Sunday, November 6, 2011

Houston We Have A Problem

My objective in writing this blog is to share my experiences with others about my path to weight loss, health and wellness.  But there is just one thing that irks me (ok this is just one of the things that irks me :-) and I find it important to share.  I may upset a few people along the way but I can't sit here and remain silent........

The other day we received a bill from my sons school saying we owed money?  To me this didn't make sense as my son takes his lunch to school except for twice a month when we let him buy hot lunch for a 'treat' (and we give him money on that day to pay for hot lunch).  My husband and I aren't a fan of the food being served in the cafeteria (insert highly processed artificially flavored, colored food full of preservatives here: chicken nuggets, frozen pizza, hot dogs etc..).

Background:  I have written a few letters to the Board of Education and attended a board of education meeting to present my unhappiness of what is being served in the school.  Some of those bones to pick for me were about the flavored milk in school, Pop-Tarts, and Fruit Loops.  Apparently the Pop-Tarts and Fruit Loops that children can get for breakfast are a 'low sugar' variety specially made by the food manufacturer - LOL!!! - (according to the food services director)
Since several people including myself have made the flavored milk a particular issue there is no more strawberry or vanilla milk but there is still chocolate along with the standard plain white milk.  So it's progress but the chocolate milk needs to go or make it a once a week treat for example.

Now back to the situation of owing money to the school.  Apparently my son was getting chocolate milk at lunch time without us knowing.  Each student has a debit card and my son had been racking up a bill.  We have since talked to him about this and the situation has been resolved.  Ironically the very next day one of my friends called me to tell me that her son had been grabbing Fruit Loops and milk in the morning after he got off the school bus (he eats breakfast at home or should I say he was withholding eating breakfast at home as he was holding out for the Fruit Loops available at school).  My friend found out about her son eating Fruit Loops because her son had a meltdown one morning at school because there wasn't any Fruit Loops available at school that morning (the school contacted her about her sons behavior/meltdown).   Unfortunately her son has dental issues and not too long ago my friend had to spend $4,000 on his teeth along with making sure he brushes 3x a day and he can't eat anything with sugar like cookies, sugared cereals dried fruit etc... Anything that will stick to his teeth including PB&J.  Putting aside the situation of our own children what about the countless other children who have to rely on the school lunch program in addition to children with special needs?  I know! -  lets feed our kids highly processed food and then ask them to sit and pay attention and retain what they need to learn in a school day.  From my own experience if I don't eat a good diet of well balanced foods my energy and mind aren't 100%.  How can we expect children who are growing to do any different?  Learning doesn't end in the classroom. How come we aren't holding the same high standards in the school cafeteria as the classroom?  Where's the disconnect?  We are teaching children at an early age this is what food tastes like.  Don't children deserve better? Or do we try to fix it later by trying to change their diets after their pallet has been accustomed to the taste of sugar?  Let's face it.  If I were a student in the cafeteria line I would pick the sugary sweet chocolate milk over the plain white milk every time.  Why?? Because I'm human and I love chocolate.... so I don't have it in my kitchen unless it's an occasional treat.... and the rest of the time I eat a really good diet of complex carbs (whole foods/whole grains), fruits, veggies, nuts, and lean proteins.  In my opinion the school cafeteria shouldn't be any different.  Our children deserve better and are counting on us.

If this is a topic that is important to you please write to your local board of education. You are a taxpayer and you don't need to have a child in the local school to voice an opinion.

What are your thoughts?



2 comments:

  1. Oh Sonya - we are totally on the same pg about this hot topic..in fact, my youngest needed to write about an 'community issue' and she chose nutrition in the school lunch/bkfast program as her topic...her homewk incl. writing to the food services mgr....haha..we will see what kind of response she gets!! She's 8 and she knows the food isn't good for her, and isn't healthy. You are more generous than me!! I give my kids a balance to draw from at the beginning of the year that wks out to one lunch/mo from the hot lunch line...when the $ runs out, it runs out...our dist. recently added an 'a la carte' menu to help supplement lost revenue - fruit leather, rice krispi treats, chocolate milk, and who knows what else!!! and they did this WITHOUT notifying schools/parents, etc. but kids came home crying b/c Joey used his milk $ to buy a rice krispie treat and now Susie is sad and crying b/c she doesn't have a rice crispie treat!! TALK ABOUT A PROBLEM!!! so...at our citizen's planning committee (which anyone can attend) it was voiced as a big problem...and then several of us joined the 'nutritional committee' in our district and I think my first meeting for this next wk sometime...and I've the read the 'policy' on nutrition and it's very lame...lots of wording that says "will meet minimal nutritional guidelines" etc...love that 'minimal' part!! oh man..don't get me started!! I agree...go to board meetings....make yourself heard...get involved and fight for your kid but ALSO for all those kids whose parents don't seem to care/know, etc. I find it ridiculous the kinds of foods served and the teachers won't even it...what does that say?? :(
    -mid

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  2. We have a problem at our school with Ice Cream on Friday. Since I posted this I found out my son got ice cream one day. I told him I wasn't happy and my next step is to pull the card in the cafeteria (each student has a card so what they purchase comes from a debit account or it's supposed to :-). Since this posting I've received some comments and there are more than just a few parents out there who have received a bill. For those who have and are reading this write to your BOE or nothing will ever change. Change has to start with us.

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