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The United States government isn’t known for their stellar concern about family safety. Still, once in a while the government does something worthwhile. For example, in 2012, after 15 years of people complaining about the poor nutrition of school lunches, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act kicked off, bringing healthier changes to school meals across the country. Also in 2012, the USDA decided to allow schools to opt out of serving pink slime meat. Both of these government actions were a step in the right direction, and most parents seemed happy about the changes. Now, these changes are being threatened — not by the government but by American youth. Case in point, the same year that the better menus in schools were enacted, many kids rebelled against the healthier meals, to the point of rolling out school lunch boycotts.
Now, a similar issue is taking place in a Fairfax, Va., where a school district that was recently called out for serving fake, processed 26 ingredient “meat” burgers to kids, made a change and started serving all beef burgers to the kids — only to be thwarted by, you guessed it, the kids. Many kids have now demanded that they get their fake meat patties, along with all those additives and chemicals back, and because adults are allowing themselves to be bullied by a bunch of kids, fake meat is making a comeback. To sum up, during the 2011-2012 school year, Fairfax County Public Schools started serving real beef burgers to the kids. According to the Washington Post, the kids rebelled, saying that the new non-processed meat didn’t taste or look right anymore. Because, as Penny McConnell, Fairfax schools’ food and nutritional service director says, “Students are our customers and we listen to them,” the school district has been quietly bringing back the additive filled, processed meat patties in order to please the kids. Wow. Maybe instead of bringing back junk food to school lunches, these adults should man up and quit allowing junk food loving kids to call the shots.
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Personally, I believe kids should be listened to and respected. I like when kids take a stand on issues that matter to them. However, there are times that adults should be in charge, and this is one of those times. Kids shouldn’t be allowed to get their way when it comes to junk food meat, containing 26 or more disgusting ingredients, including caramel coloring and other additives and preservatives. The school system in Fairfax failed big time by bringing back the processed meat. They let the kids bully them into an unhealthy lunch situation. Not that the kids are totally to blame here. We’re talking about a country that serves up candy flavored apples and grapes to kids. This is a country that loves fast food so much that it brings McDonald’s into schools to teach about health and fitness. A country that ignores childhood obesity, which is clearly a problem, going so far as to boycott every single public service announcement related to obesity. No wonder kids are rebelling against healthier food. We’ve created and now utterly support a nation of junk food loving, sugar obsessed youth.
Parents, school officials, health care providers and other adults are responsible for kids health, and yet we allow kids to call the shots based on the bad habits we’ve allowed them to develop. It’s a mess and it’s up to adults to fix it. It’s our job to raise healthy kids. It’s our job to say no to processed food. It’s our job to allow enough time for kids to get used to healthier choices and we’re not doing it. If you’d like to make positive food changes and raise your kids to make smart food choices as adults, for one, don’t support schools that want to go back to junk food and two, check out the links below for help.
- Raise a healthy eater from birth
- How to turn your picky eater into a total nightmare
- Teach your kids not to trust food ads
- Don’t let your kid rebel against a healthy diet
- Sanity toolkit for parents of picky eaters