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OSD on right track in improving students’ health

My granddaughter, Alexandrea is a good eater. Even at 4 years old, she isn’t terribly picky. She will try most things when offered. Occasionally, her nose will wrinkle and she’ll shake her head, but at least she tries it before making the assumption she won’t like it.

My 4-year-old grandson, Adam, however, is quite the opposite. The child eats hardly anything but a very few select items. I’m not sure it’s because of likes and dislikes, as much as it is him just liking things he knows and is comfortable with. How picky a child is when it comes to eating seems to be more about their personality than their taste in food.

When I first saw the new winter menu items being offered now at Bramlett Elementary, I admittedly raised a brow. Sweet potato and black bean stew? I wasn’t even sure Alexandrea would be brave enough to try it, and I know Adam won’t even consider it.

When I was in high school, our school district contracted with the company that supplies McDonald’s their hamburgers and French fries. I don’t know the details of such an arrangement. I was a teenager. All I know is we had hamburgers and fries offered for lunch every day, and of course, we ate them.

We had the regular hot menu as well. I can’t remember a day I actually bought it. We had burgers and fries. Enough said.

I think there was a salad bar offered every day as well. No one ever got the salad. (I suspect teachers did.)

We didn’t have breakfast. We had chocolate milk and mini apple pies.

And we’re all now wondering why we’ve dealt with weight problems most of our lives.

What did we know? We were given an option of TV-dinner-like meals, salad or hamburgers and fries.

When I looked at the actual daily menus for the Oxford School District, I noticed that the new items have simply been included in the menu and there other things offered that seem less exotic, but still healthy.

I commend the Good Food for Oxford Schools and Child Nutrition Program inside the district for spending the time to create menus that are healthier and contain a broader range of items for our students.

I suspect students like my grandson will turn up their noses at some of the new items. But maybe one day he might just be hungry enough to at least try something new. At home, it’s easy to give in and give a child what they want to eat to avoid arguments. No parent wants their child to go hungry, so we often give in.

The OSD is giving our students a good foot forward in making healthier food choices that I hope they carry throughout their lives so they can avoid many of the health issues their parents and grandparents are dealing with on a daily basis.

Mississippi might be the “fattest” state in the country now, but if more schools follow Oxford’s leads, maybe that’s one list we can leave behind.

alyssa schnugg is Senior Writer at the EAGLE. Write to her at alyssa.schnugg@oxfordeagle.com