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#1 of 96 Old 01-06-2010, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Did anyone else catch this article on Time.com?

U.S. Schools' War Against Chocolate Milk


I spoke to my son's teach about how unhappy I was that at our elem school, even the kids in pre-K, are given the CHOICE to have white or choc milk daily. Three year olds in pre-k can choose to have choc milk every day. I hate that. Her response was "They don't like white milk" & "well it's low fat".

I can't wait to forward this article on to the school. I just have to word the letter just right.

Anyone have a little one in one of these schools that banned choc milk?
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#2 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 12:17 AM
 
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I'm 36, and got chocolate milk at lunch every day in elementary school

I'm not getting the link between choc milk and the obesity epidemic. Was the an obesity epidemic in the 70s? Cause we had choc milk in school then, too!

(Don't get between me and my chocolate milk! Although, I would be very happy if they would only serve the kind sweetened with sugar, rather than HFCS. Old school! )
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#3 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 12:27 AM
 
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I serve DS chocolate milk all the time. He's a skinny mini and a few extra calories are no big deal if it gets him to actually consume something. We don't make a fuss about the chocolate at all, so sometimes he wants it and sometimes he doesn't.

I mostly drink chocolate milk myself. I only occasionally want white milk, for instance if I'm eating slice of a rich chocolate cake chocolate milk just seems redundant and overkill.

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(Don't get between me and my chocolate milk! Although, I would be very happy if they would only serve the kind sweetened with sugar, rather than HFCS. Old school! )
With the rising price of corn many makers of sweetened treats are switching back to real sugar.

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#4 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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Our school serves chocolate milk and I let my daughter get it every now and then. I am aiming to teach my kids moderation and how to have treats from time to time without overdoing it.

 
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#5 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hey i am all for you and your kiddos enjoying choc milk every day if that's your thing.

it's not my thing - and in my house choc milk is a treat - I don't see any reason at all to serve it in schools. If you want your kids to have it, great send it in from home for them.
IMO schools should strive to set an impeccable example for nutrition with the food choices they offer. Our school's lunch menu is awful IMO - the milk choice is just the easiest thing to fix.

It's weird how strongly I feel about this.
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#6 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 12:12 PM
 
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I agree with the OP. My kids do get chocolate milk every day with DH when they wake up in the morning... it is their ritual together. But that's our family's current choice, and it might not be the same choice if one of our kids was fighting obesity. We also use organic milk and chocolate, and I do not let my kids drink the kind served in schools. I would totally support not having CM in schools, to avoid little kids making hard diet decisions for themselves - even adults have trouble making the right decisions when less healthy options are put in front of them when they are hungry!

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#7 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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I think chocolate milk is junk food. Pure and simple. That said, I don't mind junk food in moderation.

I like the way it works at our school. For snack, kids have a choice of milk, chocolate milk, or oranje juice. For lunch, it's milk only.

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#8 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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My kids' school districts have it as an option for lunch. It's also an option for the free/reduced lunch program that provides breakfast for kids that otherwise wouldn't get breakfast at home.

Here's my issue. If you as a parent chooses to provide chocolate milk for your child every day and are willing to deal with the potential health risks later on such as obesity then go ahead. They're your kids. However, I have an issue when it is provided as an option and there is little parental or adult oversight to provide gentle council on moderation. I hear what some of the PP have said that they don't allow their kids to buy/drink the chocolate milk at their school. My question is how do you know they are following your request? Pop into their school sometime during lunch and see what's on their tray. I went into school one morning when DSS 9 was in 1st grade. He was in a K/1 classroom and one of the kindergartners had just returned from picking up her free breakfast. It was a prepackaged bowl of Frosted Flakes and she proceeded to pour chocolate milk over it.

My opinion is that it shouldn't be an option in schools. If you want your kids to drink chocolate milk every day, give it to them for breakfast.

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#9 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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What bothers me worse than the chocolate milk, is the strawberry milk my kids' school offers. My 6 yo DS chooses it almost every day - other days, chocolate. The strawbeey milk has red 40, plus other icky ingredients. I've encouraged him not to have it so often, but I'm not there, and according to DD, he almost always drinks it. I don't want to make it an even bigger issue, so even though it bothers me, it's his choice, and I figure he'll grow out of it. Plus, he is my too skinny kid, so the obesity aspect isn't a concern.

I do wish they had full-fat milk (hey, even better if it was organic or raw ).

DD doesn't drink milk, so she chooses juice or water (which costs more b/c it's bottled).

Honestly, I missed the food committee's meeting yesterday but of all the food concerns parents may have, I hope someone brought up the milk thing.

That said, obviously it's not that big of a deal for me b/c otherwise I would pack my kids' lunches all the time. They eat well at home, and I don't feel like the hot lunch choices are bad, for the most part, at our school.

