14 July 2008

The Shocking Case of the Cheese Sandwich

Sonny Ma-Jiminy is loving kindy, even though it's been a challenge for me to get everything right.

The Cheese Sandwich Incident reminded me how tricky it is to be a kindy mum.

As you might know, C&K Kindergartens everywhere have a healthy eating policy. It's great to see kids are encouraged to bring a healthy lunch, but where most kindies are a little flexible when kids bring something unhealthy, Sonny Ma-Jiminy's kindy strictly disallows even muesli bars. Okay. No thin-end-of-the-wedge stuff, I get that. Muesli bars could lead to banana muffins, and then we're all doomed.

So here are our first two principles that I need to keep in mind while packing Sonny's lunchbox:

1. C&K Kindergartens' Healthy Eating Guidelines
2. This particular facility's No-Tolerance Policy on the above


Hard enough. But this brings me to the third directive which makes the lunchbox-packing just that little bit trickier:

3. Sonny Ma-Jiminy's Law of Lunchbox Variety.

"Sonny, would you like a vegemite sandwich in your lunchbox today?" *

"No, I had one yesterday."

"What about a banana and some yoghurt?"

"I already had that!"

"Apple and sultanas?"

"Umm, just an ice-cream thanks."

Grr.

* (Apologies to all the Americans vomiting into their mouths over this.)

The above three rules, along with the as-yet unmentioned fourth policy, conspired against Lunckbox-Packing Mummy one day recently. I had forgotten Sonny's fruit for morning tea. Panic! What should I pull out of his lunchbox to give him for morning tea? I decided on a small salad of avocado, tomato and cheese. I knew it wasn't technically on the list of allowable morning tea foods, but I had nothing else!

At the end of the day, the teacher came over to me and said it had been a great idea! With the slightly "more substantial" morning tea, he was able to manage himself better and be happy until rest time without melting down. Relief.

We decided that I would continue sending "something more substantial" for morning tea. And I thought we were on the same page.

The next day I decided that the "more substantial food" of choice should be a cheese sandwich. The teacher had said the cheese in the salad the previous day had been a good option, so I felt safe with a cheese sandwich.

But I was about to learn that there is a fourth rule that comes into play when packing my child's lunckbox.

4. The Eating-Food-at-the-Right-Time-of-the-Day Policy

You see, the cheese sandwich was the wrong thing to send as a "more substantial alternative" because cheese sandwiches are strictly a lunch food, not a morning tea food. "Shocked" was the word the kindy teacher used to describe her reaction to my mistake of sending a cheese sandwich.

Oh dear.

I read the kindy prospectus again and saw that cheese and crackers is an appropriate morning tea food, but not a cheese sandwich. It should be saved for lunch time.

On discussing this with the teacher, I learned that "something more substantial" means "avocado, tomato & cheese salad" only, not my offbeat cheese sandwich interpretation.

The conversation then derailed. She gave reasons why the healthy eating policy is a good idea and why chips, lollies and cakes for morning tea are not allowed. I was too bamboozled to remind her that I was not in fact sending chips, lollies and cakes but a cheese sandwich - a permitted food - just sending it for the wrong meal.

Help me. There are six months until the end of the year.

53 comments:

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Durn, y'all have snack police too.

Anonymous said...

I think my passing intention to never under any circumstances have children...ever... dates from your first post about Herr Hitler and the kindy SS.

Now I am even more determined - or at least determined to never, ever send my hypothetical children near a kindy. Do children easily fit into the elaborate boxes they have constructed for them? (Of course, I'm thinking metaphorical 'boxes', not that your kindy is in the business of homicide).

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I couldn't take the pressure!

Adiel said...

Oh my! That is a lot of rules! I don't think I could keep up!

I love the name of your blog by the way!
Also, thanks for the comment love. I too wish people would be kinder to shopkeepers!

Mrs. Tantrum said...

I think that you should start drinking now. A LOT.

You should also maybe request that they start a "hot lunch" there. Where you can send money and THEY can provide the "proper" foods for the "proper" meals. Then you won't have to deal with this.

Either that or put Mr. De Elba in charge of packing the meals. That way then you won't go insane, and you can blame it on the Mr. when things go wrong!

The Mom said...

Happy SITS day!

Camille; Ponytail Challenge said...

I have always wanted to come to Australia- I think I will pack my own food if I do! Happy SITS day.

LisaPetrarcaBlog said...

I love your blog...lots of INTERESTING stuff. I'm going to bed now but be back tomorrow to read more!

Congrats on being # 1 and a featured SITSta...wow today's your lucky day!

Ab said...

