Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Because of time and financial constraints, I haven't been to Whole Foods in a while. I'm back to picking up regular peanut butter and enriched wheat bread at our local grocery store. We are far from perfect, and I'm okay with that.
I make the girls' lunches four times a week and they eat from the cafeteria once a week. That's as much for my convenience as anything, since I usually don't feel like making them lunches for the next day on the nights when I have a PTA meeting. I could (and should) investigate more what's happening in their school's cafeteria, but for now, I'll leave that to Jamie Oliver.
The girls' lunches generally consist of a sandwich, a piece of fruit or cereal fruit bar, carrots or veggie chips, and string cheese/trail mix/gingersnaps from the organic aisle. Not the best, not the worst. Again, I'm okay with that.
I'm raising girls, and while healthy eating is important, I also need to be aware of not focusing too much on weight issues. My girls are not in any danger of becoming obese; they dance regularly which is just as much exercise as a soccer game, they run around regularly (sometimes too much, if you ask me), they love to swim, jump and hike. Their physical fitness is not a concern.
Having said that, I want to be sure that they are happy with their bodies. I don't want to say no to ice cream because it's fattening, I say no because it's not healthy. And I don't always want to say no. We don't actually have any ice cream in the house right now, but I do sometimes throw in a piece of candy or goldfish crackers in their lunch. And I sometimes say yes to requests to buy Oreos or donuts. They know I'm not going to buy them every trip, they know I'm going to limit their intake, but I figure, I don't want them "dealing" sandwiches for cookies at lunchtime either, so I can't say no all the time.
I was horrified last year when Riley told me that one child has her mother bring her McDonald's at lunch about 3 times a week. That is excessive. That is not convenient to drive to a McDonald's and drop it off at lunch time, it's not wallet friendly, and it's certainly not teaching a child any sort of self-discipline. That's not balanced.
But I also don't think it's balanced to try and withhold everything processed from our children. The more control we parents try and hang onto, the more out of control our children will feel. To me, what's most important in parenting is remembering that the goal is to raise adults that love themselves enough to make the right decisions.
Sylvia suffered from picky eater syndrome for a long time, and I think it was a control issue more than anything else. She does not have free reign; she has to ask me for anything she wants for a snack when we're at home. I let her have what she wants sometimes, and sometimes I don't. And I hope that this is what she remembers when she's an adult and making these decisions for herself; making mistakes is a part of life, but recognizing them and correcting your own behavior is what really matters.
Read other posts on school lunches at the Yahoo! Mother Board.
Posted by April at 8:48 AM