Have I gone too far? What’s wrong with cookies?
Every Friday, our daycare hosts Cookie Friday. Kids who are old enough to eat and enjoy cookies know all about it and rush into the atrium to grab a cookie and munch it down on the way home. Sometimes they grab two cookies. Or three. Every Friday.
But two weeks ago I stopped in the office and suggested the daycare staff switch things up and offer Fruity Friday.
A handful of grapes, apple slices, a ripe red strawberry…doesn’t that sound delicious? And a lot healthier, right?
I think it’s a good idea but I wonder if I’ve gone too far. What’s wrong with cookies? Nothing if you only eat them every once in awhile. But I learned from a recent webinar from Action for Healthy Kids that small treats add up. For instance, “when a student receives just one mint per day…Over the course of the school year, that adds up to over 2 1⁄2 cups of additional sugar and 3,600 extra calories.”
The suggestion to change Cookie Friday to Fruity Friday is just part of my overall trend to support healthier choices for kids in all parts of my community. Earlier this winter I emailed our community soccer league about offering healthier snacks for sale in the snack bar. Why should our boys and girls follow excellent physical activity by consuming awful junk food like sugary Hugs drinks and ice cream bars?
And of course last week was the first ever Healthy Food Challenge at our elementary school. It was a huge hit in terms of participation and kids even showed me how they added fruits and vegetables to their lunches so they could vote. But I still saw lots of kids eating lunches from school and home that had no fruits or vegetables at all.
I believe good habits start early. And I think Fruit Friday is the foundation of a better habit than Cookie Friday. But I know some parents will disagree.
So what’s your opinion? Are you all for fruit? Or do you think what’s wrong with cookies?
Moderation in all. It’s fun to mix things up. Some days sweets…some days fruit…some days both!
I struggle with these same questions while raising my daughter. She is two and we limit her sweet/snack input greatly. She is a wonderful eater! She just finished some hummus and carrots as an afternoon snack (that is what she asked for) and her favorite dinner is scallops, shrimp and roasted asparagus. I think that one of the reasons that she is such a good eater is because she has not had a lot of processed foods. But I don’t want to limit them completely or I am afraid that she will gorge on them later. So we do allow cookies on certain occasions and during parties she may even have 2. I think it all comes down to moderation and setting up an environment where healthy eating is the norm but splurging is also sometimes needed.
I agree that it’s important to teach good habits early on. There will always be sweets around, but I think it’s a good idea to enjoy fruit in the school with friends. There’s always another sweet around the next corner.
I think it would be great to mix it up. Any time the sugary treat becomes expected, rather than a once in a while treat, that’s when you’re setting yourself up for problems – grownups too!
I was struck when I read a story about Louisa May Alcott. Her father Bronson once conducted an experiment, setting out an apple (“for later”) and leaving Louisa alone to finish some schoolwork. He wanted to find out whether she could delay gratification. I don’t even remember what happened–what stuck with me was the idea that the apple in those days was as tempting to a child as a cookie today. Would that we (myself included!) still existed in that state of innocence.