Lately, kids have been having a rough ride - just like the rest of us! Some kids are in school, some aren't, and for some, it depends on the day. No matter how happy a child might have been to stay home initially, we all need structure and consistency.
On that note, a topic I've been thinking about for a while now is how to ensure that kids get consistent messages about food. Even if parents are devoted to providing their child with an environment that is healthy both physically and emotionally, a child may still struggle if the school environment is not conducive to these goals. There are so many things that can work against a parent's efforts, including:
-insufficient time alloted for meals and snacks
-children being told to finish their meals even if they are no longer hungry (or being rewarded for doing so)
-children being shamed for bringing certain food items
-weight bullying going unaddressed
-a nutrition curriculum that focuses on thinness over health
-children constantly being rewarded with food
-teachers discussing their own diets with, or within earshot of, their students
-dieting used an example of morally righteous behavior
-eating disorders going unadressed or dealt with incorrectly
In March of last year, I had a meeting set up with a school administrator to discuss these topics. Guess what happened? Two days before our scheduled meeting, the school closed due to COVID-19. But I've had plenty of time to think about it since! I decided to put together a packet to help educators confidently tackle these issues so that they could work together with parents to provide children with an environment that best supports their health. If you are an educator (or know one) who is interested in receiving a free packet, please contact us and we'll be happy to send one your way.
Looking forward to a time when all children are back in school safe and sound!