This is something that has bothered me since my son was a baby. I've been dealing with it for so many years now that I think I just put it out of my mind so as not to be constantly furious
Today while browsing my new Family Fun magazine, I read about a California Mom who made homemade cookies for her child's preschool class. Yes, HOMEMADE.
Here in the sunny state of Florida, schools do NOT allow homemade food to be brought in for class snacks. At all. Every day I send my children off to school where they are offered some type of processed, sugary, fake, packaged food in the classroom. Every Day. And if you even ask about having guidelines for snacks you are considered the "problem" parent. I have been told that it would be too much of an inconvenience to ask parents to only send healthy snacks for the class. But it's o.k. to ask me to allow my child to eat it every day.
It has finally pissed me off enough to sit down and write about it. Something is seriously wrong when children are not allowed to eat food that has been made with whole food ingredients, without food coloring and added pounds of sugar or artificial sweetener, and chemical preservatives. Yet, they are REQUIRED to eat packaged food. Food MUST come pre-packaged in Florida.
Because snacks are distributed for the entire class (everyone has to be equal -don't forget). And if I make food at home that is healthy for the kids to eat during snack time, I may have accidentally dropped something in it. Or, I may a have secretly put peanuts in it endangering another student who has allergies. While on the surface these seem like logical reasons, if you really think about it, it's nuts (no pun intended).
So, rather than risk the extreme million to one chance my child might bite into a random item dropped in their food, I am expected to be o.k. with him eating carcinogens, preservatives, excessive sugar, food coloring, aspartame, and who knows what else. All in the name of "safety." Go figure.
When my kids were young I was able to get by with sending their own separate snack. Never mind that I was the "freaky" parent that didn't allow her kid to eat the fake food that was standard for all toddlers. My kids were still too little to realize they weren't eating crap. But, all too quickly, they realized everyone else was eating red, green, and blue crackers that look like fish!
I could only maintain control for so long. Finally, they became aware that they had a snack that was "different." I once had a teacher tell me that my child wasn't eating his lunch and I should send something else because he really didn't like it. Especially since the two kids next to him were having McDonald's for their lunch, complete with awesome toys and a cool box. He had been fine with his lunch until then.
Yes, yes, I know people will say I can always put my children somewhere else. And, in fact, I did just that when we lived in a large city that had other options. My son attended a preschool where fruit was the only snack eaten and there was a list of so-called "food" that wasn't allowed in lunch boxes. Along with the fact that it's just plain unhealthy, these smart teachers realized how additives and processed foods drastically affect children's behavior.
Problems with behavior, extreme obesity and disease are rampant in our country. Take a look at what your kids are being fed, people. Jamie Oliver Rock On!
Just had to vent.