Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Do 3 Year Olds Really Need Pizza Day - Part II

Longtime readers of my blog may remember my post regarding my 3 year old school's policy of pizza day.

Once a month the kids get pizza, carrot sticks, pretzels, juice and cookies.

Now as you might imagine, I'm not a particular fan of pizza day for 3 year olds as it really doesn't make much sense to me.

If the argument were made that it's for the kids I'd argue that 3 year olds would never expect a pizza day and therefore not miss it.

If the argument were made that it's for the parents I'd argue that while certainly at times harried, making your kids' lunches is one of the responsibilities of parenthood.

Nutritionally, depending on the type of pizza and other products it would not be difficult for the kids to be getting dramatically more calories and sodium than would be healthy for a single meal (sodium wise depending on the options they might exceed an entire day's recommendation)

My original post detailed my angst in choosing not to write the school.

Well my concern finally got the best of me and I wrote and I'm very pleased to say that the school was quite open to compromise and will be considering the following changes:

1. Asking the pizza place to only put on half the amount of cheese they would normally and to utilize part-skim mozerrella rather than full fat.
2. Making it policy to serve watered down apple juice (remembering that for 3-4 year olds the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a maximum daily juice consumption of half a cup).
3. Losing the pretzels.
4. Keeping the cookies (3 animal crackers per kid - certainly not worth me getting worked up).

The school also asked for help on organizing a talk for parents on what makes up healthy school lunches.

I guess the lesson learned here is that in many cases non-confrontational discussions regarding nutrition and schools may in fact yield fruitful and healthful change, and while I still don't think 3 year olds need pizza day, at least it's become a little healthier at my kids' school.

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