school wellness

I Wish Red Delicious Apples Would Just Go Away

by Sally on September 12, 2014

I Am Sick of Red Delicious Apples by Real Mom Nutrition

I am sick of Red Delicious apples. Specifically, I am sick of Red Delicious apples being passed off as actual apples when really, they’re just very attractive props.

Red Delicious apples, with their chewy skin and mealy flesh, are the most common apple in America, grown and sold more than any other variety. Thanks to years of breeding, the skin is redder and thicker than ever. They’re able to be picked before they’re ripe and resist bruising while they travel across the country…to people who don’t want to eat them.

In a new piece in the Atlantic, “The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious“, Sarah Yager describes the “paradox of the Red Delicious” as this:

“Alluring yet undesirable, the most produced and arguably the least popular apple in the United States. It lurks in desolation. Bumped around the bottom of lunch bags as schoolchildren rummage for chips or shrink-wrapped Rice Krispies treats. Waiting by the last bruised banana in a roadside gas station, the only produce for miles. Left untouched on hospital trays, forlorn in the fruit bowl at hotel breakfast buffets, bereft in nests of gift-basket raffia.”

Don’t get me wrong: Red Delicious apples look terrific in a bowl at a health fair. They’re the perfect vehicle for evil queens to poison unsuspecting storybook characters. But there is nothing “delicious” about them.

I Wish Red Delicious Apples Would Just Go Away

Yet those beautiful, bland things are served almost every day at my children’s school, where many of them get tossed in the garbage by the kids. Even when we cut them into easy-to-eat slices as part of the Fruit Ninjas program, most students take a few nibbles and push them aside. Who could blame them? “They’re green inside,” my six year old told me one day with horror. He’d never met a piece of fruit he didn’t like until he tried a Red Delicious at school.

I’m sure Red Delicious are the most economical choice for our school district to buy. I get it. But what a shame that there are apple orchards mere miles away where varieties like Melrose, Gala, and Honeycrisp are grown to perfection. Apples that would make kids swoon! And to think that some children may only know “apples” as “those tasteless round things I get in the cafeteria”.

Thankfully, there are signs that the vile Red Delicious may be on its way out. Production has dropped 40 percent, as more consumers demand Galas, Granny Smiths, and Fujis. I can only hope that trickles down to the lunch tray. Because how can we expect children to develop a taste for healthy foods if we don’t give them healthy food that actually tastes good?

{ 11 comments }

5 Grab-n-Go Healthy School Snacks

by Sally on August 22, 2014

5 Grab-n-Go Healthy School SnacksDoes your child take a snack to school? Many do, to eat in their classroom or between school and sports practices. Sure, it’s easy to wash a piece of fruit–and ideally, it’s good to avoid waste with reusable food containers. But boy, it’s awfully nice to have packaged options on hand for mornings so nutty, you’re lucky if the kids are wearing matching shoes.

It may seem like junk food manufacturers have the market cornered on packaged snacks. But “packaged snack” doesn’t have to be synonymous with mini bags of chips, cookies, and gummy fruit snacks. More companies are creating packaged options that make healthy eating a little bit easier for busy people. I like that.

I’ve written before about snacks at school, how there are many different notions of exactly what a “healthy snack” looks like (read Will The Real “Healthy Snack” Please Stand Up?“).  So you may have other ideas for healthy school snacks–if you do, please share in the comments! But in the meantime, here are five that pass muster with me:

Naturipe Fresh Blueberries: Washed and ready to eat, these are sold in kid-sized packages rigid enough that the berries don’t get smashed in a backpack. But they’re also easy for little hands to open. (Available at retailers such as Wal-Mart, Safeway, and Winn-Dixie.)

5 Healthy (Packaged) Snacks For School

Tillamook Cheddar Cheese: String cheese is all well and good, but this is a yummy change of pace. (Find a store nearby that stocks them.)

