Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Parental No: I Can't Believe What They're Feeding Kids in Illinois & What the Heck is "Treat Thursday"?

Looking at elementary school menus like this one I wonder how it's possible there are any healthy kids out there.

Honestly. If this is what schools can rationalize serving elementary school aged kids - in Illinois in this case - well then clearly society as a whole is broken.

But it's worse than just Bosco sticks (stuffed bread sticks from local pizza place) with pizza dipping sauce, BBQ ribs on a bun, Nachos Supreme, stuffed crust cheese pizza, hot dogs, mini corn dogs, cheese burgers and meatball subs. This particular photo was kicked my way by a concerned dad. He's been allowing his kids to have one hot lunch a week and this month their school initiated "Treat Thursdays" where hot lunch was accompanied by cookies, Rice Krispie squares and other treats.

Here's what he had to say, but before you read it, consider that treats aside, by means of what's being served to children in their cafeteria, that school is teaching those kids that fast food is normal and healthful and that it should be consumed daily. With "Treat Thursdays" they're also suggesting that treats just because it's Thursday make total sense. Even for parents who care, like the dad who emailed me, even if they do exercise their "parental no" power, this undermines their authority and teaching on healthful eating on a daily basis and that undermining comes from a place that the children inherently trust to teach them what's what.
I'm a blog follower and concerned father of two young boys. They're constantly bombarded with messages that encourage them to eat more junk food. Imagine my disappointment when they showed me their April school lunch menu (bad enough as is) that has the new feature of a "TREAT THURSDAY" every Thursday in April. Ugh. They get to select one day a week to eat hot lunch and I'm constantly redirecting their choices as it is. Now, you can see their first choice this week- pick the meal with the cookie. Sometimes I feel like for every step forward, we take two back.