I meet a lot of parents who are angry about how their kids are being fed. They’re mad about school lunches and cookie dough fundraisers, about sugary snacks at preschool, about doughnuts on the soccer sidelines.
But only a few of these parents act on their anger.
Some don’t want to rock the boat or be seen as complainers. Others complain, but it ends there. Honestly, I’ve been both of these types in the past.
A friend of mine has this quote from ex-President-of-the-moment Abraham Lincoln in her email signature:
“He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”
I think about this quote a lot. Because I sure do like to get up on my soapbox (read “Soccer Mom Soapbox”). But I’ve also found that it’s a lot more satisfying to do something about it (read “Anger Management: Turning a Rant into Action”). I’ve also found that people take your complaints (let’s call them constructive criticisms) a lot more seriously when you have possible solutions—and more importantly, have the willingness to act on them.
Believe me, I get it: Like you, I have an endless to-do list and little time for extra projects.
But if you have your own (well-worn) soapbox, if the thought of another candy bar fundraiser or another snack of cookies and juice at preschool makes you crazy, do something about it. This year, make a resolution to act on your feelings, to jump in and get your hands dirty, and be part of the solution.
Here are some ideas:
- Attend a PTA meeting to raise concerns and offer your help.
- Schedule a time to speak with the principal or cafeteria manager about school lunch. Find out if your school district has a parent advisory group.
- Volunteer to bring a healthy snack to the class party (or better yet, organize it).
- Sign up to donate healthy food to school events.
- Join your school’s wellness committee—or start one (read: “School Wellness in Action” )
- Talk to your child’s coach, preschool teacher, or camp director (or send an email) about the snacks they serve and make suggestions for healthier options.