I am all for healthy eating but..........

JL - posted on 09/29/2009 ( 57 moms have responded )

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Mother’s Fight Against Junk Food Puts a School on Edge
Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times


MeMe Roth, a publicist and an Upper West Side mother of two, is getting really, really mad — “and I do not mean angry,” she clarified. “I mean mad, like crazy.” Ms. Roth is being driven mad by Public School 9, where her children are in second and fourth grades, and it seems that P.S. 9, in turn, is being driven mad by Ms. Roth.

Ms. Roth, who runs a group called National Action Against Obesity, has no problem with the school lunches provided at the highly regarded elementary school on Columbus Avenue and 84th Street. What sets her off is the junk food served on special occasions: the cupcakes that come out for every birthday, the doughnuts her children were once given in gym, the sugary “Fun-Dip” packets that some parent provided the whole class on Valentine’s Day.

“I thought I was sending my kid to P.S. 9, not Chuck E. Cheese,” Ms. Roth, a trim, impassioned 40-year-old from Atlanta, said in an interview. “Is there or is there not an obesity and diabetes epidemic in this country?”

When offered any food at school other than the school lunch, Ms. Roth’s children — who shall go nameless since it seems they have enough on, or off, their plates — are instructed to deposit the item into a piece of Tupperware their mother calls a “junk food collector.”

This solution seemed to be working pretty well until Ms. Roth’s daughter dutifully tried to stick a juice pop — a special class treat from her teacher on a hot day — into her plastic container. The teacher told Ms. Roth’s daughter to eat it or lose it, and according to the child pointed out that she had seen the young girl eating the corn chips served with school lunch — did that not count as junk food?

This prompted one of Ms. Roth’s infamous heated e-mail messages to the school. Which, in turn, prompted administrators to pull her daughter out of class to discuss the juice pop incident, which only further infuriated Ms. Roth, who said her daughter felt as if she’d been ambushed.

What followed was the kind of meeting in which bureaucracy masquerades as farce, or maybe it’s the other way around. Ms. Roth and her husband, Ben, say they were told by Helene Moffatt, a school safety official, that if they considered the regular dissemination of junk food a threat to their children’s health and safety — and indeed, they do — they should request a health and safety transfer, something that generally follows threats of violence. That transfer request, they were told, would also require filing a complaint with the police.

“What would that conversation even sound like?” asked Mr. Roth, who works in marketing. “ ‘We know you guys are dealing with stabbings and shootings, but stop everything: We have a cupcake situation’ ?”

Both parents left feeling they were being pushed out of P.S. 9, which they perceive as exhausted by Ms. Roth’s intense lobbying for, among other things, permission slips for any food not on the official lunch menu. It would not be the first time: The Roths previously lived in Millburn, N.J., where, after Ms. Roth waged war on the bagels and Pringles meal served to kids at lunch, received e-mail from one member of the P.T.A. that said, “Please, consider moving.” That was in 2006, and P.S. 9 has been hearing about its transgressions against healthy eating pretty much ever since.

“The community is very concerned,” the principal, Diane Brady, wrote in an e-mail message. At the meeting with Ms. Moffatt, Ms. Brady said that Ms. Roth “was hostile” and “threw candy onto the table and cursed.” It was not the first time, she added, that Ms. Roth had “displayed this hostile behavior.”

Ms. Roth’s message is hardly outlandish: There is an obesity epidemic, and there are probably better ways to celebrate a child’s birth than sending a passel of kids into sugar shock in the middle of math class.

Her extreme methods have earned her attention before: The police were called to a Y.M.C.A. in 2007 when she absconded with the sprinkles and syrups on a table where members were being served ice cream. That was Ms. Roth who called Santa Claus fat on television that Christmas, and she has a continuing campaign against the humble Girl Scout cookies, on the premise that no community activity should promote unhealthy eating.

“She has some valid points, but the way she delivers them is abrasive,” said Jim Stanek, a fellow P.S. 9 parent, who responded angrily to an e-mail message Ms. Roth sent to around 75 parents saying that the physical education teacher who served her children doughnuts probably “couldn’t pass a standardized phys ed. test.”

