No, I don’t think young students should bring soda and Cheetos to school in their lunch.
Yes, I do think that schools should provide fresh, balanced, healthy meals for their students who want or need to buy lunch at school.
Yes, I think that a lot of parents should receive help in understanding the nutritional needs of their children.
Yes, I do think that childhood obesity is linked to the poor eating habits and diet quality of kids.
But no - certainly not - do I think parents should be stripped of their right to parent their kids.
Here's the article that inspired this post. From Confessions of a Farm Wife :)
This article sparked a lot of emotions in me. The first was fury. I can’t imagine someone telling me that I was no longer allowed to make lunch for my kids. It immediately brought to mind the time when I made brownies for Ariana (my boyfriend’s daughter), and after bringing one to school in her lunch, her teacher called Nick (my boyfriend) to ask him to please provide healthier options for her. Are you kidding me? It’s a freaking brownie. I didn't pack her lunch, but knowing Nick, she probably also had a turkey sandwich and some strawberries in her lunch; so don't lecture me about healthy options.
The second emotion (which came after talking to Panda the Baker) was understanding. As Mandy pointed out, perhaps the students in this neighborhood were bringing lunches that were the poorest of the poor quality. Perhaps their lunches were so pitiful, even the reheated, frozen meals served in the cafeteria provided more nutrients and calories. (I'd post their school lunch menu, but I couldn't find it on the school district's site.)
The third emotion was confusion. I think parents should have every right to choose for their children what’s best. But what if parents aren’t providing what’s best? Or what if, despite what they want, they are not able to provide what’s best?
And what the heck are we going to do about these school lunches? They are atrocious. But when compared to not eating a meal at all, they’re a godsend.
Thoughts? I'd love to hear.
Oh, man - this is a lot to think about. I’m considering this the fuel to my fire to fix school lunches as an RD. Maybe I'll look into family nutrition counseling, too... (Which, by the way, is a dream that is well underway - I got into the Napa State Hospital Internship! I start August 2!!)