Archive for Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wellness team says food won’t be policed

September 26, 2006


Lawrence school board members got a taste Monday night of how their new wellness policy is being put into practice.

Their biggest concern?

That candy, sugary cookies and soda pop might no longer be the traditional fare at birthday parties and other celebrations at school.

But Deputy Supt. Bruce Passman told them not to worry.

"We're never going to get to the point where we're policing food in the school," Passman said.

Passman, Paula Murrish, director of food services, and Lynda Allen, director of math and science, which includes physical education and health, gave the board an overview of the guidelines they've developed for putting the wellness policy into action.

The guidelines have been split into three parts: nutrition, nutrition education and physical fitness.

And in each of those parts, local schools will make changes over a three-year period.

In year one, they're cutting back on most of the fatty and sugary items sold as a la carte items in elementary schools and in the vending machines and school stores at the junior high and high schools. Gone are most treats like brownies and ice cream.

In year two, food for classroom rewards, parties, snacks and celebrations will have to meet the same guidelines this year for a la carte and vending machines.

And in year three, school employees will adhere to the vending machine guidelines adopted for students.

Most of the controversy has been in the types of food sold at school, Passman said.

Murrish said federal nutrition standards used for school breakfasts and lunches are being extended this year to those sold as a la carte lunch items, in vending machines and in school stores.

Students have been mostly complaining about losing the sugary items, such as brownies and ice cream, she said. They've been replaced by items under 200 calories, such as granola bars and real-fruit wraps.

Murrish said she was searching for more tasty products to be offered to students that meet the nutrition standards.

Board members brought up an issue of concern to some parents - are treats for birthday parties banned?

While there won't be an outright ban on sugary foods, parents will be encouraged by teachers to bring in something besides a high-sugar product, Murrish said.

Board Member John Mitchell said he was worried that some elementary students might be made to feel guilty if they wanted treats for their school birthday parties.

"It's a balancing act. Everything in moderation," Murrish said.

Passman said parents are getting a monthly newsletter from the food services department called "Nutrition Nuggets" that explains the nutrition guidelines and provides healthy snack tips and exercise suggestions.

Board Member Rich Minder said parent-teacher organizations are concerned about what they would be able to sell for their fundraising efforts. Minder said they might be stumped as to what kind of products, other than food, they can use that would be marketable.

Board Member Leonard Ortiz said it would be a cultural change.

Ortiz compared the nutrition changes to when Lawrence placed a smoking ban in bars and restaurants - there was an initial backlash, but most people eventually liked it.

"It takes time for people to adjust," Ortiz said.

In other action:

¢ The board went over several legislative positions that it will suggest the Kansas Association of School Board take concerning school funding next year.

Among the positions board members took was to support state funding for full-day kindergarten.

Board President Sue Morgan was elected as a delegate to the Dec. 1-3 KASB convention in Wichita.

¢ The board also recognized teachers who received Lawrence Schools Foundation 2006 Teacher Innovation Grant recipients. Thirteen projects throughout the district are being funded with foundation grants.


Sigmund 11 years, 9 months ago

Just because they have a policy that they apparently will not enforce, I still do not see where this is the concern of the schools. I think it is appropriate to discuss the impact of diet in a health or nutrition class or to control the quality and types of food served in the school cafeteria. It is quite a different thing to dictate what a student can bring from home to eat in school.

3e8 11 years, 9 months ago

ban birthday parties during class time!

classclown 11 years, 9 months ago

I thought schools were supposed to be places for learning and not for partying.

Oh wait... this is the land of K.U. When in KUville, do as the KUvillians do.

3e8 11 years, 9 months ago

Badger, magnificent point! It's best to teach the young comrades while they're young that even when they grow up they won't be allowed to make their own bad decisions and poison the collective health care system.

rycher 11 years, 9 months ago

Let's see now if my kid sells a couple magazines for the school fundraiser, its OK to load him up on Gobstoppers as a reward and deliver a huge 3lb candy bar to his classroom.... Geesh... Hypocrisy never stops amazing me.

JayhawkAlum03 11 years, 9 months ago

Oops. They did mention the fact that there are three components to the policies--nutrition, nutrition education and physical fitness-- but I missed that line.

Sacerdotal 11 years, 9 months ago

The food police are (for now) on hold. If the kids eat too much sugar, have the terrorists won?

Nadia 11 years, 9 months ago

Andris from The Baltic Times Forum Index

"The Global Failure to Disclose Carcinogenic Contaminants in Bottled

Drinks Consumed By Children"

In May 2005, I ran for the Eugene, Oregon School Board , against the executive of Pepsi cola Eric Forrest. I was followed, stalked, telephone harassment, hate emails, more than 5 a day on my blog, and ran over several times on my way home. I was almost going to be killed. Just because of the corruption of Corporate Power and some of our elected officials!

