Thursday, August 27, 2009

I think it's time to take action

Finding out where to start is the key. Here's my situation:

Yesterday Bella was not acting herself. When asked to do something, she would either ignore the request or state she didn't want to do it. I'm talking about turning off the TV (once I noticed homework in her bag) and taking her bath. She also was bouncing off the walls being very loud and sometimes too rough in play with Kristjan.

When it was time to read, she was fidgety and giggled nervously when I first read the book to her. When it was time for her to read the book back to me, she couldn't finish her sentences and read out completely different words than what was written in the book. She was completely unfocused. I had to stop her several times to tell her to just slow down, relax and just look at the words. I then realized after looking at her closer, that she must have had red dye that day. She did.

She told me for breakfast at school, she had some cereal with the "White bunny on it.". That cereal was Trix. She named some other cereals they had: Cocoa Puffs, Fruity Pebbles, Rice Krispies and Fruit Loops. All sugar and full of imitation colorings. Why would the school be providing such sugary cereals? Are they getting subsidies for carrying this crap? Granted, they may have Cheerios or other healthier options, but what do you think most children will choose?

I felt bad for her, I didn't scold her. I again tried to explain the importance of selecting foods that didn't have "fake colors" in them. Even Rice Krispies is a better choice in that regard. She was caught up in picking something up with the "bunny" on it. It's hard for little children when the school provides unhealthy foods that have advertising geared exclusively for children. Those foods should not be there in my book period. Just as vending machines filled with sodas and junk foods in high school should be removed. Get them outta there!

I'm stuck in a quandary because I'll either have to wake the poor child up even earlier to feed her breakfast (she already gets up at 5:45am) or pack her breakfast along with her lunch. Remembering of course, that she can't have anything with even a trace of peanuts for either meal because of a child with a severe peanut allergy in school. Too bad they can't provide the same courtesy for Bella and her dye allergy.

It concerns me because IT DOES affect her concentration. She's unable to focus and learn properly when this stuff is in her system. Not to mention how it changes her attitude. It scares me and I don't want her education or well being to suffer.

I've located the Nutrition Specialist and Food Director for our county's schools. They will be getting an email from me to start with. Secondly, at open house Chris and I will be discussing our concerns with her teacher, principle and whoever else will listen. Meanwhile, Bella will have to enjoy her breakfasts provided by us for a while until she can learn to select items without food dye if she wants to eat school food. Surely they also provide fruits, toast and other options. It's ultimately a battle between real and healthy food provided by nature and some effort by a human verses the colorfully advertized candy some people call cereal.

I am really iching to take action further on this. Not only my concerns about red dye in foods provided at school on Bella's behalf, but also for all the other children too. How many kids are being prescribed ADD or ADHD medications wrongfully when the real cuprit is the damn food dye? The same food dye that's in these sugary cereals that these children are gulping down in the morning before class starts. Hello?! I'm not a Cambridge Scholar, but I'm smart enough to know that sugar + children = hyperactivity to start with and then a bad crash to end with. How do you relieve the crash? With more sugar of course.

While I'm at it, how much food is just reheated processed foods instead of prepared there at the school? There are schools out there that have the resources and ability to prepare wholesome foods and provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the children. Instead of the staff just reheating food, they make the food. They have also found that these schools spend less on food costs and have children doing better in school. One school in particular (New York city) had supposedly troubled students attending (you know, with ADHD!) and by changing the diet, their students excelled beyond the status of their neighboring "normal" schools.

It can be done. The hard part is making it a reality. Who will listen? Who will help me? Am I out of line here?

I'm not perfect, I still let my children eat cereals that do contain some sugar (as a small snack) but I can't feed them anything anymore with coloring. I'm not wanting to bash any one's style of eating or what they allow their children to eat at home - that's none of my business. I'm just wanting healthier options and the removal of obviously unhealthy foods in school. If a kid wants a twinkie, they have the ability to get it elsewhere - not in school.

The Finding Nemo DVD case. It's almost always by Kris's side. Bella is showing him the different characters on the cover.
Always a comedian. I think I also need to remind Bella on how to sit with a dress on. :o)

I caught him in mid scurry.

I'll end this long and fiery post by saying I'll be back to update in a few days. I'm flying up to New York for the weekend to spend time with my friend Kristin and her family. Hopefully the kids will be good for daddy while I'm gone and not challenge him too much. I'm sure it will be a good time for him though, just spending good time together.

1 comment:

athomewiththeknights said...

You are not alone. Have you seen the school lunch/breakfast menus?! They're crazy. I checked them out last week on a whim. I have to be militant with stuff around here (and sometimes things slip past me still). Kali can't have any food dyes; no red, no yellow, no green, no blue, no nothing! No shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion with dyes in them, either. Nothing. Kids diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, STUF (lol) are more than likely allergic to dyes and other food additives.

Good luck with dealing with the school.