Snacks: a 4-letter word with 6 letters

When I was a kid, we ate meals at home, except for the lunch that we brought from home to eat at school. After school we got a snack at home. We drank from water fountains and we drank with our meals.

My kids seem to be under the impression that they will die if they do not bring a snack to school every day. In my second-grader’s case, TWO snacks. It’s not their fault, really. The school not only allows this, but encourages it! If they forget to bring a snack, their teacher provides one! My fifth-grader’s teacher allows them to snack all day long if they want to.

I cannot judge their teachers for allowing this, because I don’t know what it’s like to be a teacher. I do know what it’s like to function in the real world, however, and you can’t just snack whenever you want to. I don’t feel like this is preparing them for “real life.”

Snacks are a huge source of friction in our house. Part of it is because I’m so CRAZY and part of it is because of this mentality that has been brewing in the many, many years since I was in school. People wonder why obesity has become a problem with kids and this is one of the reasons. My kids eat breakfast, then they have a morning snack at school. Then lunch at school. Then an afternoon snack at school. The first thing they do when they get home from school is have a snack. Then dinner, and then they want dessert. How is this healthy? I understand there are some schools of thought that encourage eating six small meals a day, but in those cases, “meals” are a hard-boiled egg and a grape. In this case, they’re mostly processed carbs and a full lunch and dinner.

I know, I’m a parent and I should have control over this. The problem is that when they’re at school, I don’t. I’ve tried telling them no snacks. Honestly I don’t know if I have the heart to let them sit there snack-less while the rest of their class partakes in this daily ritual. I’ve tried cutting out snacks when they get home, but we often don’t eat until 6:30 and honestly, I don’t want to deal with the whining.

My solution? Bitch about it until they’re out of school. I didn’t say it was a good solution.

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