Sunday, September 26, 2010

Food for Thought: A mindful cafeteria?

To the food peeps at Alvin ISD, THANK YOU for our beautiful new calendar!  It seems that you chose to print on recycled paper.  Kudos.  The calendar of meals also has a helpful 'dates to remember' for those mommies that are here for the first time.  Your art department used fantastic graphics, remnant of the Farmer's Almanac.  Juicy Tomatoes opened up as an August / September season starter.  They gave a definition of tomatoes, answered a few brief summaries on how good they are for you and even spoke of flavor and taste.  All these things nearly drew my attention away from the actual meals that are being provided to our young hearts, minds and bodies by the Alvin ISD School District.

Let's see....

Breakfast: chicken slider
Lunch: Pizza Pocket, Whole Kernel Corn, Waffle Fries, Frozen Fruit Treat?

Breakfast:  French Toast Sticks
Lunch: Personal Pizza, Peas & Carrots, Fresh Fruit Wedges, Clodhoppers

Breakfast: Cinnamon Roll w/ Turkey Sausage
Lunch: BBQ Rib Sandwich & Chips, Charra Beans, Caesar Salad, Fruit Crumble?

Breakfast: Pancake McGriddle
Lunch: Stuff Crust Pizza, Broccoli & Cheese Sauce, Orange Wedges, Fun Shaped Treat?

Breakfast: Breakfast Pizza (really? )
Lunch: Bosco Sticks (not really sure what that is exactly), Fruit Berry Bites, Applesauce, Mixed Vegetables

I would detail the entire menu on each day of the week, alas it is almost the SAME every week.  As a formerly obese parent / person, I can attest to the fact that you can't keep them away from the junk and processed foods, but you can educate.  By placing a junk menu for my growing boy in a COSTUME of beautiful graphics that contradict the VERY message you are sending, it is my opinion that you are teaching my child that gorgeous, fresh tomatoes are JUST as good for you as a CLODHOPPER (again, not certain of this new vegetable).

In October, your menu graphics squeeze a fabulous quote about toasted Pumpkin seeds as great healthy snacks, how to bake them yourself at home, all suffocated inside a weeks worth of Popcorn chicken, Dino Nuggets and (you guessed it!) Popcorn chicken AGAIN in the same week!

I can give THANKS in November to the graphic teaching me "How to Make the World's Best Broccoli" in a healthy way, all it's vitamin riches and how it nourishes my body.  Because you RUINED IT ALL with another week's worth of personal pizza, pocket pizza, breakfast pizza, and stuffed crust pizza ALL in ONE WEEK!  Can I get my Pizza with broccoli on top please?  In fact, your calendar tells me "Your whole body loves broccoli.  Your heart, your brain, lungs and blood are all nourished by broccoli's vitamins A, B9, C & K.  Believe it or not, broccoli has almost 50% more vitamin C than a fresh orange, so it's an important cold-buster for your immune system.  broccoli is also a good source of beta carotene, which is important for good vision.  It's also a great source of vitamins A and B9, which are important for your heart, brain, lungs and blood." HMMMMM....what is pocket pizza good for?  You guessed it: GETTING FAT and making me PASS OUT in class.  Yummy!  I think the amount of salt in each of these items actually BLINDS you over time....

I can go on and on as the calendar speaks of root vegetables, how to grow your own herb gardens, growing and harvesting your own corn and how to harvest seasonal vegetables.  Your district is fooling people into thinking that you actual care about the commitment to nourishing mind body and spirit.

The Alvin ISD menu calendar closes with the 2010-2011 nutrition information;  stated " Alvin ISD Child Nutrition Services is committed to providing students with healthy school meals.  Menus are designed to provide a variety of choices that meet 1/3 of the Recommended Daily Allowance of nutrients for each meal."  Further down, you report: " In an effort to combat childhood obesity and its associated costs, the Texas Department of Agriculture has launched a comprehensive nutrition policy for public schools in Texas.  Some of the areas that may affect you as a parent are the limits on outside foods brought into the school cafeterias.  While the TDA does not regulate what YOU brings YOUR child, it does not allow parents to brings in foods for children other than your own.  TDA has also set limits on the types of snacks that parents may bring in to school to share with other students in the classroom.  Birthday celebrations are still not allowed but they must not be conducted in the cafeteria. "

Is this supposed to be real?  Am I reading this right?  I mean, my mommy doesn't read a TON, but I think she can read THIS loud and clear.  This school district is KILLING my child.  Thank GOD I pack his lunch everyday, but what happens when Mommy isn't around and GOD FORBID I have a lapse in judgement and allow him to eat at school?  You are fighting against obesity?  Not with 100,000 calorie MEALS you aren't!  These little bodies can't take that kind of abuse.  No WONDER out nation is full of fat people that can't breathe, can't see their feet.  Oh!  And I suppose you aren't going to let them out to PLAY or run laps, or even jog back to the classroom?  Ok.  I get it.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret AISD:  Your problem isn't a CUPCAKE.

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