Monday, June 10, 2013

Parental "No" Files: High School Track Meets

Today's guest post comes from University of Manitoba's Dr. Joyce Slater who last week dropped her 14 year old son off at a high school track meet. Judging from her email if you want your kids eating healthfully you'll either need to say "No" you can't go to the meet, or pack a lunch.
Hi Yoni - here’s another one from the “children’s foodscape”.

This morning I dropped my son off at his track meet and as we were entering the field, I noticed the “buffet” set up for the kids for the day.

The picture’s not great, but it does show the large chip display behind the sport drinks and 500ml+ juices. The red bucket had the traditional soft drinks, and on the far left were large chocolate milks. And yes, there was a flat of water bottles. Mains were “hotdogs” and “cheese dogs”. Desserts were chocolate bars, gummy candies and a cooler of cream “treats” (dairy group!!).

I expressed my dismay to which my son said “but there’s fruit and water!” I said that tiny bowl of fruit in the centre is dwarfed by all the other junk, and its main purpose is to say “hey, we have some healthy food so we’re covered off!” - to which he agreed. He also said he didn’t want the water because it was a waste of plastic. He did, however, work me down to a plain hotdog (he wanted the cheese dog - at 9:30 a.m.!)

Now, I’m not volunteering at the snack stand, and I applaud any busy parent or teacher who gives their time in the community for things my children benefit from. But talk about a mixed message we are giving our kids! Manitoba has one of the most progressive school nutrition policies in the country - guess it doesn’t apply to school track meets.

Joyce Slater