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Mom vs. Food

J0175582 Don’t worry, this is not another post about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. While I believe that show is probably wonderful, I have to admit I have not seen it yet. The episodes are recorded on DVR and I have been told that once I do watch it, I will never serve chicken nuggets to my children again.

Honestly, that thought thrills me.

The recent focus on school nutrition will lead to good things for our children. Not only is an international chef trying to make a difference, the First Lady is campaigning against childhood obesity, a bill is currently pending in the Senate to improve school nutrition standards, and even Pepsi-Co has pledged not to sell sugary beverages in schools worldwide.

So what is the preschool both my children attend doing in response to this march toward nutrition? Serving cookies, chips, donut holes, and full-size juice boxes at snack time.

Two weeks ago my daughter had a Donuts with Dad event. I thought it was a cute idea in response to the Muffins with Mom they held earlier in the year. In my attempt to keep my children healthy we try to eat as nutritiously as we can, but realize snacks every now and then, especially on holidays or special occasions like these, are the exception to the rule and should be enjoyed.


I picked my daughter up from school on Wednesday and asked what she had for snack. She smiled and giddily yelled “Donuts! It was Max’s birthday!” I clenched my jaw, smiled at her, asked how her day was, and on we drove. I figured Max’s mother just wanted to celebrate her child’s birthday and obviously forgot about Donuts with Dad the next night or maybe Max wasn’t attending. On Thursday, I picked Kora up from school and again asked her what she had for snack. “Donuts again!” she replied complete with huge smile and red juice mustache. I asked if it was anyone’s birthday and she said no. So in essence, the school thought it was a good idea to server preschoolers donuts for snack in the morning and then again later that evening at the Dad’s event. I’m sure it had something to do with having a surplus of donuts, but come on where’s the commonsense?

Kora and her father attended the Donuts with Dad event and each preschooler was given 3 donut holes. I know my daughter would have been over the moon with 1. So why 3? She had a wonderful time taking her dad to school and in the end that’s all that matters, but the amount of donuts my daughter consumed that week thanks to her preschool has been eating at me.

We parents are inundated every day with cautions about childhood obesity. A lot of us are doing our best to insure our children grow up knowing how to make healthy food choices. Why aren’t the schools helping us out here? I know there are a few area schools taking the initiative toward nutrition, but I also know that there are others out there who could do far better.

So I say to the preschool teacher who’s standing in the aisle of the grocery store trying to determine which box of crackers to buy the children – put down the box of bright orange ones, and buy whole wheat for once. Children are more apt to try something new while in school and if they don’t like it they’ll be home in 20 minutes anyway eating lunch. It’s little changes like these that help encourage our children to lead healthy lives in the frightening face of childhood obesity.

Original Ohio Moms Blog post. Tésa also blogs at 2 Wired 2 Tired and Westside Cleveland Mom and runs the Cleveland area family friendly events site, Kidburst. She tweets @2Wired2Tired as well.