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  1. #1
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    Default Snacks at Church - What would you do?

    I'm struggling with whether or not to say anything about this and I wanted to get some opinions from other moms. Let me preface by saying that I try to keep my kids away from fake junk food. I don't have much of a problem with them eating sweets so long as they are naturally derived. I try to limit HFCS, artificial colors and flavors, GMOs, etc. That said, I KNOW I can't completely eliminate those items from their diet. However, my older daughter is given candy at school almost every day as a treat for being good or doing well academically. This bothers me, but I haven't really said anything because it's only 1-2 pieces of candy and I don't want to be confrontational so I just let it slide. Then, at church on Sundays, they will give her a cookie during Sunday school (10am), a piece of candy or a lollipop for church (11am), and then for Children's church (the children leave during a portion of the service 11:30-12N) they get another snack. It's usually something like cupcakes, marshmallows, fruit roll ups, or some other crap. Then we have lunch after church and her appetite is spoiled. The children's ministry director knows I don't care for her to have junk food so she says they are going to try to go to healthier snacks. On one occasion, this consisted of smoothies with yogurt, strawberries, whipped cream, and a Hershey's kiss on top. Not TOO bad, but still - candy. I'm tempted to ask her if we can just cut out the snack at 11:30 since it is just before lunch and I'd personally rather feed her myself. However, I don't want to spoil it for the other kids.
    What would you do?
    Married 6-14-03
    DD #1 6-13-05
    DD #2 9-21-07

  2. #2
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    Jun 2005
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    I don't go to church, so take it with a grain of salt, but I'd be annoyed, too. I don't see why they need to have 3 separate treats in 2 hours? Also, why why why would you feed kids a junk food snack before lunch? Or any snack? What is the point of that, can the director explain her reasoning at all?

    I'd probably tell the children's ministry director that you would prefer they give them the heatlhier snack during Sunday School at 10 and then skip the snack during Children's Church. If they have a healthier snack early on, the chances are greater that they'll be able to last until lunchtime. With a cookie and candy earlier on, they're dealing with a roomful of kids on a sugar crash.

  3. #3
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    Gulf Coast
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    This happened to me. Our nursery workers were giving kids cookies and juice. These kids were under 3 and while most families feed their kids like that, we don't. We specifically asked for DS not to be fed chocolate or juice, and put it in writing. One Sunday morning, between S.School & service I went to check on him and saw him eating Oreos and Capri Suns. So I got involved. I am now head of the nursery committee and the kids get natural juice and graham or animal crackers. He's about to move up to the 'big kids' and candy is a huge no no in our house, so we're about to fight a new battle.

    The best advise I could give is to get involved more. Suggest or even bring healthier snacks.
    1+1=5! Baby #3, Aug 2012!

  4. #4
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    Aug 2005
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    Whoville
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    Are they just trying to fill time? It sounds odd that they would give so many snacks in two hours. That last snack in particular seems really big and filling. Do they do anything else meaningful during that time? It seems like in 30 minutes by the time you gave out the snack, the kids ate it and cleaned up the time is over. Maybe they just don't have any other ideas of what to do?

  5. #5
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    I'd be more upset about your child getting candy in school everyday. Once a week at church, while not great, is easier for me to overlook. But everyday at school? That is crazy! And even more bothersome that they are giving it as a reward.

    Can you volunteer to coordinate parents bringing healthy snacks on a rotating basis? Then you could stipulate what kind of snacks are acceptable.

    This coming from a mom who pushes tootsie rolls on my kids during church. Hard to chew = less noise they make.

  6. #6
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    NJ
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    I let my kids have sugar but I'd be annoyed by that amount both at school and at church. We let the kids have a snack at church but I try not to do pure sugar as that isn't going to help them sit still and be quiet during service. My son's preschool has tried to go to healthier snacks this year. The parents take turns providing snack and I've found it really easy with this list. Here are some of their ideas.
    Fruits, apple sauce, vegetables, dips, humus, yogurt, yogurt bars, cottage cheese, pudding, cheese, crackers (graham or low salt), gold fish crackers, Cheez-Its, animal crackers, vanilla wafers, pretzels, bread sticks, low sugar cereals (Kix, Cheerios, etc), granola, fruit bars, fruit newton cookies, mini bagels, rice cakes.