It is too bad that Ms. Roth’s suggestions come in e-mail messages strung with too many capital letters and undiplomatic, if accurate, scare tactics (on the threat of diabetes—“we’re talking amputations, blindness, endless finger pricking, endless disabilities”). It would probably benefit New York’s students, and no doubt Ms. Roth’s family, if she tried to catch a few flies with honey. Make that agave nectar.





I do have to say that on a personal note I am one of those parents that brings in cupcakes for my daughters class for her birthday. I do ask the teacher ahead of time if there are any kids in class with allergies or any kids who are not able to eat sweets and if there are I do provide an alternative and I bring mini cupcakes that are bite sized and from the organic store.

My kids main diet is healthy but I do occassionally let them engage in a sinful snack like cupcakes for a Birthday party or an icecream while on summer vacation. I try to buy organic healthier products with the sweets but I know that sometimes they will eat a cupcake at a party that is not organic, but Geez I think totally banning such things and going on an all out angry attack has the negative effect of not teaching children how to balance and limit things. They will be adults at sometime in their lives and they will probably try these things so why not set them up for success by teaching them moderation and not focusing on weight standards so much as focusing on having a healty and active lifestyle.

I mean girls are already bombarded with images of skinny perfection and I don't want to enforce that thought process on my kids that eating the occassional bit of junk food is equivalent to being fat. I just think there is a line and that moderation is the key to that line. I have children who are considered underweight according to the national standards because they are active and eat healthy but they do also occassionally have a bit of junkfood..........

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Jodi - posted on 09/29/2009

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Geez, that's ridiculous! A treat every day does NOT cause obesity and diabetes. I am a huge advocate for healthy eating, and regular exercise/sports, but I also allow my kids a treat after dinner every single night (whether it be a sweet, ice cream, or whatever) as their reward for eating their dinner with no fuss. I never give it a second thought when the kids get a cupcake in class on someone's birthday. So what!! Or the occasion they have a class party at the end of the year, or the chocolate eggs the teacher gives them for Easter.



I appreciate that this woman is concerned about the health of her children, but this is just not common sense. What causes obesity and diabetes is eating junk regularly, and then sitting on your backside on the lounge in front of the idiot box or playing games!! If children are burning off the energy these food put into the body, it shouldn't be an issue on an occasional basis! And Joy, my kids have always been considered underweight too - they are active and eat healthily the majority of the time.



I agree that if this woman can't accept how the school deals with these things, then she should homeschool them. It is similar to my argument about parents who put their children in daycare and then expect them to be raised exactly as they would raise them at home. If you put your children in the hands of others to raise or teach them, you have to accept that it may not be done exactly as you would do it yourself. If you want to be so particular about it, do it yourself.

Mary - posted on 09/29/2009

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Quoting Jenny:

What a nutbar. I'm very strict about sugar as well but in a balanced way. There's no pop, cookies, snack cakes, fruit rollups etc. in my house. I never buy candy and Halloween is a nightmare for me lol. However, I don't care if my kids have a treat on occassion. Cupcakes anad cakes for birthdays are fine as well as other holidays or even just because. So long as it's not regular I don't mind a bit. It's about balance.

This woman is going overboard and is giving her kids a complex.



A little off topic, but here is how my sister deals with Halloween...



The kids go out trick-or-treating, and bring all the candy home.  They are allowed to keep ~ 5 pieces of their choice.  The rest goes into a plastic pumpkin that gets left out for Glenda the Good Witch...she flies in on her broom overnight, and swaps the candy out for a present for each child.



I think my BIL takes the candy into his office the next am to get rid of the evidence (and temptation)!



As for this woman...she's over the top.  I think she has lost sight of the fact that moderation is the key to everything.  Her poor kids are going to go off to college, and rather than being binge drinkers, they'll binge on all the candy and cupcakes they were denied as children, and their roomates will have to call 911 when they end up in a sugar coma.

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Well, I've seen time and time again that people who do not allow themselves to indulge in the occasional sugary snack are more likely to binge. I'd like to look up those stats but I'm at work and running out of time to even reply. =)



Ridiculous. Why can't she just teach her children to politely refuse snacks if she doesn't want them to have them? Or, alternatively, teach them about moderation?

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2009

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Quoting Sarah:


As far as the McD's as cheaper thing, I can explain that thinking somewhat...when you are really broke and hungry you can always scrounch up a few bucks for the dollar menu, but it is harder to scrounge up enough to actually go get groceries. Each meal you cook is cheaper, but when you have no groceries it can be hard to get all the ingrediants at one time...ie things like milk, butter, etc.



