Thursday, August 29, 2013

Only the “right” would think eating like a child is a cause worth fighting for

If first lady Michelle Obama can be accused of feeding “vomit” to schoolchildren, I can’t help but wonder what slurs will be slung at the name and reputation of Gov. Pat Quinn.

How many kids would think this lunch is fine, except for those stinkin' peaches in the corner?
For the governor’s people these days are reviewing a series of changes in the guidelines as to what can be fed to children who are at licensed day care centers – all under the guise in improving their health and reducing the chance they will become overweight.

NO COOKIES OR cakes for the young kids, along with limits on sugary or fatty foods – in addition to bans on how long (no more than 30 minutes) they can be inactive. Illinois Department of Children and Family Services officials say these changes, and others, could take effect sometime in the spring of 2014.

All in all, it would sound like a noble goal – even if the kids themselves will likely whine and cry about the loss of cookies and other foods they should only be getting in moderation.


You just know that the conservative ideologues of our society will feel the need to trash Quinn for trying to dictate what it is their kids can consume. They may argue that they had cookies and other junk as kids, and they turned out fine.

I’D ARGUE AGAINST that concept. If they really think this is a great moral crusade that symbolizes our right to personal freedom, they have some seriously misplaced priorities.

OBAMA: Crusading against obesity
They’re also negligent as parents if they believe all that junk is acceptable for their kids. But that’s another issue.

What caught my attention about news coverage of the day care proposal being considered in Illinois was a story I stumbled across earlier this week – concerning the school lunches being fed to students in Harlan, Ky.

The Daily Enterprise newspaper reported last week about a school board meeting where students complained about getting wheat bread instead of white, actual vegetables, and limits on fried potatoes and meat portions.

THEY ALSO DON’T like getting milk that is 1 percent rather than whole, and non-fat versions of chocolate- or strawberry-flavored milk.

QUINN: No cookies for kiddies?
One school board member paraphrased the attitude of students by saying, “they say it tastes like vomit.” Which gave the Daily Caller website the ammunition they wanted when they rewrote the story this week with a political spin.

How else to describe a story with the headline, Kentucky students to first lady Michelle Obama: Your food ‘tastes like vomit’ The website also published in the text of their story that, “the food on offer in the cafeteria is crappy…”

The story also reported how the federal government dictates, through the National School Lunch Program, the content and portion sizes of the lunches served in schools.

THE INTENT OF the guidelines is remarkably similar to the daycare guidelines being considered in Illinois – controlling calorie counts to prevent people from getting fat on poor food, while also increasing the chance someone will consume something healthy; even if it’s just by mistake.

As far as the alleged low quality of food, I have no doubt the students are complaining. I suspect they’re going to complain regardless of what is actually put on their plates.

I can recall being a student some three to four decades ago and being offered up all the fried food options that now are being limited – along with tasteless pizza that was gobbled up because it we thought it was a novelty. We didn’t know better!

Which is what I’d argue in response to those Kentucky kids who think they’re consuming “vomit.”

AS FOR THOSE parents who are willing to use their kids’ malcontent natures to play partisan politics, I’d argue, “Grow up!”

And as for the people in Illinois who inevitably will complain about Pat Quinn and his actions with regards to day care centers, I’d ask if they really want to get all worked up over the loss of a cookie.

Do you really want to be whining like a batch of 4-year-olds who didn't get their favorite "treat" for the day?


No comments: