Mr WLB sent me a link to an article last night that I read with a mixture of feelings.
It was about a six year old boy who was suspended from school for having Mini Cheddars in his lunchbox…or at least this was the dramatic headline. Sheesh – I had to wonder what the heck this school would have done to me…I used to snort a multipack in the blink of an eye!
In a nutshell – which this school would agree is far healthier than a bag of crisps! – this young boy was suspended for four days. Which sounds pretty bloody crazy for a cheese related infraction. So he was suspended, his parents were called in to see the school head, and a media shit storm ensued.
What the headline doesn’t tell you is that this suspension was as a result of the continued lack of support that his parents have shown the school healthy eating policy. Parents were given notice that, as of 14th January, packed lunches needed to be ‘healthy and balanced’. This seems fair enough to me. There is a huge amount of evidence regarding the learning capacity of children who have a healthy and balanced diet…and the obvious obesity crisis needs tackling from a number of angles – age appropriate eduction is key and this needs to be part of the school value system.
So the message went out to parents that chocolate, sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks were no longer allowed. The letter the parents received stated, ‘If your child’s lunchbox is unhealthy and unbalanced they will be provided with a school lunch for which you will be charged.’
Given the obesity crisis, a school introducing healthy eating plans should surely be commended? According to them, there is only one family who has an issue with supporting this policy. Which gives me the impression that most parents are happy to provide a balanced and healthy diet. If you want your child to have chocolate and crisps and fizzy drinks, surely this can be done out of school hours?
I do feel sorry for the boy though…his parents feel quite strongly about the freedom to feed him what they want – which I can absolutely understand. His mum has stated, ‘They don’t have right to tells us what we can feed our son.’ She added, ‘Having a balanced diet also includes eating some carbohydrates, sugars and fats. It is not about excluding some foods, it is about getting the mix right.’ This is a very fair point – and she seems to be clued up. I have to admit however that it seems to me the voice of someone trying to prove a point.
It was highlighted that the boys lunchbox usually contains a sandwich, yoghurt tube, Dairylea Dunkers cheese spread snack, and a packet of Mini Cheddars, with water to drink. Three highly processed items based on the photograph in the article…where is the balance…and what is wrong with adhering to a healthy eating policy during school hours?
You and I both know how tough it can be to remain on a healthy eating campaign. We often get side-tracked by saboteurs who eat pizza and chocolate in front of us – nudge, nudge Mr WLB! So for me, given the situation the nation is in, action needs to be taken. Personally, I would prefer it if we drove our own health campaigns and took responsibility. Again though, how bloody hard is it if you are trying to take responsibility whilst everyone around you is eating whatever the hell they want and society is geared towards providing this unhealthy food?
I remember being at school and swapping my healthy lunchbox items for unhealthy stuff that my friends had. This would have been impossible if we were all eating healthily. I do not like imposed food rules…I kick back dramatically against them…but as a child I did not have the wherewithal to kick back. Habits are formed at a very early age. A recent American study showed that children as young as two form habits based on the eating patterns and habits of those around them. I can’t help but wondering what my eating habits would have been like if my school had had a healthy eating policy. My parents tried, but my friends helped me out!
As a non-child owner my views are very often dismissed by parents…which is fair enough. Although that Jo Frost Supernanny lady doesn’t have children either…but I bet she would be listened too! Seriously though, I just have my opinions…and my opinion is that it is crucial for schools and parents to work together. When it comes to a healthy eating policy, who comes off as the loser if you don’t support it…your child. Your child becomes a point scoring mechanism against the ‘regime’…a regime that is just trying to encourage healthy eating.
It seems a bit crazy to me – and if you want to read the full article, you can do so here if you wish!
Mini Cheddar issues aside, today has been a good day. I had a lovely coaching call this morning, which was followed by a meeting with a trustee and Director of HOOP. This involved a massive non-scale victory…a walk through the city centre – which I haven’t been in for years and years. The meeting just happened to be at a venue right outside major city centre regeneration works…which meant builders, lots of them. So builders and the city centre were tackled today. I then managed to tick off another goal of mine, which was collecting my niece from school. Although this didn’t quite go according to plan as the lady letting the children out of the school had never seen me before and so wouldn’t let me take her! Which is fabulous – another school policy that I absolutely support. I explained that my sister was in the car and that they should call her…but thankfully one teacher who had seen me before in the car vouched for me…so I got to collect my niece from school finally! This evening I went to see my Mum and the new foster placement she had…and I got to have cuddles with a nine day old baby. Which of course meant that I then went shopping and bought baby clothes to give the new mum – I am such a softy…and my poor old bank balance is not looking good!
Brunch: Chicken and pilau rice salad (2.5 syns).Dinner: Salmon and veggie couscous (1.5 syns).Snacks: Nakd bar (7.5 syns) and two cheese toasties (HEA and 2 x HEB).An okay food day. Due to the meeting, I wasn’t sure of food availability and so I made a big chicken rice salad for brunch to keep me full. A packet of the Tilda pilau rice (2.5 syns) with some chicken mini fillets, celery, spinach, cherry tomatoes, red pepper and red onion. Dinner was a straightforward veggie and couscous combo with salmon…all ready within less than five minutes! I bought poached salmon fillets, a pack of Ainsley couscous and some of those microwave steam veggies. And my snacks were okay too.
Exercise: Not much today!
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx