The front page, above the fold headline of the December 4th Fort Collins Coloradoan reads JUGGLING WHAT KIDS SHOULD, WILL EAT. The report is about school lunches and breakfasts, and what the children leave on their plates before dashing out for recess. Because the amount of meals being served to children is on the rise (breakfasts have doubled), and the kiddos are tossing out gargantuan quantities of food, much of which is subsidized by taxpayers.
What could be causing this waste of food and taxpayer’s money? Well, you’ll be SHOCKED to learn which foods the little cherubs are refusing to eat.
Pizza is really popular, but fried rice and green apples are not. So what happens when kids don’t eat their fruits and veggies? More tax dollars are spent in the form of federal grant money on a research study entitled Fuel for Fun, which brings the brightest minds together to figure out why children don’t eat vegetables. My theory, and I don’t have any advanced degrees or federal dollars, is that children don’t eat vegetables because children don’t like vegetables. If the kids aren’t eating green apples, maybe it’s because they are the most sour of all of the apples, and a nice, soft McIntosh might just have more appeal.
Money wasted on green apples, money wasted on studying why children don’t eat green apples. This is your government at work (or not working). Michelle Obama has her hands all over the school lunch programs, in her completely misguided fight against obesity. For crying out loud, why can’t she let the kiddos have red apples? Children are not obese because of school lunches; children are obese because they are sedentary and munching on fist-fulls of Doritos after school, and playing outside a lot less than previous generations. The government cannot make kids eat fried rice, no matter how much money they spend on the rice or studying the rice; the sooner they acknowledge this, the sooner we can stop wasting tax dollars. Let’s not hold our breath.
The article in the Coloradoan also touches on obesity caused by mothers serving unhealthy prepared foods; they are working outside the home and don’t have time to cook. But it doesn’t discuss why more and more mothers are working out of the home these days. Here are my theories on that (again, not federal money given to me to figure this out).
1) Average wages have plummeted in this economy, and so has the purchasing power of the dollar. Fifteen years ago, I filled my gas tank for $0.899, a box of Kleenex was twice as big as it is now, Breyer’s ice cream was a half-gallon, boxes of granola bars came with 7 bars and not 5, and it cost a whole heckuva lot less to pay the heating bill. So with less money in the bank to spend on more costly living expenses, it has become normal for mother’s try to fill the income gap by working paying jobs.
2) Feminism has successfully engrained the stigma that there is not nobility working as a stay-at-home mother. This, of course, is preposterous. Being a stay at home mother is the noblest of all professions, not to mention the most difficult to do well. It has be stigmatized as “thankless,” which is also preposterous; creating well-adjusted, confident, secure children who love and respect themselves is an accomplishment in which mothers should relish for the rest of their lives. Not all rewards are monetary.
So, there are mothers working because their families need the money, and mothers working because society says they’re worthless otherwise. Ergo, restoring the economy and the labor force with good paying jobs, and putting modern feminism in its proper place (the trash) would go a long way in bettering the lives of our children. Or alternatively, we can spend tax dollars studying why kids don’t eat vegetables.
Most moms are super-humans, but even so, not all of society’s ills can be tackled by restoring the nuclear family. But putting the onus of child feeding and rearing where it belongs, with the parents, is a start…at a minimum it’s better than squandering the hard-earned money of the taxpayers.