The policy basically states that in order for the Students to participate fully in the strong academic program, they need a well balanced meal. If parents choose to send a home lunch, any item out of compliance with their policy will be confiscated and the student will earn demerits. Soda of any kind, full sugar juices, chips, candy of any kind, and cookies and cakes are specifically excluded.
The shake comes into question because it falls into the “drink” category. My son has said they want the drinks to be in a clear container and the liquid to be see through if brought from home. So basically, water. I send the shake in an insulated thermal blender bottle. We do buy the powder form protein, and I mix it at home. This is 1) to prevent any messes at school; 2) if you’ve ever dealt with protein powder, you know it’s difficult to mix properly (little bit of a sensory issue, it needs to be smooth) and 3) my son is very conscious about how much artificial sugar he consumes, this powder form had less sugar per serving than the ready-to-serve bottles did like Boost or Ensure. Today, the shake was whole milk, mixed with protein powder and ice. Lunch was a turkey, mayo and cheese sandwich – baby carrots – leather fruit strip – and a Clif kids bar. The school hasn’t sent home a lunch menu, which is one of the reasons why I don’t purchase their lunch. My son is already throwing what I know he likes away 3/4th the time, why would I chance the other 1/4th by purchasing the unknown school lunch.
My son also reports that kids think he is drinking chocolate milk and it’s not “fair”. And I think therein lays the problem the school really has. My son tells them it’s a protein drink to help with his weight. But I’m sure it’s difficult for them to enforce such a strict policy when one kid is drinking what kids think is “chocolate” milk.
If he doesn’t get the shake at school, nothing happens immediately. But due to the extended school day, he’s lost a meal’s worth of calories — and after awhile that adds up. Before the shakes, he had fallen off the growth chart. With the shakes, he got back on the growth chart. When he’s at school from 7:30 – 5:00 (including bus time) Monday-Friday, I simply can’t supplement enough extra calories at home.