Today - of all days - I will become "that" mom.
You know the one that the PTO President rolls her eyes at & thinks "Why is this lady causing me grief?" I don't want to be the troublemaker, really I don't. I even thought to myself just this very morning how thankful I am for the parents at my sons' schools who get involved... because honestly, I don't. I'm barely keeping it all together to run this household + a business + not to mention needing to make sure everyone has clean underwear when Monday morning storms into our lives [gotta keep it real, folks]. I've learned to say "No" since becoming a mom and sadly, right now that means No, I'm not a terribly involved parent at school.
But today I will also be saying "No" to the fundraiser information that was sent home in my oldest son's backpack. I won't trash any brands here, but let's just say it's a popular and quite "spunky" cookie dough company. And they're not peddling low-calorie, whole-grain treats... if you get my drift.
If you know me and read this blog, you know I champion moderation. I believe in that old saying "all foods can fit." Heck, I even tweeted a mention today about liking salty McDonald's french fries. I believe in indulgence, and I'm not afraid of a calorie splurge. But I am SO opposed to unhealthy foods (and beverages) being the center of fundraising activities, no matter how much money they bring into the school.
I know schools need money. I believe in supporting education. But this culture of promoting unhealthy foods as a fun way to make money is so counter-productive to what dietitians and health advocates everywhere are trying to do in this country. I simply can't participate in this fundraiser.
Georgia - my home state for now - reportedly has the 2nd highest childhood obesity rate in the U.S.
Forty percent of children living in Georgia are overweight or obese.
And what do we do? We say "Hey kids... let's see how much cookie dough we can get all your friends and family to buy. Eat up!"
It's just wrong, wrong, wrong. And I won't be a part of it.
Since my son started his new elementary school I've been very pleased with his teachers and what I know of the administration to date. And I don't think this choice of a fundraiser by the PTO is an indictment against the school. Honestly, it's a larger food-culture issue that needs to be addressed where people who make these types of decisions automatically identify this as a bad idea before it ever gets in the hands of parents like me.
So where is the irony in all of this?
It's National Homemade Cookie Day. To celebrate, I fully intended to post these [Whole Grain] Oatmeal Raisin-Chocolate Chip Cookies.
And I still am.
But doesn't that make you a hypocrite, Regan?
Nope. Not to me it doesn't. It reinforces my position. Cookies are a fine food to enjoy on occassion and even better if you're making them in your own kitchen with your kids. Make a batch, enjoy 'em and be done with it. No pressure to sell them. No pressure to get people to buy more. No pressure to keep eating more. Enjoy a little bite and find another way to make money.
So what do you think? Am I being too hard? A hypocrite? What would you do?
Oatmeal Raisin-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients (1 1/2 dozen cookies)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In mixing bowl of a large stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla; continue beating until smooth (do not overbeat).
Combine flour, baking soda and salt; beat into butter mixture. Beat in oats, raisins and chocolate chips just until combined.
Scoop dough out by spoonfuls at least 2 inches apart on baking sheet (cookies will spread). Bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and center is golden. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.