Making sure your child is enjoying a balanced diet can be tricky – and one mum has found out the hard way that differing opinions on healthy foods can cause even more of a headache.
The woman has posted on parenting forum Mumsnet to express her outrage after she sent her daughter to holiday club while she was working over the summer holidays, only for them to tell her that the packed lunch she had provided wasn’t good enough.
According to the mum, she gives her daughter the same lunch – which includes a ham sandwich, a cheese product, carrot sticks, a piece of fruit, a small chocolate biscuit, and a bottle of water to take to school during term time, where the headteacher has already approved it.
She wrote in her forum post: “She doesn’t always have a school hot dinner so takes a packed lunch.
“Sometimes I swap the cucumber and carrots for a homemade yoghurt (fruit and greek yoghurt combined).
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“School have never commented negatively on the contents of her lunchbox, only comment I’ve ever had about it was from the headteacher the first time she took a lunchbox, who said it sounded fine.
“My daughter is at holiday club while I work and is taking the same packed lunch with her. She’s been before to this holiday club but I had a call to say the policy has changed and she’s not allowed the cheese, yoghurt (even a homemade one) or the chocolate and that lunch has to contain two portions of vegetables.
“They’d rather I didn’t send sugary fruit – even though she tends to eat that at morning snack time rather than with lunch.”
The holiday club told the mum she could keep the sandwich and the carrot sticks the same but recommended she swap out the cheese for more veggies and ditch the chocolate biscuit completely.
But the mum can’t understand what the problem is – especially as she knows it has nothing to do with the warm weather over the summer months.
She added: “It’s nothing to do with hot weather as the lunchbox goes into a cool bag thing when she gets to holiday club and my daughter says it’s still cold when she eats it (at school I put those iceblocks in when it’s hot to keep it cool and she says it’s nice there too).
“I can’t understand why her lunchbox is fine at school but not holiday club who I was expecting to be more lenient.
“So am I being unreasonable to think as I’m paying £35 a day for the service they can ignore a bit of cheese and a small chocolate bar?”
One parent wrote: "Completely bonkers. Think that’s a normal well-balanced lunch for a child.”
While a second posted: “I’d be asking them where they got their dietary advice from. Cheese and yoghurt are excellent sources of calcium.”
However, others pointed out the request to leave out the dairy products could be because of another child’s allergies, as nuts are also not allowed in the club.
After it was suggested, the mum responded: “I wonder if it could be dairy allergy child as they have three rooms, one for each age stage as they go up to age 12, but all eat in one room. I hadn't thought it could be that.”