District 6 to kids: “No more candy, cake for you”

by Jack Minor –

Parents attending a parent-teacher organization meeting at Scott elementary school received some shocking news from the district, sweets of any kind are no longer permitted for the majority of students.

 

Jenna Raymond, with the district 6 nutrition department, told the group of new stricter rules regarding what foods would and would not be permitted under new federal guidelines.

Beginning in November, new guidelines will require that all foods served on the K-8 campuses meet strict guidelines in regards to the total calorie count. Excluding nuts or seeds, no more than 30 percent of the total calories can come from fat.

Saturated fat, with the exception of reduced fat cheeses, eggs and nut butters are restricted to 10 percent of the total calorie count, and no more than 35 percent of the total weight, excluding foods and vegetables is composed of sugar.

Anita Colwell, a Scott parent, told Raymond the district was going too far in its desire for nutrition. “Last year my kids loved eating here, but this year they do not want to touch the cafeteria food because it tastes so awful.”

Several other parents agreed, saying often food is simply thrown away because children do not want to eat it.

While it is one thing for the district to enforce these regulations in the cafeterias and vending machines, Raymond stated the restrictions were going to go much farther.

“Fundraisers held at the school are no longer allowed to include food items of any kind,” she said. “Rewards for children are to include gifts such as erasers and pencils.”

However, jaws dropped when she stated the restrictions also applied to fundraisers held outside of the school.

“The only food items allowed to be sold for these types of fundraisers are those that meet the nutritional guidelines.”

She said this would include the traditional fundraisers that many schools have done in the fall where students sell cookie dough and other sweets. “Candy bar sales of any kind are also out as a fundraising event.”

In February the district announced that with the exception of the high schools, soda is banned from all of the cafeterias. At the time, Jeremy West, Nutrition Services director for the district, said, “Parents and students can still choose to consume soda during their time in the cafeteria,” he said. “We are simply trying to create a culture that gears students toward making healthy beverage choices.”

According to Raymond, that is no longer the case. “If teachers see a student drinking a soda they are to inform them they are not allowed to drink it in the cafeteria or on campus.”

A parent asked if the rule applied to diet sodas as well since they had no sugar as compared to fruit juice which has a high amount of sugar.

“The American Association of Pediatrics has said that around 4 oz. of fruit juice is perfectly healthy for your children, and that is healthier than diet soda,” she answered.

Raymond told the parents that the new nutrition requirements also applied to all class parties whether it is a birthday, Christmas or Valentine’s Day party.

This means that all cakes, cupcakes, and cookies are out. When asked if there were any exceptions to the rule such as a Christmas party she said cakes were not necessarily ruled out.

 

“If the cake or cupcakes were to meet the nutritional standards they would be fine,” she said. “We have a recipe we use in the district that uses black beans and the kids love it.”

Colwell expressed concern about the new rules saying the district was basically being food Nazis. “I understand having restrictions on things such as nuts for those who have allergies, but what gives the district the right to dictate to me what I can and cannot put in my child’s lunch?”

The path that led to the new regulations began in 2005 when the federal government mandated the district form the Student Wellness Committee. Formation of the committee was a requirement as part of the re-authorization of the National School Lunch Program by the USDA.

Under the Obama administration, the federal government has put increasing pressure on schools and food manufacturers to offer healthier choices.

As part of the implementation of Obamacare, the President signed an executive order in 2010 calling for “behavior modification” of all citizens.

The executive order called for the creation of the National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council which was tasked with providing recommendations to Congress on how to achieve health promotion and public health goals, including the reduction of tobacco use, sedentary behavior, and poor nutrition.

The order called for a report io contain a list of what are deemed national priorities on health promotion to address “lifestyle behavior modification” to include among other things, appropriate exercise and proper nutrition.

Following the issuance of the order, the government began taking steps to “persuade” companies to offer alternatives that the government feels would be better choices for people.

Last year, the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children recommended that the food industry develop advertising and marketing principles to encourage children to choose healthy foods and minimize consumption of foods with little nutritional value such as hamburgers and cereals with a high sugar content by 2016.

Their purpose, according to the report, is to “guide the industry in determining which foods would be appropriate and desirable to market to children to encourage a healthful diet and which foods industry should voluntarily refrain from marketing to children.”

In announcing the report the government says the proposed principles are voluntary and do not call for government regulation of food marketing. Critics point out the government has other methods to encourage companies to “voluntarily” adopt the guidelines such as making bidding on government contracts conditional on compliance with the principles.

Also last year, at the urging of first lady Michelle Obama with her “Let’s Move” initiative, Wal-Mart agreed to change its product offering to reduce the number of high fat items they sell.

