February 22, 2006

You ate WHAT?

globeandmail.com : You ate WHAT?

Enabling parents to track eating and spending habits seems at first to be a good idea. If you have a child with health issues, allergy issues, and the like, it would be handy.

On the other hand, school is to prepare children for real life. Buying lunch, making their own food choices is part of that. I would rather my kids figure out that a candy bar and coke doesn't leave them feeling so hot at 1:30 when they are in school and will have a nutritious dinner, than waiting until they have left home and have the candy bar, coke, then ramen or some such college food followed by a few beers.

I tend toward teaching my kids moderation in all foods rather than putting some off limits and others as especially good for you. They seem to be well-rounded eaters (that aren't too round). We talk a lot about healthy food choices, about food choices in general, about balance between food and exercise. This probably happens a great deal because of my work and partner's work and then of course because my kids are foodies.

The other issue is whether enough parents will restrict foods that it won't become a caste issue where children will be teased if their parents won't let them have the brownie or chips.


Eljae said...

I totally agree. W and I have long conversations about TJ's diet and our views on giving him "junk food" in moderation. We're not opposed to him eating a cookie, chips or french fries on occasion, but we are opposed to making an every meal thing out of sugary or overly salty foods with little nutrition. None of the four grandparents understand this and I was even told by two of them (one maternal, one paternal) that they didn't understand why TJ couldn't have a whole cookie after each and every meal at 12 months old. I think getting him a good start now on good food choices will mean he will understand quickly that a candy bar and coke do not a decent lunch make. And therefore a system like the one in the news article is really a moot point. I do, however, like the idea of using the system to flag foods that children might be allergic to. Most children I know with food allergies are pretty aware of what they can and cannot eat, but it's also nice to have a fail-safe in place.

sassymonkey said...

I always find these things interesting. In my elementary school we were simply not allowed to have junkfood. If we brought it to school it was confiscated. There were no vending machines. The caf didn't really offer a hot lunch other than soup (Fridays were hotdog days though and once or twice a year there would be pizza day). Their main seller was milk. There was also yogurt, cheese and crackers and at least one year, soy beans.

I just thought that this was the way it was for all schools. I didn't find out otherwise until university.

Jr high and high school was different and my typical lunch was pop and a bag of chips. Sometimes fries and gravy! lol I did eventually, after have access to a car (we were allowed to leave school grounds) move to having lunch at a local bakery where we got healthier subs and (non-greasy) pizza. Still not exceptionally healthy but better than it was.

Hmm I'm hungry now after thinking about food.