The biggest bunch of celery I’ve ever seen. And the model is cute.
The guys over at the Ritz HQ are probably high-fiving a lot this week. I mean, I don’t remember the last time I heard so much heat surrounding Ritz crackers- any publicity is good publicity, right? (cough, Miley Cyrus….)
I think every Paleo/Primal Facebook page I follow has shared and commented on this infamous story about the Canadian mom who was fined $10 for not supplying her child’s lunch with a grain, therefore the school supplemented with an oh-so-healthy Ritz cracker. And while this is laughable to some, it’s infuriating to others.
I’ve read comments on all parts of the spectrum, ranging from “This is why you should homeschool” to “ We gotta rise up and change the system” to “Who gives a crap? It’s a freaking Ritz cracker.” Honestly, though, I wasn’t in the least bit surprised about this story and I completely understand the reasoning behind the fine and the state-mandated guidelines. Do I agree with it? That’s hard to say.
See, I used to be a teacher. And I know that most government-funded schools are required to serve “balanced” meals to children (Balanced in the traditional food pyramid way). The school in the article was Canadian, so I’m not sure about what the rules are there. What I do know is that in the U.S., especially in state-funded preschools, the government inspectors are extremely rigorous when it comes to this stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if the school gets a fine or worse yet, a reduction in funding, for not ensuring “proper” nutrition. I don’t know where the rules fall for parents supplying their child’s food.
I also know that money talks. So if a parent knows they will be fined for something, they are much more likely to follow whatever rule is in place. I know this personally because of my kids’ preschool. Their policy was that if you were more than 10 minutes late to pick up your child, they would fine you $1 per minute until you got there. As someone who is chronically late, I was ALWAYS on time to get them!
My point is that not all parents are sending nutritious food to school with their kids. There are a ton of reasons for this which I will not get into nor judge. But a parent is much less likely to send their child to school with a lunch consisting of Doritos and a coke if they know they’ll be fined. And hopefully the blatant spotlight on nutrition will cause Parents to take a closer look at what they are eating and serving their kids not only at school but at home.
Thankfully the mom in the article was refunded her $10 after a chat with the school. Is this a reason to Homeschool? Not necessarily. I recently went through something similar with my own child. She barely passed her Nutrition quiz in P.E. with a 70 because of answering a few questions wrong. She didn’t know the answers because it wasn’t in line with what we talk about and advocate at home. It was the opposite, actually. As a result, she got a B in P.E. We ended up having a really good discussion about how people have varying belief systems regarding food and that sometimes information is outdated. That sufficed for her. For now.
The dilemma I had and still have is how to approach the teacher, the schoool, the school district. It’s a bit overwhelming. Is the entire Nutrition curriculum going to change because I talk to the school district about the damaging effects of grains? Not likely. Am I going to homeschool because of it? Not likely.
The other 99% of my kids’ school is truly amazing and I’m so happy they are there. I educate them about food at home. Anything I don’t agree with or want to supplement educationally about anything and everything, I do it at home. Boom.
But back to the Ritz cracker debacle. I think if we can step back and look at the greater whole of the situation, the rules of that school may make sense. If those rules help the other 98% of the kids in that school eat a better, more well rounded lunch then we are winning. And those kids are benefitting.
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear ‘em!