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Knowledge is power, but also scares me.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Having gone through some of the list of ingredients on the back of many packages, and knowing there are still more I have to look up, but having a long weekend where I just don't feel like adding more information to my brain, it scared me to go to the store and have to pick out another snack for the classroom.

We have one more week of school left and the teacher said there were few snacks left, so I got one last snack for my son's class. Because of classroom rules, I had to get some kind of processed shelf-stable thing. We picked out graham crackers. I got the one with the fewest ingredients, but it still scares me that they're having all those things every day. I've seen things like "fruit snacks" and cupcakes and cookies as snacks. I swear that every Wednesday last year, my daughter had a cupcake because of birthdays being celebrated. I really don't think the average parent knows how many things are being passed off as "treats" in the classrooms. We're not allowed homemade treats because of allergies and/or poisoning attempts from 30 years ago.

I'll be glad that next year I'll have more control over my kids' snacks, since second grade we have to send in a snack with only our kid and not for everyone else. It's so much easier to send in the snacks we want to give our own children and I don't like things that are basically candy for them each day (fruit snacks do not contain enough fruit in them to really be considered fruit snacks, unless you get the natural or simply fruit snacks... check the back of the label, there are some that are just pureed fruit). I'm fortunate that my kids love things like applesauce (you can find them in squishable containers now) and granola bars (but I fear I'll be making our own and sending home made snacks more often) and real fruits whether fresh or dried.

I'll admit, we did get M&M's and Breyer's real ice cream today (only the cream, sugar and flavoring kinds). I even picked up chocolate chips so we can make some granola bars, I'm pretty sure I have enough of the ingredients we need to make some.

Although I haven't dropped everything processed from our diets, I'm much better at controlling what we have in our home and there is a lot less of it sitting around. It's cheaper to get the fresh fruit and veggies than the chips and candy simply because it takes longer for us to eat those good things than the unhealthy things. A bag of M&M's will last one day, but a bag of apple will last a half a week. The ingredients for muffins are cheaper than the box of mix.

So hopefully one day, I'll have everything the best I can for my family and our bodies. I do the best I can with the knowledge I have and hopefully I'll be able to pass that knowledge off to the kids when they're old enough to understand all of it, which will be sooner than later. I also hope that enough people are out there changing the way food is manufactured so that my kids don't have to avoid the whole store in order to do their shopping.

Today's holidays: National Tap Dance Day, National Wine Day, Towel Day (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), Geek Pride and National Brown-Bag-It Day.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Have you checked out 100 Days of Real Food? Lots of great advise there about cutting out processed foods.

    Jeff Novick has great information on reading food labels. Your library may have some of his dvds. Here's a video posted on YouTube - Should I Eat That? Reading Food Labels -
    IHRkoAg. Jeff is a plant strong dietician. I got to hear him last month at a conference. Lots of excellent information.
    1665 days ago
    It is so difficult these days to avoid the chemicals used in the food chain. Schools in the UK are trying to get away from the junk food that has been served for lunches but, stupidly, a lot of parent are revolting and giving their kids lunch money to go and get chips (fries) etc at lunchtime rather than pack them a decent lunch.
    We're trying to do our best by using a local butcher and fishmonger and going to the farmers markets when they are on. The UK is getting better on the offer of fresh food but we still have a long way to go.
    1665 days ago
    i bring my own snacks to work all the time. people bring stuff in but even "healthy" stuff is either low fat/high carb/low fiber or have no fiber, no protein, or are mostly checmicals.
    1665 days ago
    emoticon So true about school treats. Just imagine the conundrum for the teacher and the school board. too.

    You write so well, I enjoy your blogs.

    I agree on reading labels, but i am at the opposite end. I am reading them to add calories to DH and soft products to swallow. Spent 3 hours at costco one day just reading labels. Yesterday, i let him read and pick out his own supplement. If we run out of the one we order, we use Ensure plus. He came home with one with artificial sweetener, low calorie, etc. I piled them on his placemat today , and he asked why? I said he needed to drink all 112 to get his nutrition today. .... So I am back to reading the labels myself.
    1665 days ago
    Good for you for taking your entire family on this healthy journey with you, This year in our school they had begun discussing eliminating birthday treats. Not only are they a constant interruption to instruction time, but they kids, as you say, are eating some kind of cupcake or cookies almost everyday in addition to their meal they get at school and a regular snack that is sent from home. I'm frequently appalled by what children actually bring to school for a snack. Usually only the diabetic child has something healthy, but they eat fruit snack, cookies, crackers or chips etc. I think I always used to send my kids to school with a piece of fresh fruit for their snack. I never see that happen emoticon Homemade granola bars should be yummy. I found a spark recipe for some but I haven't tried them yet. Let us know how they turn out. Happy Memorial Day weekend!! emoticon
    1665 days ago
    There are movements in some school districts toward not bringing in cupcakes or unhealthy snacks. If you are interested, you should check out (which has state-based teams) or learn more about what is in your district's wellness policy. Let me know if you have any questions -- this is the kind of stuff I work on at my job.
    1665 days ago
    As a parent, you have the right to say no on behalf of your children. It can be hard, and not all schools/teachers "get it" because it threatens their way of life, but it's totally OK to tell the teacher that little Johnny will be opting out of the processed food sharing system & bringing his food from home due to dietary concerns. Since he's opting out, Johnny doesn't take a turn bringing in food for the other children, but the other parents don't have to buy for him either, so it IS fair.

    1665 days ago
    Where do the cupcakes and baked goods come from? If the parents aren't allowed to bring baked goods anymore (that stinks)
    1666 days ago
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