School Officials Shamed A Teenage Girl For Bringing "Too Much Food" For Lunch

Photographed by Eric Helgas.
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A small banana. Strawberries. Grapes. And a handful of dried coconut with raisins.
Sounds like a pretty reasonable lunch to us. But when a student brought this exact lunch to school one day, she was told that she had packed too much food, her mom wrote on a parenting blog.
School officials have been monitoring what the students bring for lunch every day at this girl's secondary school, her mom said in the post.
"DDs [dear daughter's] secondary school has started checking all the packed lunches at registration," she wrote. "I know lots of secondary school students buy sweets and chocolate etc on the way to school but surely at that age it's their choice."
We agree. What a person does or doesn't eat is entirely up to them, and shaming someone about their food choices isn't an effective way to help them eat more healthfully.
But the school also has a double standard when it comes to students who pack their lunch, the mom said. Her daughter was also shamed on a different occasion for packing sliced avocado because the school said "it's unhealthy." Yet, they serve things like sausage, sandwiches, cake, custards, and doughnuts in the school cafeteria.
We're not saying that those foods aren't a worthwhile choice for lunch, but they certainly aren't any healthier than sliced avocado.
Other parents shared similar stories of food shaming at their childrens' schools. "It seems ridiculous that you cant give them a fun size milky way but they can buy a triple choc cookie bigger than an adults hand span," one parent wrote in response.
In the name of health, these schools could actually be damaging kids' relationships to food as well as their body image. We hope this girl ate her "massive" lunch anyway, and continues to eat whatever she wants.

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