Love your blog. I'll have to take time and read more of it! I'll also have to figure out how to wrap my brain around the fact that y'all are in school right now...and pray that when my daughter is old enough for Kindy they don't have bizarre-o rules!

Alicia said...

Yah, that's really hard to have such a 'strict' eating schedule.

Congrats on SITS!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear Lordy, your daycare would surely have put me in the 'naughty' corner over some of the foods I've sent Maddy to daycare with previously. Fussy-Maddy-law over-rules daycare healthy food lists apparently.....

Blessed be the daycare she is now going to here in Sydney; where they have an in-house cook and all meals & snacks are provided. :)

CS's SIL

Heather said...

Oh my, that kindy teacher is a wee bit extreme. My kiddo starts kindy in the fall, in our district it is full day so we'll have the lunch issue to contend with. Being New Yorkers, though, we will not have the morning tea issue. Our public schools do no teas - neither morning, afternoon nor high. Whew! ;)

In terms of your morning tea issue, my kiddo is a big fan of things with dip..... have you exhausted the "cut up fruit with yogurt dip" and/or the "cut up veggies with ranch dressing dip" list? Oh, wait, ranch dressing - probably not on the approved "healthy" list, now is it. Especially not the whole-fat, buttermilk ranch my kiddo prefers. (And yet she is skinny as a beanpole. There is NO justice in this world. None.)

Cheers!

Sidney said...

You are one funny lady! Congrats on being SITS girl of the day!

Lane Boyz Mom said...

Congrats, Girl!!!

And now I've got that song in my head, can't even think of who sang it or the rest of the words...but the song from the 80's with VEGIMITE SANDWICH in it...what was that song? LOL

leezee52 said...

Congrats on being the SITS girl of the day!

Dena said...

Congrats on being featured today.

M said...

WOW! I don't think I could cope. I struggle with sending the class snack in twice a year. Packing a luch everyday would just be too much. I'm all for some good ole school cafeteria food.

Congrats on being the SITS featured blog :)

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Holy Hannah that's a lot of pressure on a snack...

Thank goodness for hot lunches...

ugagirl30 said...

Congrats on being featured today.

Don't you just hate schools and their silly rules? Thankfully, my son's school isn't that strict. We cannot send pre-packaged foods in their package. We must remove them and place them in ziploc bags so that the other children don't know what it is. Yeah, because kids don't recognize foods from sight, right?

KimmyJ said...

Congrats, SITSta. I have a hard enough time being creative with lunches in America where they allow anything to constitute as lunch. Shhot, free breakfast is provided in each classroom and it is nothing but a sweet, sticky, sugary mess. Sad really.

Tracy P. said...

Holy buckets! Makes me want to take my ukelele with me to pick up the kids, just in case! This American couldn't cut it at kindy.

Happy SITS day!!.

Feliz said...

Good grief. And I thought the American "no peanut policy" was hard to work around. yikes. I hope your little one is getting a rockin' education if you are having to deal with all of that craziness!

Hey! Congrats on SITS!

Memarie Lane said...

Well there's suicide and there's murder. Hmmmm.

That's funny because here in the US a food is consider healthy if it has any type of fruit, vegetable, meat, or protein. And I do mean any. I was once congratulated by a nutritionist for my "healthy" meal of pizza because it had two slices of pepperoni and a few bits of onion on it.

Breanne Vasquez said...

Congrats on SITS! Wow - they are pretty strict. My daughter is starting MDO next month an dthey have healthy eating rules also. Hope it is not that strict. Funny Blog

Lynda said...

Congrats Saucy SITSa! Well-deserved recognition :-)

Veggie Mom said...

Congrats to the SITS featured blogger! You've got a good thing goin' here, gal--I'm a gonna have a fun ol' time perusing your posts!

mrsbear0309 said...

Wow, if a cheese sandwich shocked her, she would be appalled by what's in my pantry. You have a wonderful blog and a great sense of humor. Congrats again on the SITS feature.

Bobbi said...

Congrats on being the SITS blogger of the day! Nice blog!

Deanna said...

Oh, too much pressure! Congrats on being today's SITS blog! You are GREAT!

Rene said...

First...happy SITS day!! You are already on my subscription list so I read your awesome stuff anyway.

Second...I just have to comment on this post! I could never make it with this school. If I have to remember to send food to feed this child within rules and more than once during the school day, I would be doomed! SwimBoy actually bought his lunch at school more often than not because I'm just not good at the plan ahead take your lunch kind of thing. You are amazing and that kindy should kiss your feet!!

Party of 5 said...

YIKES! I'd have to be the rebel and send in ham and cheese mini muffins. I'm crazy like that.

Dawn said...

Congrats on being the featured blog of the day! I love your blog!

tinabean1988 said...

