded person to this point....and armed him with good information, and will continue to encourage him in good decisions. After that, I think that we as parents need to step back a bit and trust that children will respond to our good parenting strategies. And also...we will have to understand that they'll make mistakes, as this is also part of life.



So...I guess I am with everyone else, except that from your post you sound hyperviligant and very well...excessively worried, and I would just advise you to calm down.



B
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#9 Old 06-28-2007, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by NiceDream View Post

Thanks for your relplies everyone.



Had a chat with my son about it last night and we have come to an agreement. One day a week he can have a school dinner (cringes and squirms) other days he will take packed lunches but will have more imput into them, he loves cooking so i said he could make his own salsa dips, coleslaws etc even said id throw in sausage rolls (veggie kind) and hot dogs now and then.



As for the tuck shop i told him he could take something of his own choice. Id rather him have a choc bar or crisps id bought rather than the cheap nasty stuff they sell over there.



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#10 Old 06-28-2007, 11:36 AM
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Aaaaaggggghhhhh panic back on again. Iv just been told that my kids are going to be stopping by at Macdonalds during a school trip. How can a school promote such unethical place as Macdonalds.



This is the second time now iv been really pissed off with the school offering free meal vouchers for macdonalds during school hols, prizes as a family meal at Macdonalds for raffel prizes and now this.



Why dosnt the head offer more ethical prizes, freebies or stop offs at places to eat than this. Is this woman so ignorant that she dosnt see Macdonalds are causing excessive damage to rainforest, pumping animals with soya beans grown on land that should be set aside for growing crops to feed people in the deveolping countries, the accesive amounts of plastic used to package their meals and those stupid little toys they give away to entice children into eat their unhealthy, fat sugar and salt laden crap they call food. And what about vegetarian children, she has absolutly no respect for our beliefs. How can schools get away with this, its disgusting and im feeling all stressed out about it.



I wish i didnt get so uptight about all this but i do.
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#11 Old 06-28-2007, 11:42 AM
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But...it is also good that you realize now...that you are not 'in control' of your son's decisions away from you. Hopefully you've raised a well rounded person to this point....and armed him with good information, and will continue to encourage him in good decisions. After that, I think that we as parents need to step back a bit and trust that children will respond to our good parenting strategies. And also...we will have to understand that they'll make mistakes, as this is also part of life.



So...I guess I am with everyone else, except that from your post you sound hyperviligant and very well...excessively worried, and I would just advise you to calm down.



B



I agree with all the advice here - but especially with Bethanie. I have three kids, two of them teenagers. And believe me, no matter HOW vigilant you are and how much you talk to your children and attempt to "raise them right" they will make their own decisions when away from you.



All my kids had the same upbringing (except their omni Dad moved out 3 years ago, so the youngest hasn't had his influence quite so much...)

One of my teen daughters eats meat when away from home. That's the choice she made, she knows my views and I don't ever throw them in her face or remind her "what" she's eating.

My only rules: I won't pay for it, and I don't want it cooked in my kitchen. Other than that, she eats extremely healthy, all organic, whole grains, nothing processed, no refined sugar, etc., so I shouldn't complain anyway.



Oddly enough, my other teenager is an extremely outspoken PETA-preaching vegan activist who'll probably get arrested one day. She's also somewhat of a "junk-food-vegan" and would live on chips (crisps), Soy Ice Cream and vegan brownies if I allowed it.<sigh>



My 7 year old is somewhere inbetween right now, who knows what path she'll decide on.



As a mother of two teenagers, I know they, and I, have far, far more serious issues to worry about than what they're eating.



So yeah... just be sure you can relax and let your child make his own choices and mistakes sometimes.
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#12 Old 06-28-2007, 12:25 PM
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Aaaaaggggghhhhh panic back on again. Iv just been told that my kids are going to be stopping by at Macdonalds during a school trip. How can a school promote such unethical place as Macdonalds.



This is the second time now iv been really pissed off with the school offering free meal vouchers for macdonalds during school hols, prizes as a family meal at Macdonalds for raffel prizes and now this.



Why dosnt the head offer more ethical prizes, freebies or stop offs at places to eat than this. Is this woman so ignorant that she dosnt see Macdonalds are causing excessive damage to rainforest, pumping animals with soya beans grown on land that should be set aside for growing crops to feed people in the deveolping countries, the accesive amounts of plastic used to package their meals and those stupid little toys they give away to entice children into eat their unhealthy, fat sugar and salt laden crap they call food. And what about vegetarian children, she has absolutly no respect for our beliefs. How can schools get away with this, its disgusting and im feeling all stressed out about it.



