My daughter’s private daycare enacted a policy about a year or so ago, prohibiting outside food (such as cupcakes, cookies, and other junk food) for birthday celebrations. This also applied to potluck-type celebrations like Thanksgiving lunches, and to Halloween and Easter handouts for the kids. We do have to be a little creative when planning trunk or treats and stuffing Easter eggs, but I think it is worth the battle.
Sadly, we are one of few families that actually follows this policy, despite the director’s thorough education of all parents. My daughter comes home with her trick-or-treat bag stuffed with candy, and Easter bags overflowing with chocolate eggs nonetheless. We even signed up to bring apple juice boxes for the last potluck and brought Fruitables (like V-8, half-fruit and half-veggie) juice boxes of the apple variety. They taste very similar to regular apple juice, but many kids complained and their parents got them regular juice instead.
Then, Michelle Obama rolls out this…hold up, let’s back track. I tried to google Michelle Obama’s food program (quite literally “Michelle Obama food in schools“) and had to browse through an entire page of NEGATIVE articles to get to her webpage)… Michelle Obama rolls out this “Let’s Move” program, subtitled “America’s Move to Raise a Healthier Generation of Kids.” Ooooh, let me tell you how just awful that sounds. /sarcasm
Let’s learn the facts. Nearly one in three children are overweight.
Putting health food in schools? How dare she?! But the kids won’t eat it! They’ll starve!! /sarcasm
Well, perhaps that isn’t sarcasm. Guess what my pediatrician always says? If she’s hungry, she’ll eat. Kids eat or don’t eat because we have taught them that it is acceptable. Now I’m not going to lie. My kid doesn’t like broccoli, and no, I don’t make her eat it. But, she eats pretty much any other veggie I put in front of her, and tears up a plate of green beans or peas any day.
What exactly does healthy food in schools look like? It’s simple really. It isn’t brussell sprouts or raw kale. Really.
More whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; low-fat milk dairy products; and less sodium and fat.
How disgggggusstttttingggggg! /readmymindhere
But, as if Michelle Obama hasn’t already gone too far, a Kentucky school now has the audacity to tell kids that they can’t celebrate their birthdays in the schools with cake and candy. Other items, like pencils and bookmarks are encouraged, as the school representatives claim they want to “make sure that nothing gets in the way of [their students] and their learning…food allergies or too much sugar get in the way of that” (Reutman).
I’m trying to avoid being preachy in this, because I can promise you I am far from healthy, though I wish I was a glimmering example, for all young children, especially my daughter. I eat out less than I used to, and fast food rarely sounds good to me anymore. Though my meals at home are not usually fresh, they are often low in sodium and fat and are made with oil substitutes or vegan substitutes. I am a vegetarian and my family does not eat meat (with the exception of my daughter at school) and we do balance our diet with other protein sources at home. Though I wish my diet were all fresh salads and protein smoothies, I am not that disciplined. However, we are only two months from the new year and that is definitely on my list of resolutions! Regardless, I see absolutely no reason for all the bitching about offering healthier food in the lunch line. Even if it’s not about obesity, it’s about health. Why don’t you want a healthier future for your child? Cut the sweets. Birthdays are still birthdays without birthday cake, I promise.