i see red

In keeping with the red theme for Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to revisit one of my biggest annoyances when it comes to holidays and children, and that is stuffing them with tons and tons of treats and candy. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about fun and the occasional cookie or bag of skittles here and there. What I can’t stand is the fact that children almost always associate holidays with junk food and crap that’s not good for them. And in our culture, it’s acceptable for them to think that way. In fact, society actually pushes this trash on them- and teachers, parents (me included), and grandparents, etc., fall for it hook, line, and sinker.

Let’s take Valentine’s Day for example. When did this day turn into an all-out cookie, cake, and every-kind-of-candy you can think of festival? When I was younger all I remember doing is exchanging folded Scooby Doo or Barbie valentines. Oh and the little candy hearts with sayings on them. Not anymore. My kindergartener came home yesterday with a huge bag filled with valentines plus all sorts of goodies- from M&M’s and red suckers to foiled chocolate hearts and pixie stix. Besides the diabetes-in-a-bag treats, her class also had a St. Valentine party. This included a plate filled with chocolate chip cookies, Hershey kisses, and cupcakes. All at once! For five year olds! I don’t know about you, but I find that completely insane.

While I happily participated in sending in a bag of goodies (in my defense I sent in plastic rings, bouncy balls, and stickers all of which were probably made in China, but I’ll save that for another post), I don’t place blame on any of the other parents for sending in treat bags at the school’s request. I think it’s pretty safe to say the blame should be put on all of us as parents for tolerating and participating in the rising epidemic of type II diabetes and obesity and hyperactivity that has gripped our nation’s youth in the last decade. I know Valentine’s Day is only one day of sugar fun for kids in school and there’s no need to overreact, but-

From Boo! Wake up!

The problem is that for most kids in the US it’s not just one day, it’s every day. Every day our children are bombarded with ads for crap food and sugary drinks. Fundraisers at school for cookie dough, frozen pizzas, potato chips, and chocolate candy. SpongeBob and Dora spewed all over every fruit gummy treat in the store. Colored food products targeted to children around every corner. From popsicles and colored goldfish crackers to fruit loops cereal and M&M’s.

I really believe it’s time for us to ban together and say enough is enough. I’m starting NOW. Tomorrow for snack, I’m sending in Raw Revolution Organic Live Food Bars made with all-natural organic ingredients including cashews, dates, spirulina, almonds, and sprouted flax. Oh boy, the kids are gonna love me. What are you sending in?

Health is contagious.

dr. lisa

12 thoughts on “i see red

  1. I’m in Australia & my sons school (we call it Primary School, I think u say Elementary… He’s 6..) they are really strict about food for 2 main reasons, 1. To instill healthy eating habits & 2. Because of the amount of children with food allergies
    We no longer have a canteen ( tuck shop… ???) kids are not allowed to bring anything that contains nuts, no chocolate, cookies or chips. Fresh homemade/style food is encouraged. Also water is encouraged as their main drink for the day… Never any soft drinks (soda)
    I’m happy with this although sometimes I think it’s a little sad that on their birthdays they are not allowed to take little cupcakes or lollies bags but instead give out little knick knack gifts, but then again they get plenty of “treats” outside of school…. And the message is getting through, my son will often see something at the shops and tell me that’s not healthy mum I can’t have that at school. Maybe a version of these sorts of methods could be taken on to encourage healthy eating, just a thought :)

    • That’s amazing! I think in the US it’s beginning to change, we’re a little behind over here! There are plenty of children with peanut allergies at my daughter’s school. I am really lucky because we’ve been teaching our kids about health all along, but sometimes it gets a bit crazy when they get treats from elsewhere.

      • Our school is quite a bit stricter than others, except when it comes to nuts… Pretty much every school/preschool now has a ban on products containing nuts these days. But many other schools still have a canteen & kids can buy chips & lollies etc…. But our school has a really large amount of kids with an assortment of food allergies so they closed their canteen & bought in a no food sharing policy.
        As for the healthy eating, I love it, makes my life easier in that I’ve been able to just say, no that’s not allowed at school. My boys all love their junk food but understand that it’s definatley not an everyday thing.
        I’m a firm believer in “everything in moderation” and hope that as my boys grow they understand this also :)

  2. your Raw Revolution Organic Live Food Bar is fantastic but what about the child who has a nut allergy? What would you send then?

    • It would depend on what kind of nut allergy. If you read the product features it says the food bars are made in a peanut free, gluten free facility. My concern is the price. They are expensive. You get 12 for $18.99. Geesh!

  3. My son is 20 months old and he goes to daycare/school during the day where they will feed him for me. However, I never allow that because they feed the kids all kinds of cereal loaded with sugar and many processed foods. I look at the chart every day for foods that are being served and I cannot understand why the parents allow it. Of course, this place doesn’t recycle either – and that really gets me too. So every single day I make Tristan’s lunch packed with whole foods, fresh veggies and fruits, non-GMO foods, and unprocessed meats and/or cheeses. When I make him scrambled eggs, I always incorporate pureed spinach, kale, or collard greens into – and he knows no different. I’ve been doing it since he started eating eggs. When I make his homemade waffles in advance and freeze them (for easy access), I incorporate fresh cranberries, pumpkin, blueberries, or strawberries into the mix, make them, cut them in strips, and then freeze them to use as needed. It’s easy to be healthy and feed your kids healthy foods. I think people are just too lazy and take the easy road. But this is the easy road to me because it’s for his health.

  4. I agree and at the same time disagree. I feel that it is okay for holidays to be associated with treats – thats part of family traditions (baking cookies, making chocolates) and the fun of it. I look forward to holiday goodies, why can’t my child too. I see no problem at all with treats on the holidays however in moderation. I don’t let my child gobble down millions of cookies- I monitor. The problem is with the parents who don’t teach daily healthy eating habits. My daughter knows that desserts and treats are okay occassionally but not everyday. She is probably the healthiest child eater I know. She loves food and apprecieates healthful food. It’s all about balance and education. I feel deprivation and overindulgence is wrong. Teaching our children smart choices is key.

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