Bill Clinton has done parents all over the United States a favor. You see, parents everywhere were unable to control their child’s nutrition, especially when it came to what they ate in school.
He saw the need—some kids were buying snacks that were high in fat with their lunch or snack money, and since we know that teaching kids discipline or self control is out of the question, the only way to get them to eat healthier (more healthy? more healthily?) was to only give them healthy options.
So, our former President decided to go to the companies that make foods that have the most fat and try to get them to cut back, reformulate, or take them out of school vending machines.
Though there’s a valid argument about junk food here, the comment at this article was more instructive:
Carlos Rodriguez, 13, said his school already stocks its vending machines with health food– but it hardly matters.
“Kids will buy what they want,” he said. “We just stop by the bodega on the way home.”
You see, it’s not that important whether the school offers junk food. Kids know where to get it. A black market could even form inside the school. If the parents aren’t on board to help discipline the child to choosing healthy food choices, the child will seek out the unhealthy wherever they can find it.
The only way for the government to accomplish its mission were to ban junk food. But where’s the freedom in that?
Instead of eliminating options—like President Clinton suggests—we need to teach kids to choose good options. We need to be able to choose right in the face of a bad (or in this case, poor) choice.
But, as we all know, self-control doesn’t come easy—it’s something that takes time to develop.
4 thoughts on “Is the Government a Better Parent?”
This is a great commentary on an issue that is plaguing our time.
Yes, I believe Mr. Clinton did the correct thing in try to make school lunches and options available “healthier”, but the truth is that many kids will just find other ways of getting junk food (if they really want it).
As parents, our responsibility lies in teaching our children about nutrition and why these kind of junk foods are harmful to the body if not consumed in small portions. Unfortunately it is hard for many parents to encourage their children to eat healthy when they themselves are not the example of healthy living.
Instead of focusing on “diet this, diet that” we should focus on bettering our lifestyle by making healthier choices, maintaining an active lifestyle and consuming sweets and the like in moderation.
As always, another great post!
militarywifeys last blog post..Doing good deeds…for yourself?
@militarywifey: You’re right, and what makes it worse is that the junk food is often more affordable than good food. If he really wanted to make a difference, President Clinton could have worked to remove all the price controls on food. Milk doesn’t have to cost what it does, we don’t have to have corn being made into ethanol, etc. The government could get out of the deal and let the market lower prices…
Healthy foods do cost a lot more, that’s for sure!!!! I was really disgusted with what was being offered at my daughter’s school this past year. I said something about it and I was told it was because it was a low income area and most of the children at the school received free or reduced lunch. So much for Clinton’s help.
Thrifty Karens last blog post..Thrifty formal wear for under $20
@Thrifty Karen: Well, Clinton didn’t actually do anything for the general lunch food, but he did do something for snack food.
That being said, you’re reading from someone that saw cafeteria food as something to avoid and pb&j’d his way through high school.