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Preschool Bans Cheese Sandwich

By paulabernstein |

Jamie Oliver’s so-called Food Revolution has gone too far in Britain where a nursery school employee confiscated a student’s cheese sandwich because it — gasp! — didn’t have any lettuce or tomato on it.

Not surprisingly, the two-year-old student broke down in tears. Wouldn’t you?

The town council supported the teacher’s decision saying that a plain cheese sandwich was not on the list of recommended healthy food for children.

I’m all for eating healthfully, but this move strikes me as just a little bit over-the-line.  If I banned cheese sandwiches in our house, my 8-year-old daughter would pretty much go hungry.

Most nutritionists agree that demonizing certain foods does more harm than good — and besides, what’s the danger in a plain cheese sandwich? Next up, they’ll be banning sandwiches with mayo. Making certain foods verboten isn’t a productive tactic for encouraging healthy eating. All it serves to do is limit food options and fill people will shame.

Thank goodness the poor tot’s mother was sensible enough to move him to a cheese-loving school where he won’t have his lunch snatched because it doesn’t pass nutritional muster. I’d hate to see how the school would react to the Nutella and peanut butter sandwiches I sometimes send with my girls for lunch.

Once the government starts taking away our cheese, who knows what’s next? Doesn’t personal responsibility and privacy come into play? I don’t want my kids’ teachers examining their lunches to ensure that they contain the proper nutritional balance (peanut butter provides protein and Nutella does have some calcium, right?)

I joke, but in reality, I am concerned about the misguided direction the so-called Food Revolution is taking this country. Limiting choices is not the answer (unless we’re talking about school lunch, but that’s a different story). I worry that we are raising a generation of kids who is fearful of food and getting fat, but doesn’t understand that a balanced diet can contain everything from broccoli to cheese and even ice cream.


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About paulabernstein



Paula Bernstein is a freelance writer and social media manager with a background in entertainment journalism. She is also the co-author of Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited.

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0 thoughts on “Preschool Bans Cheese Sandwich

  1. tlr says:

    Yeah.. that’s ridiculous. Try putting veggies on my 3 year old’s sandwiches and he definitely wouldn’t eat it. He will, however, eat some veggies on the side….. would his cheese sandwich be taken away at this preschool? That’s just crazy.

  2. Kikiriki says:

    I fully agree that this school was completely over the top. However, as a former teacher, I can attest to the fact that there are a significant portion of students who bring junk food for ‘lunch’ every single day. Every single day. And I’m talking about Doritos, cookies, jelly beans, and a soda. I was appalled. There has to be some way to discourage this type of completely horrible eating with the food police tactics of the British nursery school. I have no idea how to achieve it. Maybe someone else does…?

  3. Dave says:

    Someday I aspire to have my child’s diet consist of things other than bacon, pepperoni and chocolate almond milk, but until then I’m glad she doesn’t have to go to school and have it loudly disapproved of.

  4. carfree childhood says:

    There has to be a middle ground here. I agree banning cheese sandwiches sounds silly. Then again there are kids in my son’s class who show up to school every day with a huge bag of candy. When some parents proposed eliminating selling real poor quality ice cream every day in the cafeteria, they were accused of racism. Kids on a sugar-high especially in preschool disrupt the class and make it harder for other kids to learn. Is it possible to maintain some limits on what kids can eat in school without going overboard and holding parents to too high and, let’s face it scientifically dubious standards (what’s wrong with a cheese sandwich anyway, it can be a good source of calcium, protein and vitamin D)

  5. Jana says:

    A thought: Let the kids bring whatever they want to bring for lunch. A package of donuts, 2 Cokes, and a candy bar, whatever – I don’t care. Send all the parents a lovely memo about how the school classes are having a contest about healthy eating, or how they are encouraging kids to try new fruits and vegetables for a month, or whatever is needed to make this something that the kids/parents won’t feel is forced on them. But, don’t take the food away – from a 2 year old? Don’t they have a saying about snatching cheese sandwiches from a baby?

  6. Jenny says:

    What did they give him in replacement? Maybe I need to read the actual article to find that out. I hope they didn’t make that poor crying baby starve and watch the other kids eat while his cheese sandwich was swiped out from under him by some uptight woman on a mission.

  7. SeaOtter says:

    Throughout his three years of preschool, my son’s lunch consisted of a peanut butter sandwich and some fruit (as well as some sort of cracker for snack) EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. It’s what he wants and what he would eat. I don’t mind it but I did feel the need to justify his lunches to his teachers, lest they think we don’t at least try to feed him a variety of food.

  8. Michelle says:

    When a teacher chooses to deliberately overstep parental rights, then the teacher has opened themselves to the potential litigation of child support in my eyes. I have no issue with attempting to set precedent.

    You want the right to call the shots on what my children eat? Then pay child support. Until you do, stay off my child’s food. If you take a child’s food, then I can also construe that as abuse and theft. Given sufficient time, I will come up with more hair brained ideas to match the brainless teacher. As a parent, I will litigate you into the poor house, to make my point. Do your job as a teacher, and I will do mine as a parent.

    The teacher made a bad choice, I’ll just make some more bad ones and run it into the ground. I gave birth to my children, not some stupid misguided teacher. The teacher wasn’t reasonable, why should I be?

  9. DCMama says:

    I’m all for healthy lunches, but frankly the idea that a leaf of iceberg lettuce and a soggy flavorless hot-house tomato make a sandwich healthy just makes me crazy. There is very little in the way of healthy in either of those beyond fiber. And, making kids eat those horrible sandwich tomatoes will make them hate eating tomatoes. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid. Give kids fresh yummy taste vegetables that they’ll want to eat — AND LET THEM EAT CHEESE SANDWICHES, cheese is not poison people, it is food, food that humans have been eating for thousands of years.

  10. Marj says:

    This is ridiculous, but then again, I’m one of those psychos who cannot believe that a lot of schools will not allow children to eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. Would they also outlaw all use of honeysuckle in gardening and grooming products if I went there (as I am allergic to honeysuckle, it causes asthma attacks)? And you know what? Teaching nutrition is fine, offering healthy school lunches is great, limiting sales of junk on campus is fantastic, but enforcing good nutrition is Big Brother, as in 1984, crazy.

  11. Rebecca says:

    Sorta on topic but watch out first cheese, then Happy meals, next is ice cream, because the toys in the Happy meals make kids fat not the parents going to McD’s to get the happy meals. Place blame where it belongs. It is the parents responsibility to teach healthy eating habits, not politicians, teachers or rstaurant owners.

  12. Vegan_Mom says:

    The thin, limp leaf of iceburg lettuce and the thin, limp piece of tomato I often seen on fast “food” sanwiches are basically there for decoration. My daughter eats cheese from a local organic free range farm. (My husband is a meat eater and understands and respects my opinions which is why we have reached a compromise on the local farmed eggs and cheese and on rare occasions the local farmed meat.)Actually, our two-year-old hasn’t decided if she lies sandwiches or not. She prefers to separate them. (I do too, about halfway through, but I don’t let her see me do that.)

    The cheese sandwich might have been okay if the bread was all natural whole wheat, at least.

  13. i love both peanut butter and cheeze as the filling of my morning sandwhich.`:;

  14. jinx says:

    I don’t understand what the teacher accomplished by doing this….teach the parent a lesson by punishing the poor baby? I think I would be raising hell if I was this mom. That child is only eating what mom packed, and its not his fault.

  15. i love the taste of peanut butter but i have peanut allergy so i cant eat it”:~

  16. i have also an allergy on peanute butter but i can eat a little of it”,

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