My son and I have invented a new game. It’s called “Snack Police.” It’s counter to a game his friend invented called “Drunk” (a twist on tag where the boy who is ”it” is “crazy for alcohol” and the other kids run around teasing the drunk.) My kid is 7. There are so many sides of sad to that story, I don’t even know where to begin.
But what’s equally sad is what the kids in his first grade class bring for snack and lunch. Just yesterday, my son told me that his classmate brings soda for snack. (BTW, my kid has had soda once in his life. It was seltzer, really, but enough to convince him that anything bubbly was too “spicy” for him.) I remember his teacher sending a note home in the beginning of the year reminding parents to pack healthy snacks and listing some examples of what those were. Thank God soda was not on the list; in fact, there was a specific section reminding parents not to send soda or candy.
I’m not expecting organic yogurt and pumpkin seeds from the parents in my son’s mostly lower income to middle class school, but I can’t imagine what is going through a parent’s head when they send in soda in their child’s lunch bag.
“Jon’s going to be thirsty today at snack time. I’ll pack him something to drink?”
“Jon’s going to need a pick-me-up around 10 am. I’ll pack him some caffeine?”
“Jon’s been a good boy all week. I’ll send him a little soda as a reward?”
Those more sympathetic and compassionate than I am can tell me from now until the end of time that the poor and uneducated can’t afford or don’t know how to make healthy choices for their kids. (My friend Cat took those folks on yesterday .)
While there’s some truth to this claim, I will call out any person right here and now who tells me anyone is too poor or too stupid to know that sending their child to school with soda for lunch is a good choice. WAKE UP!
When my son and I talked about this, I told him that we should form a “Snack Police Squad.” He jumped right on board and said, “Yeah! We go into school with healthy snacks (like the kind I bring) and when we see a kid with junk we take it away and replace it with healthy food.”
Why is it so easy for my 7-year-old to get it, but not grown ups? Sure, he has positive, educated influences in his life, but he has tons of negative influences, too, from his “Drunk”-inspired peers to commercials on Cartoon Network to I-Carly.
Will it really take the “Snack Police” to drive the point home?
If so, someone design me a badge. I’m headin’ in.