April 5, 2016

Sugar Overload!!!!

This post is part of a five part series on sugar and healthy eating. Check them out by clicking this link!


OK… If you follow my blog… you know I can at times be a big cheerleader for the district. Then, there are times, I’ll be honest… I’m a complainer.

I think being a complainer can be a good thing… when it involves giving critical feedback (both positive and “constructive”) about my family’s experience in our schools and district. Without parent input, the “system” can never be fully accountable. I know as a former teacher, I never felt as accountable to my principal or a district administrator as I did to the students and families I served each day.

So, what am I complaining about?

SUGAR OVERLOAD!!!!!

This is how much candy JUST ONE of my daughters brought back from school after being sick last week. (Since I have twins in the same class, I got TWICE this amount!) Apparently two birthday parties happened the week before spring break and my kids were out sick. When we returned, this is what they brought home. (!!!!!)

candy1

We plan to use it to do an “everyday math” project to calculate just how much sugar is contained in the combined goodie bags… Stay posted!)

So What’s a Mom to Do?

Lucky for me, we’ve been talking ALOT about sugar so my girls brought it all home and didn’t just eat it up. But, can you believe all this sugar? And this is with a NEW district policy that supposedly went into effect this academic year prohibiting excess sugar in the schools!!! (The district also put together this awesome guide: the BeWell Booklet to communicate this new policy to families.) I’m proud SFUSD is leading the way in setting higher standards for the health and well-being of our kids. But these policies mean nothing if they are NOT ACTUALLY BEING IMPLEMENTED in our classrooms.

I don’t blame my daughter’s teacher on this—she already goes above and beyond! And I don’t blame other parents either; they are just doing what they’ve always done. Sugar has been in our kids classrooms for a long time now, and we’re not going to change old habits in a day.

Nonetheless, the district has had ALMOST A YEAR, to design a communication plan around the new nutrition policy and I can bet this “plan” if it even exists is shabby. Leave it to district administrators to set a policy in motion and then provide NO support to schools in communicating the new policy to parents and staff.

I get into that in the following post. In the meantime…

Join the Fight for Healthy Food in Our Schools!

Want to learn more about the EVILS of sugar and help support some awesome Health Superheroes! Click on the links below:

#SugarKills.us – This is a website created by middle schoolers (YES! You read it right!) This awesome site was created by a group of middle schoolers who spent the better part of the 2012-2013 school year studying the New York City Soda Ban under the supervision and support of an awesome edu-blogger and middle school science teacher (aka: a saint!) by the name of Bill Ferriter. You can follow him on Twitter under the handle @plugusin, or subscribe to his blog at: blog.williamferriter.com

PEACHSF – This website is devoted to supporting healthy food in all San Francisco schools. Learn more about supporting efforts to implement a Soda Tax in our city and get informed about school nutrition policies in our district and around the country by reading articles written by PEACHSF founder Dana Woldow http://peachsf.org/

Does any of this resonate with you? What questions, frustrations or suggestions do YOU have about the district’s new nutrition policy? Or, what healthy ideas do you have for sugary drinks or snacks? Please post ideas, links and resources in the comments below!

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About alimcollins

Ali Collins is an educator, community organizer and mom. She lives with her husband and twin girls in San Francisco, CA.

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