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#10 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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I don't know if chocolate milk is an option at my son's school. If it is, I don't have a problem with him drinking it. The meals and snacks that are served to students are high quality foods that are tastefully prepared.

DS has two daily recess periods and consumes very little junk, so a daily dose of chocolate milk is the least of my worries.

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#11 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
What bothers me worse than the chocolate milk, is the strawberry milk my kids' school offers. My 6 yo DS chooses it almost every day - other days, chocolate. The strawbeey milk has red 40, plus other icky ingredients.

Just FYI, Most chocolate milk also has Red 40 and most of the same icky ingredients...

 
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#12 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Oonah View Post
it's not my thing - and in my house choc milk is a treat - I don't see any reason at all to serve it in schools. If you want your kids to have it, great send it in from home for them. .
So, there should be no treat foods in school lunch?

Our family doesn't routinely drink anything except water (no milk or juice on a regular basis). I'd prefer she got single portions of choc milk at school to having a large supply of it at home, kwim?

But the truth is, my dd packs lunch and drinks the water I pack. My reaction is more about my childhood, and having a half-pint of choc milk almost every day as part of my healthy diet and active lifestyle. If there is an obesity epidemic, I don't think it is about the 8 oz of choc milk in a school lunch.
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#13 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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Chocolate milk would be one of the few things my children (if they ate school meals) would be able to consume. The food here is not nice, and by the time my eldest child gets to eat the fruit and nicer food has gone. They much prefer packed lunch.
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#14 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 04:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Oonah View Post
hey i am all for you and your kiddos enjoying choc milk every day if that's your thing.

it's not my thing - and in my house choc milk is a treat - I don't see any reason at all to serve it in schools. If you want your kids to have it, great send it in from home for them.
IMO schools should strive to set an impeccable example for nutrition with the food choices they offer. Our school's lunch menu is awful IMO - the milk choice is just the easiest thing to fix.

It's weird how strongly I feel about this.
If YOU don't want YOUR kid to have it, tell him he's not allowed.
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#15 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 04:50 PM
 
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I am aware of many natural food advocates who feel that milk in general is really bad for people. There are folks that advocate taking milk out of schools in all forms.

 
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#16 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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I agree that in theory, it's an odd thing for a school cafeteria to offer; you'd think they'd model more healthy foods. On the other hand, my son's school does serve it, and he's told me that he gets it often. I'm okay with that, because to him that's his "dessert" there apparently, and there are worse things to have as dessert (don't get me started on those gummy "fruit snacks" that they serve). Also, I secretly dislike plain white milk myself.

I'm more worried about his teeth than I am about obesity, as he's thin, lean and active. School diets aren't what make kids obese - they get that at home.
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#17 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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IMO schools should strive to set an impeccable example for nutrition with the food choices they offer. Our school's lunch menu is awful IMO - the milk choice is just the easiest thing to fix.
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Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
Here's my issue. If you as a parent chooses to provide chocolate milk for your child every day and are willing to deal with the potential health risks later on such as obesity then go ahead.
Per 1 cup serving 2% milk has 122 calories, 5 grams of fat (3 saturated), vs. the chocolate lowfat which has 157 calories and 3g fat (2 saturated). You're talking an average of an additional 6300 calories (1.8 lbs)over the course of 9 months. I don't think that's really causing a childhood obesity epidemic. Now the FOOD the school serves may be another story!

However though here's the thing. In a lot of areas, schools pretty much feel they have to offer a lot of high cal/fat options (plus due to state and district contracts they are limited by what they can purchase depending on what's offered by the distributer). Many children in poverty level homes (and that number keeps increasing the past few years) may not get dinner, breakfast or snacks at home. Not saying that poor people won't feed their children (of course most certainly do!), but food options can be more limited for some, plus you have the people who think a little bag of Doritos is a great dinner, etc. The nutrition they get at school may be the ONLY nutrition they get for the day. And if the only way to get a child to consume the calcium in milk is to make it chocolate, then that's what they'll do. As parents it's our job to teach our children our beliefs, whether it be religious, behavioural related or involving food. Kids are exposed to differences and temptations every day, and we can't make them all disappear - nor should we try to. That doesn't mean it's not worthwhile to try to improve the menu selections at the school level, but I don't think singling out chocolate milk is going to have a real impact other than resulting in some children not drinking milk at school at all.
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#18 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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If YOU don't want YOUR kid to have it, tell him he's not allowed.
And she'd enforce that... how? At least one of the PPs mentioned asking a dc to not buy strawberry milk, but he does anyhow.

Parents are rising up in protest in my district because food must be purchased with a debit card, so kids have virtually unfettered access to food - including snack items - in the cafeteria. Many kids have trouble making good decisions and parents are finding out their kids are choosing junk food rather than healthy food. I remember sometimes buying a brownie, peanut butter wafer cookies, and chocolate milk for lunch if the lines were long or the meal was unappetizing.

