Are you freakin’ kidding me? That was the first thought I had when I saw this.
So as many of you know I do some subbing from time to time at the school to help out on times that are hard to fill. My schedule is completely backwards from the world so I get the privilege of working two jobs sometimes. I do love getting in the schools though because it gives me great blog material and gives me insight into what I need to be teaching parents so they can educate their kids.
Today, I was in the fifth grade pod. I know most of you are moms so this is going to hit home for you right away.
Let me set the scene for you. It’s 5th grade Math. I am hanging out in the back of the room waiting for the kids to arrive. The kids finish sleepily slugging through the door and someone yells out
IT’S SNACK TIME.
Oh boy, did that get some excited. Two kids proceeded to get in an argument about who was going to get the milk. The bigger kid won, as is usually the case in middle school.
Since I had never taught this grade snack time took me by surprise.
My first thoughts were…
- Do these kids really need a snack at 9 o’clock, didn’t they just have breakfast around 7 or 8.
- And, are these extra calories going to do ANYTHING for these kids? Many are overweight the way it is.
Then, the true horror shows starts developing. I watch the kids as they start to pull out their snacks.
Hold on to your britches here.
Out come Cheez-its, Wheat Thins, Cheetos, Cookie Crisp, and potato skins (yes, I actually went around and wrote everything that I saw down) and to top it all off this was going to be washed down with CHOCOLATE MILK. 22 grams of sugar in that chocolate milk by the way. Yes, I stole a carton – an empty carton- from a little girl.
Let’s quick breakdown what these kids had. Take away the fancy marketing and lovely shiny packages and this is what you get…
1. Processed Nutrient Depleted Flours (its okay they added back in the vitamins and minerals afterwords….sarcasm)
2. Hydrogenated Oils (trans fat anyone?)
3. Artificial Colors and Flavors
4. Loads of Sugar
Seriously, not a single kid in a class of 25 had a vegetable, fruit, or anything ALIVE for that matter. Zero healthy fats or any significant source of protein except the milk.
What are we teaching these kids by sending them to school with unhealthy snacks? How are they expected to learn and behave when they are on sugar highs for half the day. Behavioral disorders are on the rise. Could poor nutrition be to blame?
Also, by allowing kids to snack while they work is encouraging them to over consume. This process encourages mindless eating. You know, the sit on the couch to watch tv with a bag of potato chips and all of sudden its gone syndrome. Please stop looking around no one stole your chips and no there is not a hole in the bottom of the bag.
Mindless eating is a habit that causes individuals to consume way more calories than they need because their conscious mind is consumed, no pun intended, with something else. And, most of the time these mindless foods are nutrient depleted calories to boot. If we teach kids to snack while they work then every time they start working they will start snacking.
Kids model their behavior after their parents and it all starts in the home. If you drink pop your kids are going to think its okay to drink pop. If you don’t wear your seatbelt your kids are going to think its okay to not wear a seatbelt.
If you send your kids to school with snacks like Cheetos and Cookie Crisp your kids are going to think this is just what people eat.
Your children are not going to get educated on what to eat and how to eat in school. If they do, it’s definitely not sticking, just go look at Walmart. Help the kids develop habits at a young age so they don’t have to struggle with obesity and the myriad of diseases that are associated with it later in life.
Teach them about REAL food, teach them to cook, take them to a farm to show where food comes from, and most importantly teach them how to fuel their body for a long disease free life.
If you don’t, WHO WILL?
Bonus Point: YOU might even learn a few things along the way.
If you want some ideas for a snack just “like” this article and comment on it in the section below. Lets get some healthy discussion going.
Talk to you soon