The parents have spoken – they really need the schools to improve their approach to nutrition so as to aid the health and development of their children, as well as teach them about the importance of eating healthy food.
We’re all aware that children will inevitably eat junk food, it’s a part of their developmental process, it satisfies their curiosity, plus, most junk food products are directed towards children and teenagers. They’re purposefully made colorful and sweet and salty, with fun packaging. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when you hear that a child doesn’t like tomatoes, but loves ketchup and at the same time doesn’t know what ketchup is made of. Same with chips.
Education is key, and educating kids about nutrition is a tricky business. Healthy food is not fun, not as fun as snacks, so having the right approach is vital. Even if you have the most expensive latest-model appliances that make the most amazing and healthy food, if the kids don’t want to eat it, it’s useless. They need to be taught how to like fruit and vegetables.
The goal is not to eradicate junk food completely, but to also incorporate healthier options. School cafeterias should offer a bigger ratio of nutritious food to junk food (80 to 20), and there should be a variety of it, because the lack of variety will only lead to a lack of interest.
For example, instead of a variety of sodas and milkshakes, schools could include a variety of juices, teas, flavored sparkling water, chocolate milk (dairy and non-dairy), and the like. Same with main meals, salads, and even desserts.
The benefits of this change of approach are twofold. The children will not only be educated for a lifetime, but they will also improve their own health, which will inevitably affect the way they feel on a daily basis, and will surely affect their performance in school and other extracurricular activities, thereby making them more confident and happier.
They’re too young to know themselves what’s good for them, which is why they need someone who knows what they’re doing. The goal is not to trick them, but to help them in a way that they will not feel is being forced on them, because feeling free is also important.
So, this is where we’re at, and I hope that this communication will bring about some positive changes!