Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition in the classroom’

The Other “F” Word

January 21, 2020

The first line in my well-received new novel is, “I’m so fat.”

It elicits cheeky giggles whenever I used to read it out. Kids are not used to hearing that word anymore and are especially surprised that a major character in a kid’s book nonchalantly expresses such a candid self-reflection.

By the end of the first page, my audience grows to love the character and appreciate his honesty. Cheeky giggles are replaced with unabashed giggles. Finally, a character that feels comfortable to express the thoughts that many of us feel on a daily basis – seems to be the consensus.

When I first started reading the then-unfinished manuscript, a student approached me and told me how much the character of Jake meant to her. She told me that she had been ignored and disrespected because of her weight and it was inspiring to see those very same students that have ostracised her completely warmed to the fat character and instantly accepted him. She told me it gives her hope that the overweight kid can achieve some positive attention for a change.

I asked her what her name was.

“Nina”, she replied.

I told her I would name one of the major characters “Nina” because her words had moved me so much.

Nina is probably an adult now and probably has no recollection of that day and the origins of her namesake in my book. But her reaction has not been unique.

As a teacher, I’ve had the opportunity to read my book to thousands of students along the journey. There is a good reason why the word “fat” is frowned upon and there is a logic behind society’s reluctance to explicitly draw attention to weight.

But fat people know they are fat and are looking for a character that can own up to it and then prosecute the case why being overweight should never overshadow a person’s spirit, wisdom and achievements.

Enter Jake Archibald and the book, My Favourite Comedian.

Thank you, Nina!


Special Announcement:

I am donating 100% of the royalties of my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian, during the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. Please leave a comment to indicate your purchase. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.



Teachers Should Not Become the Lunch Box Police

December 8, 2019



Reading, writing, mathematics, history and social studies. These are some of the disciplines teachers should concern themselves with.

Lunch box inspectors? Sorry. That’s none of our business.

And what’s more, whilst the method of lunchbox checking is intended to encourage healthy eating, it is more likely to lead to food-related anxiety.


Parents are clashing with teachers who police lunch boxes and shame children for bringing unhealthy food, new research shows.

University of Melbourne researchers interviewed 50 Victorian primary school ­parents and found some were anxious and upset about their school’s surveillance of lunch boxes.

In some cases, photos of children with “good” and “bad” lunch boxes were circulated around the school to teach others what to bring and what not to bring.

Young students were also singled out by teachers and given yard duties or penalty points for having the wrong food, the study found.

One girl buried a muesli bar in the playground because she was so embarrassed about having it in her lunch box and another had homemade cake returned with admonishment.

I ask one simple question. How would policymakers like having parents inspect their lunches? Because we all know that the hypocrites that enforce these policies are quite partial to a bit of Uber Eats.


Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can download a free ebook copy by clicking here or buy a copy by clicking on this link.

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