Snack Wars

It used to be so simple.

Back in my day, what we called “snack” was a stale graham cracker and a Dixie cup’s worth of Tang. And we were GRATEFUL.

Nowadays, that’s not good enough anymore. In fact, if you, as a parent, have the audacity to show up with a snack equivalent to what you got as a kid, you will be sweetly corrected by the teacher (and then laughed at by the other parents) and admonished to “refer to the snack chart the next time.”

Wasn’t there a Everybody Loves Raymond episode about this??

With two kids in school, I am providing two different sets of children with snacks, because, apparently, a three or four year old child cannot get through a two-and-a-half hour school day without eating. And it’s not like I’m just sending snacks for Ane and Tad – when you send snack, you’re sending them for the WHOLE CLASS.

Last year was our first experience with snacks. Ane only attended school two days a week, and there were 11 kids in her class. So, we provided snack about 4 or 5 times during the school year, if you include her “birthday” snack (which were little mini cakes). And because the parents were only providing the snack that often, some people got more elaborate (i.e. expensive) than others. There was the mom who did little deli turkey rolls in toothpicks with a selection of cheddar or mozzarella cheese, and fresh fruit. She only did it once. Still, the rest of us who were providing graham cracker sticks and string cheese (which was me), were under the impression that this was SNACK, not lunch. For crying out loud, the kids are not Hobbits and don’t need “elevensies”!

THIS year, both kids, when it’s their turn to bring snack, have to bring enough to feed all the kids for the school WEEK. For Ane, that’s 3 days worth of snack food. For Tad, that’s 4 days.

Now, Ane will be slightly easier to deal with than Tad. Her snack does not require drinks (the kids get water, but you have to provide the cups), and since the teachers don’t have fridge space for snacks, her class will pretty much be eating crackers every day. That seems to be fine with the teachers, and they gave us a list of “safe” snacks. Ane’s school has a no-nut policy to protect themselves when it comes to kids with allergies.

Tad… oh, boy. Their teachers obviously have fridge space, because they are asking parents to send in a “variety of healthy options” so they can offer the kids alternatives over the week. Fresh fruit and veggies are on the list, along with crackers, cheese, applesauce, yogurt… to be provided for at least 8 children over 4 days. And they aren’t drinking water, so guess who’s going to be buying a flat of juice boxes at Costco?

The kicker is that Tad’s school stresses that they avoid nuts as well, so what is on their “recommended” list of snacks?

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I kid you not.


Anyway, guess who is going to be shopping for snack food? A LOT. And by the luck of the draw (or alphabetical order, I’m not sure which), Ane gets snack duty next week, while Tad gets it two weeks after her. Pretty early in the school year, yup.

Lucky for me, I know where the Goldfish crackers are at Costco.

6 Responses to “Snack Wars”

  1. Ressis
    September 17th, 2008 05:29

    I hate it when schools make parents provide things that are either ridiculous or should be in the school’s budget already. Thankfully for Little Cousin’s school all I have to provide food-wise is her lunch, she’s there five and a half hours. The kids do have a cracker and water snack mid-morning, but the church – where school is held – provides that.

  2. Aunt Lynda
    September 17th, 2008 08:06

    I suppose is the parent can’t afford the proper snack, some nice Liberal will come to the rescue and pay for it with a government handout?
    I think the kids would survive without snacks. There is so little teaching time as it is, why waste that 15 minutes? Give them a music lesson.
    But what do I know?

  3. Webmaster
    September 17th, 2008 08:43

    Exactly. I could understand the snack thing if they were there for more than three hours, and maybe even if the class was in the afternoon (kids can get peckish a few hours after lunch). But we’re talking ‘morning’, people! They’ve just had breakfast, if they’re home before noon they can survive without a snack!

  4. Captain
    September 17th, 2008 16:38

    Send them with a jar of milk and a can of Spam.

  5. Ressis
    September 17th, 2008 19:01

    Don’t forget the brown banana.

  6. Cousin Shelley
    September 18th, 2008 10:32

    At Derek’s school, am snack time is referred to as “Brain Break”. I get a kick out of that! 🙂