I wish i didnt get so uptight about all this but i do.



i think if you could be a bit calmer about it (being stressed won't actually change anything, and you'll probably give yourself a headache too- and you can actually CHOOSE to be calm) you might be able to be a bit more objective about understanding their reasoning. ok, mcdonalds isn't anywhere near to being great, but at least they do actually have vegetarian (and easily vegan-able) options in the UK.



i can see the schools slightly odd logic in adding it to the trip schedual: its cheap, its quick, its easily accessable, its recognised as food by 99% of the population, and it has something that everybody can physically eat (vegans included, ethics aside). i might hate mcdonalds too- but is it likely that anywhere else they stopped would cater to everyones needs? i've struggled to find vegan salads and sandwiches in motorway service stations, and the other generally available options eg: greasy sugary soggy prepackaged flapjacks, and walkers salted crisps, aren't exactly nutritonal powerhouses either.



obviously your child doesn't HAVE to eat anything from there. he will make the choice himself, though. i bet the more you freak, the more likely he is to be intreuged about what the big deal is, and maybe try something- or just tune you right out. or alternatively, he'll feel awful all day knowing you're at home wringing your hands with worry that he's secretly eating a bigmac.



perhaps, if you work out a plan, get some allies amongst other parents, and excecute it calmly (i've found that calmness works wonders, looking like a crazy vegan lady won't get you anywhere!) you might be able to arrange to talk to the PTA about more positive food choices in the school and on trips in the future.



.... said with the onus on calmness winning the day. i know its hard to be calm, but its do-able. slow breaths... happy thoughts.
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#13 Old 07-01-2007, 08:42 AM
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I dont want meat eating kids, what am i going to do.



I agree with TNS and Bethanie, you are stressing too much,

and I am especially wondering about the above comment from your post. What are you going to do if he makes the choice to eat meat??? Send him back??
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#14 Old 07-01-2007, 12:16 PM
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I know im totally OCD when it comes to food, always have been. If my kids do ever decide to eat meat then they know already they cant bring it into my kitchen. I wont buy it, store it or cook it i just know i couldnt. Its just me and the way i am. I dont go round preaching at people not to eat meat but i just couldnt have it near me. I cant even eat from a restaurant that cook meat or friends who are meat eaters, im just scared of contamination, yeah i know im a total freak but thats how i am. Tried hypnosis to help me control it but got a fear of cheese then, makes me feel ill, though i still make cheese sandwiches for my kids though i have to scrub the place down after and heave when it gets in my fingernails.



Yup i know im so weird, lost a job over it once cause i couldnt take my turn covering in the kitchen.



but hey ho!



oh by the way i am quite calm, rather quiet and shy in other peoples company, just rant a lot on here
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#15 Old 07-01-2007, 10:13 PM
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While I of course agree with the ethics of your eating, there are some questions I think your should ask yourself. It sounds like you may have some food issues.



Are you really happy with your relationship with food? Is this something you want to model to your children? If your son grew up and felt the same way you do how would you feel about it?



I would imagine that since you've tried things to help you relax about food then these aren't feelings you want to pass to your son, and that is what you're doing. He may rebel and want to eat meaty junk, or he may eat just like you but his relationship with food will probably be about as healthy as yours. I really think you should let him make his own decisions about food at his age, if you don't want meat in your house that is fine but what he eats out is his business.
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#16 Old 07-02-2007, 02:00 AM
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I know im totally OCD when it comes to food, always have been.



It sounds like you seriously have issues that need to be resolved in some way or another, or your kids will be basket cases about food. They have far more important things to worry about in their busy little lives than Mom's neurosis about food and what will happen if they take a non-vegan, unapproved bite of some food out there.



And as a Mom, YOU have far more important things to worry about than if they ate something non-vegan. They're KIDS! There's a zillion things out there that are far worse than that!



You CAN take control of things like this, whether on your own or with professional help, and saying "I know I'm a freak but that's just how I am" is TOTALLY a cop out!



(I don't consider hypnotism to be all that "professional" btw). Seriously though, you need to before it affects your kids and your relationship with them for the rest of their lives.
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#17 Old 07-03-2007, 03:29 PM
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I'm with the beloved tree here.....really give this some thought. I think you may perhaps just maybe need to think about seeing someone on a regular basis about your food issues, as this doesn't seem healthy at all.



B
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#18 Old 07-04-2007, 01:10 PM
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well some people freak when they see a spider or snake, for me its meat, not half as bad as i was in my teens though.



Have had eating disorders in the past, they come and go at stressfull times which if had a few of lately but hey ho, i cope.



Things have gone much easier since chatting to my son and making arrangements for him to take much more exciting packed lunches to school these days, we have been doing a test run and hes happy
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#19 Old 07-04-2007, 01:18 PM
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Be really carefull with being ott on junk food with kids. It can end badly, you can have the kid who sees it as rebellion to eat a load of junk and hide the evidence. Or you can end up with a kid who thinks all food is bad for them and have the fun of an eating disorder that they will never be fully rid of.

I think what you're doing is great, letting him have school dinners once a week and giving him tuck shop type things to take in so you know what hes having without being the junk police.
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