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Friday, April 29, 2011

Healthy Food as Seen by a Child

Abby has recently had a Health and Nutrition unit at school. One of the projects the kids did was to take a photocopy of a local grocery ad (Safeway in this case, but I would not have known this had some of the ad items not been house brand) and circle the various foods with Green (Healthy), Yellow (Occasionally), and Red (Rarely). Some of the issue here may be interpretative - how often is "occasionally" versus "rarely"? There is also one item blacked out on the copy, because it is something that they can't present to second-graders (alcohol, tobacco, or condoms would be the only things I can think of, although I suppose feminine hygiene may be on the verboten list too). Her list went like this:
  • Coca-Cola - red (reasonable)
  • Nabisco Crackers and Cookies - yellow (I suspect she dithered over this... crackers are okay, but cookies not so much... what do do, what to do?)
  • Fresh Ground Coffee - red (sure)
  • Bottled Water - green (she doesn't know about leechy plastics and so forth at eight, so sure)
  • Microwave Popcorn - yellow (okay - occasionally for microwave popcorn sounds fine)
  • Instant Oatmeal - green (she probably is unaware of the amount of sugar and fillers, so good)
  • Rockstar Energy Drinks - red (great - at her age, she doesn't even need to know about these)
  • Tortilla Chips - yellow (reasonable - chips are chips)
  • Fruit Snacks - yellow (all righty)
  • Pepsi - yellow (why is Coke red, but Pepsi is yellow?)
  • Licorice Whips - yellow (why not red? does she think of them as fruit snacks rather than candy?)
  • Multivitamins - green
  • Chocolate Chunk Cookies - green (Wha? Is it because they look like a smaller package? Does she recognize the logo as the same people who brought us Goldfish Crackers? Is it because the price is higher than the other cookies above and we equate higher prices with better quality? Or was she getting silly by this point?)
  • Pasta Sauce - yellow (one jar says "CHEESY!!" and the other says "GARDEN VEGETABLE". Did she split the difference?)
  • Peanut Butter - yellow shaded with green (looks like she started to circle it with yellow, but decided that for most people it's green)
  • Apple Juice - yellow (Why not green? It says "100% Juice" on the bottle...)
  • Pork Back Ribs from the butcher - green (the other white meat?)
  • Spaghetti and Tuna on a buy-together deal - green (okay... it is whole grain pasta)
  • The Blank Spot, where she wrote in "BEER" - red (this cracked me up)
  • Red Seedless Grapes - green (fresh fruit = green, yay!)
  • Chicken Tenders from the deli - green (Huh?)
  • Gatorade - yellow (okey dokey)
  • Salad Dressing - yellow (she knows the dressing is not the most nutritious part)
 I have not laughed so hard over her homework in weeks.

As one might expect from my auditory learner, the other thing she showed me proudly is that she can read intervals. The music teacher sings three notes and the kids multiple-choice which of the three notations is correct. She got all three of them right.