Thanks to a colleague that probably should remain nameless for sending me this story about his 7 year old’s recent nutrition lesson.
Here’s the letter and photos he sent.
Hi Dr. Freedhoff,
Hope you are well, I got into a heated debate with my stubborn 7yr old son (who is starting to test the theory that I am the smarter person he knows) and I thought of you because I have seen you blog about this before.
Monday he came home with homework from a special nutrition lesson they got today from a rep from Pizza Nova. The Pizza Nova came in and fed them pizza (unknown to us), taught them to make pizza dough, and continued to teach these young impressionable minds that pizza is one of the healthiest foods there is because it has all of the food groups.
The homework included an activity book and once complete they receive a coupon for a free pizza.
This is a tipping point for me, the school already has pizza day every 2 weeks, theme food days all the time, bake sales, freeze sales regularly, food fundraisers and the list goes on, now we have food companies advertising to children false info about nutrition.
When he questioned his 7 year old’s teacher, the one who invited Pizza Nova to teach her students about nutrition, about the wisdom of the guest teachers, she saw nothing wrong with it and explained to him how it is nice to have community partners come in to break up the regular school day.
As part of writing this story, I did some Googling. Apparently this isn’t a one-off, and that rather this is a common event at Kindergartens across Ontario including Oakville, Hamilton, Toronto, Whitby, and Bowmanville (that’s where the letter writer’s son goes to school).
In fact, according to Pizza Nova, last year,
"over 120 schools, participated in over 600 workshops, entertaining more than 27,000 children."
Call me old fashioned, but I don’t think schools should be providing the food industry, or any industry for that matter, with access to our children. let alone inviting a fast food company to teach nutrition to Kindergarteners.