Weight Loss Support - Attention all Parents: What can schools do to help your children to be healthier?




susie_sunshine
02-22-2006, 07:54 PM
Our schools are soon being mandated to become "Healthy Schools" I am on a committee at our school that is in charge of coming up with strategies we can implement to give kids healthy options and encourage healthy lifestyles.

What would you like to see public schools do to help your kids be healthier?


Losingitin06
02-22-2006, 07:57 PM
a variety of fruits and veggies.. like little snack packs of some celery sticks and carrots with a healthy dip... something a long that line.

if it's a cafeteria school.. where the students get served by staff i think each meal should come with an apple/orange/bananna

DeafinlySmart
02-22-2006, 08:07 PM
The problem with serving healthy food in cafeteria is presentation. As parents we know what choices to make and how to present and prepare it for our kids. Plopping some carrots on a plate is gonna do nothing for a child. Carrots and ranch will. Cheese and Crackers will. An apple won't, but Apple wedges will. Apple wedges in a FF dip would be even more appetizing. No fried foods please. There are tons of healthy foods out there. It's funny that when presented, my kids will chose the healthy snack. I promise though with what the school offers, they reject it.


ellis
02-22-2006, 08:15 PM
I'd also like to see organic foods, but I suppose that's a stretch...

NemesisClaws
02-22-2006, 09:19 PM
-Nothing fried
-no sodas (not even diet)
-no snack machines unless they are filled with healthy snacks
-no pizza's (and the reason why I say that is because kids generally get it on their own quite a bit, and the cafe always serves it very greasy, so you might as well just eliminate it)
-go with fruits and veggies, and if you can, try to have a very organic meals. I've heard of several schools going organic, so you might want to do some research there to see how they managed this, and what their budget was like.
-have make-your-own-sandwich bar, with several different breads instead of white. Could have a pita, wraps, etc.
-can have posters of foods and their benefits up on the wall. Example: milk, calcium etc.....it just be an interesting way to pass the time in the cafe.

Hope these are useful! ;)

susie_sunshine
02-22-2006, 09:43 PM
I love the make your own sandwich bar! I think my students would like that!

susie_sunshine
02-22-2006, 09:46 PM
One thing I find really frustrating is the cost difference between unhealthy food and healthy food. It costs more to eat healthy because fat and sugar are cheap! Why woud the kids spend 1.50 on 500ml of milk when they can buy 2L of coke for 99 cents?

NemesisClaws
02-22-2006, 10:03 PM
Yeah, I def see your point. Which is why, even though I'm aware of some schools going totally organic, you'll have to research into how they did it on their budget. I realize you're in Canda, so I don't know if ya'll have the same thing up there. But if kids cannot afford the meals, schools do have, oh what did they call it in my day......free meal vouchers or something? It's basically a pro/con situation. Let us know how it all turned out!

susie_sunshine
02-22-2006, 10:06 PM
my first plan is to try to get the parent council to make soup or something healthy and inexpensive once a month and donate it so we can sell it for cheap!

almost there
02-22-2006, 10:10 PM
Our school has a "hot lunch day" once a week. We get a list sent home per term with what is being served every Tuesday and the cost. You and your child decide what they want and what days and pay the amount in advance. What I like about these lunches is that they try to make them healthier for the kids than what they were serving lastyear (Taco Bell etc was on the menus lastyear)! They serve chicken wraps (whole wheat), pizza on whole wheat crust etc.. They are all whole wheat and served with apple slices and choice of chocolate milk or white milk (no pop or juice)! My daughter does not like whole wheat bread, but she hasnt even noticed or said anything to me about them serving her wholewheat

LLV
02-22-2006, 10:12 PM
Schools feed kids what they know the kids will eat. If they start plopping down carrots and apples in front of them, they know the kids will go hungry all day because they're not gonna eat that stuff.

If you want your kids to eat healthy at school, the best thing to do is pack their lunch every day.

susie_sunshine
02-22-2006, 10:16 PM
I don't know about that LLV, I'm in a high school and i's FRIGHTENING what these kids have in their lunch. My friends volunteer to do lunch duty at the local elementary school and say the same thing! Parents aren't doing a much better job feeding their kids sometimes!

