I overheard a most interesting conversation between two young people today at a local cafe. They were eating a reasonably healthy lunch and complaining loudly about their high school cafeteria menu having changed. “They don’t even have a decent bag of chips anymore” commented the young man. A decent bag of chips? Is this not an oxymoron? The young lady was lamenting her inability to get a can of coke. Surprisingly there were some parent-type figures in the cafe who were supporting their concerns. I found that a little surprising. On the flipside, my 15 year old son was excited about the new “healthy” menu coming to his high school. He has found it difficult to purchase lunch in the past because of the lack of decent choices… and this is coming from a kid who will eat anything (he begs me to cook kale for dinner and taste-tests our homemade dog biscuits).
We need to recognize that providing our kids with choices like pop and chips for lunch is akin to giving them a choice about wearing a seatbelt, or a ski helmet. Dangerous health behaviours shouldn’t be an option for children. The only difference between these behaviours is one will kill you more quickly than the other.