A mother in Maryland asks: If obesity is now officially recognized by the American Medical Association as a disease, then why is her daughter being sent to the nurse’s office for wanting to eat a healthy snack?
Caron Grement blogged on Huffington Post about how her 5-year-old’s summer camp singled her out because she didn’t want to snack on potato chips and fudge bars like the other campers. Grement said she was shocked at the orientation meeting to see the snacks the camp would be offering her little girl: Oreos, Cheeze Curls, Chips Ahoy, Cheese-Its, pretzels and potato chips.
She writes that the snacks are meant to give the kids energy between lunch and dinner, during a busy day of outdoor activities. The only fresh, unprocessed, low-sodium, low-fat foods on the list are grapes and watermelon – which are only served once a week.
Grement explained her daughter likes to eat carrots, raw peppers, and hummus, but when she asked the camp what to do about this menu she was sent on a wild goose chase. Eventually she ended up speaking with the camp nurse, who said Grement could send in whatever food she wanted her daughter to eat and she would store them in the nurse’s office. You know, like medication.
Another mother told Grement her daughter is on a gluten-free diet, so their children could go to the nurse together each day to get their “special” snacks. That didn’t make any sense to Grement. Why would eating healthy be treated like something extraordinary?
“My daughter doesn't think her diet is ‘special.’ To her, it's normal. She eats a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the day," Grement wrote.
“Yet in a country in which nearly one in three children is overweight or obese and in which French fries are considered a vegetable,” she added, “it's no wonder that the little girl who eats carrots and not cheese curls is ‘special.’”
She admits that kids will eat the high-sugar, high-sodium, processed and, essentially, old foods on the menu, but she believes summer camps should be setting a better dietary example for kids. She is the founder of the program First Bites, which teaches children 2 to 5 years old and their families about healthy eating habits and how to make healthy snacks.
Photo: Parent Sphere