Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Food Mistakes In The News

I just finished reading an on-line version of the article, 6 Food Mistakes Parents Make, published in Sunday's New York Times. My friend Lori sent it yesterday but I only got around to reading it this evening. In short, the 6 food mistakes are (1) sending children out of the kitchen, (2) pressuring them to take a bite, (3) keeping 'good stuff' out of reach, (4) dieting in front of your children, (5) serving boring vegetables, (6) giving up too soon. One line in particular caught my eye. "Although obesity dominates the national discussion on childhood health, many parents are also worried that their child’s preferred diet of nuggets and noodles could lead to a nutritional deficit." This is a good article but it made no mention of the role of childcare centers in reinforcing the nugget and noodle diet. I realize that the article is focused on the mistakes that parents make. But when your child eats at a childcare center three times a day, five days a week, their role in cultivating children's dietary habits can't be ignored. Chicken nuggets, fish sticks, Ritz "cheese" crackers, cookies, brownies, pie, cake...these are all things that are regularly served at the childcare center. When children are eating these foods, it means that they are missing opportunities to improve their diets by eating one of their favorite healthful snacks or to maybe trying a new fruit or vegetable. For about a month or so early in the spring, the cook was menuing more fruits and vegetables and fewer processed and sweet foods. But when there is no oversight of the food program - the food and nutrition committee no longer exists - its easy go back to the same old, same old.

Caroline's Lunchbox Menu, September 17: Breakfast - ten grain hot cereal, currants, banana; Lunch - cheese and zucchini (Owosso Organics) quesadilla, carrots, cantaloupe (Greenman Produce); Snacks - Flaming Fury peach muffin (Clearview Orchards peach), cucumber (Owosso Organics)

Childcare Center Menu, September 17: Breakfast - cream of what, bananas, raisins; Lunch - veggie tacos, grapes; Snacks - pumpkin pie, cucumbers


susan allport said...

Thought you would be interested in this short omega-3 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIgNpsbvcVM

Amanda said...

Not to mention our public schools!! Sam is offered TRIX flavored yogurt every morning, where corn syrup is the second ingredient! HELP!

Betty said...

TRIX flavored yogurt? I didn't even know such a thing existed. It's so frustrating...I think the only way to change what schools and childcare center feed our children is for parents to form a committee. The school might be very receptive to recommendations for more healthful foods. Especially since they are supposed to be implementing their wellness policy which should include food and nutrition policies. See if this diplomatic route to improved school food works...Betty

Eliana said...

Of course…. those food mistakes can take your child far away from good health.

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