Wal-Mart issued a statement saying it will implement a Nutrition Charter which contains five key elements. The first goal involves reformulating thousands of packaged food items currently sold. The changes will involve reducing sodium by 25 percent, sugar by 10 percent and removing transfats.

The company says it will also reduce prices on fruits and vegetables and develop a “healthy seal” to help consumers identify health products. Another element involves Wal-Mart making $2 billion in contributions to nutrition programs helping to educate consumers about healthier food choices.

Partnership for a Healthier America will be evaluating and monitoring Wal-Mart’s progress on these goals.

Michelle Obama defended herself against critics who say her campaign is, “big government at work,” saying obesity adds as much as $150 billion to health care costs.

She has also called upon restaurants to change their menus. The proposed changes would reduce portion sizes and offer fruits and vegetables in lieu of french fries. Other changes supported by Michelle Obama would replace menus containing macaroni and cheese, hamburgers and chicken fingers with other healthier alternatives.

 

 


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  • Steve says:

    Excellent. Kids can eat junk at home. I don’t wants tax dollars contributing to the decline in health of children.

  • Susan says:

    Very cool. Cookies and cakes have no business inside of a school. At home? Fair game!

    I wish other states would follow. Like mine (New York).

  • greggking says:

    Pretty soon in amerika Govt. healthcare …mandated free
    contraceptives, mandated diets mandated safe activities, mandated
    insurance premiums with said conditions ,mandated what auto you may
    drive,and where you can go,how much carbon you use, how and when you
    cool or heat your home.and the ability for the govt. to do that for you. WAKE UP!!!! VOTE EM OUT or
    4 more years of mandates!!!

  • Steve says:

    Nearly 40% of healthcare is already government healthcare. So funny how many people are ignorant of this. I’m tired of paying for unhealthy lifestyles, and since I also pay for school food, let’s try to get these youngsters off to a healthier start.

  • If Michele Obama is so worried about everyone eating healthier foods, then she better turn around and look in the mirror. She has quite a bit of junk in her trunk. When it comes to childhood obesity, she needs to practice what she preaches. During news coverage of President Obama walking away from his helicopter with their oldest daughter, you could tell that like her mother, she needed to drop a few pounds. I would just like to see Mrs. Obama practice what she preaches in her life and her kids lives.
    I hate to tell Mrs Raymond that if I want to bring cupcakes to celebrate my son’s birthday I am going to do so and if they are taken away then, I will present the receipt to District 6 for reimbursement.
    I also have two questions for Mrs. Raymond, are the soda machines going to be taken out of the teachers lounge and who will be monitoring what the teachers are drinking and eating. If your going to monitor one group of people (our kids) you need to be monitoring all the groups, (D-6 employees).
    Once again District 6 is

  • Steve,

    If everyone is so worried about unhealthy life styles, then the teachers need to be monitored as well as the students. Soda machines and all vending machines need to be removed from all District 6 property. There are more over weight and out of shape teachers than there are over weight and out of shape students!

  • Steve says:

    I’m not paying for the food the teachers are eating. I am paying for the school lunches. Nevertheless, I’m probably paying for your Medicare, along with millions of others, and as long as that is the case, I want to minimize the costs, which means imposing some restrictions on those who benefit from my hard work. Take a lap and put down the junk food.

  • exteacher says:

    PRMotM…Good luck with that reimbursement payment coming your way.

    These rules are being put into effect because school kids are turning into obese, medical liabilities.

    Unfortunately you, and others like you, who constantly give your kids and grandkids food full of sugar and fat fail to realize the lifetime of negative reinforcement you are giving to them.

    The government has tried to “sway” Americans eating habits for the generations to come so they won’t be a HUGE burden on the health care industry…unfortunately it hasn’t worked as parents and grandparents keep shoveling sweets down their kids throats.

    Thus, the new rules. Totally logical.

  • MrSpock says:

    I believe the majority of people do not have issues with what the schools chooses to serve in the cafeteria.

    What we have a problem with is the school dictating to parents what they can and cannot pack in their children’s lunches. The government did not go to the store with me, and it is not the one buying my food.

    I find it appalling how many of those commenting on the site appear to have no problem telling parents what they can and cannot feed their children. With all due respect, those are not your children.

    A school in North Carolina said chicken nuggets were healthier than a turkey sandwich when they took away a child’s lunch. I am not all that impressed with any government nutrition program that tries to say ketchup and pizza are considered vegetables.

    It is also ridiculous to suggest a 20 ounce bottle of fruit juice with its high sugar content is healthier than a diet soda or Crystal light, but regardless if I choose to put that in my child’s lunch that is my choice not the schools.

