The Twisted Palates of Public School Children

Sugar school.

Twisted palates, here we come!

FD never had any sweets until she got to Pre-K. And ’twas there she was corrupted. Forever. Public schools, or at least the ones FD has attended from New York State to Nova Scotia to Michigan, have waged war on her parents’ desire that our dear one not eat garbage. We believed in training children’s palates to appreciate healthy, or at least un-jacked-up flavors. So much for that.

Ironic, too, that each of these public schools has sent home flyers explaining to us the importance of good nutrition. Never mind that they were likely as not handed to us by a sugar-buzzed child as she got off the schoolbus eating candy her teacher had handed out at the end of the day.

The cafeteria at her elementary school, middle school, and this year I presume high school (too fast, too fast) offer Gatorade as a beverage. Well, it’s sporty, it comes in all sorts of fun colors, and what’s not to like, except that it’s basically just sugar, sodium, potassium, and water. A study by the NIH found that “sports and energy drink consumption were related to higher video game use; sugar-sweetened beverage and fruit juice intake; and smoking.” Thank you, educators!

In middle school, teachers gave out cans of Pepsi to kids as quiz rewards. Whatthe? And one of them was a science teacher, who really should know better. The truth is, of course, we’ve seen parents give babies Coke, so I guess teachers figure, hey, what’s the harm — these kids’ palates are already hosed. But we’re not those parents. And we so enjoyed our daughter’s caffeinated all-nighter. At 11 pm, on the phone with a classmate: “You can’t sleep? Me, either? Hahahahaha!!” This is not better living through chemistry.

I’m definitely in favor of making education fun, but the frequency of parties at school is nuts. And they’re often unannounced, so we don’t get a chance to send along alternative healthy treats. And what’s with the crap-filled vending machines, and perverted “a la carte” (ooh, so fancy) lunch choices? Leave no palates behind!

So, school systems, whose side are you on, anyway? The next time you’re thinking of sending us some information on healthy nutrition, how about you don’t? How about you read it yourself?


Eyecatcher by Loco Steve