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Old 05-30-2006, 04:14 AM
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Health & Nutrition plans in Schools

Is anyone involved in their school's health and Nutrition policy? By 2010, all schools that receive federal funding have to have a policy in place.

For instance, our schools are eliminating a lot of foods and all sodas from the vending machines. The menus are being changed for school lunches and bake sales and birthday cupcakes are on the way out. There are also mandates for increased activity in the classroom.. etc,

Anybody getting involved on the committes?
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Old 05-30-2006, 04:28 AM
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I am still "undecided" about this whole policy. My kids don't attend public schools so it doesn't directly affect us, but I do feel that lunch is only one meal out of the day, and serving a nutritious lunch is not guaranteeing the kids will eat it! I help in our school lunchroom; last Friday they had choice of 4 different fruit (and could have as many as they wanted!) with lunch, and more than half the kids didn't take any.

By the same token, I did verbally offer fruit to kids without any on their tray--an effort was made; I was a walking commercial for orange slices and bananas and a few kids did take one after I urged them to. "Don't you want some oranges? They're delicious!" AND I nagged the older kids who were loading up on snacks..."How are you going to grow to 7 feet tall when you eat like that?"

Always, though, "forbidden" fruit is more attractive. DO make them move more! They need it! Don't take away their recess! Serve nutritious and delicious foods.

I also think it would help if they helped parents reinforce it at home. Send home recipes for healthy salads....have a cooking class for parents & kids together and learn to make a healthy meal....I think positive measures like that go way farther than just taking away treats in the lunchroom.
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:45 PM
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Barb I agree with you mostly. My kids have always been in public school and now my gk's are also. I don't think they should take away the soda machines in the high schools or snack machines either. They shouldn't have them in the lower schools though.
They should offer foods that the kids will eat-I know my dgd always liked getting a salad when they started offering them at her school-but often times they'd run out and she wouldn't get one.
Also, if they'd keep the recesses in school and PE classes in the upper grades alot more kids would be alot healthier.
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:23 PM
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Pre school, primary school and high school alike have to apply the new "Healthy Schools Canteen Program" it is been implemented Australia wide, at the begining of our school year last yr we were given until Dec 2006 to make sure all foods in canteen for the sale to children to be "health smart". I am on our high school committee. This was not our choice but made education law to all schools, except private schools.
No soft drinks, chips, chocolates, hash browns have been sold in our school since the begining of this school yr. We have Red foods, once a month to be sold, amber once a fortnight and green anytime. Cutting down on salt, sugar and fat.
Personally I think it is up to the parent to check a childs lunch box as it is part of being a parent and child raising. If by high school a child doesn't have an inkling of good foods and bad foods it's a bit of a worry.
By late high school the kids here are working part time, are 17 or 18 (at 18 you have to vote on how your country is run, it's compulsory) and the kids can't buy a packet of chips? McDonalds and the like are making a fortune now.
I think the healthy thing is more targeting the kids who buy thier lunch every day and the parents who would rather give the kids cash than make a basic sandwich. Because of the small % of bigger kids my skinny kids are being penalised.
I actually had a bit of a "arguement" with the primary school canteen (I'd helped for 8yrs) due to a lot of unfairness in their handling of this and now I refuse to help there at all LOL.

Canteen for my kids was ever only a treat once every 2 weeks and now they've taken the fun out of it, in some ways I feel my ds2 school has become very structured and confining not unlike a jail LOL.
Don't get me started

Remember our canteen is run slightly differently to US.
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Old 06-10-2006, 04:41 AM
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Bilby, it's so true about "skinny kids being penalized."
My 3 kids are skinny as can be. They are good eaters, always have been. Just lucky, I guess. But they can only buy Low Fat milk in the school lunchrooms. I do not need or want to restrict my kids' fat intake. They're growing kids with a good diet. Being there in the lunchroom, I see that they do eat what is packed. Sometimes a "snack" comes back home (due to lack of time) but they always eat their sandwich and fruit (or carrots). If they want a treat--bag of chips, ice cream bar, I'm happy to let them.
These new rules don't always apply in private schools, where my kids go, but many of the schools are deciding to follow the public schools' rule.
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Old 06-10-2006, 09:56 PM
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Barbzy
you know if I didn't also see things from the canteen perspective I'd probably not be worried (not know the ins and outs of the new rules ) but I have seen how it's all started and grown with more rigid regulations. Surely kids at least choosing full cream milk to drink is better than soft drink? Ours has even taken that to only small cartons, you can't buy 600ml (pint), have to have low fat cheese on salad sandwiches etc. Now as some of those more senior students do go to work or sport after school surely they need feuling, and in moderation nothing is really bad for you.
My kids sound a lot like yours, play time intrudes upon eating time, DS2 will go and play and I will also get food home. DS1 I can't put enough food in his lunch box and he then has to ride bike home (5.5klm round trip to school).

My thinking on this is also usually the people making these wonderful decisions for us tend to be the ones that really have no idea about the real world. I bet the rule makers don't have school age kids. Makes me think of my post baby days (ds1) when seeing a nurse for newborn help and she had no kids only what she'd read, that soooo got to me in the end LOL.
Boy I found that soap box again LOL!!
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Old 06-12-2006, 07:43 AM
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There aren't any real complaints about the school lunch menus getting healthier. For instance, kids can now have a bowl of soup, a small salad, and a whole grain roll as an alternative to the burgers, cicken bites, or taccos, etc. The district has switched from fatty cuts of ground beef to ground pork or turkey. Veggies and dip are being offered along with the fruit, and in the HS kids can get things like grilled chicken ceasar salad, or a fruit and cheese plate.

I don't think it's punnishment to eliminate the sweets at school. Kids can still eat these things at home. What's the big deal about a healthy 600 calorie meal for lunch? In school, the curriculum is being changed to include lessons about nutrition and exercise. Kids are being taught about "heart-healthy" diets in the classroom and being given extra time to work out during the day. I think it would be hypocritical of the school to then give them high fat and sugar foods on the lunch line.

The emotional arguments are comming up surrounding celebrating birthdays and holidays at school. Parents in the younger grades especially, bake cupcakes on their kid's birthdays to send to school.. There have been times when my child had four cupcakes in one day! We're suggesting that cupcakes be replaced with Munchkins, or "mini" size servings of cupcakes and doughnuts, or a "goodie bag" the kids can take home with them.

Holiday celebrations will become more about the holiday.. doing a craft, learning about the background of the holiday.. and less about eating foods in school.

The policy isn't meant to punish kids.. just to keep consistancy in school between what we tell them is healthy eating, and what we feed them. For some kids this lesson could change their lives dramatically, and teach them how to make healthy chioces ont their own. For other kids that laready eat healthfully, this education will reinforce whaat they learn about food at home. Replacing a chocolate dip icecream cone with a Froze-fruit ice pop, or a glass of whole milk with a 2% milk is not going to damage any kid.

I just think parents resent being told by someone else ( school in this case) what their kids can do or not do. It's like stepping on the mothers' toes.( that's how I felt initially) But I don't think that any one can rationally say that serving a healthy lunch is a damaging thing to their kid.
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