Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Teach Them Now, Or They Will Pay Later

On the way home from school on Monday Georgia was telling me about her day.  When she got to the snack time part of her day at school she told me about a certain boy in her class.

"Mom!  Zach (not his real name) in my clasth, he has a bump right here on histh eye, well he had for sthnack today a hot dog bun, but no hot dog in it.  Justht a bun with sthprinkleth!"  She said, completely amazed.  

"Wait, what?" I asked.  I had been listening to her, but thought for sure I hadn't heard her right.  A hot dog bun with sprinkles??  Plus why did she tell me about the bump on his eye?  Was that part of the story in some way?  

"He had a hot dog bun, with sthprinklth for sthnack!"  She repeated.  

I went over this again with her, "So he had just a hot dog bun and it had sprinkles inside it?"

"Yesth!" She told me.

"What kind of sprinkles? Like ice cream sprinkles?" I was trying to clarify what this kid could have been eating.  Surely a parent did not send their child to school with  a sprinkle sandwich for snack.  

"Chocolate sthprinkleth," she said.

Well if they were chocolate...I mean as long as it was dark chocolate it's healthy right?  

Yeah, so this is what a parent decided would be good for their child to snack on mid morning.  Chocolate and processed white bread.  Now I know some of you may think Georgia could have made this up, which is what I originally thought.  However, she told the exact same story to her sisters later that night and her father the next morning.  Not a bit of the story changed, she even talked about the bump on his eye to everyone, so I believe it.  I still don't know why that mattered, but for some reason she felt the need to tell us about his eye.  

Part of the reason I believe it, is because I've seen first hand what some of these kids bring for snack.  Just last week, I was in Lana's kindergarten class helping out. At snack time one of the little girls came up to me with a grocery bag.  It held all of her snacks.  Yes, I said all.  She wanted to show me that she had some kind of mango hard candy for her snack.  But that wasn't all!  She had a bag of about five Oreos, a package of those oh so healthy fruit snacks-which might as well be gummy bears, and another bag of about 3 cookies.  When I asked if she had anything healthy in there, she help up a Ziploc bag full of Lays potato chips.  And not the baked kind.  Then she informed me that she was at her dad's house the night before and he had packed her snack.  Come on Dads!  You know better than that.  I mean sure, my friend Melissa's dad used to feed her chocolate cake for breakfast when she was a kid and he would have her overnight, but don't you all know better than that now?  Is there any question why there is a problem with childhood obesity in this country?

Don't misjudge me.  It's not like my kids eat apple slices and carrot sticks all day long.  Even though those foods are usually a part of their daily diet.  They get treats sometimes.  However, they don't get treats during a time when they need to be focused and trying to learn, like at school.  They don't get treats when their little bodies haven't had anything good for them first.  Snacks for my kids are anywhere from cheese and crackers to fruit to granola bars.  If and when I do give treats it's always at the end of a meal, after they've eaten everything that's healthy for them, including broccoli.  Do they always like it?  No.  Do they complain and just want the treat?  If you know anything about Lana's eating habits you know this is an almost daily occurrence.   It sucks but I don't give in, because I want them to be healthy now and more importantly, know how to make healthy choices as adults.  This way they will live long lives, not plagued by weight problems, which can also bring on diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and any other number of health issues caused by not eating well. 

I know, I'm being preachy.  But seriously!  Sometimes I can't believe what parents give their kids.  On any given day Sonya will come home from school, with a piece of candy or other type of dessert  from a friend who had to much and shared with her.  Even if you do give your kid a dessert, they don't NEED FOUR COOKIES!!!  Sorry. 

So this is my public service announcement to you all.  Take a look at what you are feeding your kids.  No child is going to voluntarily eat all vegetables, but they should still eat some.  Does it suck to fight them on this sometimes.  Hell yes, but in the end it will be what is best for them. Isn't that all any of us wants for our kids?  The best.  So take a look at the snacks and lunch you are sending them to school with.  If it's a hot dog bun filled with chocolate sprinkles, then you get a huge fail.  Not to mention the crazy mommybloggers will write about you.  

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