Thanks for the clarification Sarah :)  It has been a long time since I had to scrounge my last few dollars in the car.  I guess I've always kept a lot of staples in my cupboard.  The occasional junk food is not really the issue, but if you go a whole week eating it?  That's not scrounging a few dollars.  Seriously, some people use the excuse that takeaway is cheaper and eat it every day!!  If you are eating it regularly, there are much cheaper and healthier options.  For a family our size, no matter what, it is cheaper for us to have a home cooked meal, even if I buy it that day.

Isobel - posted on 09/29/2009

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OK, here's the deal *worst mother on earth speaking* my kids eat healthy every day of their lives...I encourage trying new things regularly (my daughter requested Indian food for her 8th birthday). That being said, on Halloween, I let them gorge themselves the first night (till they throw up if they wish, though nobody ever has) then I dole the rest out over the course of the year...I think I might still have some left from last year.

my kids are in skating, swimming, tai kwon do, and brownies, their school requires 2 gym classes per week, 1 swimming class per week, 1 half hour of outdoor time per day, and that's not including the running around they do during lunch and both recesses.

I have heard of this obesity epidemic, I believe it to be a social and economic issue (when I was a single mom and all I could afford and had time for was McDs, that's what they got). I find, though, that now I live in an affluent neighbourhood, where people can afford to drive to the local whole foods (and have their nannies prepare it), there are VERY few obese children...in fact I worry in the other direction, that our girls may be well on their way to eating disorders.

I guess my point is...when it's the boy's turn to pick his birthday dinner and he chooses Burger King (which he will) I will have no issues indulging.

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Jodi - posted on 10/02/2009

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Quoting Alison:

I saw on the news that some schools in the UK have put an absoulute ban on junk food. Parents can't even pack birthday cake in their childs lunchbox and food parties are banned to stop people from consuming junk. This woman would probably love it if her kids went to one of those schools. Perhaphs she should move there. I just don't understand why schoos/parents can't just teach kids to enjoy treats in moderation.



I have heard some school in Australia have started doing that - they have the lunchbox police!!  Apparently the teacher has to check lunchboxes each day when they arrive at school.  I can understand they are trying to combat obesity, but wouldn't we be better off educating parents and advocating moderation rather than just putting an outright ban on it? 

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This woman sounds like a nuisance. She has the right to stop her children eating junk food, but harrasing the school is taking things too far.



I saw on the news that some schools in the UK have put an absoulute ban on junk food. Parents can't even pack birthday cake in their childs lunchbox and food parties are banned to stop people from consuming junk. This woman would probably love it if her kids went to one of those schools. Perhaphs she should move there. I just don't understand why schoos/parents can't just teach kids to enjoy treats in moderation.

Jodi - posted on 10/02/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

yep yep!! :: sigh :: except I'm on the other side of the country - I'm not sure the gas would pay off, lol.

But if I did - I'd play the song from veggie tales (I've never even heard it, lol) and cruise along like the ice cream man.... kids would hate me and run crying everytime they heard my truck coming...



ROFLMAO!!!!  I can just see it now.  "NOOOOOOOOO you sell my mum all those veggies I hate, run, run for the hills!!"

JL - posted on 10/02/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

yep yep!! :: sigh :: except I'm on the other side of the country - I'm not sure the gas would pay off, lol.

But if I did - I'd play the song from veggie tales (I've never even heard it, lol) and cruise along like the ice cream man.... kids would hate me and run crying everytime they heard my truck coming...



You can take my 2 year old son with you, he knows the Veggie tales song pretty well...

Sharon - posted on 10/01/2009

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yep yep!! :: sigh :: except I'm on the other side of the country - I'm not sure the gas would pay off, lol.



But if I did - I'd play the song from veggie tales (I've never even heard it, lol) and cruise along like the ice cream man.... kids would hate me and run crying everytime they heard my truck coming...

Jodi - posted on 10/01/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

I'm tempted to buy a refridgerated truck and fill it with fresh vegetables and drive to those cities to cruise through the neighborhoods. I could make a killing.



That's what I was thinking Sharon.  Just imagine a business in one of those cities.  Then add in  some quick easy and budget recipe cards for free!!  A bit of advertising, and you could make a friggin fortune!!!

