Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Twice since my daughter started school on August 28th, she's been informed by someone in the lunch room that she has to bring sandwiches if she packs a lunch.
I was convinced the first time that she must have misunderstood the person so I dismissed it and went back to packing things like muffins, yogurt, grilled proteins, fruit and veggies in her lunches.
But then yesterday she told me the same thing happened. So I called her teacher who was kind enough to talk to the people who have lunch room duty for me. People, who I'm sure were just trying to make sure my kiddo had some decent nutrition in her life.
Good intentions aside, it kind of ruffled my feathers and got my "momma bear" instincts going.
First off, why would my kiddo's all-natural lunch (which included a grain, protein, fruit and veggies) be something questionable? If she had brought a Wonder bread, ham bologna and American cheese sandwich with a side of gold fish, nobody would have batted an eye. But which one is actually healthier?
Then I started wondering if it was a portion size issue. I do pack what some might consider to be small lunches (she also has two snacks each day in her classroom). It's no secret that in America, we have a serious obesity epidemic. But here's the thing, most people don't realize what an actual serving size of most foods really is and we tend to over consume dairy and grains but have very little fruits and veggies on our plates. Up until the start of this year when I thought I was eating healthy, I wasn't actually sticking to serving sizes or eating as much fruit and veggies as I actually should in a day.
Which is why I'm a fan of the new version of the food pyramid - Choose my Plate. It's one of the best visual representation we've come up with thus far for what portion of our plates should be taken up by things like veggies, fruit, dairy, protein and grains. The only issue I have with it is that it's not super clear on what healthy portion sizes are when you just look at the photo.
Which is why I'm also a fan of this Reader's Digest visual representation of what actual serving sizes are. If you haven't looked at something like this before, you might find it as fascinating as I did.
By the way, a venti-sized drink from Starbucks is four servings. A tall is actually two servings. Gosh darn it you, Salted Caramel Mocha!
In more exciting news, during the last 6 months I've lost 15 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight last year without even trying. Mostly thanks to eating 90% natural foods (again, gosh darn you Salted Caramel Mocha!), having well-balanced meals (see the plate above) and sticking to real portion sizes.