DeafinlySmart
02-22-2006, 10:21 PM
Schools feed kids what they know the kids will eat. If they start plopping down carrots and apples in front of them, they know the kids will go hungry all day because they're not gonna eat that stuff.

If you want your kids to eat healthy at school, the best thing to do is pack their lunch every day.


That goes back to what I said. It's selection and presentation. Kids will eat healthy, you just can't serve it to them like you do adults.

susie_sunshine
02-22-2006, 10:24 PM
I think a big part of it is going to be educating parents... we're thinkin about having a dinner at school and inviting the parents and having them listen to a presentation about tips for feeding kids healthy foods.

My kids eat what we eat- it's not diet food, it's just part of our lives now and they don't complain at all!

readyfreddy
02-22-2006, 10:55 PM
i think there should be no fast food chains allowed in schools (ie taco belle, pizza hut etc).

i know from being in a college dorm for 4 years- the unhealthy stuff tasted the best. you can't really ruin pizza and fries but their attempts at healthy food were disasterous. you cannot used canned peas. blech. even i dont eat those. i think the focus should be on fresh, tastey food!!! presentation matters too of course. but "steamed corn" or whatever that is really mush with water isnt going to entice ANYONE to eat it.

some suggestions

baby carrots with a ff ranch dipper
apple slices and carmel dipper (not a ton of carmel! like 100 cals worth)
fresh grapes, bannanas, oranges

pita pockets (with tuna, chicken whatever!)
stir fry- low oil! with snap peas and carrots, bell peppers etc
whole wheat spagettii with red sauce and some protien- maybe tofu or chicken option


the prob with all this is that the fast, processed foods are way cheaper. even if your school wants to feed the kids better- it may not be in the budget.

desserts-
"bannana split"- half a banana with chocloate syrup, crushed peanuts and a dab of light whipped cream
jello and sf jello
fruit salad (no gross fruit either!! yummy fresh strawberries, grapes, *ripe* melon etc

and i agree - no soda!

milk, choc milk, lactaid or water!

Jeep Girl
02-22-2006, 10:59 PM
I am a school bus driver and I also work between routes as a lunch monitor.
I have worked in elementary schools & the middle school. In the middle school the students are offered a main dish like pizza, sandwich, or fish sticks/chicken sticks (baked not fried) then they get a choice of a fruit, or cottage cheese.
They can also buy either milk, or some sort of flavored water. If they want soda they have to get it out of the vending machine. A typical tray looks like this.... chicken sticks, (choice of dip) sliced apples, and some carrot sticks w/ peanut butter. Most have a milk on the tray however a soda is also bought out of the machine. When I pick up the trays while cleaning up (middle school students still don't pick up after themselves....surprise) what’s left on the tray is carrots, apples and most of the milk. On the way to finish their lunch period out doors they take their soda and buy a bag of chips. So at our school healthy foods and choices are offered. The student is the one opting for the unhealthy food. In our school district there has always been talk about getting rid of vending machines but unless it becomes some kind of a state law (yeah right) that will never happen because vending machines in the middle school & high school are the money makers. In the elementary school the ones that are eating healthy are the students bringing their lunch. They have the same choices for the most part as the middle school but they have no vending machines so most of the food that is bought is eaten. I do know that the high school offers a salad bar but according to the food service director it’s the teachers that utilize it the most.
IMO children making healthy choices starts at home. You can give them the tools to make the healthy choices and only hope they do it when they are not in your sight. I think if anything needs fixed here it’s the vending machines. I know for a fact that they can limit or turn off the machines during certain times. They do this at my middle school and high school 1 hour before school lets out so the students can't buy sodas to bring on the buses so why couldn’t they do it during lunch time (their profit margin maybe) they could also make them must healthier machines.
One of the things that concern me is something I see everyday as a bus driver. Book bags....I can't believe how heavy some of these things are I can't even pick some of them up let alone carrying them around all day.

Lynn

LLV
02-22-2006, 10:59 PM
I don't know about that LLV, I'm in a high school and i's FRIGHTENING what these kids have in their lunch.
Oh, honey, I know. My son is in Kindergarten. Here's an example of their weekly menu, as I read it right off the paper.

Monday: chicken nuggets, peas, pineapple, roll.

(my son will only touch the chicken nuggets)

Tuesday: BBQ rib, mashed potatoes, carrots, cookie.