Sharon - posted on 10/01/2009

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I'm tempted to buy a refridgerated truck and fill it with fresh vegetables and drive to those cities to cruise through the neighborhoods. I could make a killing.

Jodi - posted on 10/01/2009

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Quoting Mary:




In some major cities access to fresh food IS an issue. There are no major grocery stores in several neighborhoods in chicago, and there are none in Detroit (yes the whole city). These are the only two I am aware of, but I'm sure there are others. If people can't buy fresh food to prepare for their families, and only have fast food and convenience stores...obesity DOES become a socioeconomic issue!






That's terrible, I couldn't imagine not being able to get hold of my meat & veg!  Here in Australia, I have never been anywhere that I can't get some sort of fresh food, and supermarkets with fresh food are everywhere (although I do question how "fresh" it really is, LOL).  Some of it is more affordable than the rest of it, but I always find that if fruit and veg is seasonal, it is much cheaper than the off season produce. Meat can be expensive, but there are many online stores opening up that are "farm gate" and if you live in an area to which they deliver, they deliver bulk to you in a refrigerated truck.  I am looking into doing this (just need to buy a new freezer, because the one I have is about to give up).



I think many Australian are going back to basics because there has been such a focus on it lately.  It is a tragedy if you don't have access to these sort of foods because it gives you no choice :(



 

JL - posted on 10/01/2009

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In Augusta, Georgia we have a farmers market every Saturday but it is not cheap to buy fresh local products so the state offers WIC vouchers to shop at the farmers market, but they only offer a limited amount and those vouchers are gone within 30 minutes. I have volunteered downtown before and seen the lines of families early in the morning waiting to get a voucher to use at the Farmers Market. It is overwhelming how many families get up early to stand outside the WIC office to get just one voucher and then it is sad to see how many get turned away.

ME - posted on 10/01/2009

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Quoting Jodi:



Quoting Laura:

I have heard of this obesity epidemic, I believe it to be a social and economic issue (when I was a single mom and all I could afford and had time for was McDs, that's what they got). I find, though, that now I live in an affluent neighbourhood, where people can afford to drive to the local whole foods (and have their nannies prepare it), there are VERY few obese children...in fact I worry in the other direction, that our girls may be well on their way to eating disorders.






See, I don't understand this reasoning that junk food is cheaper than a decent meal. If we grab takeaway at McDs or KFC or something, it will cost us AU$40-$45 to feed the whole family (2 adults, 4 kids, 3 of those kids who eat adult size meals), whereas I can prepare a really quick healthy stir-fry for around AU$20, and it only takes about 20 minutes to cook it up - about as long as I could spend in the drive through waiting on my take away.  I have been a single mum too (financially I was pretty well off, but I never had much time), and I used my days off to cook up meals to put in the freezer.  I think the problem is lack of education - I hear that argument that takeaway is cheaper, but I can't agree.  As long as you have access to fresh produce, there is no way it is cheaper.  Is access to fresh produce becoming an issue too?






In some major cities access to fresh food IS an issue. There are no major grocery stores in several neighborhoods in chicago, and there are none in Detroit (yes the whole city). These are the only two I am aware of, but I'm sure there are others. If people can't buy fresh food to prepare for their families, and only have fast food and convenience stores...obesity DOES become a socioeconomic issue!

Christa - posted on 10/01/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

hahaha there is no way I would argue take away is cheaper... burgers joints are my last resort when I'm to tired and sick to get out of the car and stand in line or I know my local grocery store will be sold out of their yummy rotisserie chickens and even nuking a meal would take too long.

BUT if you work it right - with coupons and the value menus - the burger joints can be cheap. Once burger king had 60cent burgers with tomatoes and lettuce... omg my husband bought so many of those...ewwwww any time it was his turn to cook - I finally got pissed off and blasted him.

But even right now I could go to burger king and get $1 drink, $1 sandwich and $1 fries = $3 and its more filling than the $2 microwaveable meals.

BUT (hahaha I'm a freak) I could go to the grocery store and get $1.99 1 lb ground beef (its on sale today) 99cent lettuce (iceberg blah) 1lb of tomatoes for 99cents, a package of generic fries ($2 - $4) and make several burgers for $6 - $8. The patties can be made & cooked and frozen or fridged for the next night or lunch for school or get 99cent gravy and $2 box of rice and serve beef over rice with gravy. Frozen veggies are frequently on sale here for 69cents a package.

