Monday, November 28, 2011

Pizza = Vegetable?!?!?

I am not a nutrition nut.  I've never counted a calorie in my life.  However, I am conscious of well-balanced meals and the importance of nutrition--particularly in children's growing bodies.  My children eat fruits and veggies (often from the organic produced delivered to our home each week by a local CSA farmer).  They snack on yogurt vs. more sugary snacks or fat/salt-laden chips.  I am alarmed at what society now thinks is acceptable food choices.  A recent news story alludes to the idea that pizza is now considered a vegetable (Pizza = Vegetable).  This is a little bit of an embellishment--but the average person hears enough to think that because pizza has tomato sauce, school cafeterias consider pizza a vegetable.  If it is good enough for the dietitians at the cafeteria, it should work at home, too.  Right?!?!

Well--I've had this similar disagreement with parents when I worked in preschool.  We state that we prefer healthy snacks for our growing children.  Children will eat healthy if it is provided and their friends are eating it (a positive peer pressure).  The average pre-K is approximately 100 days.  Twenty plus of those days are sugar-laden birthday snacks.  Let's not forget another five or so days for party cupcakes.  Did we mention the three children who brought in sugary snacks for the birth of a brother or sister.  Grandma visited and made cupcakes--sure bring them in.  If we were lucky, only 20% of snacks were cupcakes & cookies. 

But then there were the infamous fruit snacks--my greatest pet-peeve.  ATTENTION--FRUIT SNACKS ARE NOT CONSIDERED A FRUIT.  However, if pizza is a vegetable, then I must be wrong.  My morning coffee comes from beans--is that a veggie?  What about cocoa beans and chocolate?  Maybe I was the one wrong all of the time.

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