Paleo / Primal / Bacon / CleanEats Lifestyle
(NEWSER) – School snacking is about to get a lot healthier. Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, treats like candy bars, fatty chips, and doughnuts won’t be sold to kids during school hours; instead, they’ll see choices like peanuts, granola bars, and fruit cups, USA Today reports. The new “Smart Snacks in Schools” program focuses on so-called “competitive foods”—snacks and other food outside of standard school lunches. “Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children,” says agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack.
Among the competitive-food restrictions: All items have to be either fruits, veggies, dairy, protein, or rich in whole grains—or contain at least a quarter-cup fruits or vegetables. Snacks can’t have more than 200 calories, while entrees are limited to 350, and no trans fat is allowed. The rules don’t affect food brought from home or sold at after-school events. “Eventually all school foods will have to contain real food,” says a consumer advocate. “It doesn’t make sense for schools to teach nutrition in the classroom, then counter it by selling sugary drinks and candy bars in vending machines in the hallway,” she adds, per Businessweek.
This is great news! As I struggled with weight throughout middle school and highschool, junk food was always around. I especially remember how easy it was to get in high school, I was just starting to work and make a little money. The cafeteria had a separate room that was basically a convenience store, it was a 7/11 type store but without a slurpee machine or taquitos. With my money made from being a dishwasher, I would by whatever I wanted for lunch. It would typically be a deli sandwich, a bag of chips, and a 20oz soda. Other days my choice would be a pizza, a bag of chips and a 20oz soda and sometimes candy for dessert. The only vegetables I was getting during this meal was what little lettuce or tomato would be on my sandwich. When I chose pizza, there was no fruits or veggies being consumed, unless you count fruit roll-ups as a fruit serving.
Looking back now I wish there wasn’t the temptation of eating unhealthy at school. I was putting horrible food in my body and after lunch I would be sluggish and feel horrible for the rest of the day until I got home where it was a free for all in the kitchen.
I think this is a step in the right direction. I know people are upset with Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on giant soft-drinks in NY but I am all for it, and Im sure those same people will be fighting to keep kids diets sugar and fat enriched at school. Obesity is a major problem, it is now officially a disease. So what better place to start teaching than with kids. A lot of times school is the only place where some kids get a decent meal all day so why not teach them and nourish them at the same time with food that will help live a long and healthy life.