(on these days my son packs because he won't eat any vegetables)

Wednesday: Hamburger and french fries.

Thursday: Pepperoni Pizza

Friday: Corn Dogs

Believe me, I'm struggling with trying to get my son to eat healthy foods. He used to love raw baby carrots, salad and apples. Now he'll touch none of that stuff. The older he gets, the more of the healthy foods I've fed him over the years he weeds out.

I don't particularly like the lunches they feed them at school, so I pack his lunch most days.

LLV
02-22-2006, 11:04 PM
baby carrots with a ff ranch dipper
apple slices and carmel dipper (not a ton of carmel! like 100 cals worth)
fresh grapes, bannanas, oranges
But kids don't eat this stuff. My son and his schoolmates would sit and starve all day before touching anything healthy.

And it's not like I never fed him healthy foods. I've always offered him healthy things and he used to eat them. But they get in school, learn habits from other kids, and start refusing this stuff.

Again, most days I pack my son's lunch. Because he thankfully doesn't like most of the meals the school serves. Unless, of course, it's pizza and corn dogs.

futuresurferchick
02-22-2006, 11:18 PM
Maybe some kids refuse to eat healthy, but I think that most will eventually come around if that is all that is offered. It is worth a shot at least. We can't keep drugging kids up on sugar, fat and caffeine every day at school.

I think that a Healthy School would have a lot more phys ed than most schools do. Like, every day for half an hour at least. But then I remember what nightmare gym class was for me as the overweight kid, and I think that even though it would probably be preventative in terms of obesity, it might make the lives of those kids who are already fat worse.

Maybe the answer is to introduce more sports that get kids moving without embarassing or discouraging the overweight ones. For example, hiking in a nearby wooded area (if one exists), sports that require coordination more than speed (like badminton for example), maybe some kind of martial art.... I'm sure there are tons of others. Basically things that are novel and interesting that will get kids involved, but that don't involve some kids always getting picked last or constantly losing the race.

I don't know if this is possible given the budget and location of your school, but I really think that more outdoor education is a must. Kids, especially in large urban areas are becoming completely disconnected from nature and I think that it is affecting their mental and physical health. Being in nature can improve mood, it can inspire kids when they see things they've never seen before and learning new skills (like outdoor survival or how to use a compass or pitching a tent or whatever) can instill confidence. So I think a truly Healthy School would have a lot of outdoor education, field trips and stuff like that.

Anyway there's my two cents :)

LLV
02-22-2006, 11:21 PM
Maybe some kids refuse to eat healthy, but I think that most will eventually come around if that is all that is offered. It is worth a shot at least. We can't keep drugging kids up on sugar, fat and caffeine every day at school.
Oh, I completely agree. But as long as schools keep forcing this crap down our kids' throats, there's not much we can do about it, aside from complaining to the school. And other parents HAVE complained to the school. But it hasn't done any good.

NotTheCheat
02-22-2006, 11:45 PM
There was an inspiring program on NPR a few years ago about a chef who is working in NY public schools to help kids learn to like vegetables. Now most school districts couldn't get a gourmet chef, but it does say something about how food is prepared. The article is here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1185900

Also, the NY Times recently ran a story about how the entire NY school system will no longer be serving whole milk. The really scary thing from the article was "The American Dairy Association, whose interests in milk consumption are not small, urged the city to expand its offerings of sweetened low-fat milk, which is available in vanilla and strawberry as well as chocolate. School officials ultimately rebuffed that push, but decided to keep skim chocolate milk." The American Dairy Association cares more about its own profits than the health of America's children. Very sad. That article is here (although may require free registration): http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/02/nyregion/02milk.html?ex=1140757200&en=73c2629bb1977851&ei=5070

jelynn
02-23-2006, 01:26 AM
Well, my kids are in grade school, but I don't see why this couldn't work with older kids too...
One thing they do every morning is a "health hustle". When the weather is good they do a quick lap around the perimeter of the field outside. When the weather is bad I think they put on some music and let the kids dance for several minutes.
They have taken out all the soda from the machines and only have water and fruit juice in there. Now they are even thinking about only offering smaller sizes of juice.
HTH!

