How You Can Help Improve Food in Your Child's School
By Dr. Susan Rubin
If we are what we eat, then our kids are headed for big trouble. Junk and poor-quality foods are everyday choices in most schools across the country. We are in the midst of a nationwide obesity epidemic, but that's not all.
Being overweight or obese is only one component of declining children's health. It is easy to see, but it is merely a symptom of a bigger picture. Allergies, asthma, behavioral issues, cancer, and digestive disorders are not so easily seen with the naked eye but are on the rise in our children. Research and commonsense will tell you that all of these health issues can be improved with a healthier diet.
It is said that in this country, the worst food is found in our schools, hospitals and jails. Before our kids end up in the hospital (or worse, in jail), let's consider schools.
Children spend a significant part of their lives in school so it's crucial that our schools provide a healthy environment with decent food to eat. Our schools have become one of the largest sources of unhealthy food for kids. Parents who work hard to feed their kids a balanced diet at home fight a losing battle in the school cafeteria and in the classroom where sugary rewards are a common practice.
It's up to school administrators and school boards to set higher standards for the food served on their campuses. But those same people have a budget to balance each year and healthy food costs more. The sad truth is that schools raise substantial dollars from selling poor-quality junk foods. Why are our schools selling out our kids for a few bucks? Why are we trading children's health for cash in our schools?
"Would anyone advocate that we take the fences off the playground for elementary schools and just let kids run around in the streets?" Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said. "By the same token, why would we allow schools to poison our kids with junk food?"
Are you angry enough to do something about school food? Now you can! Join the Two Angry Moms as they take a stand for our children's health. Two Angry Moms is a documentary work-in-progress that asks the question: What happens when two "fed-up" moms try to change school lunch? Find out more, click on www.angrymoms.org.
We will focus on exactly what has gone wrong with our School Lunch Program and demonstrate strategies for overcoming roadblocks and getting real food into school cafeterias. Along the way we plan to build an army of 2 million angry moms (and dads) that will help to transform food and food policies in every school in the country.
Dr. Susan Rubin is a parent of three daughters, a dentist and holistic nutritionist. She is the founder and director of the Westchester Coalition for Better School Food, a public advocacy group of health professionals and concerned parents. Dr. Rubin is one of the Two Angry Moms. Click on www.angrymoms.org to learn more.