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It's an option at our schools, my ds always picks white milk though to be honest. I would be fine with him choosing chocholate though. Personally I know when I was growing up and even now the only milk I drink is either chocolate or if reg milk it's to wash down something very chocolatey lol. I know there are also studies about chocolate milk containing the same nutrients etc (which to me is the important thing) just a few extra calories. IMO the calcium and other nutrients, unless weight is an issue for that child, outweigh the few extra calories:-). For me the quality of the school lunches is a much bigger issue (we don't do school lunch, I make it). It's scary, they go with the LOWEST bidder for all food for the schools, including ground beef (especially scary since kids are very vulnerable to food poisoning etc) and other meats yikes) and things like garlic bread with dip (seriously) pass as a meal, not a side.

" I remember sometimes buying a brownie, peanut butter wafer cookies, and chocolate milk for lunch if the lines were long or the meal was unappetizing."

Aran lol I remember getting french fries and a chocolate shake for lunch in high school. But there weren't those choices until high school, not that that makes it ok.

It would be nice if ALL the choices were healthy and high quality.
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#20 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 05:45 PM
 
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And she'd enforce that... how? At least one of the PPs mentioned asking a dc to not buy strawberry milk, but he does anyhow.

Parents are rising up in protest in my district because food must be purchased with a debit card, so kids have virtually unfettered access to food - including snack items - in the cafeteria. Many kids have trouble making good decisions and parents are finding out their kids are choosing junk food rather than healthy food. I remember sometimes buying a brownie, peanut butter wafer cookies, and chocolate milk for lunch if the lines were long or the meal was unappetizing.
My kids are quite happy to say, ok, yes, if you say so, that is fine, and I won't get it. I might grumble about it, but I won't do it. I think it would be terribly unfair to force the issue of no chocolate milk because you don't want it. This isn't the same as saying 'My kid has a pb allery, I don't want it served in the cafeteria'
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#21 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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As a kid, I was told to get white milk or ask for water. I guess I *could* have rebelled & gotten chocolate but just didn't. I don't remember not being allowed to have chocolate being a big deal to me at all. Perhaps you could let the teacher or supervisor know that your kid gets white milk only?

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#22 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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Just FYI, Most chocolate milk also has Red 40 and most of the same icky ingredients...
I am an avid reader of chocolate milk labels (because I am always searching from brands that use real sugar rather than HFCS....WAWA rocks!), and I've never seen Red #40 on any label

Also, just to keep things in perspective, 8 oz of choc milk has about 25 grams of sugar (reg milk has about 12). A cup of breyers fruit on the bottom yogurt has 40 grams of sugar.
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#23 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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Per 1 cup serving 2% milk has 122 calories, 5 grams of fat (3 saturated), vs. the chocolate lowfat which has 157 calories and 3g fat (2 saturated). You're talking an average of an additional 6300 calories (1.8 lbs)over the course of 9 months. I don't think that's really causing a childhood obesity epidemic. Now the FOOD the school serves may be another story!

However though here's the thing. In a lot of areas, schools pretty much feel they have to offer a lot of high cal/fat options (plus due to state and district contracts they are limited by what they can purchase depending on what's offered by the distributer). Many children in poverty level homes (and that number keeps increasing the past few years) may not get dinner, breakfast or snacks at home. Not saying that poor people won't feed their children (of course most certainly do!), but food options can be more limited for some, plus you have the people who think a little bag of Doritos is a great dinner, etc. The nutrition they get at school may be the ONLY nutrition they get for the day. And if the only way to get a child to consume the calcium in milk is to make it chocolate, then that's what they'll do. As parents it's our job to teach our children our beliefs, whether it be religious, behavioural related or involving food. Kids are exposed to differences and temptations every day, and we can't make them all disappear - nor should we try to. That doesn't mean it's not worthwhile to try to improve the menu selections at the school level, but I don't think singling out chocolate milk is going to have a real impact other than resulting in some children not drinking milk at school at all.
You are making the assumption that a child will only drink one carton of chocolate milk per lunch. I've spent plenty of time in my kids' elementary school cafeteria and let me tell you, there's a lot more chocolate milk being consumed than one carton per child per lunch. As a PP said, the lunch program in my school district works off of a debit-style system. So kids have the option to keep "buying" things until the money runs out. They can go up and buy chips, fruit snacks, multiple cartons of chocolate milk, cookies the size of their faces, etc. I've told/asked my kids to buy skim milk or drink water. But real-world app of that request is the purchase of chocolate milk.

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#24 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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oh, I know for certain my kids' school choc milk doesn't have red 40 in it b/c I read the ingredients at the thanksgiving meal and was commenting about it to DH. Some chocolate syrups do, though.