Sooooo, there goes the cheap meals thing. But smart shopping is learned/taught and not always easy when you're tired and frazzled!!!


Sharon, love your thinking!!  Apparantly I like freaks......smart shopping can get you ALOT of great things and you can make them last forever....maybe not forever!  :o)

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2009

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Quoting Jo:



Quoting Jodi:

Yes, I heard that....what a joke! It is because it is high in sodium, but really, who puts thick layers of vegemite on anything. Sharon, if you try it, the best way to try it is to put a very THIN layer on buttered toast. And when I say thin, start with a small scraping from your knife. It really is, apparently, an acquired taste. If you decide you like it, let us know, we'll send you some more. They wouldn't dare take it off the shelves here, it's an Australian icon!!





 






I took a spoon and put about a 3 pea sized blob of it on the spoon and told my dad it was "this totally amazing chocolate peanut butter like crap from Australia." OH MY GOD HIS FACE WAS FUCKIN HILARIOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS I nearly died laughin and he nearly whoopped my ass. That was the last time he ever believed me when I said "DAD YOU HAVE GOT TO TRY THIS! SOOO GOOOOOOD!!!"






I know, I'm mean. But wow it was funny to me !!!





I just love the look on that face when someone does that!!  On the talk shows over here, they do it to international celebs sometimes, and the look on their face is priceless....



Great initiation for exchange students too.....

?? - posted on 09/30/2009

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Quoting Jodi:

Yes, I heard that....what a joke! It is because it is high in sodium, but really, who puts thick layers of vegemite on anything. Sharon, if you try it, the best way to try it is to put a very THIN layer on buttered toast. And when I say thin, start with a small scraping from your knife. It really is, apparently, an acquired taste. If you decide you like it, let us know, we'll send you some more. They wouldn't dare take it off the shelves here, it's an Australian icon!!


 



I took a spoon and put about a 3 pea sized blob of it on the spoon and told my dad it was "this totally amazing chocolate peanut butter like crap from Australia." OH MY GOD HIS FACE WAS FUCKIN HILARIOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS I nearly died laughin and he nearly whoopped my ass. That was the last time he ever believed me when I said "DAD YOU HAVE GOT TO TRY THIS! SOOO GOOOOOOD!!!"



I know, I'm mean. But wow it was funny to me !!!

Charlie - posted on 09/30/2009

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I love it , i ate jars of it when i was pregnant and now Cooper loves it on toast too !!
i have Vegemite and avocado toast
Vegemite and cheese
mmmm, m.

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2009

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Speaking of Vegemite ban in the US, I did hear recently that many school tuckshops are now going to ban it too..... makes me laugh when I consider our parents grew up on the stuff with no-one screaming about it!!

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2009

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Been around for years, but it is really only stocked overseas where there are lots of Aussie tourists. I did see it in the ski resorts in Canada. And New Zealanders make fun of us about it, LOL!

Charlie - posted on 09/30/2009

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it is a dark brown Australian food paste made from yeast extract. It is a spread for sandwiches, toast, crumpets and cracker biscuits, and filling for pastries such as Cheesymite scroll. It is similar to British, New Zealand, and South African Marmite and to Swiss Cenovis.
But BETTER !!! hehe

Sharon - posted on 09/30/2009

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psh!! a can of tuna and some frozen mixed veggies with some saltine crackers crumbled on top and its a casserole!

Lindsay - posted on 09/30/2009

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Ok...I always feel so uneducated on different foods! What is vegimite?????

Charlie - posted on 09/30/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

hhmm anyone remember the days of eating instant rice w/ketchup and canned tuna???


YES , but i melted cheese into mine !! classy hey ,lol

Isobel - posted on 09/30/2009

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oh...in Canada, Kraft Dinner is this really cheap mac and cheese type stuff...it is a really bizarre yellowy-orange type colour.

Sharon - posted on 09/30/2009

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hhmm anyone remember the days of eating instant rice w/ketchup and canned tuna???

Jeannette - posted on 09/30/2009

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I agree with this woman's philosophy. However, she is just a butthole. I have to admit, her craziness is hilarious, and got much laughter on my part, however, I think she should homeschool. She is affronted by sugar, she can control this better in her own home in her own kitchen. She is trying to control everyone's level of consumption.

