In two weeks, I am bringing the snack to my son’s Tball practice. So far for snacks, we have had Kool-Aid, Capri Sun, cookies, rice crispy treats and cupcakes smothered in icing. I’m going to bring orange slices. You know, the kind that you can suck the juice out of and get all sticky and hold in front of your teeth like a big orange toothed, sweaty kid? You know, food?
Aren’t oranges the preferred snack of kids sports? I mean, if you don’t go home covered in dirt and dust and sunscreen and sweat and orange juice, then maybe you aren’t a kid anymore? And maybe oranges are too old fashioned. I can appreciate the need for some variety, but cupcakes? God bless these kids who run their hearts out, sweating under their caps and in their synthetic ball uniforms and who are then served pure sugar as a snack. How is that nourishing, hydrating, fulfilling? How is that not going to give the kid a sugar high, then a low, then a tantrum, then a headache. Or is the cupcake meant to be a prize? A prize for what? For playing?
My daughter got a Nestle Crunch bar today for taking a quiz at school. WHAT!? That’s what you do in school, you take quizzes. No one is supposed to bribe or reward you? Aren’t there things we just DO anymore? And since when is playing on a Tball team with all your friends and sponsored uniforms and sunny days not a prize in itself?
So, the point is, I’m pretty sure the kids are going to hate my oranges. And the parents are going to be mad at me too. And then I’m going to get all depressed because I get so sad for these kids. I also do not want to offend the parents. I know so many of them are just doing the best they can. I get it. But I just can’t participate in the fattening of Generation Rx.
Last month, I went to my daughter’s school to celebrate her birthday with her class. I struggled over what to bring. The school has a rule that all food must be store-bought, but that meant for anything “Birthday” related, it would likely have Propylene Glycol in it. According to the CDC, “Propylene glycol is used to absorb extra water and maintain moisture in certain medicines, cosmetics, or food products. It is a solvent for food colors and flavors, and in the paint and plastics industries. Propylene glycol is also used to create artificial smoke or fog used in fire-fighting training and in theatrical productions.” Users are warned to avoid skin contact with as it is a strong skin irritant that can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage. It’s a big no-no on my food list and it is in every cake, cupcake, cookie cake in every store in the town I live in. I’ve searched. So I did the best I could and the kids were less than excited. Read more
But as I learned that day, there may not be much I can do to change the way kids eat (other than my own) but I can control whether I contribute to the epidemic or not and I choose to promote health and prevention through good nutrition. So, I will be bringing oranges to Tball. And I will be bringing vegetable platters to class parties. And I will be serving humus and pita chips instead of Little Caesars pizza at parties. And I will probably become known as the lady who took candy out of their classrooms and ruined EVERYTHING. The Mommy Grinch. I’m trying to be okay with that. I’m trying to get comfortable in this role of the lady who brought oranges to Tball. Kind of like the family who gave out bibles on Halloween. True story! And 30 years later, guess who remembers that? ME! And all my friends.
Unfortunately, I can think of no alternative. I can think of no ways to meet in the middle. No compromises. I just can’t bring myself to participate in the Junk Food Nation. So, I’m just going to pack up my orange slices and water and hope all those little T-ball players don’t chase after me pitching oranges at me like Fozzy and the tomatoes!