Friday, June 4, 2010

Say Goodbye to This Food

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

Yesterday the D.C. Farm to School network was celebrating hopes for better school food in the future by placing strawberries and salad in more than 150 schools in the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, the kids and faculty at my daughter's elementary school were celebrating May Day (delayed because of the heat!) with food that's on its way out.

Pictured above you see the menu for the all-day celebration, including sodas, chips, snow cones, cotton candy and candy. The kids bought tickets for the food, then were free to roam around and buy what they wanted.

Under recently passed "Healthy Schools" legislation, most of that food would be banned, unless it's provided by parents or sold during official "after school" events. I have mixed feelings. The kids were having such a good time yesterday. But should schools be promoting this kind of junk food?

The question answers itself. The world has changed.

P.S. What are fruit smacks?


  1. hum...we called this Field Day, it was a day of Exercise contests in the Elementary School. No First place ribbons required.

    What mixed messages we send our kids!
    The kids still had to eat a lunch, either a bagged lunch provided by the lunchroom or a lunch brought from home. The rest was extra provided Before and After lunch time by the PTA and included huge dill whole dill pickles, snow cones, sodas, water, and candy like the air heads and popcorn.
    The children were encouraged to bring a refillable water bottle and there were large containers of ice water set up around campus for them to refill the bottles. IT was however a money maker for the PTA and the school, always. I also found it interesting that those kids on the free lunch program were always given a bit of money so they could buy a treat or 2 as well, so they didn't stand out or feel bad. I believe the PTA paid for their treats. The kids are not free to roam around but are still separated by grade and with their teachers and adult room parent helpers.

    I've been thinking this morning how they could have done this sort of thing in a more healthy way. It would have cost a bit more. Would kids have lined up to buy Fresh fruit? Real Lemonade instead of the powdered kind is not cost effective, the dill pickles are loaded with salt, The popcorn was probably the most healthy thing sold, but it used a solid mix of fats to pop that was probably not good for you. How would you make this a healthy event that the kids would still love?

  2. There's nothing wrong with any of this food, in moderation, once in a while. The problem comes when it's the only choice, all the time.

  3. it seems schools find reasons for bad food just cause its a celebration or fun day doesnt mean they need to serve bad foods. if the plates had fruit or and vegies on it would they eat it some yes. maybe the foods you all think kids will avoid needs to be presented in a fun way too like fruit kabobs,fruit parfaits,raw vegies with ranch dip yea i know dip isnt good,soda should never be near schools but change needs to be made.

  4. Why does water cost twice as much as soda???

  5. Is a hug really $.50 or did I read that wrong?

  6. Usually, hugs are free. They must have been charging for them Friday to raise money.

  7. @Sarah- Hugs are little containers of a kool-aid-type beverage. My family buys them at Walmart.