"Do Kylie's teachers ever comment on how beautiful her lunches are? I would be excited to see what she brought in each day!"
I've had one teacher say that it is "interesting to see what's in Kylie's lunch" and another teacher comment, "You must have a lot of free time". Both fairly innocuous statements. And I really don't expect people to understand the whole bento lunch thing and how it amuses me to make Kylie's lunches look pretty.
But I was shocked to hear Kylie say, "Teacher said I had to eat my good food before my bad food and I ran out of time before lunch was over so I only ate my good food".
So I calmly asked Kylie, "What did teacher say the bad food was?"
Kylie, "My pirate booty and my fruit leather".
Me, "She said those were bad foods".
This isn't the first time we've heard something like this. One night after dinner, we ate cupcakes. Kylie loves cupcakes and we don't eat them often. She was excited about it and told the folks at school about having them. The following day Kylie told me that she didn't want a cupcake for dessert because teacher said they were "junk food and didn't nourish her body."
Now we are stuck with this school until the end of May. And for a myriad of other reasons which I won't get into on this post, we won't be returning to this school next year. So it does me absolutely no good to address this issue with the teachers. Other than some therapeutic blog ranting, I'm letting it go.
But the pissed-off part of me wants to say:
"How dare you qualify food as either good or bad to my daughter! We Americans have enough screwed up notions about food as it is. Food is neither good nor bad. It is food. It is nourishment. Cupcakes aren't junk food; they are desserts. And there is nothing wrong with desserts. Pirate booty and other chips, along with fruit leather, aren't top of the nutritional food chain but neither are they at the bottom. They provide variety in my daughter's nutrient-rich daily menu.
What's more, if I want to put a Hershey bar or Cheetos in my daughter's lunch, you better damn well let her have it and keep your mouth shut about it. Because you know what? It's your job to TEACH not to PARENT.
Here's a picture of Kylie's bento lunch. With her "good" go-gurt, clementines, craisins and turkey and her "bad" pirate booty and fruit leather.