5 Healthy (Packaged!) Snacks for School

Sabra Hummus With Pretzels: Kids will dig these little pretzel rings for dunking into protein- and fiber-rich hummus. Sabra also makes single-serve hummus cups sans pretzels, plus a grab-n-go salsa and tortilla chip kit.

5 Healthy (Packaged!) Snacks for School

Single Serving Carrots: Ready-to-eat baby carrots are sweet and satisfying. These are a store brand from Kroger–but other brands, like Grimmway, also makes snack-size carrot bags.

5 Healthy (Packaged!) Snacks for School

Justin’s Nut Butter Packets: These packets are the perfect two-tablespoon portion of nut butter. Just rip open the top and squeeze it onto apple slices, crackers or (the preferred method around here) right into your mouth. Save the sweetened ones for occasional treats–and be sure to ask about the nut policy at your school before packing them. (Go here to find a retailer near you that carries them.)

5 Healthy (Packaged!) Snacks for School

What packaged snacks do you send to school?

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Naturipe. I received blueberries to try and was compensated for my time. As with everything on this blog, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

{ 12 comments }

School Wellness: 3 Ways To Get Involved This Year

August 18, 2014

School is starting in the next few weeks. Are there are changes you’d like to see in your child’s school, like less sugar in the classroom or more events that get kids moving? If so, make this the year you get involved! Here are three ways to jump in: 1. Attend PTA meetings. It’s the very best way to know […]

Read the full article →

No Child Should Go Hungry This Summer: Here’s How To Help!

May 26, 2014

Throughout the school year, 21 million children depend on free or reduced-price school lunch for reliable nutrition. But, what happens to those kids when they go on summer break? The USDA’s Summer Food Service Program provides free lunch (and sometimes breakfast) to children at 42,000 sites across the country during the summer months. This federally […]

Read the full article →

A Healthy Treat For Teacher Appreciation Week

May 20, 2014

Looking for a way to make a teacher’s day? Look what the parents at my children’s school did for Teacher Appreciation Week: They filled a bowl with fresh fruit, attached these adorable notes, and set it out for the staff. The bowl will be refilled all week long. It goes without saying, but teachers rock–and […]

Read the full article →

All About Snacktivism: My Interview in StayBasic Magazine

February 23, 2014

A few years ago, I got fed up with the Kool-Aid and cupcakes my son was getting after soccer games and vowed to make a change. I began talking to coaches and parents about providing fruit for post-game snacks instead–or even nixing snacks altogether (read: “What If Soccer Snacks Just Went Away?“). One day, a […]

Read the full article →

In Praise of Food Activism, Big & Small

February 18, 2014

Have you noticed that regular people are doing some very big stuff? Vani Hari (aka Food Babe) gets the attention of major food companies by exposing some of the questionable ingredients in their products–and demanding they do better. In response to her widely-circulated blog posts, Chik-fil-A is removing artificial dyes from its sauces and dressings […]

Read the full article →

A Call for Candy-Free Valentines

February 4, 2014

Remember Valentine’s Day as a kid? If your school was anything like mine, you found an old shoebox, cut a slot in the top, and decorated it with paper doilies and puffy heart stickers. You stationed it on your desk at school and made the rounds in the classroom, giggling and dropping valentines in your […]

Read the full article →

10 Food-Free Ways to Celebrate School Birthdays

October 28, 2013

I love cupcakes as much as the next person. I have sweet memories of the birthday cupcakes my mom made for me when I was a child (read “For the Love of Cupcakes“), and I’m sure that some years, she brought those cupcakes to school. But for better or worse, cupcakes at school are on […]

Read the full article →

Will The Real “Healthy Snack” Please Stand Up?

September 23, 2013

I’ve been known to gripe about the state of kids’ snacks (read: “Snacktivism“). I’m so tired of Fruit Roll-Ups, Capri Suns, and Cheez-Its being trotted out for every. single. kid-related. event. And I’m thrilled when I see parents, school administrators, church leaders, and coaches asking for better quality snacks–especially now at the start of the […]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Read the full article →