If you have read previous posts from me, you know that I do not rely on my children’s school to provide nutrition for them. I pack my kids a nutritious lunch every day, so that I KNOW they are eating right. However, recently, I have been letting them purchase a school lunch on Fridays as the groceries run out. “How bad could one day a week be?” I thought. It turns out, pretty bad!
With March being National Nutrition Month®, we are really focusing on eating our colors – trying to include at least 3 colors at each meal. (“Eat Right with Color”) I went to school to pick up my son early this past Friday, and he had just gotten his “lunch”. How many colors do you see on this plate? One (maybe two if you count the tomato sauce)? Oh my! They are definitely “carb loading” them on Fridays. There IS a vegetable on there, but you may miss it since it’s fried in some sort of batter – corn nuggets. While I am disgusted by this lunch, I cannot blame the school for serving cheap and fast food. It was my choice to give this food to my son that day. But now seeing it in person, I will not make that same choice again. My kids deserve the best nutrition to fuel their bodies and minds (proven to aid in better school performance!).
It is SO important to remember our children when we are embarking on a healthy lifestyle ourselves. So often I see parents changing their own lifestyles while continuing to serve their children junk and fast food. If this food is harmful for us, why would we still give it to our kids?! Learning about healthy foods, and why they are important at a young age will greatly raise their chances of being a healthy adult! It is our job as parents to be in their corner, and give them the best nutrition (along with the education) we can.
We trashed that school lunch, and instead made a wonderfully colorful meal that included a spinach and fruit (strawberries & blueberries) salad, and carrots, celery and peanut butter. A much prettier picture, and so much better for my growing kids! How many colors do you see now? 5? Yes!
I encourage all parents to take control of their child’s nutrition – after all, they are our FUTURE!