Every school day, parents must take part in the arduous task of figuring out what to put in their kid’s lunch. They should be applauded for even remembering to pack anything. But one mom got the opposite of accolades —she was food-shamed by the teacher for packing her 3-year-old a piece of cake. Yup, she got this note sent home because she had given her child something from the forbidden red category.
I don’t know what else is in that red category, but I’m sure it’s evil and delicious.
According to Melinda Tankard Reist (who posted the photo and is a friend of the mom), the school forbids processed cake from being sent in. But this was actually a homemade cake for one of the child’s siblings. So apparently this mom of eight wasn’t even breaking the rules!
Look: There is no doubt that our children can eat better. Many of them do consume way too much sugar, sure. But you know what’s also really important? Balance. A healthy or even somewhat healthy lunch capped off with a slice of delicious cake is not a reason to make a parent feel like garbage. In fact, occasional sweets will probably help keep the kid from becoming some kind of sugar-deprived candy addict.
Case in point: My parents hardly let me have any sugar as a kid. I was given a carob cake and a carrot cake on two separate equally miserable birthdays. And now I eat candy every chance I get.
More: Chocolate Cake in a Mug
It’s great to remind and teach kids about healthy food. My children learn about nutrition in school and we get email reminders about packing kids healthy, protein-enriched foods so they can learn and stay focused. But that’s way different from getting sent judgmental notes.
I hope that mom baked a cake and hand-delivered it to the whole class for everyone to enjoy. As long as it wasn’t a carob one.