ZedAus
02-23-2006, 07:58 AM
I find it very interesting to hear that you have vending machines in your schools. I'm not sure about our high schools here (but I've never heard that they have them) but I KNOW that our primary/elementary schools don't. They just make it TOO easy to not eat healthy food. Mind you, the kids still need to get money from somewhere to buy this stuff, so the parents may still have something to answer for.

Here, we have school canteens. The kids can order lunch or not. Our school has some kind of certification for being a "Healthy" canteen, but they still serve deep fried and fatty foods, so it must be pretty easy to get this certification. Don't get me wrong, they do have lots of healthy choices as well, but I feel that they should cut out the bad choices altogether. As someone said, if that is all they are offered, that is all they can choose from. If they don't like it, they can bring from home. It is harder to bring hot/fried foods from home, so that could help.

I was surprised when our canteen withdrew licorice sticks (no fat, but yes sugar) and replaced them with hash browns! How could they think that this was a healthier alternative? Not really sure about that one.

At our school we encourage "Daily Fitness". All classes should be getting out every day for a session of some kind of workout. The point is to get the kids' heart rates up for at least 10 mins. I take my class of grade 2s out every day (weather permitting) for either laps of the oval or working on the fitness track. They can work at their own pace, depending on their fitness level (which covers the overweight kids) but they MUST keep moving for that minimum of 10 mins. I increase that to 20 mins by the end of the year. Not all classes do this every day, but on some mornings we would easily have half the school out on the oval at one time doing a workout. We do have the benefit of having pretty good weather for most of the year, so schools over there may have to have a good gym or in-class aerobics session to cover this.

I have also introduced "healthy snacking" during the day in the classroom. The children are allowed to have drink bottles on their desks - only with water in them. They are also allowed to have little containers or bags with healthy snacks that they can nibble on throughout the day. People have said that kids won't eat healthy food. Well, I can tell you that I would have at LEAST 2/3 of my class bringing in snacks every day. They LOVE the idea that they can eat during class. I sent a list home of suggestions for healthy snacks and the variety that I have seen has been wonderful. I know of a grade 6 class that is doing the same thing. Other classes have Fruity Friday or some such thing, but I didn't want a special day for eating healthy food.

I introduced this idea last year because I worked out that some kids ate breakfast VERY early, and this wasn't always a sustaining meal, and they had to wait HOURS for something else to eat.

So far, the kids have been REALLY sensible with this idea and I've only had one spill on the floor, which was easily cleaned up. The food has to come in bite-sized pieces and be easily handled with little mess. So far, so good.

I LOVE the fact that schools are looking at ways to get kids to be more healthy. It should be something that comes from home, but we know that this doesn't always happen.

Oh, I also have my dietician friend come in and run nutrition lessons with the kids. It is amazing how much their lunches change after a few sessions with her showing just what is in some foods.lol

Good luck all,

Zelma

DeafinlySmart
02-23-2006, 08:27 AM
Personally I think kids WILL eat healthy food if presented right. Most school lunches are prepared in a way that I wouldn't eat it (not because it isn't healthy just because it taste and looks gross).

For the original poster. As a fundraising idea why not have one of those healthy "canteens" and open up the store for things such as cheese sticks, Gogurt, carrots and ranch (in those cute snack packs), breakfast cookie, make your own ants on a log (with a cute index card showing and explaining it), etc.

For other ideas. Our school has a separate bagel w/cream cheese and other toppings bar. We have a fruit cutting station (you know those apple slicers) with an adult doing the cutting).

Why not a smoothie line? YUM. (another fundraiser)

Why not PBJ sandwhich cut out with a shaped cookie cutter.

Muffins

Even when we have pizza day they set up a bar for it. They bake a cheese personal pizza and they put mostly veggies with some traditional stuff at the bar. Having a cute display seemed to compel the kids to want to add as many of the things as they could. If you put it on the pizza originally, they would have said "blech"

Instead of focusing on the negative of the schools, suggest the positives because change tends to be slow.

SherryA
02-23-2006, 08:28 AM
In many many ways I just wish the schools would leave my kids alone. I don't feel like it is their job to "help my kids" in an awful lot of ways that they seem to try and take on as though it were their job. As the parent, I am responsible for my children's health, not the schools. Their job is to educate. I wish they would stick to that and leave my kids alone in areas that are NOT their job. I really really get sick of the schools meddling in a lot of things that aren't their business.

