I usually don't like to spend TOO very much time griping, 'cause I dunno...it's a waste of time. But public school offers so MUCH to complain about. I've joined enough committees over the years to know that it's every bit as helpful to site obesity statistics while knocking my head against a brick wall from the comfort of my own home as it is to join a committee, and that probably goes triple for middle school.
The school lunch program is to the Department of Agriculture as nutrition is to _______.
No, no wait, the school lunch programs were originally designed as much to get rid of extra food the Department of Agriculture had lying around as it was to make sure school children were fed. So it makes TOTAL sense that the guys whose job it is to look after farms and farmers be in charge of the school lunch program instead of...ummmm...I dunno a lot about these things but...the Department of Health maybe? Pediatricians? Nutritionists? Ummmm...let's see...who else would have the children's health as number one concern?
OH YEAH! The parents!!!!!! I mean, you'd think so, wouldn't you? But then again, I got this notice from a parent at my daughter's school which implies not only that we should encourage sugar and fat as after school snacks, but that we push them at a frantic pace:
The After School Food Sales Committee needs your help! We are looking for new volunteers to help one Friday of each month for 30 minutes. This is an easy volunteer opportunity and only requires you to show up at 3:30 one Friday of each month and frantically sell candy and sodas to students as they exit the building. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Parents in private schools are every bit as enthusiastic about proper nutrition. Years ago my kids' preschool introduced a hot lunch program the parents on the committee were certain the kids would love: McDonald's Happy Meals. They knew the kids would be excited to eat them, and it raised a little money for the school. EVERYONE was happy, especially the producers of Lipitor and Slim Fast.
A few years ago I watched my brother's kids run right past candy and gum ball machines without so much as a glance. "How'd you get away without them begging for candy?" I asked him. It was simple: "They don't know what those are."
Even my own son, who thought prunes were candy until age three, was introduced to candy machines very shortly afterward, uphill battle that it is. Now, let me go see if my kids want some chocolate dessert pizza for breakfast...