By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook
Here in the District of Columbia, your nation's capitol, kids can bring just about anything they want from home to eat at school--and they frequently do.
Here's one fifth-grade girl grabbing a handful of Cheetos at breakfast. She has her junk food mostly concealed in a back pack. In fact, I think she had just finished the school-provided breakfast (it's free to all students) when she started on the Cheetos.
She just munched away while continuing a conversation with friends at their table in the cafeteria. No one took any note that she was eating this before classes even started:
Notice the trans fats (hydrogenated oil), artificial flavors, monosodium glutamate, artificial colors and of course the huge amount of sodium--290 milligrams in a single one-ounce serving. But I don't really need to point that out, do I?
What's more curious is that most schools seem to have absolutely no rules against this sort of thing or any kind of adult monitoring in the cafeteria. Or would that be too much like the "nanny state" that Sarah Palin rails against? Should kids really be able to eat anything at school? Or is it just the food schools offer for purchase the we should be concerned about?
Seeing this girl with her secret bag of Cheetos (actually, I think she had more than one bag) brought to mind some of the horrendous meals I saw last year at the elementary school my daughter attended then.
Get a load of this lunch brought to school by a fourth-grade girl: a bag of Oreo cookies, a huge cupcake (the icing has been licked off), a can of Sprite and a lollipop.
Thankfully, I haven't seen anything quite that bad this year. But I'm sure it still happens.