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“Food Is Food”: Mom’s Note To Toddler’s Teacher Goes Viral, Sparking Parenting Debate
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“Food Is Food”: Mom’s Note To Toddler’s Teacher Goes Viral, Sparking Parenting Debate

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A mother decided to leave a handwritten note in her daughter’s lunchbox after her child came home complaining about a comment her teacher made at school.

Caroline, who owns Pezzi, a company that sells eating utensils for small children, took to her TikTok account to reveal her three-year-old daughter, Evelyn, had arrived home one afternoon saying her teacher instructed her to eat her lunch in a certain order—beginning with her “good” foods and ending with the “bad” ones.

Highlights
  • A mother named Caroline left a note in her toddler's lunchbox opposing her teacher's "good" vs. "bad'" food lesson.
  • Caroline's post about her daughter's lunchtime instructions went viral, sparking a debate about parenting and nutrition.
  • Many supported Caroline's view on not labeling foods as "good" or "bad," while others thought her note was "passive-aggressive."

The “good” foods referred to her sandwich and cucumber, while the food considered “bad” was her cookie.

Image credits: rawpixel/freepik

“[At] this moment, I felt a little frustrated by the antiquated instruction from the teacher,” Caroline captioned her TikTok video explaining the situation. 

“Three years old. At three years old, someone has told her that foods are good or bad.

“I am so proud that she sensed something was off – to know that was not right enough to tell me about it.”

Caroline responded by leaving a note on her toddler’s lunchbox for her teacher to see, which read, “Hi! Evelyn has our permission to eat lunch in any order she chooses. None of her foods are ‘good’ or ‘bad’—they are just food! Thanks, Caroline and Joey.”

Caroline wrote that her three-year-old daughter, Evelyn, was told to begin with her “good” foods (her sandwich and cucumber) and end with the “bad” one (her cookie)

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Image credits: pezzi.shop

Her post has been viewed over 55,000 times — with many praising the mother for standing up for her daughter and calling out the teacher over her “controlling” instructions.

“As a teacher, your response is 100 percent right. The narrative of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ food can actually encourage harmful eating habits to develop,” one person wrote.

“That’s way too controlling. No one should tell anyone in what order to eat their food. That’s their meal to enjoy,” somebody else commented.

A third user said: “As a former teacher, my thought was the parents packed their kid’s lunch with the intent they eat it; in whatever order or amount.”

“[At] this moment, I felt a little frustrated by the antiquated instruction from the teacher,” Caroline wrote

Image credits: pezzi.shop

Another user shared her experience: “As long as my daughter is full enough to concentrate, I don’t care what part of her lunch she eats first. It’s usually mostly fruit and deli turkey anyway… but she could start with Oreos for all I care.”

However, others disagreed with Caroline’s approach, writing, “I’m sure the teacher wasn’t trying to be cruel … maybe you could have talked to the teacher instead of a passive-aggressive note on your three-year-old’s lunch.”

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The mom of four responded: “I don’t think she was trying to be cruel! I don’t get to see the lunch teacher and didn’t think the note was passive-aggressive.”

Watch the mom’s video below

@pezzi.shop Here’s the story: My three-year-old came home from school yesterday, telling me that her teacher told her that she had to eat all of her “good” foods before she ate her “bad” foods. She couldn’t have her cookie before eating her sandwich and cucumbers. In this moment, I felt a little frustrated by the antiquated instruction from the teacher, but I responded saying, “Well that’s silly. There are no good foods or bad foods. Food is just food!“ I will say, this was not my internal dialogue growing up, but because of the information that I have from so many great accounts created by moms and experts, in the field of childhood and nutrition, I am armed with better responses, knowledge and practices for my kids. Three years old. At three years old someone has told her that foods are good or bad. I am so proud that she had sensed something was off – to know that was not right enough to tell me about it. We talk about it all the time at home… If you only eat carrots or broccoli your body won’t have protein it needs to grow strong muscles. If you only eat chicken, your body won’t have enough energy to do things like run and play all day long. We need little bits of everything to make sure that we are able to learn and play and grow all day long. So to the accounts that make sure we have the words, knowledge and confidence to write the note and practice it at home, I thank you, thank you, thank you. It has changed our family for the better. What you do and what you share is so important to young families. #kidsnutrition #kidseatincolor #solidstarts #kidfood #babyledweaning toddlers moms babies family @Jennifer Anderson, MSPH RD @Feeding Littles @Kacie Barnes, MCN, RDN @Food Science Babe ♬ It’s All Right I Got Ya Baby – Neon Dreams

The businesswoman also mentioned that she has been “armed with better responses, knowledge, and practices” for her children after learning about the “great” information from fellow mothers and experts in the field of childhood and nutrition.

