Monday, January 05, 2004

Soda-free zone

I remember earlier this school year, when my daughter was still having her new-to-middle-school jitters, we ran into an acquaintance from her old school at the supermarket. I asked him how he was liking life at middle school, and he responded with a huge smile that he LOVED it, just loved it. And why? "They have Snapple in the lunchroom!" he replied. His mom confirmed that the ability to down a couple of Snapples at midday was enough to make her boy a happy student.

I thought of that conversation when I read about the latest proclamation from the American Academy of Pediatrics (motto: "Fun? Not on our watch!") that schools should banish sodas from their lunchtime offerings, allowing only milk, water, and 100% fruit juice. Since Snapple's closer to 100% sugar water than 100% juice, it probably wouldn't make the cut, and I doubt my daughter's acquaintance is the only one who'd be seriously bummed. And you know, I realize that America's youth are getting fatter, and their teeth are rotting, and their nutrition stinks, and good food needs to be a high priority. But I also know how hard school is getting, and how much work these kids have to do, and how infrequently fun creeps into their day, and if they want to grab themselves a little sugar high to go with their institutional grub, I think it's kind of heartless to say no. Who knows for how many kids that's the highlight of the day?

No comments: