I posted elsewhere that my picky dd has a tough time getting enough fiber. At the same time she has some issues that mean we have to be really careful about her getting constipated. Most of the time if I use fibersure with her I add it to yogurt or a drink, but if I am baking I always add some to what I bake.
So in my dd's lunch there might be a seemingly junk food chocolate chip cookie. Made with whole wheat, ground flaxseed and fibersure to stealth fiber the girl. If they took that away from her she would probably be left with a fiber deficient lunch.
I agree the definition of healthy is too nebulous. Here they have banned soda machines from serving sprite, but diet sprite is ok. Really? I'd prefer my kid to not have either, but on occasion, I'd rather she have the real stuff than the chemicals. Yogurt with sugar? Kraft lunchables? PB&J with jif on wonderbread?
A whole lot of setbacks. Starting over.
I'm especially irritated by the idea that ANY food can be considered in isolation. For the treats that parents send or teachers bring on special occasions, to be frank, I couldn't care less about. It's the global "banned from the building" concept that has me more concerned - that children's lunches brought from home might be subjected to monitoring and action by the "food police" is much more disturbing. Especially when the nutritional "laws" and enforcement strategies are determines by some autocratic authority (the article doesn't mention that these changes went before the parent teacher association before going to the school board).
For Thanksgiving, I made small pumpkin muffins to take to my MIL, so I would have a reasonably healthy dessert option. What differentiates a healthy muffin from a junk food cupcake? Is a muffin a cupcake only if it has frosting? What about a sprinkling of powder sugar? Since a small cupcake has about 200 - 350 calories and muffins can be anywhere from 60 - 600 calories or more, which is a bigger health threat? "Kinda depends."
"Kinda depends" seems like a nebulous concept to make global judgements over.
I have never been overly fond of most "junk foods." I've always, even as child, preferred "real" food and "real" restaurants to fast food. I've always preferred "real" food to sweets and desserts (we only had desserts at home as part of a holiday or birthday meal). A person can become extremely overweight, without ever eating junk food. You can be a fat omnivore, whole foodist, vegetarian, or vegan. The solution is much more complex than banning cupcakes.
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)
We went to school in the 60/70's and we all brought our own lunches, which usually consisted of one sandwich and one fruit or dessert. Some more affluent students had the same only they had one fruit and one dessert (sometimes it was a cupcake) + a small drink (the rest of us drank water), but many saved one or the other for a snack. We had six kids, so on some days, we just had a sandwich, until I started working and added a fruit or dessert alternating by-daily (f/d/f/d/f).
We all walked to school each day, later they bused the 4 and 5 year olds only. We walked at least 1/4 to 1/2 mile each way to school and as my Dad likes to say, 'It didn't kill any of you!' Not one child was ever kidnapped, abused, or harmed in any way.
We had gym no less than three days a week, but usually daily; we had outside play recess twice daily, plus outside play at lunch hour as soon as we finished eating our lunch. Those who lived in the country, or who had parents working, or had a long way to walk, could eat their lunch in their classroom as we didn't have a cafeteria. We had 'no obese children' in our school; the most you might see was one or two pleasantly plump kids, as my mom called them.
Cafeterias were originally introduced to make sure all children had access to a good meal once a day; now, we have breakfasts and snacks as well. Maybe this is why we can't afford to pay for our kids books, pens, and paper anymore. This may have been a good idea that's gone bad???
I think we should go back to regular gym and outside play recesses, which our schools here are now doing again (two outside/recess/gym periods a day). It's a modern plan, combining recess, lunch, and gym together for longer periods to try to fit them in each day.
We all know very well that the occasional cupcake doesn't make someone obese ~ 'excess' food and 'no' exercise is the real cause. I think that we should go down to the parent/board meetings and tell them we want things to go back to the way they were before; that's what the parents did here, and it worked ...
Have you ever been to any type of a social situation where food is present and some of the children attending are from the "whole/natural food only, can't eat unhealthy" families? OMG, get out of their way, they are COMING THROUGH! Everything, every single item their parent's "won't" allow them to have is devoured, you can't get near the table with the food, they've even been known to walk off with the bowls/plates of the forbidden treat! At least as long as their parent's can't see them!
I'm kind of on the other side of the "argument" on this from you guys. I probably sound a little bit like a hypocrite, considering that I'm a pastry chef, but I get super annoyed at the amount of JUNK that is given to my dd (who is only in kindergarten!) at school. The "occasional" treat ISN'T occasional at all!!! By the time you add up all of the birthday treats, holiday celebrations, this festival, that festival...WOW, it's a lot of crap. Even in her preschool it was the same way. For the parties and festivals, the food tables (yes, more than one!) would be LOADED with cookies, cakes, candies, etc...and with the kids being little, the teachers would fill up a plate for them. My dd isn't much of a sweet eater, so I don't worry about her so much, but the other kids would just devour everything on the plate. I refuse to bring in more junk to add to the table, and instead will make finger sandwiches on whole wheat or fruit trays.