It is like they are saying that my parenting of my children (or most of us parents) aren't doing OUR jobs so they feel it is up to them to take over. I've even written notes to my children's teachers and told them specifically things I may not want my children doing, for particular reasons that I have tried to explain and what I get back seems to be answers like "you don't know what you are talking about".

For instance my daughter has asthma. I have worked hard to find a solution for her problems, and we have come up with a method of dealing with it that doesn't require she use medication. It involves a particular breathing method developed by a man in Russia. It solves her symptoms in a natural way, but it requires that she not be forced to hyperventilate or exercise too strenously in such a way that will interfere with her keeping her breathing under control.

I wrote to her PE teacher and tried to explain that I didn't want my daughter being forced to run at PE for this reason. Her reply was that she has asthma too and has it under control with medicine and that running is good for her.

I as the parent don't know what is good for my daughter? I the parent who has been in a situation where I would get up with her three or four times a night helping her deal with an asthma attack so severe that it scared me, and who has helped her to get over and stop having ANY attacks without using medicine... I don't KNOW what helps and what doesn't?

I really really get annoyed with the schools. I think they overstep their place WAY too often. I think they should listen to the children's parents and not assume that they know better.

As far as what the schools can do? They can keep only healthy foods at school. Other than that they should keep their opinions about what is "best" for my children to themselves.

DeafinlySmart
02-23-2006, 08:41 AM
Working in schools and as a parent my personal frustration with healthy only policies is they restrict classroom parties and cooking lesson plans. I REALIZE we want to reteach them to like healthy things, but those things are part of our CULTURE. We should celebrate those childhood parties not get to the point where we don't have them. What's funny is our class this year decided not to have a traditional party with candy etc for valentines because we knew that all the kids were going to the after school care program (our school provides it for free) and having a all out party there AND lunch peeps gave them a cupcake and candy. We decided that it was too much and they weren't being deprived of a party (like my kids are) so we had all day of crafts and valentine activities. It was FUN. The parents complained. In my kids old school they took it so far that parents weren't allowed to celebrate the kids birthdays. I do want them to have LESS bad choices but I don't want to deprive them of so many celebrations that our culture offers.

kitkatbahr
02-23-2006, 09:44 AM
Well, I have to agree with the above posts. One thing I wish our school would do, is more P.E. time. My son is in 6th grade, public school and they only have P.E. twice a week. I think at least three times a week would be better.

As far as the food situation goes, our county is implementing better offerings, but ala carte, not as main meals. They also have vegetarian offerings. For instance, they can get a baked potatoe, they have a variety bar of fruits and vegetables available daily. They also offer turkey caesar salad, turkey or ham deli wrap w/fruit, yogurt with fresh fruit, fruit and cheese salad, or chicken wrap w/fruit on different days. They call these Daily healthy choice entrees. As for the regular menu, I don't like it at all. They offer fried chicken tenders, cheese pizza or noodle roni, tacos, mac and cheese, popcorn chicken also fried, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, roast turkey w/whipped potatoes or country fried steak and cheese sandwich. My son won't eat any of that stuff. 99% of the time, he packs a lunch. In his lunch, he eats very lean boarshead oven roasted turkey sandwiches sometimes, or mostly pbj. Also baby carrots, red seedless grapes, a 100 calorie pack of cookies, crackers, etc. his choice, a water (yes, he LOVES water), and sometimes a granola type bar thing. He eats pretty healthy. The only meat he is eating right now is the turkey once in a while. I am vegetarian, so he is mostly that as well. Sometimes, he will take money and buy off the healthy entree menu, but not often. Maybe a couple of times a year. Then he gets the baked potatoe and fruits and veggies.

He is becoming more and more conscious of the choices he makes as far as the food he puts in his body. We, as a family, take Tae Kwon Do and have been taking it since August/September. My husband and son started in August, and I in September. My husband is almost 44, I just turned 41 and my son turned 12 in December. We go between 3-4 times a week to classes. Also my son takes extreme martial arts (XMA) on Fridays so he gets an extra day of working out. That's the demonstration team. They train really hard, harder than regular classes, and he is finding out that eating right makes a huge difference in his energy level and stamina.

