Every once in a while, an issue arises in school and you are caught a bit by surprise.
Some Background: Yesterday was our first hot food day of the year. Parents ordered food online for their children, and the food was delivered by a group of enthusiastic parent volunteers. The first food on the first food day was pizza, a favourite food for many.
Some children loved the pizza. Others did not like it. The individual pizzas were what they ordered. No one who ordered cheese pizza got peperoni pizza by mistake. Some students reacted properly. It wasn’t what the thought it would be, but they ate it and got one with their lunch break. Some students reacted poorly. They threw out the pizza without even trying it, and then complained they were hungry. Some students then started a petition to get new pizza for next food day.
You may ask what was the cause for such concern among a few children. The crust was made from whole wheat flour. The pizza was healthy. Oh, the horror!
I find myself laughing at the situation. Imagine, asking an 11 year old to eat a healthy meal. How could we?
I am not trying to belittle the students who complained. If they really didn’t like it, then I feel bad that they do not like the pizza. What the students may not know is that we are obligated to follow a set of guidelines about what food can be sold to children in schools. These guidelines are not excessive or unreasonable. Schools should not be in the business of selling unhealthy food to children.
The Food Guidelines are available in English and French. Parents can review these with their children if they are not sure why the Cleveland PAC food program selected the pizza they did.
I thank the Cleveland PAC for working to ensure that all food sold through the school lunch program meets the guidelines fro healthy foods in schools.
For the students who started the petition, I would be happy to talk with you, however, I don’t know who you are. I witnessed five grade 7 girls trying to secretly start a petition at 12:20 yesterday (I told them if you want it to be a secret, don’t start the petition in front of your principal). I have heard that some boys in grade 5 started this, or was it boys in grade 7? Who knows. It has been less than 24 hours, and already the story is taking on a life of its own.
I am uncertain who really is bothered by the new pizza. Many liked it. Our petitioners did not want to hear this.
I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised. When I was young (about 20), I remember complaining about the pizza in Vancouver. It wasn’t the same. In Dollard des Ormeaux (my home town), “all dressed” pizza had a very different meaning than “all dressed” out west. I was disappointed in the pizza options out here.
Children sometimes react poorly to change (you may have noticed). Adults too.
The key is that we can react calmly and help children see that they can react is a calm, polite manner when the change is not something they want.
Some times teaching children is messy work. Sometimes one just has to laugh at the mess.