When I first defined why this blog was going to be Let’s Have Mixture, I indicated that life to me is a mixture. Truth be known there are a lot of days I just think life is mixed up, but today’s Monday Mixture got me to thinking. I received several emails over the weekend with updates of different things going on at Little Miss Mixture’s school. Combine these emails with things I have been thinking about and reading on different blogs, my head is spinning.
First off I completely forgot that March was National Nutrition Month. I bring this up because today so many people and families are focused on healthy living, yet if it were not for dietitians this month would go completely unnoticed. Sure just like most National anything they are shameless plugs for certain professions, but I like this one as it applies to everyone and most of us think about what we put in our body everyday. Yet National Cafeteria Workers Day got more publicity in Little Miss’s school than National Nutrition Month. Do not get me wrong I am all for celebrating the little things and appreciating people, but if you think about it this could just as easily be touched upon in a bigger way as the food the cafeteria workers serve is suppose to be “good for you” thus nutrition to the children and education about nutrition for the students.
Interestingly I do commend Little Miss’s school as today starts their second community project of the year and it just so happens it is a Food Drive to benefit a local organization. Why did I not think about this sooner as I would have liked to help incorporated some more pertinent nutrition information into this program. After all what good is a food drive and collecting food for those without if we are not providing the more nutritious foods for them.
As part of this event, the children are learning about “food insecurity” a term that was new to me. I am a part of the committee that is helping with the food drive at school and as a visual lesson for the children, the parents are assisting with collecting food waste during lunch in the cafeteria. How many pounds of food do you think is thrown away at a typical school each day?
I know I throw far too much food away in our house. I try very hard to make a conscious effort to eat leftovers and not over buy, but there are always the items that are not great leftovers, others that simply get forgotten in the back of the refrigerator, or the fact there are too many of things out there I want to try. So as I was reading my emails last night, thinking about this food drive, and pining through Pinterest the irony of my world occurred to me. Here I am someone who joined so many others to blog about food. Many of you probably spend your days and nights thinking about food just as I do. Yet how many of us ever think twice about the ingredients we need to try that fabulous looking item we just pinned last night or whipping up a favorite treat. I become frustrated if I cannot find a specific item and I must visit multiple stores to track it down. How lucky I really am to have the time and the means to track down that particular item. Far to often many of us never stop to think about the good in our lives, and here again it is the little things that we should be thankful for.
One last food related thought came up in my reading. It is time for another writing celebration at school. I received the “signupgenius” for the snacks for this get together. Now don’t get me wrong I was happy to see the food consist of healthy items – fruit, cheese and juice, but the fact still remains school begins at 7:30 and this writing celebration is at 8:45. On a typical day Little Miss has breakfast around 6:45am and is at school by 7:30. She has the early lunch that begins at 10:40am then they have snack early afternoon. So because I am being asked to come and read her writing and that of some of her classmates we should plan an extra snack because the children most definitely need to eat again. Snacks and our children, what are we doing? There are a lot of posts recently that speak to this topic. Two in particular I read recently. Spoonfed refers to how kids are not the problem it is the parents. I felt compelled to respond to this as I wholeheartedly agree with many of her statements.
There are a lot of views to this debate and parenting similar to how you live your life is a personal choice. However I commend you on taking a stance that it is not the children making this choice. We as parents, educators, role models must help our children decide how they want to live. I am all for letting kids be kids and yes some of my best memories as a child and an adult center around food. However most of us were raised when obesity and type 2 diabetes were not at epidemic levels in our country much less the children of our country. Rather than nit pick the type of food being served all the time, I think we need to evaluate is food needed at all!
Most all of us were served breakfast by our parents. We went off the school and had lunch and probably had a snack upon returning back home. I do not recall a friend dying of starvation yet we never had snack at school except on the rare occasion of a birthday or holiday celebration, yes it was probably a sweet and it was most likely homemade. Many days I went to an afternoon activity and I never had food or a treat or anything given to me by the activity coordinator. Why does my daughter get a piece of candy for a dance class I pay for. Yeah! you took my class today. Please! It is definitely the parents, educators, teachers, etc. that are influencing the idea all things revolve around food . Yes I too agree with many of the above statements on the type of food, but as I stated initially the problem is bigger than just food it is a way of thinking.
The other blog post I read was more specific as to the type of snack our children are receiving, but also asks the questions is a snack necessary. We as a society seem to be teaching our children that nothing occurs without food. Remember I stated in my first post many of my memories have been made around food, but in a society that is growing in size the wrong direction, shouldn’t we think about the messages we are sending about food. Check out what this mom who writes for 100daysofRealFood has to say about snacks at recreational sports. What do you think should all activities and get togethers at school and elsewhere involve food?
Monday is a mixture day and the perfect way to start the week. Remember the cereal I found at Costco, well it was a huge hit with my cereal lovers this weekend and the perfect sweet crunch addition to my Monday morning mixture of nuts and dried fruit.