Congrats on being the featured blog today!
There snack policy is way to much pressure for me I'd get it wrong everyday.
Great blog by the way.

Sonya said...

Wow....that's way to much pressure!

great blog and congrats on the "queen for the day" Saucy-ness! :)

ann said...

exactly why I homeschooled my young ones.

Good & Crazy said...

Hey I'm so glad you got SITS-ed!

I haven't seen ya for a while...summer vacay and all that. Plus so far I haven't 'known' anyone featured!

*High five*

Mary Anna said...

Thank goodness for my American daycare's that-which-doesn't-kill-them philosophy! My older son has just finished a phase of wanting chicken tenders and applesauce for breakfast at school. Gladly, we're back to 2 yogurts - one drinkable in the car and one regular with a special spoon at school!

Julie N said...

Ok I'm hip with healthy snacks...just that I know my kids need them...not that they eat them though! :) Too much pressure for me! I wish you all the best though in the coming months. Congrats on being today's featured SITS Sista! :)

EmmaP said...

I wonder if the "Snack Police" has rules for her hubby at home too! hahaha! Great Blog! Great Post! Thanks!

QueenofPlanetHotflash said...

Congrats On being the SITS Blog of the day!!!
Oh No! Not snack nazi's :(

scargosun said...

Are you kidding me? I know we need help up here with kids' nutrition but the snack police is a bit much.

WheresMyAngels said...

Ok, most american's have no idea how nasty that Crap Vegemite is!! I mean we all heard it in the 80's on the Men At Work Album. But to truely taste that stuff. I will never forget my jar coming in the mail. My Former Aussie friend (can't remain friends with someone who would poison me that way) sent me a jar of it. She also sent some cute little cracker sticks with little packs of veggiecrap. Cheyenne was the first to try it, to this day I can still hear her heaving. I think they make that stuff, by driving a car real fast. slamming on the brakes. Then scraping off the tar marks and putting them in a jar. Cause that is exactly what it taste like. Now if you are ever in the US, stop by Maine, were they sell a drink soda(crap in a can) called Moxie. It taste like liquid veggie mite.

Course I am a former drinker of Tab cola, and most people would say the same about it.

Katy Lin :) said...

ok, i'm sorry, but this is just a little bit crazy! i can understand recommending particular foods and nutritional advice, but seriously now!

Kelley said...

Too funny! I can't wait to come back and read more. Happy SITS Day to you!

Does Anybody Hear Me said...

First, congratulations on your SAUCY blog, fellow SITS sista!
My daughter's third grade teacher was so big on 'healthy' eating that she would not allow the children to have treats for holiday parties. All the other classes were allowed to have a party and celebrate with sugary treats. I being the rebel mother that I am, took cupcakes to class anyway! That teacher didn't like me very much. The kids sure did,though!

TheMama said...

Happy SITS day!

And as someone who once dislocated her thumb readjusting the underwire on her bra, I am very grateful for your tea towel warning. I will now be extra vigillant around those terry-cloth menaces.

You are a hoot!

ragdoll said...

Congrats on SITS day!

Enjoyed the blog.

The Boy, Sagan said...

I assure you I am a nutjob too. Love the blog! Cool to read perspective from an Aussie girl. whoo hoo, congrats on the SITS nod!

Kaza said...

Hey SITSta! Congrats on your big day! Now, on this post, WOW. I would seriously not be able to handle this, as I can barely get an even passably healthy lunch packed on our crazy mornings (I'm horribly disorganized and always forget things at the store). A bit controlling, aren't they? Good luck with that (you clearly are going to need it!)!

Jacki McHale said...

Huge congrats on being featured. I am just excited to read an Australian Mom's blog (no pressure!) I am trying to get it, but some of your slang still gets me. I just go with it, and try to make sense of some of it. (Silly American!)

Onto the blog topic. I SO wouldn't get the rules. I still don't. I get the healthy, and congrats to them for it. But the rules are enough to seriously send a mom over the edge!

I will be back, it's 10:57 at night (Tuesday night) and I am exhausted!

Jacki
SITS sister!

~Trish~ said...

Happy SITS day!!! I need to take time and catch up on your past posts, they look great!!!

Lacey in the Sky said...

Oh my goodness... you poor Aussie Kinder Moms! What a pain! I would use a cookie cutter to cut cracker size & shape pieces of cheese sandwich to send with him -just to spite that teacher! Haha! Congrats on being all "SIT"SY today! Love ur blog!

greedygrace said...

Congrats on the SITS success!

Man, there are healthy lunches in Australia, too? What a disappointment! :) But you are so totally going above and beyond! I would have thrown some carrot sticks in a bag and called it a day!