As the mother of two young children, I am concerned about the way in which schools can be treated today. A treat is no longer limited to something that is eaten during school hours. No, at school one candy can be chosen from the bag, and the rest goes home with me. I think this is a worrying development, especially since children nowadays exercise less than before and more and more children develop obesity. Over the years, we have lost our awareness of ‘normal portion sizes’. Reason enough for me to write the letter below.

Dear co-parent of a primary school child in one of the lowest groups,

My son is in group 2 of an unnamed primary school in Groningen. It strikes me that he gets treats home almost every week. Often these are cups or bags with sweets in them. From the amount of sweets he gets home from school, he can eat for a week; we hardly ever have to buy sweets ourselves, because it just doesn’t come up! I often think: “Where is the time when treating is something you do at school? Treatment is something you do in the classroom, and then eat it together”.

Children don’t have to ‘compete with each other’, often we as parents think that it has to be ‘bigger and more’ than the treat of another child. Children are less sensitive to this.

A nicely decorated treat for the class and/or a present to take home are just as much (or even more!) appreciated. And with a little smart shopping, it’s even cheaper! On sites like or you can buy treat gifts from 5 cents each. And also at the Action and HEMA are fun, affordable gifts to find.

The meaning of the word “treat” is “offer something nice, give a round”. And you also give a round in the pub and that beer does not go home with you?

I can hardly imagine that I am the only parent who is ‘disturbed’ by the amount of food that is offered at treats. I am therefore curious about your opinion on the statement below.

I also find it quite annoying that my child regularly comes out of school with sweets, but I don’t know with whom or how to raise this issue. I don’t want to be seen as a ‘whiner’, that’s not pleasant for my child either.