Another thing that I think makes a difference is that we all eat healthy at home therefore setting a good example for him. I am learning about fitness and nutrition, and taking a distance education course on it, as well as reading up on the internet etc. As I learn stuff, I pass along tidbits to my family, especially my son. We incorporate what we learn into daily living. It really makes a difference. Even when he is not with us, like when he is with his biological dad every other weekend, he is making better choices on what he eats, all on his own. He wants to be and stay healthy. He was overweight for awhile, one summer about 2 years ago, he was 10 and weighed 106 lbs! Puffy face, lots of tummy rolls, etc. He spent a good part of the summer with my sister and he and his cousin ate LOTS of junk food. He really packed on the pounds. Right after that, he went on Stratterra for ADHD and lost most of the extra weight, and then some (down to 73 pounds!) between August and July of last year. Way too much weight loss. One of the side effects of this med. So, I took him off it last August. He is now eating again and eats really healthy. He is back up to about 90 lbs but has grown taller as well. He is 1/4 inch away from the coveted 5 foot mark (tall for his age). He is lean, gaining muscles and looks really good. All the Tae Kwon Do is helping him become fit and in control of his body. Hopefully it will help him through the awkward teen years when he gets long, tall and gangly and tripping all over himself! We plan on staying in Tae Kwon Do and all have goals to reach black belt in a few years. I think it's a great family thing to do and really good for my son, who begs to go to class. He'd go every day if we let him! LOL

Kathy

Jeep Girl
02-23-2006, 12:16 PM
Has anyone noticed that kids don't play outside anymore. I know when I was a kid there were no computers, game cubes, play stations etc.... When we got home from school we did our homework ate dinner and was outside playing till the street lights came on. IMO (some) parents expect way to much from the schools which are already overcrowded, much bigger class sizes & a curriculum that there is not enough time in the day for. Teachers don't have time to teach healthy eating & physical activity and again IMO that is better left to the parents. In our school district they even drop home economics classes for computer classes.

blues4miles
02-23-2006, 01:09 PM
I'm not a parent, but I'm not too many years out of school and couldn't help but commend on this thread...

Cafeterias have always offered veggies, but they are disgusting and not fresh. Schools can't afford veggies because they are expensive and because they go bad so easily. And yes, kids won't eat them, they'll just eat chips, fried foods, and soda and move on. I think the sandwich idea was a good idea. I remember seeing kids bringing in Subway sandwiches for lunch and I just thought that was the coolest thing (I didn't have money for school lunch OR subway, so was bringing my own).

I can't believe kids now only have P.E. 2-3 times a week, but it doesn't surprise me. When I was in P.E. it was one period a day (50 mins I think?) starting with roll call by the teachers, student led warm-ups, and 4 days a week was just walking or jogging around a track. They attempted to force us to walk or jog but didn't really help us with it, and didn't encourage too many physical games. I used to play handball and things like that at break, but in high school with no "playground" your more likely to sit around with your friends or finish up homework before a class.

As for kids now being more sedentary, it's the world we live in. They are pressured into playing tightly regimented competing sports (baseball, football) that don't often have them doing a lot of physical activity but often a lot of waiting and learning strategy. By the time I got home after school I did my best to do my homework which usually took several hours and I was so exhausted there was no way I could've picked up and just played. Not to mention, there aren't neighborhood communities anymore. Kids on the same street don't know each other. As employees have started to increase commute time and work further away from work, kids now live further away from school. It would have been a 4mile walk to my high school so that was when I stopped walking to school. Videogames aren't what's keeping kids inside. TVs didn't make the baby boomers inactive and radio didn't make their parents inactive. Parents are afraid to let their children go outside and play, and often there aren't really many areas where a kid CAN go out and play. That 5ft by 5ft carefully manicured front lawn? Our houses are too close to busy streets now and backyards are getting smaller and smaller. I used to go out and ride my bike around the neighborhood but as I got older I got tired of fighting cars for the right to peddle around and we're not within walking/biking distance of any kind of park where I could ride my bike.

