Monday, November 17, 2014

TheDivorce

About a year and half ago, the folks in the school I serve (Guthrie Common School District in Guthrie, Texas) began conversations about the importance of nutrition in the current and future health of our children.   These conversations were an outgrowth of our decisions to educate our children according to our own, locally derived learning standards, which we call the Guthrie Graduate Profile.   

Our learning journey toward better health and sustainable well-being has been interesting, invigorating, infuriating, and enlightening.  Like most public schools in our nation, we subscribed to the national school lunch program (i.e., federally subsidized meals).  As such we were compelled to comply with the nutritional standards prescribed by that program.  As we learned more about the impact of wholesome, "clean" food on our bodies, our minds, and, yes, even our emotional states, we became more and more convinced that the national school lunch program was designed more with the goal of maintaining the health of the profit margins of the food industry than it was about the health of our children.

Thus, we divorced ourselves from the school lunch program.

What we have done instead is change the kinds and quality of foods we feed our children (and staff) every day through the Guthrie CSD school cafeteria.  

The foods we NOW feed our children:

  • Only organically grown vegetables and fruits (no pesticides, no herbicides).
  • Only grass-fed and grass-finished meats (no hormones, no antibiotics).
  • Organic dairy products.
  • Eggs from pastured chickens.
  • Clean, healthy fats (i.e., real butter, avocados, coconut oil, raw nuts, etc.).
  • Only whole milk.
  • Only natural sweeteners (i.e. organic maple syrup, xylitol, stevia, etc.).

    The foods we STOPPED feeding our children:

    • Processed sugars of all kinds (and there are over 50 of those).
    • Any grain, fruit, or vegetable that was/is genetically modified.
    • Sugared drinks, any milk stripped of the natural fats, flavored milks.
    • Gluten-laden foods.
    • Virtually no meat that was commercially fed.
    • Most grain-based products.
    • Margarine and vegetable-based oils.
    Evidence seen to date:  67% perfect attendance among students during the first six weeks, 69% perfect attendance among students for the second six weeks.

    Has this change in practice/thinking been challenging?  You bet.
    Has it been worth it?  Absolutely.
    Are we still learning?  Indeed.






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