Saturday, September 24, 2011

Caught NOT Brown Bagging It

I got caught!

I have been faithful to my pledge in bringing a brown bag lunch to school each day, but this Friday I got caught breaking my pledge! As I walked into the staff room with two pieces of pizza in my hand, my colleague Mike said “AHA! You didn’t bring that from home! Where is your brown bag?”

I was initially taken aback since I wasn’t aware Mike read my blog and actually knew about my participation in the Brown Bag Challenge. Because of guilt I began to head back to my office to get my lunch bag I had packed the night before. But then I stopped and realized it was my duty as the principal to eat the pizza a parent volunteer had thrust in my hand. You see the pizza at our school has a very long and important story.

The first day of school marked the implementation of a new policy in all schools across Ontario. The Ministry has mandated specific nutritional requirements for all food items schools provide or sell. It took literally a year of parent consultation, negotiations with Super Mario our pizza maker and student surveys to create a pizza which met the requirements of the new policy. Our pizza now has the right blend of whole wheat crust, low fat cheese and a plain topping which was the result of the student survey which indicated they did not want any of the legit options of vegetables or pineapple toppings.

With all of the duties of a school principal it is hard to believe selecting the right pizza would be so time-consuming. However, on Friday, when I tasted the pizza instead of the carefully prepared brown bag lunch, I knew we had done the right thing. Not only were we offering students a healthy choice for lunch but it tasted great!

The only disappointment was when I found out one of our students smuggled in contraband pepperoni! We still have inroads to make but I know we are heading in the right direction in making healthy food choices.

Pizza days are every Friday so on Monday I'm back brown bagging it!

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