I have often been mocked and ridiculed over my lack of junk food offering to my children. Never do I bake without tossing in wheat germ or whole wheat flour, and trust me, I seldom bake. We don't keep chips, candy or other junk around the house. When my children are offered sugar drinks and unaltered juice, they drink as if they just trekked across the Mojave dunes.
Once in kindergarten I started to let go of the reins. I looked the other way when my daughter's fabulous teacher would pour cheese puffs and cookies onto their snack napkins. I pretended not to judge the quality of food our monthly fees were going to in support of the horrible nutrition that was most often served before lunch, leaving my daughter's lunch intact when she arrived home. I discussed with friends what our options should be. Should we just let it go and know we are doing the best job teaching healthy choices at home or should we demand that our children eat the healthy snack we packed from home? Should we offer to do the monthly snack shopping for our teacher, and volunteer our time to chop apples and celery sticks? Should we take action for the whole school to change how the all of the children are eating?
I chose the first option while my friends experimented with the other two. In the end, I think we all learned to let go a little the longer they were in school. With that said, I'm all the more shocked to read this article in the NY times about a mom that just can't seem to lose a bit of control over the food that goes into her kids mouths. If there are twenty children in a class, isn't it fine to have your kids eat 20 cupcakes a year? Will a sugary Popsicle really change their outlook on life and no longer eat the 100% juice watered down Popsicles offered at home? Certainly not the case around here, my kids are still happy to chew on 100% water ice cubes, given the chance.