I don't think it's a problem with parents, I think it's a problem with society. Both working adults and studying students are overworked. Employees are putting in more overtime and taking less vacation, and students are given more homework and less playtime. Our parks and hiking trails are fewer and fewer as everything gets paved over and both adults and kids spend more time each year in the car driving to wherever they need to get to. I think society needs to place a stronger emphasis on physical activity and allow more places for it. How many workplaces have gyms? Not enough. How many children's "playgrounds" are just big dirt or grass fields with little or no equipment? Too many. Sorry I didn't mean to rant...I just think the problem goes above and beyond parents and children, and both get unfairly blamed for various aspects of it too much.

jodilynn
02-23-2006, 01:47 PM
I agree with the fact that "SOME" kids will choose healthy over unhealthy. My 9 yo son decides which day he wants to buy (he gets 1 per week) and on the other days he makes his own lunch; today he made PB&J on wheat bread, a quartered orange and 3 little girl scout cookies. On the other hand, I have a 6 yo girl who almost refuses to put anything healthy in her mouth given a choice. Of course, she eats a very healthy lunch at her montessori school, and I generally try to have afterschool snack prepared when they walk in the door so there's no arguing; but she is totally different from here brother.

Sapphireangel
02-23-2006, 02:04 PM
I live in Florida, and it is often hot here, but I also played outside as a kid, sometimes I took my dolls into the backyard. I also liked to read, I read msotly in the house, but when the weather is nice I like to read on the porch or outside. If our kids are going to play outside during the heat of summer, we need to have them wear sunblock, perhaps sunglasses and a hat to protect them from the sun. I think schools should eifnitely offer healthy foods, pizza and hamburgers is a bad idea. I agree that it is the parents duty to teach their children to eat healthy, my Mom taught me to eat vegetables and fruit, she limited my access to fattening food and sweets. In High school I was upset becasue of a drink called Fruitopia they were serving in the drink machine, it had 5% fruit juice and was filled with sugar. I started eating salads in high school becasue I was concerned about my weight, I wanted to look better.

lessthansign3
02-23-2006, 02:16 PM
Still somewhat being a kid myself, I agree that the best way to get your kids to eat healthy is to deprive them lunch money and make a lunch for them. My school, although it is a high school, serves pizza and french fries or tater tots every day as a choice. They do have a healthy salad and soup line, but I know maybe two people who actually use that line every day. I have a friend who manages to make school lunches healthy, but most kids no matter what their age would take slices of green peppers and carrot sticks over fried potatoes and pizza.

I've been bringing my own lunches to school all through junior high and high school, and I brought my lunch maybe half the time during elementary school, depending on what was served. My lunches have always been fairly balanced and healthy compared to what most kids are eating. Sure, your kids might still trade their sandwich for a slice of pizza or a lunchable, but taking extra time in the morning to make a lunch for them is worth a shot.

susie_sunshine
03-05-2006, 11:42 AM
In many many ways I just wish the schools would leave my kids alone. I don't feel like it is their job to "help my kids" in an awful lot of ways that they seem to try and take on as though it were their job. As the parent, I am responsible for my children's health, not the schools. Their job is to educate. I wish they would stick to that and leave my kids alone in areas that are NOT their job. I really really get sick of the schools meddling in a lot of things that aren't their business.

It is like they are saying that my parenting of my children (or most of us parents) aren't doing OUR jobs so they feel it is up to them to take over. I've even written notes to my children's teachers and told them specifically things I may not want my children doing, for particular reasons that I have tried to explain and what I get back seems to be answers like "you don't know what you are talking about".

For instance my daughter has asthma. I have worked hard to find a solution for her problems, and we have come up with a method of dealing with it that doesn't require she use medication. It involves a particular breathing method developed by a man in Russia. It solves her symptoms in a natural way, but it requires that she not be forced to hyperventilate or exercise too strenously in such a way that will interfere with her keeping her breathing under control.

I wrote to her PE teacher and tried to explain that I didn't want my daughter being forced to run at PE for this reason. Her reply was that she has asthma too and has it under control with medicine and that running is good for her.

I as the parent don't know what is good for my daughter? I the parent who has been in a situation where I would get up with her three or four times a night helping her deal with an asthma attack so severe that it scared me, and who has helped her to get over and stop having ANY attacks without using medicine... I don't KNOW what helps and what doesn't?

I really really get annoyed with the schools. I think they overstep their place WAY too often. I think they should listen to the children's parents and not assume that they know better.

