Before I begin, let me set the stage:

My daughter woke up the other morning complaining of a tummy ache. Because of previous health issues, this isn’t uncommon for her. To help, I decided to send a Sprite in her lunch in case it persisted. This is the first time I’ve ever sent her to school with a soda.

At lunch time, she raised her hand to ask for help in opening the can. The teacher looked at it, then asked, “Who packed your lunch?” Daughter says, “My mom.” The teacher paused, then said, “You need to tell your mom that you need something healthier. And don’t ever bring soda to school again.” I’d expect if my child asked their teacher for physic homework help, but not the teacher shouting at her about packed lunch. I don’t have time to argue with my daughters teachers when I’m juggling so many different things, I’m only just surviving thanks to Blue Apron and collegepaperworld!

Now this comment comes on the heals of another comment made by a woman standing in front of my friend at the grocery store. Woman says, “Do you have any snacks without sugar in it?” Clerk laughs. “Impossible.” Woman says, “My school doesn’t allow any snacks with sugar. I sent my kid with a granola bar to school, but the teacher sent a note home saying that it had chocolate chips in it. If my kid does this again, she’ll get a ticket. If she gets three, she misses recess.”

What is going on? Does this seem extreme to anyone else? As parents can’t we decide what our child eats?

That being said, I get that not all parents teach their kids to eat healthy and as a result we have childhood obesity, which causes all sorts of health issues. I have no problem with banning vending machines in schools. They probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place. If they were there when I was in junior high, I probably would’ve blown all of my meager allowance on candy.

I think schools should teach healthy choices and then the community should promote a healthy lifestyle by offering free classes and training to parents. And I think parents should have the right to send their child to school with a chocolate chip cookie. Or a soda. Or a big, fat Ho Ho.

In our home I teach we eat to live, not we live to eat. As much as I joke about eating, I do try to teach our kids to eat healthy. That doesn’t mean we don’t have the occasional treat or soda. Everything in moderation.

What’s your opinion? Are your children’s schools much different?

Any readers outside of the United States? I’d love to know how this is handled elsewhere.