    Feel free to pass a copy to your leader of children's ministry & the school. I would definitely say something.
    Nancy & David 10/12/02
    Connor Ryan born 7/15/05
    Avery Elaine born 4/2/07

  7. #7
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    Jun 2005
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    Our church has a lot of children;s programs. During Sunday School, from 9:30-10:30, there is no snack. During childrens church time, from 11:30-1:00, there is a snack, which is usually goldfish crackers, graham crackers, pretzels, or something like that, plus water. When I teach I frequently bring in some apple slices or snack mix (cereal, pretzels, etc) or something like that. I think you should talk to whoever's in charge about moms signing up to bring in snacks for their kids class, or asking if you can be in charge of setting up a snack rotation, etc. Offer suggestions so they don't think you are going to be super annoying high maintenance and demand only organic locally grown asparagus or something. There are lots of relatively healthy things you could do- fruit, veggie slices, pretzels, rice cakes, crackers and PB, etc.
    DD-8, DD-5, DS-2, DD-1

  8. #8
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    Jun 2005
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    Please be careful about suggesting other parents bring in snacks. That may just lead to more junk food. Suggest a list of acceptable foods if you are going to do that. I hate all the junk food people provide for events. I know they are children and children like sweets, but dear god, it's insane sometimes. No other advice, just sympathy!
    My three sons :DS age 7 and DS age 4, DS age 2

  9. #9
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    SC
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    Thanks everyone!!

    Are they just trying to fill time? It sounds odd that they would give so many snacks in two hours. That last snack in particular seems really big and filling. Do they do anything else meaningful during that time? It seems like in 30 minutes by the time you gave out the snack, the kids ate it and cleaned up the time is over. Maybe they just don't have any other ideas of what to do?
    Here's how it usually works. Sunday school the teacher brings in home baked cookies and gives one to each child. This is at 10am and it doesn't really bother me. Then the kids get a ziploc baggie for church with a couple of crayons, an activity page, some pipe cleaners, and a lollipop. We usually take the lollipop out before we give it to her. Then for Children's Church, a different parent is asked to bring in snacks each Sunday. For instance, I was asked last time to bring in bread sliced diagonally and marshmallows so they could make angels wings with the bread and the head would be marshmallows. I asked if I could sub grapes (cut in half) for the marshmallows and it was fine. The snack usually has something to do with the lesson...but still, it is right before lunch and other parents just bring whatever. I'm considering just asking the director if we even need to do snack since it is so close to lunch, and maybe just do a craft instead.

    I'd be more upset about your child getting candy in school everyday.
    Actually, I am more upset about that. It really burns me up, but I didn't realize she was doing it until halfway through the year, and...for some reason, I don't feel comfortable at all approaching this particular teacher about it, so I figure - she has 2 more months and I will definitely make it clear to the next teacher at the beginning of the year that I absolutely do not want candy given to her on a daily basis. I'm okay with A LITTLE for Halloween or Valentines. Her current teacher actually asked for parents to bring in treats and I brought party favors instead of candy, and she has actually brought home some of the favors that I sent in. I am much more involved with the children's ministry at church, so I will suggest some of the healthy snacks that are recommended here or else suggest that maybe we cut out the snack right before lunch. Since I am irritated about it, I didn't want to come across that way and figured I'd see what you all thought here before I mention it. I'm glad to see that you sympathize!!
    Married 6-14-03
    DD #1 6-13-05
    DD #2 9-21-07

  10. #10
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    I would volunteer to help compile a listing of healthier snack foods for church, and maybe see if you can get the other parents to bring some of these foods in weekly.

    I also think that three snacks is overkill for 2 hours- definitely ask the director if they can't cut out that last snack. It will make sense and not sound nit-picky if you mention that you all have lunch right after services.


    Quote Originally Posted by kristin View Post
    This coming from a mom who pushes tootsie rolls on my kids during church. Hard to chew = less noise they make.
    What a great idea! LOL.
    US 07.17.04 DS 02.14.06 DS 02.22.08

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