A Preschool Teacher Called This Mom’s Packed Lunches “Inappropriate” And “Disgusting”
The mom admitted the lunches are “definitely not the healthiest.”
Packing lunches is one of the most dreaded and menial tasks of parenthood. Making sure the meal is balanced and somewhat nutritious (gotta at least throw some veggies in there to make it look like we tried, right?) with some variety every single day adds up to just another mental load that becomes tiresome, especially if your kid, like many kids, is in a picky phase.
So, the last thing a mom needs is another adult giving their feedback on what is packed in the lunch, especially when the contents of the lunch are completely normal.
A mom posted in Reddit’s “Am I The A—hole” forum, asking if she was in the wrong for what she packed in her son’s lunchbox after his preschool teacher commented that her food choices were “inappropriate.”
“A few hours after I picked him up from school today, I got a phone call from his teacher,” she wrote of her 5-year-old son. “She made absolutely no effort to sound kind when she, in an extremely rude and annoyed tone, told me to stop packing my son such ‘disgusting and inappropriate’ lunches.”
She notes that the phone call came as a shock considering that — up until this point — she and the teacher had a cordial relationship.
“She added that the lunches I’m packing my son are ‘very distracting for the other students and have an unpleasant odor.’ I told her that I understand her concerns, as the lunches I pack are definitely not the healthiest, but the lunches are according to my son’s preferences.”
The 34-year-old mom then details what kinds of foods she’s packing in her son’s lunch, which includes celery sticks with blue cheese and goat cheese, kimchi and spam, and spicy Doritos marinated in Sriracha.
She adds that they are Korean and while some of the foods she packs may be unconventional to others, at her home, they are staples.
Despite this preschool teacher’s attempts to get her to switch up her son’s meal, the OP did not back down and pretty much told this preschool teacher “sorry not sorry.”
“I ended the call by saying that I very much appreciated her worries, but that at the end of the day, I am not going to drastically change my sons’ lunches all of a sudden, and that it’s not my fault if other students are ‘distracted’ by his meal. It is very important to me what my son enjoys, and I want him to like my lunches,” she wrote.
This response was not satisfactory for her son’s preschool teacher, who said the mom’s response was “unacceptable” and that his lunches are “just too inappropriate to be sent to school any longer.”
The mom ended her post by sharing she’s at a loss for what to do next, inquiring if she is in the wrong.
Reddit users quickly chimed in, reassuring the OP that she was definitely not in the wrong when it came to this lunch debacle and this preschool teacher is definitely the one who needs to check herself.
One user noted that this preschool teacher could probably take some sensitivity training lessons, noting that by calling a food that is from a different culture “disgusting” is coated in racial biases. Several other users agreed that the teacher’s comments and word choice about the food came off as as culturally insensitive.
“We had kids of all ethnicities and never once did I think their lunches were disgusting. In fact if anything I was slightly jealous. :)” one user noted.
“I figured this was either going to be a) an ‘unhealthy’ lunch like a big batch of chips or a bunch of candy or b) racist ‘we don’t like your ethnic food.’ It was clearly the second,” another noted.
Another echoed, “But ‘kimchi smells, that's inappropriate’ is bs. Have you ever smelled cheddar, salami, or other western smelly foods? Those wouldn't be banned from a school. This is racist bs. OP is very much NTA.”
Another suggested this mom — who is definitely not the a—hole — take this issue to higher-ups at the preschool to help resolve the issue.
They wrote, “Unfortunately, I have seen too many posts on the internet of white people gagging at food from other cultures and cuisines that my mind immediately went there. It is a peculiar kind of racism that people get away with, or even think is funny, way too often.”
“NTA, OP. Go to the principal, or school board. Or both.”