Last week, my daughter brought home a handout from school, alerting parents that students could now take part in the school's food plan. Each Wednesday until the winter break, students would have the opportunity to enjoy lunch delivered straight to the classroom. The cost of the meals ranged from $2.00 to $3.50 per week.
So I took a look at the menu. Week 1: chicken wrap. Week 2: hot dog. Week 3: 6″ ham or turkey sub. Week 4: chicken fajita.
Sounds good, right? I mean, it's inexpensive and it means that I am scrambling to make a healthy, creative lunch one less day per week. They weren't exactly the healthiest options, but also not so far off from the things I send for lunch. Then I scanned a little further down the list.
Week 7: hamburger & sliced apples with caramel sauce.
This one made alarm bells go off – I've heard of this combo before. Just where was this food coming from? I scanned to the very bottom of the bright yellow page.
“Hamburger & Sliced Apples, Chicken Wrap, Chicken Fajita are supplied by McDonald's … Subs from Quiznos …”
Seriously? McDonald's? Quiznos? Delivering lunch to school-aged kids? I am so not ok with this.
Checking the page for more information, I see that we parents are to be assured that the food selections are “based on those food providers who have submitted their menu items along with ingredients to comply with the new standards that are listed int he Food and Beverage Policy.”
My head actually spins with all the reasons why this is troubling to me, including, but not limited to:
- The low standards that must make up our school board's Food and Beverage Policy
- The indoctrination of children into fast-food culture
- The soaring childhood obesity rates in Canada
- The acknowledgement by the Government of Canada that the marketing of fast food MUST be reduced and that we must reduce our intake of fast food
- The recommendation that sodium limits in children up to age 8 do not exceed 1200mg per day
To ensure that I was not over-reacting, I looked up the nutritional values of the food they want to feed our kids:
Food from McDonald's
Hamburger and apple slices with caramel sauce
Food from Quiznos
6″ turkey & cheese sub
6″ ham & cheese sub
I have never taken my kids to McDonald's (or Quiznos) for a meal, and while I don't judge those who do, I absolutely object to these meals being brought to my kids – any kids. McDonald's can health-wash it's food any way it likes – it's still crap.
I already have a call in with the principal of the school. What do you think?