As far as what the schools can do? They can keep only healthy foods at school. Other than that they should keep their opinions about what is "best" for my children to themselves.

The problem with that is that kids who aren't healthy- or have poor nutrition have a very very hard time learning. Your brain needs food and water to work properly. Teaching kids is hard enough when they are ready to learn... when they are hungry, or listless or tired, or mal-nourished, it's next to impossibe!

I also think that a lot of parents are teaching their kids about good nutrition and that's great! Those aren't the people who are going to have the troube adjusting to the "healthy school/healthy community concept" We need to reach those kids who eat and drink nothing but junk.

susie_sunshine
03-05-2006, 11:45 AM
Well, my kids are in grade school, but I don't see why this couldn't work with older kids too...
One thing they do every morning is a "health hustle". When the weather is good they do a quick lap around the perimeter of the field outside. When the weather is bad I think they put on some music and let the kids dance for several minutes.
They have taken out all the soda from the machines and only have water and fruit juice in there. Now they are even thinking about only offering smaller sizes of juice.
HTH!


Thanks for this idea! We're going to start doing this right after spring break with the junior high kids! Heathy Hustle- great name!

ncola
03-06-2006, 02:04 PM
I'm not a parent, but I thought I'd put in my two cents.

I disagree with the people who say "if it isn't presented right, kids won't eat it." If they're hungry enough, they'll eat it! I remember the hot lunches that kids used to get back when I was in school, and how disgusting most of them ended up being (soggy, partially uncooked chicken nuggets), but they got eaten.

As for suggestions, I like the whole make-your-own sandwich bar. Your school might also consider their portion sizes-- I remember the pile of fries and the slices of pizza our caf used to hand out! Another thing you might try is price redistribution. Maybe cut the price of healthy foods by 50 cents or a dollar and add that money to the less healthy choices. I'd also suggest getting rid of soda machines (only sell bottled water and maybe juice) and only put healthier options in the snack machines. Those are just a few little ways to help with the health problem.

purplecrush
03-08-2006, 12:10 PM
In my kids school, they have a salad bar. I didnt think that any kid would get salad by themselves, but when I went to lunch with my kids, 90% of the kids got the salad by themselves!!!! I was impressed. As I was looking around, the kids were actually eating the salad too LOL. I didnt think kids ate salads and such anymore..well besides my kids..lol

icmethinner
03-08-2006, 12:39 PM
At my children's school, there are snacks for sale right beside the cash register - the kids buy the snacks and eat that instead of their lunch. The lunch just sits there in front of them.

I say, if they must fry, NO TRANS FATS!! And they need to have much less fried food than they do! And there should be no snacks for sale in the cafeteria, unless it is like a day per week that they have cookies or something. Many of my children's friends eat a popsicle, ice cream, or bag of chips every day while their lunch sits there in front of them!

CheeseBurger&Thighs
03-08-2006, 01:32 PM
Actually I'd prefer that public schools spent more time (and money) worrying about education as a whole. Perhaps then I'd feel ok sending my kids there as opposed to private school. Textbooks, qualified teachers, the material taught is my concern. If parents are concerned, they can educate about food and health. Parents can pack healthy lunches, make sure the kids get exercise etc. Just my opinion.

la3y_un1c0rn_37
03-08-2006, 05:39 PM
You know what I would just like to see foods put together in a way that did not gross you out......gag!!!

Here they put the days meals on the morrin news and I would not eat some of the stuff they put out.......I know now why my kids come home starving

susie_sunshine
03-08-2006, 08:34 PM
Actually I'd prefer that public schools spent more time (and money) worrying about education as a whole. Perhaps then I'd feel ok sending my kids there as opposed to private school. Textbooks, qualified teachers, the material taught is my concern. If parents are concerned, they can educate about food and health. Parents can pack healthy lunches, make sure the kids get exercise etc. Just my opinion.

If parents were doing that...we wouldn't have the problem we do with childhood obesity. As a teacher, there is nothing i'd like more than to "teach the subjects" reality is that a lot of our kids are sick, they are unheathy mentally and physically and in my province anyway, the schools have been asked to step in. I'm extremely careful about what my kids eat. The last thing i want is for them to suffer with a weight problem like I did all my life.