I tried this approach at home. Banning all sweets...then one day, I find candy bar wrappers (they were supposed to be selling) empty coke cans (they got from vending machines or Grandma) and I decided, okay, let them have SOME sweets. It has worked out better and I don't think they hate me anymore! lol!

Isobel - posted on 09/30/2009

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well...I live in Toronto, Canada but they do sell marmite at my local grocery store...and yes, Sarah, you summed up the money question perfectly.

Sarah - posted on 09/30/2009

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Are you serious? You can't sell vegemite here because of high sodium? That is rediculous considering how many processed foods are sold with a high sodium level! Here is an idea, people should be responsible for what they choose to eat themselves, not the government or whoever! Hey, here I was thinking I was going off topic with the post but I realize that statement applies to the crazy lady as well. If you don't want your kids eating treats at school, don't let them but don't think thats okay for everyone else also. There is nothing wrong with "junk" food in moderation.



As far as the McD's as cheaper thing, I can explain that thinking somewhat...when you are really broke and hungry you can always scrounch up a few bucks for the dollar menu, but it is harder to scrounge up enough to actually go get groceries. Each meal you cook is cheaper, but when you have no groceries it can be hard to get all the ingrediants at one time...ie things like milk, butter, etc.

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2009

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Loureen, we used to love that as kids!! And Vegemite on Vita Brits or Weet Bix!

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2009

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Thin layer Sharon, very thin, LOL. Let us know how you find it!!! Most visitors to Australia slather it on like they would jam, honey, peanut butter. Don't go there!!!



And despite the sodium content, the Vitamin B is very good for you - it was a staple for me when I was pregnant!! Vegemite toast for breakfast, LOL (on wholegrain bread of coarse!)

Sharon - posted on 09/30/2009

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hahaha I think my aussie friend is a bit torked at my wussyness to try it, its been several months... but i'm getting closer!!

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2009

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Yes, I heard that....what a joke! It is because it is high in sodium, but really, who puts thick layers of vegemite on anything. Sharon, if you try it, the best way to try it is to put a very THIN layer on buttered toast. And when I say thin, start with a small scraping from your knife. It really is, apparently, an acquired taste. If you decide you like it, let us know, we'll send you some more. They wouldn't dare take it off the shelves here, it's an Australian icon!!

Charlie - posted on 09/30/2009

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Quoting Jenny:

What a nutbar. 


Sorry Jenny no Nutbars either some of us have allergies you know .

Sharon - posted on 09/30/2009

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lmao@honey & vegemite sandwiches.... I have vegemite in the pantry I've been meaning to try.



Did you know its illegal to sell it in the USA now? I had a friend fro Aus send me some to try.

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2009

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Quoting Laura:

when we went on vacation this summer, my boyfriend insisted on his family tradition of letting the kids pick their own cereal...one picked trix, the other picked cookie crisp, and he was so upset that nobody picked captain crunch that he bought it for himself LOL, the kids mixed all three into one bowl every morning...now THAT is enough to make anybody vomit ;)



Ewwww!!!!  My kids like their Cheerios, but I've never seen them mix them up.



I was just telling my son the other day that I remember my brothers when we were younger (much, much younger, LOL) making their own lunch.......they made jam (jelly?), honey and Vegemite sandwiches one day "just to see what it was like".  Well, mum walked in and made them eat it.  They were sick as dogs because it was so disgusting!!

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2009

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Quoting Laura:

but...I don't drive...I used to ride the subway to the kids' school/daycare, then take a streetcar and subway home (we generally arrived at about 7 00-time for baths and bed) McDonalds was on the way. I obviously know that real food is cheaper, but fast food is the only affordable choice that was fast and available. and yeah, me and two kids ate for 12 bucks...not too expensive.

Don't get me wrong...now that I am a student and I have more time, we average fast food about once a month...I always felt bad about it, knew it wasn't good for them (or me)...I don't think it's about education. It's about exhaustion. (and keeping the kids quiet ;P



Laura, I understand totally.  I guess I just take for granted my car :)  I used to just do a shop one day a week, cook up a load of dinners and freeze them.  I think planning seems to be the key to it.  I'm just a good planner for my meals.



