Copyright 2010 Out of the Box Healthcare
Looking at the recent lunch prepared for the young children on the reality show Food Revolution, let’s see how to make improvements.
Questions to ask:
- Do children this age need all that food set in front of them? Perhaps that is why so much hits the trash? Their stomach is the size of their fist and the food on their tray is the size of how many grown men’s fists; too much food!
How many calories were on that tray?? A full apple? A large burrito? There were requirements for the types of food to ‘hit the tray’, but did anyone ask about the calories, the massive amounts of food that is given
How many calories were on that tray?? A full apple? A large burrito? There were requirements for the types of food to ‘hit the tray’, but did anyone ask about the calories, the massive amounts of food that is given for each category?
- The items chosen were too large for the kid’s small hands and mouth. Did you see them try to manage the burrito? Did you see the whole apple?
The hands are small, but did anyone remember about the teeth of these children? From the age of five to thirteen, teeth are coming and going. Baby teeth and permanent teeth eruption throughout the entire mouth is a constant struggle for a child to find a place of peace to eat food that is hard or crisp. Their gums hurt, they have pain and swelling from six to eight months prior to the baby tooth wanting to become loose and falling out to one year for the permanent tooth to fully erupt. There are twenty baby teeth and 32 permanent teeth, therefore, there is always something moving around in their mouth.
The burrito is considered a full serving for an adult who is on a diet in most health conscious arenas. This is an indication that the burrito is high in calories and perhaps for a child, it may be too much for them.
- How much time is there for lunch and how fast do they have to eat all that food? At that age it is a social time first and eating is a secondary activity.
Small hand food like appetizers would have them clearing their plates. They think small and like to graze. Two of this, three of that and it is all gone. That is how many mothers have raised their children, ‘just one bite of this and then you can have that, two more bites of that’. They know the drill; you forgot the drill, Jamie. Ask the companies who make cutters for fruits and other foods for donations. An apple that is considered a fruit that has to ‘hit the tray’, can be sectioned and sprinkled with Vitamin C to retain the color and they can take slices. Now they can chew it. No matter how many teeth they have swinging in the breeze.
- Jamie had trouble with the women in the kitchen complaining about getting the food out with limited kitchen help. Yep, opening cans, boxes, bags of prepared food is much easier and quicker for the women, got it; easier on the thought process too.
The children are getting help and eating better at school, but when they come home from school, the parents have been to the fast food places and continue with their old habits. Enlist the parents to help in the kitchens. Have them help. In return for the help, you can feed three parents per day for lunch. Believe me, it won’t kill the school system, if you are throwing away the food, you can find the ways to give out less in portions, have the right items there and feed three mothers a day. It will make a change in the parents as they see what is really important. The parents will take that message back to their homes and friends. If the kitchen cop does not want the help, guess she needs the day off.
These are just a few ideas to help schools make changes in their food programs. Parent involvement is essential if the children are to succeed in making life long changes. There are requirements of providing certain types of food for the young children, such as healthier items, rather than the junk food for the high school, why?? Perhaps the school system has just skewed its version of what it will allow to fulfill those requirements. Why?? We feed our babies fortified formula, perfect jarred baby food or home cooked items, then the kids start to demand what they will eat and we begin to ‘let’ them? Who is in control? Why? Then as we age, we may become ill and decide that we have to change something in our life. Our diet, oh no. Drugs, surgery, drastic medical treatments, and other diseases leave us screaming for the medical community to save us, fix us and rescue us from the damaged body now in distress. Think back, way back, did you, as a participant in your own health of your body, take care of yourself, give yourself all the nutrition and good things you should have, did you keep yourself from harm, did you protect yourself from danger, did you keep things away from you that may harm you?? Think, think way back, think to yesterday, think to last year, think, so, who was in control?? Who was stamping their foot and demanding? Who was filling that fridge? Who was giving the dollar at the checkout counter? Who was driving the car at the take out counter? Who was sitting in the back seat? Think…