Does your child’s school offer pizza lunches once a month as a fundraiser? My son’s school does. When he was in Kindergarten I often thought about what I would do when he was in first grade and pizza lunch was an option for him. Luckily (for him) with the Province of Ontario’s new “Healthy Foods for Healthy Schools” act, pizza is now only offered on whole wheat and fruit cups are a dessert choice. I acknowledge that this is far from the lunch of champions, but it’s a step enough in the right direction that the benefits seemed to outweigh negatives (sad son feeling left out and bossed around by mean, neurotic, food-police mother – versus – happy son). And it’s only once a month after all. Heck, I’m even one of the volunteers that serves the lunch.
This is the menu offered on pizza day:
– slices of pepperoni or plain cheese pizza
– plain milk or chocolate milk/
– fruit cup or yogurt tube
I have to say that the milk marketing board does a great job – look at all the dairy in that menu!!!
Up until now Sam has always happily opted for plain cheese pizza and a fruit cup. Up until we had to place our most recent order that is.
Sam: “Mom, I want one of those frozen yogurt tube things that all the other kids get instead of the fruit cup”.
Sam: “Because they look yummy.”
Me: “But Sam, you’re already having cheese on the pizza and yogurt is made of milk too – the fruit makes it a more balanced meal and there’s refined sugar in the yogurt tube.” (He’s well aware of how I feel about refined sugar).
Sam: “I don’t care, and I want chocolate milk too.”
Me: “I need to sit down…I’ll get back to you.”
I spent about 30 minutes internally debating this – “I’m a nutritionist, I need to set a good example; I’m trying to teach my kids about balance and they are supposed to make good choices; I’m crazy; there’s no way he’s getting the chocolate milk; he’s crazy; holy crap – it’s only one lunch; yes, but it’s the decisions we make now that effect us later; I’m crazy; is that leggo under my desk – why doesn’t anyone ever clean up around here???….BREATHE!!!” Something like that anyway.
In the end I looked up the ingredients for the yogurt tube – at least it doesn’t include artificial flavours or colours. And we made a comprimise: I placed the order for the next three months – 2 with yogurt tubes, 1 with a fruit cup and none with chocolate milk. Please don’t cry for my son, he does get chocolate almond milk at home on occasion and organic chocolate cows milk on some other occasions, he’s really not deprived as he would have people believe.
This may seem absolutely nuts to some people, such a fuss over something so small. But I don’t apologize for living by my convictions, and maybe my apparent craziness will inpsire other parents to take a few extra minutes when deciding what they want to teach their children about food. Maybe?