What is almost worse is when a parent feels they need to send home "goody bags" full of candy on top of the junk that was given in school. I just don't understand what these parents are thinking?
I grew up a very overweight child, and at that young age, I didn't know any better to not eat what was placed in front of me. It is difficult for children to learn the concept of moderation...they have something good, and they want more. Why is it that these celebrations in school have to be centered around food? Just because they always have? I don't blame schools for trying to take action and eliminate some junk.
I graduated in 2002, so my high school days were the late 90's, early 00's. Even in middle school we had open access to the soda and candy machine in the high school commons. We had pizza, Italian Dunkers (buttered garlic bread with melted cheddar on top), spaghetti and stuff of that nature twice a week, with pizza being at least three-four times a month on the menu. The most healthy thing in middle school was a side of beans now and then.
By High School, we had the Ala Carte line. This was side-by-side the regular food line, which was still pizza, Italian Dunkers, ect, but this line was the epitome of greatness to us high schoolers. We got to choose any sort of junk food imaginable that was not in the candy machines, including a range of ice cream and ice cream sandwiches. We had a soda machine like you would find in a McDonald's and a giant cookie selection featuring actual 'giant' cookies. I fondly remember the M&M and chocolate chip one as my favorite. The only limit in the Ala Carte line was the student's ability to pay. I remember my friends buying 40 dollars worth of food from it, heading over to the table and being the big shots by providing from their friends with a banquet of candy and cakes.
That wasn't even the best part.
We could go OUT. We could go out by junior year if you had a car, and hit up fast food places for the lunch hour. No joke. We would eat our whoppers in the school parking lot, sucking down our chocolate shakes before going back in. We chewed gum all day and ate candy in class. It was allowed. If the teachers started a game for a lesson, guess what? We got candy for rewards. We got snickers bars even if you didn't win. Holidays and birthdays were all the same, but with three times the candy being passed about.
Like my friends, before swimming I drank a 20 oz. of Mountain Dew in the morning before practice (school started at 8:00, swimming practice was at 6 am, just before that). The soda machine was right next to the gym and all school entrances. We didn't drink coffee, but we drank the Dew. After practice, we did the same. After school. We were the definition of junk food junkies.
Now, looking back, it's HARD. Some people can go through high school and college eating like that, but it creeps up to you after awhile. These people have never had to diet, so they don't know how. When they begin to realize they are slowly creeping up in pounds as adults, it's a shock. They backpedal and believe it can't be happening. Sure, they may appear to be average sized to most people, maybe even skinny, but these were the uber skinny teens that ate all they wanted until the day they woke up and realized they had an unforeseen problem.
Their metabolism isn't there for them anymore.
So, yeah. I'm just providing this prospective to say that this junk food in school affects ALL kids, no matter what. Even the naturally skinny ones can't fight it in the end after all that damage, and I think they end up worse because they may just never learn what damage they did to their arteries since they never 'saw' it like others. In fact, some continue today as adults, thinking they are thin and can eat how they would like indefinitely.. nevermind that heart attack right around the corner at the grand old age of 28.
1st Short Term Goal by July 1st: Drop from 154-148.
My point is that we are worrying about the birthday cupcakes (which are presumably, at most, once a week, assuming 30 people in the class) when the snack bars and cafeterias allow students to buy 40 dollars worth of crap to feed their friends at lunchtime. They are different issues.
To me, we need to focus on getting the crap served EVERY DAY out of schools...the pizza, the giant cookies, the huge sodas, the candy...and not worry so much about the special circumstance foods, like class parties, birthdays, etc. Lets face it...even if each month, your child's class threw a giant pizza, ice cream, and chocolate festival, it wouldn't do nearly as much damage as that child having a hamburger, bag of chips, and giant soda for lunch every day.
Making food "bad", even on special days, makes kids want it more, in my opinion. Saying "You can't have a cupcake, even at a class party, because its a "bad" food" demonizes it and makes kids want it more. Doesn't it make more sense to provide some healthy and some not-healthy options in class parties, and limit everyday foods to healthy stuff?
I totally agree with you! It's bad for everyone in the long run, but a few cupcakes on holidays or birthdays is not nearly as damaging as junk food everyday as a staple. They should ditch the stuff they serve daily and keep the occasional cupcakes.
1st Short Term Goal by July 1st: Drop from 154-148.