Saturday, December 26, 2009

Remind me where we live again?

My sister's kids attend public school. In Georgia. The state of Georgia, that is. Not the small country of Georgia that's over there next to Turkey and Russia.

The Georgia that's famous for peaches, pecans, pine trees, peanuts, red clay, Gone with the Wind, James Brown, Ray Charles, Atlanta, Savannah, CNN, TBS, Braves, Falcons, Bulldogs, The Coca Cola museum, Paula Deen and Smokey and the Bandit. That Georgia.

Not the Georgia that was once a part of the Soviet Union. Not that Georgia.

So why does the school staff monitor what the children bring in their lunch boxes? Why do they ban cupcakes and other sweet treats from class parties? Since when do the teachers and administrators get to decide what's appropriate lunchbox fodder? They've cut class parties down to twice a year, as well. Although, with nothing but pre-packaged carrots, bottled water, and treat bags full of pencils allowed, I'm not sure the kids will miss them.

Apparently the school system in my sister's county has decided that such drastic measures are necessary in order to combat childhood obesity.

Because clearly, kids are in grave danger of becoming fat from eating a cupcake with sprinkles twice a year.

Obviously obesity has nothing to do with what the munchkins are fed at home. Perhaps the problem lies in WHERE the child consumes the cookies...not in how many the child consumes? Eating sweets at school equals more calories? I don't think so. If you want a clue as to where most unhealthy eating habits are learned, take a peak at mom and dad.

When I was in school, the pickings were slim in the cafeteria lunch line. On Fridays we were served an appetizing bright red hot dog (mmm...nitrates!) on a soggy bun with a side of cole slaw. And room temperature chocolate milk. Yummy! On Wednesdays we got PIZZA! Square pizza. Limp, flavorless square pizza with a spoonful of creamed corn leaking onto it and a dried out peanut butter cookie. Sometimes, we got to bring our lunchbox with a bologna sandwich (mmm...more nitrates...and some extra sodium!) a miniature bag of Cheetos, and a Snack Pack pudding in a little metal can. Every once in a while we lucked out a got a thermos full of ravioli cooked by Chef-Boyardee!

In all my years of school no teacher ever got up, walked over to our table and peeked into our lunch boxes to ensure that we were eating nutritious meals. Moms sent cupcakes and bags full of treats for class parties and birthdays. Occasionally, somebody's mom went hog-wild and brought McDonald's or Pizza Hut for the entire class.

Do you know that there was one overweight kid in my elementary school? In all of my years at school. Only one.

Maybe this was because we were sent outside for thirty minutes of recess twice a day? Maybe it was because our mothers kicked us out the back door after school and refused to let us back in until dinner time? Maybe it was because we rode our bikes and walked to our friends' houses and played int he park? Maybe it was because we had somewhat healthy meals for dinner and breakfast at home? Maybe our moms knew some secret that kept us slim and fit? Yes, that must be it! Sneak-operatives to force kids to eat less. At my house, Mom made her famous Shake & Bake pork chops at least once a week and my sister and I would refuse to eat at all!

I had written this post a couple of weeks ago and then sat on it. Until this morning. When I came across THIS article. Banning chocolate milk? In the words of Buford T. Justice: "...that's nothing but pure and simple old-fashioned communism."

1 comment:

Kristen@nosmallthing said...

I couldn't agree more with you. Nice job. I especially loved the part where you remembered your school lunches. I think I threw up a little in my mouth.

I remember the tacos. I loved the tacos. And the wierd corn they served. It was coated with a buttery substance, and baked or something, to make it nice and chewy. We were so lucky, weren't we?!