I was snack mom for Izzy's class this week. Just as I did last year, I chose Passover week so that Izzy would not have to worry about what he could or could not eat during snack time. I didn't want him to feel deprived. I can safely say he didn't. As for his classmates, I am not so sure.
I am afraid that some of them may have felt hungry because they refused the unfamiliar, healthy snacks that I brought in:
Monday: Matzoh with cream cheese and assorted vegetables
Tuesday: Vegetable platter with bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, chickpeas etc.
Wednesday: Assorted fruits: Apples, oranges, bananas and sliced cheeses/matzoh
Thursday: Homemade hummus with snap peas, carrots, tomatoes and matzoh
Friday: Fruit smoothies
According to Izzy, they ate the matzoh and cream cheese and it seems that most of the vegetable platter, aside from the chickpeas, was eaten though I am uncertain if it was actually eaten by the children. The fruits were a definite success and the container was empty. The hummus was another matter, and I found it practically untouched. I had to let the teachers know that they could finish it. Izzy had eaten gobs of it in the morning as I prepared it so he didn't have it at school. Not certain as to the fate of the cheese..
Today's fruit smoothies were received with mixed reviews. I ask you, what is not to like about milk, fruit, a bit of yogurt, and agave?? Are children so accustomed to ultra-sweetened drinks that strawberries and milk don't do the trick? I couldn't believe how many said things like, "I don't eat bananas." or " I don't eat strawberries." Or how about the ones who looked at the various fruits and said, "I don't eat any of that." which I new quite clearly was untrue. I must figure out a way to break the smoothie barrier but I am afraid I need assistance from the parents.
One teacher suggested it could be the result of "corn syrup" addiction, wherein their palates are primed for the sickeningly sweetness. I chalk it up to a few things. Unfamiliarity and unwillingness try new things which is permitted and fostered paired with the fact that this year's classroom chaos/teacher upheaval, has left snack as less than a priority. Perhaps not enough has been made of encouraging the children to try new things as was done last year. Note to self: I can work on that for next year.
As for the state of snack on a daily basis, I am concerned with the reports of repeated consumption of Thomas' Bagels. Having grown up with only fresh hot bagels from the nearby bagel shop, the thought of a bagel in a bag is a sin. When I looked at the ingredients label I cringed. Granted, there is only one semi-nearby bagel shop and I don't see myself traveling there on a regular basis to supply the classroom with bagels but there must be a more suitable alternative, I just need to find it.
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