Voices logo round 225

Online Petition

SAY NO TO THE NANNY STATE

New Ministry of Education rules:

  • Ban healthy foods such as nuts, seeds, dried fruit and popcorn alongside less nutritious options like rice crackers and lollies.
  • Suggest grating or cooking at-risk foods such as raw carrot, apple or celery for children under the age of three.
  • Recommend finely chopping grapes, berries and cherry tomatoes.

Many health professionals, ECE teachers and parents view these measures as unrealistic, impractical overreach.  

“The Ministry of Education has gone too far by making the rules compulsory.” 

– Early Childhood Council Chief Executive Peter Reynolds.

This petition says no to:

❌ Removing parents’ rights to choose appropriate foods enjoyed by their young children.
❌ Banning healthy foods and opportunities for life skill development. 
❌ Prioritising unnecessary regulations ahead of funding for additional supervision & first aid training for ALL staff. 
❌ Creating additional workload and stress for ECE teachers, staff and caregivers.

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CONSIDER…

  • A child (or adult) could potentially choke on anything. Banning certain foods creates a false sense of security, especially when risk exists everywhere.
  • When children go to school at 5 years they eat alongside their classmates outside. Often teacher-student ratios are in the order of 1:60. Will the banning of higher-risk foods prevent the development of essential life skills and increase the risk in new entrant age groups?
  • Will these measures negatively impact vulnerable communities that already struggle to feed their children as it is?
  • Our Early Childhood Centres should receive adequate funding to ensure that safe supervision ratios can be met and that ALL staff are provided with first aid training opportunities.
  • What consequences might there be for reducing opportunities to actually chew food? Will there be impacts on facial development and speech?
  • If we buy into the risk-reduction narrative, where will it lead us? Will outside play be next on the chopping block? Outlawing glue guns after that? Anything that poses a risk – gone!? The time is now to stand up and be heard! 

REFERENCES:

https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/reducing-food-related-choking-babies-young-children-early-learning-services-dec20.pdf

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/01/ministry-of-education-s-new-food-safety-rules-for-daycare-very-unrealistic-early-childhood-ceo.html

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/12/how-ministry-of-education-s-new-food-rules-will-change-what-you-can-put-in-kids-lunchboxes.html?fbclid=IwAR2VkqjCVC5alW5A_ro-VdS5glLkOwo3wdIUca9LykzlipVncbNvqCASeHw  

 

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