Hello everyone :) I hope everyone is having a happy Tuesday. I had a happy, but busy Tuesday. I had work and tutoring and I spent the time in between at school organizing. I cleaned out all my desk drawers, and 4 cabinets. The only thing I really have left to tackle is a few shelves and a closet. When I first started teaching my closet was a scary place to enter- I don't think it had been cleaned in YEARS. I found an old typewriter among other random things in there. Luckily now everything in that closet is mine, so it won't be as hard to reorganize this time. Then I can deal with actually getting ready for the year. My goal is to have things done early this year because Eric and I are going to the Cape for a week at the end of August and I don't want to have to think about it then :)
Have you heard the latest news about the Happy Meal? It's getting a makeover!
The changes are:
1. The addition of apple slices to all happy meals.
2. The reduced portion of french fries.
3. Two additional choices for a drink including fat free chocolate milk and 1% low-fat white milk.
This new happy meal (if the child gets 1% milk) has 410 calories, 19 grams of fat and 560 milligrams of sodium. These changes come as a response to some cities banning toys from happy meals because they were concerned about the nutritional quality of a happy meal. McDonalds in general are trying to make some positive changes in their menu which you can read about in the article: Happy Meal Gets a Makeover.
As a healthy person, teacher and wife of a PE teacher- I have to say I am psyched about the big focus the US seems to be putting on reducing the problem of childhood obesity right now. It seems that thanks to Michelle Obama, Jamie Oliver and others, people are actually trying to change things- which is wonderful. I see such differences in the snacks and lunches of students in my class- just today I had a student with grapes and almonds for a snack and another with chips.
I am not one of those people who feels that kids have to eat healthy ALL the time. I think childhood is a time for baked treats (think brownies, cookies and cake!), the occasional bag of cheesy doritos and I couldn't possibly mention childhood without the ever popular candy! But it's also an important time to instill good eating habits in children and provide them with healthy choices on a daily basis.
I think that changing the foods served in schools and improving the nutritional value of happy meals are good steps in the right direction. However, I think something that is going to be SO hard to change, but so important is the parental influence. Parents HAVE to set a good example. Sure, it's GREAT if a kid has a "healthier" happy meal, but if the parent gets a big mac with a super size french fries... where are we then? Sure, today the child is still better off, but what about when they become a teenager, or even an adult- they may not be able to make healthy choices for themselves.
Do you think that it is enough for parents to provide their children with "healthier" (sorry I still can't call a happy meal healthy) choices when they themselves may not be making healthy choices?
How do you think we can educate and encourage parents to make healthy choices for themselves and their whole family?
PS. We also have to stop cutting PE and recess if we want healthy kids, but that's a post for another day :)