Thursday, December 13, 2007

Do 3 Year Olds Really Need Pizza Day?

My 3 year old daughter goes to pre-school 3 half days a week.

At the beginning of the year we received a letter from the school asking us for $45 to pay for her monthly pizza day.

"What's Pizza Day?", we asked ourselves.

Well, pizza day is a day where the school orders pizza for the kids and serves them that along with pretzels, cookies, juice and carrot sticks.

We didn't pay.

On pizza day we send our daughter to school with homemade pizza on a whole grain whole wheat pita, watered down juice in a sippy cup, yogurt and fruit.

And guess what, she's young enough not to care; she's 3 and peer pressure and conformity haven't really hit her yet.

I think the more important question to ask is, "Do 3 year olds really need pizza day?".

It's not as if they're going to know any different. It's not as if they wouldn't be just as happy with fruit salad day, or pita and hummus day, or simply not having a special food day that at the age of 3 teaches them about the culinary rewards of junk food. After all, they're 3 and they're simply happy to be 3. Certainly if the kids were older and they had a concept that pizza days were in fact a possibility and something to look forward too I'd have an easier time with them (though I'd still have a tough time with the need for the pretzels, cookies and apple juice), but again I've got to reiterate, these kids are 3 - they're not quite forward thinkers yet.

I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't gone to the school to talk to them about it. Many of our friends' children are in our daughter's class and many of them are happy about pizza day. For them it's a day where they don't have to pack a lunch and for some a day that they're pleased because at least their children will eat their lunch that day.

I'm truly split about whether this is something worth bringing up with the school or just leaving it alone. Any thoughts out there?

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9 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:52 am

    Yoni,

    I am a new reader of your blog (catching up to all your old posts actually) and had a small laugh when I read your entry today.

    My 7 year is in first grade (Quebec). Last year was her firs year of school, and we were also introduced to pizza day. She did not have something similar in day-care.

    It was interesting to observe because I do spend a lot of time getting her lunches ready, and she often has to explain to her friends what exactly she is eating every day, and I also have to reassure her every night that she is normal (even if she eats things like humus, ratatouille, lamb stew, home made soup, chicken chili, lentils... and all the other decent nutritive home food she eats every day).

    Yes, as they grow older the peer pressure sure is there. The funny thing is that she knows prides herself with her lunches, and tries to even educate her friend in explaining what's in them exactly!

    Guess what, she didn't even want to sign up for pizza day this year, since (in her words) it's not that good anyways!

    As for my 4 year old (in day care) there is no pizza day. That will start next year (same school as my oldest girl) and I guess the same discussions will occur.

    As for your own choice, I guess my suggestion would be to keep on doing what you do. I somewhat sense it would be a loss cause raising it with the school.

    Bryan K
    Aylmer, Qc

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  2. I would say bring it up. They can do what they will with it but at least that nugget of a thought will be there. You could always suggest a healthy alternative if they really want to have a 'treat' day.

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  3. Anonymous12:34 pm

    Having traveled extensively, I know that pizza can be made in a healthy way. The major chains in the U.S. don't have a clue! If the pizza was made healthy, with allowances for parents to request a modification for their child, ie vegan, then I think it would be fine.
    Dr. J

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  4. Anonymous4:06 pm

    I can't believe that having pizza with carrot sticks and juice just one day a month is going to hurt your child. Lunch is a social time, too, and if it's fun to eat pizza with your friends, then enjoy! Sometimes having hot lunch at school just breaks the monotony of bringing lunch from home.
    Most younger children aren't ready to eat complicated foods and many aren't exposed to hummus and ratatouille just yet. If your child is, great.
    Pizza day sounds like an option here so you may certainly choose not to participate. It's all about choice here. Do what you feel is best for your child. It's not necessary to make pizza day an issue of such importance--it's just one day.

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  5. Katie Kate11:21 am

    What's so bad about pizza?! Maybe making a big deal out of it is just going to make it the forbidden fruit. Poor kids - in grade school they can't even bring cupcakes in for their birthday! Why? Because the food police have banned them!

    I love pizza and cupcakes. I don't eat them every day and I don't eat them all the time. I eat healthy (not vegan - that's not healthy) I exercise and I'm in good shape - both inside and out.

    Why all the self deprivation and self loathing? Why not enjoy what's enjoyable and let the rest of us do the same?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:26 am

      why does my kid need to eat a cupcake everytime someone has a birthday? it is not his birthday.

      if there are 30 kids in the class, that is a lot of birthdays..and easter...and halloween...and christmas, etc.

      it is not deprivation or self-loathing; it is common sense.

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  6. Beyond the unhealthy nature of most American chain pizza, what stood out to me was the price. $45 for a 3 year old's lunch? I'm pretty sure that my toddler couldn't eat $45 worth of food even if I helped him. Unless you're getting pizza with caviar, Dom in your apple juice, pretzels covered in diamonds instead of salt and gold dipped carrots....you're getting ripped off.

    *sigh* The high price of convenience.

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  7. You are very intelligent. I have been reading your blog for over an hour now. I just wanted to say thank you for trying to make a difference in the world by doing this. I just got through reading "McDonalds". You've got me hooked!

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  8. Anonymous10:30 am

    weekly pizza day, lunch lady (chicken fingers, etc) weekly hot dog day, choc milk in schools...my first year as a parent of a school aged kid has been an eye opener...

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