Jan 26 2011


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.

2 Responses

  1. elsa

    I’ve definitely had the same conversation with myself, about bringing candy to give out :)

  2. CLB

    I’ve found (oddly enough) that rewarding with 5 minutes (or a more extended period of exercise–whatever you want to arrange for) of ‘active exercise’–yoga, dancing, etc. is something kids will work for as a reward. It gets their wiggles out (even older kids have wiggles and energy to get out).

Reply to elsa

or, cancel reply