Cheetos. We have all known them. From the original Crunchy Cheetos (1948), then “Puffs” (1971) and now the most popular version ever, “Flamin’ Red Hot” (1991). More popular than their tame counterparts, the “Flamin’ Red Hot” version has soared in popularity with the children. Fan pages abound on Facebook. Twitter tweets rant about them. Rappers “Delight” in them (old pun, excuse me). One Youtube video rap has 3.5 million views.
And just like all things kids like – schools hate them.
I remember when, in an attempt to skirt the “no gum chewing in class” rule, everyone in the 80′s all of a sudden crazed over sunflower seeds. But, like all good times, someone has to mess things up. The ones that spit their seeds on the classroom floor drew the attention of the janitor, who brought it up to the principal, who addressed the teachers, who wrote the notes to the parents, who talked to the doctors, who confided with the administration that the salt intake was dangerous and therefore could be banned on school grounds due to a health issue. Whew!
Now, it is happening again.
This flavor has been around since 1991, but it has only been the last couple of weeks that it has made major headlines. Several school districts have measures or are seeking measures to ban the spicy cheesy treat from their schools. Reasons cited for banning the food range from nuisance to health hazard. You see, when kids eat them the red cheesy powder leaves marks wherever one might place their hands, if they are not washing.
My first thought was now you can tell who does not wash their hands, so maybe we can teach them how to do that. You know, to keep down the spread of colds and flu. Oh, am I being too sarcastic?
Not that I really care. I went through this personally with the seeds, and also with my kids over … I forget, cause it did not matter.
Enter, the doctors please. Now most doctors will agree that Cheetos (any flavor) are not part of a nutritious diet. I don’t need to be a doctor to know that. Recently, a rise in ER visits with concerned parents over blood in the stool have been attributed to the fiery snack. The doctors have said that dye in certain foods can cause a reddening of the stool. More significantly, a few doctors agree that if the stool is reddened, then it is a sign of overeating in general and the child is just picking one snack. Well, your local school administrator is quick to glam on to a solution so the snack can be banned due to its health hazard. Here we go again, just like the sunflower seeds, the janitor brought it to the principal, who consulted with the doctors, then sent notes home to the parents, who took their kids to the doctor, who advised that foods like that should not be in schools anyway because they may lead to obesity. Duh!
My point is all of this means nothing. People will eat what they want. They will stay healthy or not. The choice is ours. If you choose to stay healthy, then talk to your doctor yourself, don’t just read some silly headline!