(Reprinted with the permission of Gail Godreau, and her daughter – firstname.lastname@example.org)
True story: My daughter called from elementary school a couple weeks ago saying she didn’t feel well and wanted to come home. Being a concerned mom (and entrepreneur who had the flexibility to go get her in the middle of the day), I went and picked her up and brought her home. Of course, I asked her the usual questions: when did you start not feeling well, how much water have you had today (always a challenge!), what did you eat today, etc.
And what I learned really upset me!
She had hardly eaten any of her lunch because…get this!…her ‘friends’ make fun of her because of how healthy her lunch is! Yes, you heard me right: according to them, healthy is not cool!
I didn’t know whether to be stead-fast (after all, Wellness is what I DO!), angry, sympathetic, sad, what?
As with most things in life, it’s never a case of black and white, right and wrong. So, I probed further. “What do you mean ‘too healthy’?”, I asked. After all, she even had a delicious chocolate chip cookie in her lunch that day. “Yeah, but it wasn’t in a package.” WHAT?!? So a home-made, yummy chocolate chip cookie is worse than a commercial, ‘taste-less,’ cellophane-encased cookie? Really?!
Some would say that a homemade treat would be the most desirable. And, the irony is, she made these herself! They were EXTRA special!
What does it say about our society when commercial cookies, gushers, chicken nuggets, and cheese strings are the hallmark of a ‘good lunch’? How can we be shocked, then, when we hear the staggering stats on the rise of diabetes among our population, especially our CHILDREN?!?
So, what to do about the “Fashion of Food” in our schools? And in our neighbourhoods? Again, I’m a firm believer in compromise. My daughter will continue to have certain treats in her lunch (but they must still pass the test of ‘reasonableness’ in terms of nutrition and, yes, some DO come out of a package), but I will NOT cave to the pressures of “food fashion” and sacrifice my child’s future health just to ‘fit in’! AND, the treats are meant to SUPPLEMENT the main meal, which is grounded in a nutritious base; they are not meant to REPLACE the meal, as so often happens in our kids’ lunches.
How about YOU? Are you feeling the pressures – with your children? With your friends? In your workplace?