Fewer food treats in the classroom

snackLetter to the Editor

The beginning of the school year is the best time for parents to request that food treats be kept to a minimum in elementary school. I like to share my opinion with my children’s teachers, principals and PTA/PTO by writing a respectful letter noting that food treats put students suffering from allergies, obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, pre-diabetes or liver disease at risk.
The food giver cannot know if the treat fits into the student’s diet that day, and many young children do not exercise restraint. And when presented by a role model, the student thinks it’s OK to eat the treat. I note the approximately 25 percent obesity/overweight rate in Fort Mill School District third- and fourth-graders (source: Eat Smart, Move More York County).
Instead of food treats, teachers can offer to let a student be a special helper, have extra recess, choose a book to read to the class, sit next to the teacher, or have a sticker. I don’t make a demand, and I don’t want my children to be treated differently from the other students. I am very aware that adults who are providing the food treats are well meaning. I find that the teachers respond positively, and since they are still establishing classroom routines, they are pleased to know parents’ preferences up front. I highly appreciate and respect the teachers, principals and PTA/PTO and want my children and all students to have the best, healthiest, in-school experience possible.
As a member of the Eat Smart, Move More York County coalition, I am aware of how important it is to speak up to promote our children’s health.
Elizabeth W. Duda, Tega Cay
The Herald, August 20, 2015
Letters to the Editor