I wonder how many of you parents think your college students actually eat vegetables or salads or even meat at school? How many of you think that every day at lunch, your student gets in the meat and three line and spoons green beans, rice, potatoes and ham onto their plate? Well, if you think that, you’re under a serious misconception.
Many colleges offer the meat and three option in their caf. It changes every day, from ham to roast and green beans to okra. But it’s there, at every meal except breakfast, being passed up on by students walking by. Vegetables will be eaten maybe once a day, at most. If that. A salad will be eaten only if the student likes salad or is trying to be healthy but doesn’t want to stand in line. It’s simply easier to head straight for the pizza line or the hamburger line.
Most students, when given the option of pepperoni pizza fresh from the oven or a thin slice of ham and one spoonful of green beans, will choose the former. They figure that the walk over to the caf was enough exercise that they can afford to ingest whatever they want. That’s why they head for the hamburgers that sit in one inch of grease and the French fries that have just had half a canister of salt dumped on them. It tastes better than the healthy stuff. It’s sure not healthier than the healthy stuff but that’s a small price to pay for the taste, right? Yeah, okay.
Plus, parents, your college student probably eats ice cream or three cookies every day. It’s free and it’s relatively delicious, which is why he or she will eat it without thinking twice. They’ve already gained six or seven hundred calories from the greasy hamburger and fries so what’s the harm with adding a few hundred more? As long as it tastes good then who cares about the future? Who cares about how pretty soon, you’ll look like you’re pregnant, even when you’re not? No one! It’s not important. Live in the now.
Plus, don’t even get started on the soft drinks. If you think your student drinks water at least once a day, you’re probably wrong. Probably. Now, there are students who only drink water. And good for them. But they are in the minority. It’s just that there are so many options, who wants water? You can have Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, sweet tea, Sprite, Gatorade, juice, and so many more. What’s the point of getting tasteless water? You can even get water with fruit flavor at North Greenville University. Therefore, most students grab their cup and stick it under the Pepsi nozzle without even thinking twice. To them, it’s just a drink. Again, why think about the ramifications? They’re not important. What’s important is that you go away from your meal thinking, yum, that was good. Think I’ll get that again tomorrow.
So, parents, if you’re wondering why you had to go out and buy new blue jeans for your son or daughter this Fall Break, or if you’re wondering why your daughter suddenly grew a dress size, don’t look any farther than what she or he is eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That’s where the problem is, guaranteed. And if not there, it’s in their exercising, or lack thereof. Perhaps a confrontation is in order. But remember…be nice. Call it a caf and don’t call them kids. Maybe then you and your college student will be able to communicate. Who knows? It’s worth a shot, right?This was published in the Greer Citizen earlier this year/last year (I don't remember.) What'd you think?