We talk about it all the time at home… If you only eat carrots or broccoli, your body won’t have [the] protein it needs to grow strong muscles. If you only eat chicken, your body won’t have enough energy to do things like run and play all day long,” she wrote.

“We need little bits of everything to make sure that we are able to learn and play and grow all day long.”

To pack a healthy lunchbox, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recommends filling half of your child’s plate (or lunch box) with colorful fruits or vegetables (aim for two to three different types), one-quarter with whole grains, and the remaining quarter with healthy proteins.  

Healthy fats and a small amount of dairy (if desired) round out a tasty meal that will fuel an active, healthy lifestyle, the public health school states.

Caroline’s approach sparked mixed reactions on social media

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cufyelilmo avatar
acey-ace16 avatar
Ace
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Isn't that the case for >90% of TikTok though? I mean, I only see the ones that get highlighted here on BP, but it sure looks that way to me.

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nofearinlove avatar
zeljkoklaric78_1 avatar
Bernd Herbert
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Apparently. And looking at the obesity all across the world actually, not only the US, many people should have had teachers like that

Load More Replies...
confred78 avatar
Marlowe Fitzpatrik
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Uh, yes, at least in Germany, kindergarden-teachers are, in fact, nutritionists. Okay, maybe not exactly, but they get training about nutritioning and are actively encouraged to teach children about healthy foods. And yes, it does matter what the child eats first, because most kids love sweet stuff and don't love non-sweet stuff and might just eat the cookie - and nothing else. And that is NOT healthy. Parents are not nutritionists either and they very often are simply wrong when it comes to child-development. they also very often underestimate the amount of sugar in cookies. If they don'T want the kid to be taught about bad and good food, maybe don'T put a cookie in the lunchbox. Put something with more nutritional value, like sweet fruits or a low-sugar joghurt. Or live with the fact that kids might be told to first eat the bread and then eat the snack. They can eat what they want once they're older - at least put a healthy foundation first.

kathy_1 avatar
Kathy
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Did you even look at the photo of that child's lunchbox? If you had, you would have seen that it contained: sliced strawberries, a small mandarin, cucumber sticks, what appears to be a foil-wrapped sandwich - and one small biscuit. Even if that child had only eaten that one small biscuit for lunch that day and nothing else - which seems unlikely, given that it was her lunch time and she was probably hungry by then - it would hardly have been the health disaster that you have built it up to be! Now, if that lunchbox has contained nothing but a packet of biscuits - that might well constitute an unhealthy home diet, but that's clearly not the case. The "healthy foundation" you mention is clearly there. The teacher's job is to ensure that the child has healthy nutritional options provided, not to decide what choices the child opts to make. Not all parents are uneducated morons, and not all teachers are the "child-development experts" they believe themselves to be.

Load More Replies...
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cufyelilmo avatar
acey-ace16 avatar
Ace
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Isn't that the case for >90% of TikTok though? I mean, I only see the ones that get highlighted here on BP, but it sure looks that way to me.

Load More Replies...
nofearinlove avatar
zeljkoklaric78_1 avatar
Bernd Herbert
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Apparently. And looking at the obesity all across the world actually, not only the US, many people should have had teachers like that

Load More Replies...
confred78 avatar
Marlowe Fitzpatrik
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Uh, yes, at least in Germany, kindergarden-teachers are, in fact, nutritionists. Okay, maybe not exactly, but they get training about nutritioning and are actively encouraged to teach children about healthy foods. And yes, it does matter what the child eats first, because most kids love sweet stuff and don't love non-sweet stuff and might just eat the cookie - and nothing else. And that is NOT healthy. Parents are not nutritionists either and they very often are simply wrong when it comes to child-development. they also very often underestimate the amount of sugar in cookies. If they don'T want the kid to be taught about bad and good food, maybe don'T put a cookie in the lunchbox. Put something with more nutritional value, like sweet fruits or a low-sugar joghurt. Or live with the fact that kids might be told to first eat the bread and then eat the snack. They can eat what they want once they're older - at least put a healthy foundation first.

kathy_1 avatar
Kathy
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Did you even look at the photo of that child's lunchbox? If you had, you would have seen that it contained: sliced strawberries, a small mandarin, cucumber sticks, what appears to be a foil-wrapped sandwich - and one small biscuit. Even if that child had only eaten that one small biscuit for lunch that day and nothing else - which seems unlikely, given that it was her lunch time and she was probably hungry by then - it would hardly have been the health disaster that you have built it up to be! Now, if that lunchbox has contained nothing but a packet of biscuits - that might well constitute an unhealthy home diet, but that's clearly not the case. The "healthy foundation" you mention is clearly there. The teacher's job is to ensure that the child has healthy nutritional options provided, not to decide what choices the child opts to make. Not all parents are uneducated morons, and not all teachers are the "child-development experts" they believe themselves to be.

Load More Replies...
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