Fruit Pizza and a Rant about Public School

I know, you’re dying to ask.  What possible  connection could there be between this lovely, delicious dessert and a rant against public school? Well, I’m dying to tell you.

Eden has taken several on-line courses through the state electronic high school system.  This started out as a way for her to supplement her English learning.  My own fifth grade teacher was teaching ninth grade English — and remembering her as a fantastic teacher, I let Eden sign up for the course.  It turned out well, although there was not as much teacher/student interaction as I would have liked.  Eden is like me, though.  She thinks she would like to try this course, and that one, and that one . . .  so she signed up for several.  The one she is just completing is Foods and Nutrition.

The Foods and Nutrition course teaches basic nutritional facts about carbs, proteins, milk, vitamins and minerals, etc., and then allows the student to do either an experiment (like cooking broccoli for 20 minutes and describing its texture, color and flavor) or prepare a recipe.  Here’s my rant:  throughout the course, no recipes were assigned.  The student was assigned to make “a milk-based recipe” or “a quick bread.”  I lied.  One recipe was assigned.  In the fruits and vegetables section, the student was assigned to make a fruit pizza.

Here was the perfect opportunity for a teacher to introduce nutritious recipes with a variety that would allow students to become acquainted with real food.  Eden completed her tomato-corn bisque for the milk-based recipe, and learned to make garlic-parmesan biscuit roll-ups for the quick breads.  This innovation was only because I found interesting recipes, though.  No ideas were even suggested by the teacher.  Why, a peanut butter sandwich would have qualified for a protein recipe!  But the fruit pizza was the last straw.  With millions or billions of recipes available which make innovative and nutritious use of fruits and vegetables, why ask students to make a sugar cookie (shortening based so it doesn’t even taste good) topped with Cool Whip (not even real food!) and fruit?

Eden complained.  She asked if we could just “say” we had tried it?  After all, we could imagine what it would taste like!  We ended up subbing real whipping cream for the Cool Whip, and everyone (included the little kids) threw away the sugar cookie and ate the fruit.  (And this was not coercion — it tasted bad!)

Just one more reason to homeschool, folks . . .

Have you had a similar experience?  Please leave me a comment below.

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  1. Allison

     /  September 21, 2012

    *sigh* Like you need to bribe kids into eating a tree ripened peach or dark purple grapes, things that are filling the farmers markets this time of year. Real food tastes great , it doesn’t need cookies and cool whip (gross).


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