I’m a really talented baker (and humble). I baked some cupcakes last night which got me thinking. Here’s my internal dialouge:
“Oh, ah – I’ll bring cupcakes in for my students when they meet goals. Wow, great idea self”
“Uh, no – giving kids nutrient poor, calorie rich foods as a reward is a terrible idea, what’s wrong with you self?”
“Ah, but self – kids aren’t gonna feel rewarded by a carrot, I mean keep it real”
So obviously the occasional cupcake won’t hurt my students, and most certainly nutrition problems are not an invidual or family problem, but rather a systemic problem. I mean when on a budget, pressed for time and living in a neighborhood without a grocery store it’s hard to have time to provide healthy meals two or three times a day. Poor communities don’t have the same access to food and free time as wealthy communities do (this is food injustice. see my glossary for further discussion) My point is this: I shouldn’t be dictating food choices to anyone, but I should be thinking about my food privileges (which are many, and I’m also a vegetarian which is a whole different level of privilege). I need to focus on changing the system, I need to focus on demanding that my students’ parents have access to good options. I need to worry about cupcakes, but I also need to worry about the big picture. Since I have so many things to worry about, it’s a good thing I’m starting now.