The previous superintendent David Piercy and his wife Mayor Kitty Piercy, had played a bigger role in destroying me. KEZI our local TV station paraded me with the help of Chamber of Commerce.

My two legislators' Sen. Vicki Walker -defended Pepsi executive: By blaming the obesity of the children on their family. Vicki said the "the children come to school obese. It is not the soda in the school to be blamed"- Rep. Bob Ackerman who had forged my family's signature and defrauded us, sold my family's condo, that worth $150, 000.00 by giving us only $41,000.00!- Then Mr. Ackerman listed the condo by a higher price than he actually sold it!

All the elected members of the Eugene school Board endorsed and appointed Eric Forrest to the Board.

The 4J Superintendent George Russell, with our Superintendent Susan Castillo too were very much supportive of Eric Forrest and Soda in the Schools.

Even Stand for the Children & all the Oregon School Association OSSA & Eugene, EESA , did not endorse me.They ended up endorsing & giving Erik Forrest the money..

My life was in peril & still is, just, because of $320.000.00 contribution from the soda executives. This contribution was not even invested in a good healthy food!

We must put stop to this kind of abuse and corruption. We need to hold our elected official accountable for their misconduct and greed.


PS: 25 applicants were interviewed for this position on Jan. 2005. When were asked if we're going to file on May 2005 election. All of us said YES. However, none had filed for this position but "ME". All the rest of the applicants were informed & warned NOT to file against the Pepsi executive Eric Forrest! I was set up to be killed!!

badger 11 years, 9 months ago

You know, I think "We're not going to ban high-sugar snacks, but we're going to encourage the parents to choose healthy options," is a reasonable compromise.

I also think it's reasonable that the decision is basically that the schools won't be the ones providing the unhealthy snacks through vending machines or classroom treats. It allows for the kids of parents who don't care as much about monitoring fat and sugar to send whatever they want in their kids' lunches, and removes the schools from being in the position of enabling kids' unhealthy habits. I figure that's a win for the schools, because then the're relieved of the responsibility for dietary decisions kids and their families make.

With any luck, they'll realize that they've arrived at a moderately sensible position, and stay there.

I also dig the part where in year three, school employees have to adhere to the standards. It would be poor role modeling to have the kids looking at their low-fat sugar-free carob bars while the teacher snacks on a Snickers.

letsgetwise 11 years, 9 months ago

My understanding has BEEN, we couldn't send "whatever we wanted" in our kids lunches. The kids are allowed to bring snacks for 1 snack time, and my child thought they couldn't bring anything that had sugar in it. I will appreciate whenever someone decides to actually give us what the school's guidelines are. As far as I'm concerned they've opened a can of worms here. So...who actually gets to decide what is healthy? I mean, I don't think that just because CheezIts don't have sugar, they're anymore healthy than some snacks that do have sugar. They are loaded with sodium and fat. Oh, by the way, do we eat them? Yes. Are they allowed to eat them at school for snacks? Yes. I think aspartame is bad for you. Does everyone agree with me? Probably not. But don't substitute "diet" kool-aid for sugar sweetened. I will be offended. beef bad for you? Is chicken okay? I'm sorry, there's too much information out there. If all this is simply about getting the vending machines out of the schools, and trying to have school parties that have maybe less treats, or simply less sugar, that's one thing. Just remember...there's always someone who won't agree, won't care, won't be told what to do, etc.

letsgetwise 11 years, 9 months ago

School lunches when we were kids...mostly homemade. The pizza was even homemade and that's when most of the students ate there. There wasn't the frozen pizza, the frozen chicken nuggets, we had homemade chili, with homemade cinnamon rolls(yes with sugar in them), we had carrot sticks and celery sticks, we had homemade cornbread, homemade casserole dishes. You know, I think the lunch system has certainly not improved over time. --- Oh, and back to the article, I love the part that in YEAR 3, the school EMPLOYEES have to ADHERE to the vending machine policies!!???!!!! I'm sorry, why the wait? They can bring their lunches or eat in the cafeteria, can't they. What did I miss there?

JayhawkAlum03 11 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim, physical activity is a component that was required to be included in all schools' wellness policies, I believe. For some reason, they failed to mention this fact in the article. There's a link off to the side to a PDF that outlines a draft of the proposed policy (dunno if this is the same as the final), which does show the physical activity components. I don't see anything exactly earth shattering or life changing there, like offering daily physical education (yes, this does exist in schools in the US).

Looks as though the food changes may be the bigger component, if, like others said, they are well-enfoced.

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