Take Steps (No Matter How Small) to Change the Food Culture at Your School

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, or in our case…

organic lemon granita.

I needed to pack a snack for my child to eat during school hours.  I understand, a toothless student can only have apples so many times…whole ones, cut ones with lemon so they don’t turn brown, green ones, honey crisp, gala…i get it.  Eventually, we turn to other things like carrots, grapes and seaweed.  And then sometimes we might have weak moments and pack some goldfish crackers or a processed, mainstream granola bar.

A few days ago, I stopped packing snacks in my first grader’s backpack altogether.  No, I’m not a mean mommy.  Her designated school snack time is at the end of the school day, and she always waits until she gets into the car to eat it anyways.  Since we live a short three-minute drive away, i felt she could wait to eat REAL FOOD, like homemade flax/walnut/spelt/banana bread, edamame, or chicken vegetable soup.  Well today, we didn’t have lemonade, but homemade lemon granita…

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that we made together the day before…

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using fresh, organic lemons picked from a tree in our backyard.

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It’s the little things.

Baby steps.  Baby steps turn into more baby steps which then turn into full grown, powerful, proactive steps.  You need to push forward everyday towards better food, or the winds of the food fight will push you back.  There will always be some birthday doughnut or sucker reward from the toy chest wearing their boxing gloves when you hover in the car pick up lane.  So you need to have your gloves on too.  Float like a butterfly… sting like a bee?

I prefer the word pollinate 😉

As if going from flower to flower, float from child to child, parent to parent, teacher to teacher and give new life to our children’s old food culture by voicing your concerns.  I don’t think you necessarily need to have “an answer” or solution right away…maybe someone else can help you with that.  Maybe you’ll work it out later.  Maybe even next year, YOU will volunteer to be room mom and plan fun, creative, healthy parties. Take action and discourage iced and fried doughnuts, corn syrup treasure box rewards with red food dye #40, and frosted, sprinkled birthday treats.  Ask the Principal, PTO Head, and/or Food Service Director in a calm, concerned way why they sell junk food on a cart in the cafeteria during lunch hour.  Question why many places of education fail when it comes to teaching our kids lifelong healthy eating habits?  Go ahead and print out that school salad bar grant application and give it to the front office.

The important thing is to go out and make some noise.

Create somewhat of a buzz.

About the Author:  Amy Baker Wambold volunteers her spare time for free to further the mission of the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution as an Ambassador.  Her blog, http://www.junkfoodjournal.com, focuses on celebrating in a more healthful way with kids when it comes to parties and encourages us to track our children’s weekly sugar intake.

This entry was posted in Childhood Diabetes, Childhood Obesity, Education, Health, Healthy School Kids, Obesity, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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