By now, I am sure you have either heard or read about the LA school district banning flavored milk at the start of the next school year in an attempt to prevent childhood obesity.
I could write about boring calorie counts, pounds of sugar consumption gained via flavored syrups in a six-ounce carton of fat free milk, and the amount of jobs created/money wasted in the committees formed to find out these mind-numbing facts~but we both know that would not be fun.
Instead, for your enjoyment, I offer the real reason you, me and every other parent in this town is in danger of raising the next "Agustus Gloop" or perhaps Season 20's future Biggest Loser contestant.
Find yourself a mirror and look into it. That reflection staring back at you is the reason your kid might be headed toward the husky section at Penney's; not a six-ounce carton of milk served on each school day.
Our generation, yes indeed, the very one responsible for raising the next into responsible adults has completely lost it regarding healthy eating.
We are raising a group of kids who cannot make it through an hour and a half baseball game over at Humphrey without some control freak organizing a snack list complete with "acceptable choices" (acceptable, mind you, is loosely translated as whatever control freak's kid likes).
Sure the kid had breakfast...and he had a "two-hours-is-way-too-long-to-wait-f0r-lunch-snack" at school an hour before lunch...the walk home from the bus stop at the end of the drive way not to mention lunch that was served nearly three hours prior will certainly most definitely make any student ravenous for an after-school snack...and, following a quick trip through the McDonald's drive thru for a pregame meal is it any wonder why your favorite shortstop needs an "after-the-game-pick-me-up"?
"Hey, somebody pass me a bag of Ranch flavored Doritos and a fruit punch Gatorade...hurry up, quick, my brother's game is across town at Centennial...he won and the Coach is treating the players and families to pizza...I gotta go."
It is not the kids' fault they are grazing gluttons. We as parents have trained them well. From the time they were small they have been treated to "snacks".
Remember Mommy and Me class at Gymboree or the Lapsit at the Libray? We packed Cherrioes in that cool container marketed for such outings.
Headed to ten-thirty Mass on Sunday? Oh, good Lord...Father goes on and on during that homily. Better pack a picnic, we'll need something to hold us over until the after-mass "Coffee And..." to sustain us until our 11:30 Brunch reservation.
Signing your kid up for "Fitness Class" over at the Sportsplex? Sweet mother of pearl...that baby runs an entire thirty minutes and requires you send the kid with a flippin' snack. Yeah, after fifteen minutes of actual activity a healthy snack is definitely encouraged.
Trouble comes when parents don't read the "fine print" in the sign up literature regarding the healthy snack...emphasis on the "healthy".
Junior freaks out as Mom packs chocolate granola bar and the capri sun juice pouch..."Maaaaa, Mrs. So Fit says it has to be healthy".
If truth be told, our kids have not been involved in one single activity in their lives that did not involve a snack.
Kids are not fat because they have an six-ounce carton of chocolaty-flavored goodness five days a week nine months a year.
They are tipping the scales because they have the thirty-two ounce pop at McDonalds (hey, at a buck it's a bargain) to wash down the McNuggets and french fries to hold them over until they get to an activity that promises a pretty cool snack to tide them over until dinner.
And, as long as there are mothers tripping over each other to out-do one another, trust me, the snacks will continue to be over-the-top...Wellness Committees be damned.
Our kids don't need to cut out chocolate milk to become slim and trim--they need three squares a day and some exercise.
I'm guessing if the snacks between meals weren't so plentiful, area moms would have eaters that were not so picky.
Back in the seventies we kids ran around outside until the street lights came on in unsupervised delight...and upon illumination your trim ass headed home and ate what was put in front of you. Why?
Because you were hungry.
And chances are you washed the grub down with an ice-cold glass of chocolate milk.
There was not an obesity problem in the seventies...or snack lists.