    Also, if an organization such as the PTO wants to host a fundraiser off-campus were students sell holiday treats that should be none of the schools business. These organizations exist because of individual parents who sacrifice to help provide the school with funds for various projects. These types of fundraisers often bring in large sums of money that help the schools.

    My children eat healthy, they get soda pop at most once a month. The same goes for desserts, most snacks consist of yogurt or fruits and vegetables. Having said that, there is no harm done if my child has cake and ice cream at school a couple times a year such as a Christmas party.

    At these school parties, the parents provide all the food items, who is the school to say we cannot do this once or twice a year? I suspect if I went down to the District 6 administration building around Christmas time I would see lots of treats. What hypocrites, if our children are not allowed to have sweets at Christmas time than they should not either. Is called leading by example.

  • Outraged parent! says:

    I’m sorry but no one is going to tell me what I can and cannot feed my child. If I want to pack a dessert in her lunch then guess what I’m doing it. And mind you I do! She is a healthy young girl. If a child is over weight then I can understand if a parent wants to take action,but my child is not.I don’t think anyone has the right to dictate what we eat EVER!!! This makes me soooo outraged.. They have no right !!

  • Steve,

    Let me enlighten you on a few things. I too pay for the shcool lunches and let me tell you something, the food has no taste whatsoever. You should go to a school near you and have lunch with the students and you will see what I am talking about. You are not paying for my Medicare because I am not any where close to qualifying for Medicare. You are paying for the lunches the teachers eat. I had lunch with my son a couple of weeks ago and you would be surprised at the number of teachers that each meals that are prepared by the cafeteria workers. You should try it sometime, you would not be impressed. My wife and do not fill our kids with sugar or junkfood. All three of our kids are no where near obese and get their fair share of exercise. As for taking a lap, when was the last time you got in a good workout.

  • ExT,

    You don’t know me so don’t accuse me of constantly filling our kids and grand kids (I am not old enough for grand kids) full of sugar so don’t accuse me of something when you don’t even know me. We are not giving our kids any negative reinforcement unlike you who are trying to force your beliefes on other people. You should go with Steve to a local lunch room and try the food and would want your money back.The government has no right of telling us what we can and cannot feed our children. All three of our children have lost weight since the lunch rooms switched the menus because the food is so terrible they and other kids just throw it in the trash.

  • Amen Mr. Spock,

    Steve and ExT, there would not be so many obese kids (not as many as you think there are) if District 6 would give back some of their recess time so they can get the proper amount of exercise so they can burn off the calories anc carbs that they just ingested) But, no, instead of giving the kids exercise they keep them in the classrooms teaching them the CSAP test. Steve if you are tired of paying for medical liabilties, then you and ExT should be in favor of forcing our teachers and our administrative staff to eat right and get plenty of exercise.After all they are medical liabilities also.

  • Health Liability says:

    A much bigger health liability is the increasing number of students with asthma due to inhaling second hand smoke. We always focus on the fly and forget the elephant in the room. Students can’t even read out loud because they have a hard time breathing! They don’t participate in sports or P.E. because they can’t exert themselves. On one field trip we had to take 20 inhalers for students. Give them a cupcake once in a while rather than cigarettes every day!

  • Joanb says:

    Hamburgers are NOT junk food. I do not shop at Wal-mart anymore since they are not smart enough to run their own business. A healthy diet supplemented with a little treat doesn’t ruin health. I worry more about the mental health of the children by what they are being indoctrinated with into their minds. Al Gore telling kids they need to teach their parents????………….. Not just Al Gore, Parents, be diligent in what your children are being taught.(indoctrinated) The gentleman that said recess is (was) very important is correct. Running, jumping, skipping, playing active physical games is healthy physically and mentally. Fresh air, sunshine are invigorating. I guess on the school district employee hire page———-wanted: cupcake Nazi

    wanted: soda NARC Bad enough they want to tell parents” what for” on school grounds, but then to stick their long govt. nose into food sales off grounds.. Nose needs removed. Food police, Jeremy West and his health cohorts can give up their salaries and give the income to the efficient school district to supplement what the students made selling cookie dough and candy bars. So Jeremy West, food police, is dictating to the community what we can purchase to help student fund raisers. Mr. West, I don’t think selling erasers and pencils is going to work. Look how you’ve been indoctrinated.

  • Disgusted says:

    Give a person a little bit of power and watch them grab more and more and start mandating our choice to blow our noses.
    Who are these people who think they can tell us what to eat, what to think while they stay silent on gmo’s?
    Of course all teachers and admin should be eating the same as the kids. Even if they can’t stomach it. Eat it.

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