Must go now and contemplate whats for dinner tonight.

Isobel - posted on 09/30/2009

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when we went on vacation this summer, my boyfriend insisted on his family tradition of letting the kids pick their own cereal...one picked trix, the other picked cookie crisp, and he was so upset that nobody picked captain crunch that he bought it for himself LOL, the kids mixed all three into one bowl every morning...now THAT is enough to make anybody vomit ;)

Sharon - posted on 09/30/2009

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Hey - lat night I was to sick to stand up and cook hamburger helper, I had to stay awake to get my after his football game (ended at 9.30) and drive 30 minutes to get him, I had to be alert too. This meant NO PILLS. I stayed in pain and alert (rolling my eyes) drove into town - got 5 burgers, 5 bottles of water and 2 large fries. Tossed to them in the back seat and said "heres' dinner" omg went home collapsed....



Same drill today - only today - we're having salmon burgers via the toaster oven. omg makes me wanna puke just thinking about eating.. blech....

Isobel - posted on 09/30/2009

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but...I don't drive...I used to ride the subway to the kids' school/daycare, then take a streetcar and subway home (we generally arrived at about 7 00-time for baths and bed) McDonalds was on the way. I obviously know that real food is cheaper, but fast food is the only affordable choice that was fast and available. and yeah, me and two kids ate for 12 bucks...not too expensive.

Don't get me wrong...now that I am a student and I have more time, we average fast food about once a month...I always felt bad about it, knew it wasn't good for them (or me)...I don't think it's about education. It's about exhaustion. (and keeping the kids quiet ;P

Sharon - posted on 09/30/2009

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hahaha there is no way I would argue take away is cheaper... burgers joints are my last resort when I'm to tired and sick to get out of the car and stand in line or I know my local grocery store will be sold out of their yummy rotisserie chickens and even nuking a meal would take too long.



BUT if you work it right - with coupons and the value menus - the burger joints can be cheap. Once burger king had 60cent burgers with tomatoes and lettuce... omg my husband bought so many of those...ewwwww any time it was his turn to cook - I finally got pissed off and blasted him.



But even right now I could go to burger king and get $1 drink, $1 sandwich and $1 fries = $3 and its more filling than the $2 microwaveable meals.



BUT (hahaha I'm a freak) I could go to the grocery store and get $1.99 1 lb ground beef (its on sale today) 99cent lettuce (iceberg blah) 1lb of tomatoes for 99cents, a package of generic fries ($2 - $4) and make several burgers for $6 - $8. The patties can be made & cooked and frozen or fridged for the next night or lunch for school or get 99cent gravy and $2 box of rice and serve beef over rice with gravy. Frozen veggies are frequently on sale here for 69cents a package.



Sooooo, there goes the cheap meals thing. But smart shopping is learned/taught and not always easy when you're tired and frazzled!!!

Kate CP - posted on 09/30/2009

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Quoting Jodi:



Quoting Laura:

I have heard of this obesity epidemic, I believe it to be a social and economic issue (when I was a single mom and all I could afford and had time for was McDs, that's what they got). I find, though, that now I live in an affluent neighbourhood, where people can afford to drive to the local whole foods (and have their nannies prepare it), there are VERY few obese children...in fact I worry in the other direction, that our girls may be well on their way to eating disorders.






See, I don't understand this reasoning that junk food is cheaper than a decent meal. If we grab takeaway at McDs or KFC or something, it will cost us AU$40-$45 to feed the whole family (2 adults, 4 kids, 3 of those kids who eat adult size meals), whereas I can prepare a really quick healthy stir-fry for around AU$20, and it only takes about 20 minutes to cook it up - about as long as I could spend in the drive through waiting on my take away.  I have been a single mum too (financially I was pretty well off, but I never had much time), and I used my days off to cook up meals to put in the freezer.  I think the problem is lack of education - I hear that argument that takeaway is cheaper, but I can't agree.  As long as you have access to fresh produce, there is no way it is cheaper.  Is access to fresh produce becoming an issue too?





I agree, Jodi. Today for a treat my daughter and I went to McDonalds and she got a small (like a handful) of fries and a chocolate milk and I got an iced coffee (my weakness). That alone cost $6! Now for $6 at the grocery store I could have bought a bunch of bananas, a loaf of health nut bread, a small thing of peanut butter, and a little carton of milk. I don't see how going through a drive through (which costs more in gas money, too) is cheaper than buying a healthy meal at a grocery store?

