In recent months, a number of reports have talked about schools in New Zealand as well as overseas enforcing "healthy guidelines" that mean parents are no longer allowed to send certain foods in their children's lunchboxes.

While the intention is good, Kiwi parents are not on board with the idea of being told what they can and cannot feed their children.

An unscientific poll on the NZ Herald Facebook page shed some light on the widely different realities in Kiwi households and raised some very good points.

The overwhelming majority of Kiwis who voted in the poll say it is none of the school's business what goes in the student's lunchbox.


More than 5800 people voted that schools should not have a say in what goes in the lunchbox while less than 900 people believe schools should enforce guidelines.

When asked "Should schools have a say on what goes in your child's lunchbox", one mother had this insightful response: "No, from a mum with a child who has autism. Nothing about my son's lunch is healthy but if it means he eats then so be it."

Should Kiwi schools have a say on what goes in your child's lunchbox?

Posted by on Monday, 5 February 2018

It's not just children with autism. Anyone who hangs around small humans for a decent amount of time knows they can be extremely fussy and strong-willed people. If a child decides on any given week that all they want to eat is Gingernuts dipped in chocolate sauce, good luck getting them to eat anything other than that.

"If the schools are paying for the students lunches then yes... if not then they need to mind their own business," another parent said on Facebook.

One Facebook user mentioned a school where it is common practice to go through each child's lunchbox individually and pick out what doesn't fit within their "healthy guidelines".

"I find that degrading to the child as the child is made to feel bad for the lunch the parent can afford. if you wanna give our kids a complex about food, your going the right way about it," the person said.

"My daughter has just started school and she came home from school and said that her popcorn was unhealthy so she didn't eat it and was very upset. I was so annoyed as the popcorn I give my daughter is homemade. Okay it's not super healthy but it's better then some stuff," another mother commented. "Teachers shouldn't be given the right to decide what is in children's lunch.... They are our children we will give them what we think is appropriate. Don't judge children for what they eatting."

A small percentage of people doesn't think some parents are responsible enough to pay nutritious lunches and thinks the school should police those.

"Some people have absolutely no idea what a child should be eating and constantly send their children to school with nothing but sugary fatty processed crap," someone said.