Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Does this Bother You?

It bothers me. There's a story on Yahoo today about a computer system you can use to check what your kids are eating at school. And you can limit what they can or cannot eat, how often, etc. I have a couple of thoughts on this.

  1. If we don't want our kids eating crap at school, STOP SELLING CRAP AT SCHOOL.
  2. If you don't want your kids eating crap at school, and the school sells crap, pack them a lunch. Better yet, do it with them, so they can see what healthy choices are. Tell them, it's good to have some protein, some carbs, some calcium, some fruit, veggies, etc. Get them involved in the process. (Not that I do this, really, but we have talked about why I pack what I pack).
  3. If kids don't have some practice making their own food choices, when are they supposed to learn? So, if the school serves only healthy options, the kids learn within those options. If the school also serves crap, the kids learn within those options. You can discuss nutrition with your children, talk to them about healthy choices, an acceptable amount of junk to include in a 'healthy' diet, etc. But at some point, they need to be able to make their own choices.
  4. Our culture is already SO obsessed with food...do we really need to be doing this to our kids?
  5. If you have nothing better to do than spy on your kids' lunch decisions, get a life.
Sigh. Sometimes the world is too weird for me.


Pony Storm's Ride said...

J.--You are SO right. Sensible eating begins at home! Unfortunately so does goofy, fanatical nutritional information (in some households). This is one area I know from whence I speak. In 1961, when I was seventeen years old, I started screwing around with my diet and developed full-blown anorexia nervosa. (It was unheard of in males in that bygone era.) I wound up hospitalized at the UCLA Medical Center for ten months. The concept of "eating disorder" hadn't yet been formulated. To this day, I have a part of my brain that is technically, and maddeningly anorexic. I brought a lot of this on myself (my parents ate normally and didn't make a big fetish over nutrition, one way or the other), but the body-obsessed beach culture of Southern California was a strong contributing factor.
You are obviously a conscientious, practical mother, J, and I don't know diddly about raising kids.
But...if Maya comes home with accounts of new, bizarre dietary practices of her friends, its probably time for a mother-daughter talk.
Not trying to stick my old nose in your business. Keep on Bloggin', with the assurence that you are providing a service to whomever reads your timely musings.

J said...

Another thought I just had, which is if you think you're controlling what your kids eat, you're kidding yourself. What would stop your kid from getting a friend to get them a brownie if they want it? Kids are smarter than big brother...so let's teach them to be normal, and leave it at that.

Pony Storm, your story breaks my heart. Eating disorders can be so devistating to a family, so hard on a person, and to have to go through that when the disease was almost unheard of, certainly in men, must have been so scary for you and your family. I'm glad you came out of it, at least mostly. Stories like yours are one of the most frightening things about being a parent...I cannot imagine the thought of seeing my beloved daughter torture herself in that way. Or any other way, of course.

L. said...

Belated answer to unrelated question (that you asked on my blog, many days ago): getting a site meter is free, although you can pay for different added features. Just click on the site meter on someone else`s blog -- mine is at the bottom of my site -- and it should tell you how to get one if you want.
I am utterly amazed how many people have found their way to my site searching "Bratz dolls."

Maya's Granny said...

As you can imagine, when I saw this in the news I was ready to spit nails! Trying to control your kid's food is almost the surest way to drive them into sneak eating and sneak eating is central to all of the eating disorders. To bulimia and binging, and reversed as sneak starving, in anorexia. I moderate an on-line support group for women who have given up food obsessions and the number of them who have fought weight and food issues since childhood and who report parents behaving like the food police is heart breaking. And the ways they found around the restrictions are also heart breaking.