(sorry, didn't quote.)

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#25 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
. As a PP said, the lunch program in my school district works off of a debit-style system. So kids have the option to keep "buying" things until the money runs out. They can go up and buy chips, fruit snacks, multiple cartons of chocolate milk, cookies the size of their faces, etc. I've told/asked my kids to buy skim milk or drink water. But real-world app of that request is the purchase of chocolate milk.
Maybe that is the actual problem, then, and not the chocolate milk?
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#26 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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Maybe that is the actual problem, then, and not the chocolate milk?
Well on the surface, I would agree with you that the actual problem is the debit-style program rather than the chocolate milk. But really what is happening is that we, as grownups, are asking small children to make rational, reasonable decisions that they are just not capable of. I feel that part of my job as the grownup caring for children is to help them work through why or why not certain food choices are being offered. For example, my kids would eat dessert every night if given the chance to make that decision on their own. However as the grownup, it's my job to say "you had ice cream this afternoon with Daddy so we are not going to have candy after dinner tonight." By doing so, I hope to impart the idea of moderation to them and respect for what their bodies can handle. I think it's unreasonable to expect a kindergartner to say "You know, I've already had chocolate milk twice this week, I think I'll choose skim milk today instead." So the more reasonable solution to me seems to be to remove those choices that get easily abused.

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So do away with the real problem- the debit card system. Then it can't be abused.
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#28 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 06:57 PM
 
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I have to say, I love the pre-paid account aspect b/c I know how much money they have, and don't have to worry about sending in cash every day. That said, it can get used quickly. Bottled water are .40 cents, or whatever, and even though my kids have re-useable SS bottles, they often buy them. or, they go and get breakfast when they have already ate at home - which is fine, if they are still hungry, except I don't budget for it ahead of time so then I am always having to look and see where all their lunch money went so quickly.

But really, all I have to do is talk to them about it. I remind DD water costs money, and I'd prefer her to only do it X amount of times per week. I would do the same for breakfast (but it's only .75 cents) if it bothered me. The water does, b/c they have their own and there's no need to buy it bottled all the time.

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#29 of 96 Old 01-07-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
I think it's unreasonable to expect a kindergartner to say "You know, I've already had chocolate milk twice this week, I think I'll choose skim milk today instead." So the more reasonable solution to me seems to be to remove those choices that get easily abused.
I guess I just don't see one small portion of choc milk with lunch each day as abuse, unless the lunch is otherwise full of sugar and empty calories. What's happened to buying a complete lunch, with an entree, a fruit/veg, and one milk? My dd's school still has that. On the days she buys, she always asks if she is allowed to buy anything additional. I usually say no
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Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
You are making the assumption that a child will only drink one carton of chocolate milk per lunch. I've spent plenty of time in my kids' elementary school cafeteria and let me tell you, there's a lot more chocolate milk being consumed than one carton per child per lunch. As a PP said, the lunch program in my school district works off of a debit-style system. So kids have the option to keep "buying" things until the money runs out. They can go up and buy chips, fruit snacks, multiple cartons of chocolate milk, cookies the size of their faces, etc. I've told/asked my kids to buy skim milk or drink water. But real-world app of that request is the purchase of chocolate milk.
Imo, the option to buy extras is the real problem, not whether or not the milk is flavored. We had a pre-paid system in my small, private school when I was growing up. It was not card, though, (like it is there now) but tickets. One ticket got you one full meal. Beverage choices were whole milk, 2% milk, or chocolate milk (dont know fat content). You could only get juice if you had a dr's note that you were allergic to dairy. Then, you got the whole meal being served that day. That was it, no option to buy extras. With this system, I see no problem w/ kids drinking chocolate milk. Some kids will tell you that they do not like white milk anyway. I rarely serve dd flavored milk, but I drink it every morning! I would rather see her drink 3 glasses of flavored milk per day than none at all. Nowadays, of course my old school has switched to the card system and they offer all kinds of extras. My mom still teaches there and she hates it b/c some kids will just eat nachos for lunch.

I really really do not see the point of offering children all of these options to buy additional junky food at lunch time. I can understand offering extra HEALTHY food to buy b/c some kids need more food, but not nachos, cookies, chips, mini donuts, etc. We had that in high school & I think by then kids are old enough to have that freedom (we also had a salad bar then, too). If you are old enough to drive a car, you are old enough to choose soda and a cookie for lunch, even if the choice is not optimal. I think it's irresponsible of a school to present a six-year-old w/ these kinds of food choices. Hello, of course they will buy all the junk, they are so little! I can easily see the nutritional value of drinking a flavored milk, but not in eating a pack of mini donuts!!!

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DD (4.25.08)  DD (4.23.10)  DD (10.13.12)

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