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Saturday, March 19, 2011

miss popularity

I'm making friends in a really BIG way.

I mean, when you walk around your child's school with a clipboard and a petition to take away the K-2 students favorite part of lunch (and, as it turns out, most of their parents favorite part too) you are bound to be popular.

Yes, that is right.  Me, the big 'ol meanie, is on mission to cut back on the consumption of chocolate milk at Ella's school. 

Sure there are more essential ways to spend my limited supply of activism, but what other cause would allow me to piss off SO many people?

My anti-chocolate milk argument goes something like this:  why taint young kids' palates with sugar and artificial flavoring where it need not be?  Kids get plenty of it from bonafide treats (candy, cookies, the endless supply of birthday cakes on a child's social horizon) we don't also need to lace something as wholesome as milk with synthetics that offer no nutritional value.  The pro-chocolate milk argument is that kids won't drink regular milk and they need more calcium.  Perfect!  So let's bribe them with chocolate (I know, pot meet kettle- I'm fairly sensitive to the bribe of chocolate myself) in order to get them calcium.

The parents who don't want to sign the petition say things like, "My child doesn't like plain milk" or "He only drinks chocolate milk at school!"  or "Oh!  My child couldn't do it!" 

I want to throw my hands in the air and say, "If your child doesn't like plain milk now then how do you figure giving him chocolate milk everyday will result in him liking regular milk one day?"

How will a kid ever love the succulent sweet of strawberry if you dip it in sugar everytime you hand it to her?

With childhood obesity at an all-time high and physical education at an all-time low, this is not the time to be giving our kids junk in the name of nutrition.  I volunteer at the cafeteria.  I know, firsthand, that 98% of the kids get chocolate milk EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Often they drink it in favor of eating their lunch.

I'm not a total you-know-what, though. My proposal is for chocolate milk on Fridays only.  So instead of letting 5-7 year-olds decide what is best for them to consume, it puts some healthy parameters in place. 

I think, most of all, I am disheartened by some of the parents. I'm not sure why, but I guess I thought that today's parent cared about nutrition and healthy bodies. I shouldn't be too surprised that some parents flat out refuse to sign the petition when I see the nutritional wasteland some kids bring in the name of lunch, packed with love, from home.  Peanut butter and fluff on white bread, potato chips, corn-syrup laden fruit chews, Little Debbie chocolate mini-muffins, Lunchables (don't EVEN get me started on those) and cookies.  Oh, and a side of chocolate milk.  Nary a fruit, vegetable or trace of nutrient in sight.

So, if you signed my petition THANK YOU! (And would you consider taking one and getting some signatures?) I have 13 names and think I need about 100.  It's going to be a long mission.  Think I'd better go get some sustenance for the job.  Hmmmmm....think I saw some chocolate milk in the fridge. Maybe I will call up all my new friends and ask them if they want to come over for some.

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