The Simplest Way You Can Make Change to the Food Offered at Your Child's Preschool
Parents, here's an idea: If you want to encourage your preschool to offer better food, don't make the case for organics. Or more fruit and vegetables. Or less sugar. Instead, talk to them about getting rid of artifical food dyes.
Don't know what food dyes are? Take a look at the ingredients on a popsicle, canned fruit, or, even, your kid's toothpaste. You will likely see Red 3 or Blue 1 or Yellow 6. These artificial colors are used to make foods (and other things) look more appealing. They serve no real or functional purpose; they just make things "look better," and kids foods are full of them.
As Christina of Spoonfed: Raising Kids to Think About the Food They Eat writes in Parade, "there’s one troublesome ingredient that is so common in highly processed food—and in food aimed at children in particular—that, if you avoid just this one thing, you’ll automatically improve your food quality."
Christina continues, "Because artificial food colors, which are derived from petrochemicals, have been linked to long-term health problems. They can have devastating effects on children’s behavior and ability to learn. And government regulators and food manufacturers have failed to prove dye safety. In short: All risk. No benefit."
Now THAT is something that is going to resonate with preschool teachers and administrators. We are talking about kids and behavior, what teachers and administrators actually experience day in and day out. What they worry about and have to manage constantly. This isn't about a far-away threat of diabetes or obesity in the teen years, this is real and potentially coming to a classroom near them right now.
And, if they agree to get rid of food dyes, they will have to take a closer look at the ingredient label. And likely won't be buying the most highly processed food found in the stores anymore. The food loaded with added sugars. The food that isn't organic. And when they look to replace it with non-food dye food, they'll find fruits and vegetables.
And you don't even have to give the hard sell on the importance of organics.
(Note: If you want more information on food dyes,. check out this fantastic report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.)
Thank you, Spoonfed, for a great post!