My yoga instructor Kimberly Kirby published an op-ed in the Marietta newspaper today on the processed foods served in our school cafeterias:

(Food and Nutrition Services) proudly proclaims that its elementary schools do not have fryers. But, a quick scan of a typical month’s school menu will reveal nearly a daily offering of fried foods, including several days of shrimp poppers, tater tots and corn dogs. How to reconcile FNS’s proclamation with the reality of the lunchroom? By recognizing what FNS fails to say: that these lunch foods had their appointment with the fryer long before arriving at the schools, leaving the cafeteria workers with the simple task of re-heating.

FNS also touts that they will serve what children are willing to buy. While nobody can argue that one function of school is to help children develop independence, there are certainly limits that we can all agree on. For instance, do we let the children decide what they will study at school? Math or Playstation II? We have adults as teachers because with age there is wisdom, expertise and maturity. However, FNS discounts these attributes and chooses instead to defer to the impressionable taste buds of children as young as 5.

Great points. I’m also struck by the fact that my kids can buy Doritos and Gatorade at school. Here’s my comment I left on the newspaper Web site:

Well said, Kimberly. Consider me another parent concerned about what we’re feeding our kids in the Cobb County public schools.

To claim that parents don’t care what their kids eat seems preposterous given the local popularity of grocery stores such as Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Harry’s Farmers Markets. Clearly, a growing number of Cobb County resident are changing the way they eat. We’ve realized that the country started putting on collective weight at about the same time we all started eating processed foods.

Since we teach kids how to eat healthy food in the classrooms, perhaps we should start feeding them healthy food in the lunchroom.