All 3 chipmunks received high marks on their report cards for the 1st semester of the school year. Woo hoo!
Each award ceremony lasted for about 30 minutes as food was being given away for students' performance:
1) Ice cream coupons for "caught being good" acknowledgments
2) A cookie party for the class with the best attendance for the semester (Theodore's class won for 1st grade)
3) CiCi's pizza certificate for honor roll students (all three chipmunks earned)
I couldn't be happier for their accomplishments, yet at the same time concerned with regard to the food being given away and the message it was teaching our kids. It felt like winning an award was cause for eating fatty processed food, dairy, and meat as a celebration.
This experience made me think of my upbringing and how food was such a big part of my school day. We had holiday/birthday parties, vending machines with junk food (starting in middle school), and lunches that didn't spare the salt, sugar, and dairy by any means.
I also remember my 4th grade PE instructor lecturing us on the importance of eating more fruit and vegetables, exercising, and drinking more water. This was short lived of course, as we would go back to our homeroom classroom that were fully stocked with soda, cookies, and candy to give away as treats or prizes.
I can't help but feel that we're shown at such a young age (not just by the school system) that eating a lot of dairy and junk food is a normal part of life, causing many to carry on those habits as they get older.
If you haven't already, I challenge you to do some research on the food industry. Watch a few documentaries (Foodmatters , Food, Inc. , Earthlings-very graphic, Forks Over Knives), and read a few books (By Any Greens Necessary: A Revolutionary Guide for Black Women Who Want to Eat Great, Get Healthy, Lose Weight, and Look Phat , Sistah Vegan: Food, Identity, Health, and Society: Black Female Vegans Speak , The Remedy: The Five-Week Power Plan to Detox Your System, Combat the Fat, and Rebuild Your Mind and Body , Diet for a New America ).
Keep in mind that the food industry is big business (especially dairy and meat), and profits opposed to true health is more important.Therefore, it's important to rely on your own research and not just what the USDA says about health.
Speaking of dollar signs, check out this article about Congress making pizza a vegetable.
Thank you for reading.