Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Can you party without chips?

Get excited - it's time for a rant!

But first, let's catch up on workouts.

Monday night I got to use the multi-sport feature on my Garmin for my first time during my first brick workout! 9.6 miles biking followed by 2.7 miles of running. One step closer to the tri.

Tuesday, after yoga, I went to a free speed workout at a high school track put on my the running store that I train with. Eric came along, plus I convinced my friend Andrea to come. When we got there I ran into Carolyn plus 3 other friends, randomly - it was a total speed party. Tough workout, ice bath, good times.

This morning I swam another 1000 meters, plus cleaned the house and scrubbed the bathtub. I didn't record my time for the previous 1000 meters but I think it was 32 minutes and today I finished in 30:59. It would be awesome if I'm not the only one that considers vacuuming and tub scrubbing part of my workout, because it totally counts.

Check out Kari's awesome giveaway - today is the last day!

Ok, here's my rant. I met with some coworkers today to plan an end of the year picnic. And I just need to throw out my disclaimer - I LOVE LOVE LOVE these people and have nothing but respect for them, I am only ranting about our difference of opinion today. 

Super nice person A offered to type up a letter asking parents to send in food. I said that I would just take care of my own letter, and tried to be vague about why, but when everyone pressed me, I admitted I wanted to encourage parents to send in healthy items. Cue the judgement, everyone telling me I'm too uptight, and asking, what, I never eat less than healthy food at parties?

So here's my thing - obviously I eat all sorts of unhealthy food, especially desserts. BUT the majority of food I eat is stuff like veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, etc etc the usual "healthy" stuff. So eating crap now and then is the exception, not the rule. 

Our kids get free breakfast which consists of donuts and chocolate milk, free lunch which is fried food, chocolate milk, and ice cream, and going off what most of them tell me its more of the same when they aren't at school. A lot of them honestly couldn't even name common vegetables during health lessons, so I don't see why I'm the devil because I don't want to give them yet another junk food fest.  According to this, 20% of African American children are overweight, and our school is 99% African American (that's the actual statistic, not an exaggeration, we literally have 5 white students out of 500-something). 

I wanted to have a picnic where the kids could play games and actually hang out with the teachers instead of constantly being slaves to the curriculum (my teacher readers know what I'm talking about!). And, I wanted to show them that you can have fun and - gasp - celebrate without junk food! I thought maybe the focus could be spending time together, not food!

It ended up getting into this huge debate over whether or not chips could be included on the list of acceptable foods, with me trying to explain why chips weren't a "healthy" food and someone else saying she would never want her daughter to be in my class. She said it jokingly but, to be honest, it hurt my feelings. Am I the world's meanest teacher because I want the kids to celebrate the end of the year without chips? 

I guess from their standpoint, this uptight be-otch won't let the kids have cupcakes even one time at their end of the year picnic and now we have to have a lame picnic with carrots and pretzels. 

So, feel free to comment and tell me I am way out of line. For the record, I'm totally all about getting my own kids birthday cake, ice cream cones, chips, and all sorts of treats from time to time, but this rant stems from looking at the eating habits of these specific kids.


  1. Thanks for the shout out!

    I completely agree with you about having healthy foods at parties. It makes me really sad that kids don't even know what some veggies are!

  2. I'm 100% with you on this one. Our schools are soo much alike. A lot of my kids don't get much to eat when they aren't at school, and when they ARE there it isn't healthy. AT ALL. The kids love a day of hanging out with their teacher and NOT having to sit through class, so they would probably take just about anything you have for them. I think having healthy snacks is a great thing. A picnic/party doesn't always have to consist of cupcakes, chocolate and chips. I think you're setting a great example for those kiddos. Don't let them get to you about it, they probably just don't see it through eyes that takes as much pride in their body and health as you do! : )

  3. I don't think you're out of line---this is a great opportunity to have kids exposed to some new healthy foods as well! Sorry you had to deal with this difference of opinion.

  4. I don't think there is anything wrong with trying to incorporate healthy foods for the kids.

    If they are having donuts and chocolate milk for breakfast, in my opinion they are already having "party" food every morning so there is absolutely nothing wrong with carrots and pretzels at a picnic.

  5. I think there should always be healthy options, like veggies and dip, with the chips and the cookies at parties. Yeah, you might think no one will eat them, but it always seems like the veggie/dip platters go first at parties!

    Little kids need to be exposed to healthy food to learn to like it (and it can take up to 17 times to try a new food for a kid to like it!), so I think what you're doing is good! I'd want Faith in your class :)

  6. People act like eating healthy food is a punishment. Like if they are denied cookies and ice cream at a school picnic then they are being deprived of a priceless childhood experience.

    Why not teach them some healthy food habits they can use outside of school?

  7. Cleaning the house totally counts as a workout! That was my workout this past Saturday and it made me more sore than any of the rest of my workouts last week!

    Also, I don't know a parent in existence who wouldn't want their kids to have healthy foods at a party. I don't think YOU'RE the one who's out-of-line.

    (Opinions and butt-holes: everyone's got one!)

  8. my comeback: "I would never want you to be my mom." Seriously, I feel sympathy for kids who don't know any better, but have parents who feed them s#!t all the time, helping them become prediabetic by the time they are 10 years old.

    this kind of convo would NEVER happen where I live, in hippie central bay area. every parent here feeds their kids organic vegan local etc etc. So it would be a no brainer -- healthy food picnic indeed!

  9. I'm glad you stood up for yourself (and for the health and well-being of your students!!)

    Teaching our children healthy eating habits is so important. The simple fact is that we are destroying their chances at a long, healthy life by feeding them crap food and instilling this concept that fun times = junk food.

    I tutor at a place that helps low income kids in DC and the things that I see those kids eat absolutely scares me. The kids don't have a chance in hell with their parents feeding them junk ALL.THE.TIME.

    That being said, maybe they thought the end of year party was the wrong time to pick your battle? Idk. I would have done the same thing as you though.

    p.s. - Rose Runner's comeback was absolutely perfect. And funny!

  10. Oh, and obviously you're not TOO uptight about healthy food. I mean the title of your blog is "Chocolate is My Life" for crying out loud.

  11. I don't think you were out of line at all, but I DO think that comment directed at your was way out of line. I think you're right that there's no need for a bunch of junk food at the party when junk food is already the norm. I mean, isn't a party about doing something special? Good for you. You did the right thing.

  12. Alyssa- I totally support your battle with trying to teach these kids healthy living. We had a great event at my school where the kids went to a local farm and learned all about different types of vegetables- they were encouraged to try everything at least twice. I'm sure many of them had never tried peppers, olives, etc. Then, a restaurant came in for one grade & the kids got to make delicious salads filled with fresh fruits & veggies and make the dressing! I was just so happy to see the smiles on their faces when they were making and eating the food. It'd be cool to get a program like that at your school. They called it Days of Taste & a restaurant near us came in to teach the kids how to make things.


Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.