You Owe Money No Lunch For You

                                                          
                                     
When I read the story about the children at Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City who had their lunch taken from them and thrown in the trash in front of a cafeteria full of children, my heart broke.  This has to be one of the most cruel and inhumane actions that I’ve heard about in a school.  How do you treat a child in this manner?  It is simply beyond me.


Some brilliant administrator, Child Nutrition Manager, in Salt Lake City decided that the children at Uintah Elementary School should have their lunch thrown in the trash because their parents owed money on their lunch bill.  According to the school, the parents who owed money had been asked to reconcile the bill; however, not everyone paid up.  Did I mention that Uintah Elementary is in an affluent neighbor.  Just proves, that times are hard and there’s a lot of people struggling to make ends meet.  The school district in that area raised the price of lunch from $.65 to $2.00.  Quite pricey, especially if you have more than 1 child in school.  Their explanation, the meals are healthier and the cost of making them has risen. 

Rather than work out some plan with the parents, they allowed the children of those who owed money to obtain a tray and after the child sat down to eat they confiscated the tray and throw the food in the trash.  Yes, it is really hard to believe that they thought the trash can needed the food more.  They than gave the children a box of milk and an orange while telling the child, they didn’t have enough money for their lunch. 

I am so furious, no child should ever go hungry.  Especially, when the food is in front of them.  I’ve been to Utah, it is cold out there this time of year.  A box of milk and an orange versus a hot meal.  I wonder what’s in these people’s heart.  If I had been given that kind of directive, I would have resigned rather than carry it out.  Child Nutrition Manager, I don’t think so.  Can you imagine the embarrassment and humiliation that this children endured.  They could possibly be scarred for life.  Who discusses financial matters with elementary school children anyway. 

In my opinion, all of the administrators should have been fired and barred from interacting with young children ever again.  They have apologized and admitted the situation should have been handled differently, but the damage to the child has already been done.  Everyone in this country should be outraged.  If this were your child, how would you have reacted?

                                                                   

Cabbage and Sausage Recipe


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cabbage recipes

I love cabbage.  If you’re a fan, here’s a recipe that you must try.  Did you know that cabbage is great for your health?  It’s actually considered to be one of the best health foods.

Besides being delicious, here a few reasons to try this recipe:  

  • Cabbage contains the least fat and the fewest calories of any vegetable
  • It helps lower cholesterol
  • It’s loaded with Vitamin C
  • It’s a great natural source of fiber
  • It’s a great source of antioxidants  
  • It’s expensive to eat 

 Now that we have the health benefits down.  Here’s the recipe: 

  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 small head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 pound polish sausage, sliced into round pieces (I use smoked sausage)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes  (Pull out a quart of your canned home grown tomatoes and chop) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 of chopped green pepper
  • few drops of hot sauce (optional)
  • chopped garlic clove (optional)
Melt butter in large skillet.  Add cabbage, onion, and green pepper and cook on medium high for about 5 minutes stirring to keep from sticking to pan.  Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes.  Season to taste. 
Note:  I brown my sausage in the oven and have it ready to add to the simmering ingredients.  I found the recipe rather bland, so I added garlic.  Serve with diner rolls and apple sauce.   Makes about 8 servings.

No More Junk Food For You

It looks like our schools will be required to serve healthier meals to our children.  Lets hear it for the Obama administration, someone stepped up to the plate and said we need to take better care of our children.  Many would disagree with his decision.  We all have an opinion and this post is about mine. I signed on to Michelle Obama’s Lets Move program months ago.  Our children need healthier meals, we truly have a severe obesity problem with our children in this country and we need to teach them to eat healthy now so it becomes a habit. 
I was an advent fan of Maury Povich years ago, that’s before he started focusing on baby’s daddy.  I’ll save my opinion on baby’s daddy for another day.  Anyway, Maury was featuring obese children on his show.  OMG, the images will be ingrained into my memory forever.  The show featured toddlers that weighed 100+ pounds.  Mothers were literally feeding their children to death.  The children would scream and fight until they received their favorite foods and drinks, which consisted of Twinkies, soda, chicken legs, mac & cheese, chips, and the list goes on and on.  It was heart breaking.  These children were huge.  There was no way these children could be lifted to be hugged and kissed.  There was no way these children could run and play.  It still brings tears to my eyes years later just thinking about it. Statistics show that approximately 32 percent of our children are overweight or obese and the numbers are climbing.  Our armed forces are turning away recruits because they are too fat to serve in the military. Can you believe this, the recruits couldn’t climb a flight of steps if their life depended on it.  They surely can’t enter into combat to defend our country.

We must save our youth before it’s too late. They are our future, but if we continue on the path that we’re on they won’t be around to lead.  Health care costs are at an all time high, and much of the debt relates to obesity.  High blood pressure, diabetes, and respiratory issues are serious problems with our youth too.  Here’s a few questions for you:  Do you see children playing in your neighborhood? What happened to riding bikes and taking your children to the park to play on the swings and slide?  What happened to taking your kids roller skating?  We’ve allowed our children to become couch potatoes.  A video game is in one hand and a bag of chips or ice cream is in the other.       

How can we go wrong with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (S. 3307).  This bill addresses the need for healthier meals for our children.  Let the fight against obesity begin. Many children would go hungry without the Free Lunch program offered in our schools. Many parents who are trying to feed their families are unable to purchase organic or other healthy choices because it’s just too expensive to purchase these types of foods.  They send their children to school, and what’s there?  Vending  machines filled with chips, chocolate, and soda.  When do they get a healthy meal?  Where do they learn to make healthy choices, it’s not an option in the home.  We are sending our children to school to get an education, shouldn’t healthy eating be a part of their education?  

I debated this bill with a mom blogger this morning.  She believed the bill was another communistic act of the Obama Administration to control the country.  She believed she should be able to give her child money to purchase a treat, ice cream, if she choose to do so. She also had a problem with the fundraising being limited.  The children would no longer be able to sell candy bars to raise funds.  People were able to spend a $1.00 on a candy bar versus $30.00 for wrapping paper.  This statement proved my point, junk food is more affordable, which is why children are being feed junk instead of making healthier choices. Why can’t they sell fruit?  I purchase a case of mixed fruit every year around the holidays from the neighborhood children and make gift baskets for my family.  What about candles or a magazine subscription?  There are so many options other than candy that can be sold to raise money. I believe out of sight out of mind.  If we’re banning junk from the schools, why sell it for fundraisers?
      
I participated in the White House Feed A Neighbor Program several weeks ago.  The shelves were bare, and food banks were asking the community for help stocking shelves so families could have a decent meal for Thanksgiving.  It was a rewarding experience for me, but I have to say that fresh fruit and vegetables were not an option among the food brought in.  Food banks are unable to store perishable items.  They must have a self life.           
       
Most importantly, I wish someone had taught me how to eat when I was a kid.  I was not an obese kid, my weight problems started after my divorce.  I’m a stress eater, which is why I am so hell bent on teaching healthy lifestyles early.  I have gotten better with walking and moving as much as possible, and I’ve already signed up for a weight lose program starting 1/4/2011.  Stay tuned for my progress in the new year.  Although my eating habits were not great, my daughter did learn to eat healthy as a result of 12 years of formal dance training.  She has made it a part of her life and she’s passing that mind set on to her son.  To me that’s proof that healthy habits are taught.  

We would love to know your thoughts on this bill.  Do you believe the government should be regulating school menus and the removal of junk food?  Should the government be the initiator of the fight on childhood obesity?  How are you doing with  preparing healthy meals in your home? Leave us a comment, we would love to hear from you.