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2009

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Quoting Laura:

I have heard of this obesity epidemic, I believe it to be a social and economic issue (when I was a single mom and all I could afford and had time for was McDs, that's what they got). I find, though, that now I live in an affluent neighbourhood, where people can afford to drive to the local whole foods (and have their nannies prepare it), there are VERY few obese children...in fact I worry in the other direction, that our girls may be well on their way to eating disorders.



See, I don't understand this reasoning that junk food is cheaper than a decent meal. If we grab takeaway at McDs or KFC or something, it will cost us AU$40-$45 to feed the whole family (2 adults, 4 kids, 3 of those kids who eat adult size meals), whereas I can prepare a really quick healthy stir-fry for around AU$20, and it only takes about 20 minutes to cook it up - about as long as I could spend in the drive through waiting on my take away.  I have been a single mum too (financially I was pretty well off, but I never had much time), and I used my days off to cook up meals to put in the freezer.  I think the problem is lack of education - I hear that argument that takeaway is cheaper, but I can't agree.  As long as you have access to fresh produce, there is no way it is cheaper.  Is access to fresh produce becoming an issue too?

Shannon Cassidy- - posted on 09/30/2009

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My little ones brought home a notice from school stating that we will no longer beable to bring cupcakes in on their Birthdays or they will not beable to have a Halloween or Christmas parties . I was like come on thats what we had to look forward to was the ocational birthday paries at school and the Parties for the Holidays , I feel like what do these kids have to look forward to.

ME - posted on 09/30/2009

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My Father was a grade school Principal for 32 years. The last three years he was there (under new administration), birthday parties, including treats were banned from the school...he thought it was a bit ridiculous, and so do I. My home is free of all junk food for the most part. "Special Treats" include things like pudding, granola bars, and juice boxes...but every Sunday my Mom serves some kind of desert at our family dinner, and Miles always gets his own small piece (he recently started saying "pie", and sounds mysteriously like Cartman from Southpark). If you don't teach your kids to enjoy such things in moderation, they will have an unhealthy obsession with food. I agree with whoever said this woman should take her kids out and homeschool them...stop driving everyone crazy, and forcing her unhealthy ideas and obsessions on everyone else!

Lindsay - posted on 09/29/2009

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This woman needs to get a grip! To me, this goes along with letting kids be kids. Maybe they don't mind, but I can't imagine making my kids miss out on the treats at parties and such because I'm too worried about them getting fat. Talk about developing a complex!



As far the the off topic Halloween, I pretty much give my kids a free pass. We eat a good filling meal before we go out and then once I've checked candy, I say let them eat. They usually have 2 or 3 pieces and they are done. We do this with most holidays on treats and snacking and until I see them just get out of control with it, those special days are eat whatever you want days. After that first "binge", it goes into a jar for a once a night treat after dinner. But like you, Sharon, after about a week they forget about it and Josh and I get ahold of it!

Sharon - posted on 09/29/2009

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Mary thats pretty cool!



Our kids are allowed to keep their candy after we take out all the cheap crap from across the border, stuff that had dubious wrappers, & sadly homemade treats.



They don't get much each year. It seems fewer and fewer people participate any more. We used to take them to the mall but two years ago the stores started handing out coupons and tracts about health instead of candy. Pathetic.



Anyway they get 5 pieces a day. After about a week they forget they have it, then hubby & I raid their treat bags, lol and everything goes into a communal candy jar. We still have candy left over from last year - I need to throw it out. They like candy - just not that much.

Jenny - posted on 09/29/2009

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What a nutbar. I'm very strict about sugar as well but in a balanced way. There's no pop, cookies, snack cakes, fruit rollups etc. in my house. I never buy candy and Halloween is a nightmare for me lol. However, I don't care if my kids have a treat on occassion. Cupcakes anad cakes for birthdays are fine as well as other holidays or even just because. So long as it's not regular I don't mind a bit. It's about balance.



This woman is going overboard and is giving her kids a complex.

Dana - posted on 09/29/2009

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I've actually heard of this woman before. She seems quite extreme to me. It also seems that she enjoy's the spotlight and turmoil. I think there are far better things to put your energy into.

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