Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ontario's Useless School Food Policy Costs Schools and Students Alike

It's a rare thing to champion a policy so bad that everyone loses but yet that's what Ontario's School Food Policy seems to be doing.

Principals are complaining of lost revenues from their banks of junk filled vending machines, and the children? Well they're still being served garbage, except now they're being taught that garbage is healthy.

What do I mean?

Take this article from the Leamington Post. In it Leamington District Secondary School Principal Mike Hawkins notes that there'll be less money coming in than there was before, but it's the other comments and notations that I found telling.
"The vending machines at Leamington District Secondary School used to be teeming with pop, Gatorade, chips and candy. Now, a few bags of baked chips are visible through the glass, as well as some granola bars, selected diet pop and bottled water."

"We still have pizza, but it’s whole wheat, with a healthier sauce and toppings"

"Gone are deep fried french fries and panzerottis, replaced with baked fries and quesadillas.
While I'd love to ask, "On what planet are baked chips, granola bars, fast food pizza, baked fries and quesadillas healthy?", the answer clearly is pretty much everywhere on Earth, and it's that answer that's going to leave our current degree of school food reform a non-player in improving the health of our children.

So there you have it. Less money for schools and for all nutritional intents and purposes, the same garbage for kids. Way to go?


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  1. Donna6:40 am

    It's still a step in the right direction. I'd rather if there gonna have pizza days, it be whole wheat. There should be no vending machines in any schools, there's really nothing good in them. They can get water from the fountian.

    The schools boards may suck, but some schools are really great.
    My dd school, they are not aloud to have junk until afternoon snack. So no chips, cookies, granala bars etc. till afternoon. At the office is this huge bowl of apples, oranges. carrot sticks, celery sticks etc. Kids are to just walk by and take what they want. No child goes hungry, but no crap either. I love it!
    It's sad, but one child goes every day, twice. My dd says he only has junk in his lunch can :( So he goes for first snack and for lunch, to get something real to eat.. Many kids get lunchables everyday. so you can't tell me they' can't afford a bag of apples or oranges..
    Ive seen older kids sneak, so secratary can't see them (they think) 2 or 3 things.. I know she saw them, but heck a child sneaking an apple or orange.. lol Should be like that at all schools. Think for some kids it the only real food they get.
    All schools need to do this. It really makes my life easier as a parent. We don't buy cookies, granala bars. Really anything in a box, cause it's not real food. Love it that the school is on bored here! We still have hot lunches, only 1 pizza day last year. But todays hot lunch is "Meatball" sub, with veggies n dip.
    Not the healthiest, but homemade, on whole wheat, It's made by a local Mom. Who feeds who daughter healthy, so I can almost bet she's making it fairly healthy for our kids.

  2. Agree with Donna, It's a step in the right direction. Perhaps not healthy, but less bad. Any change must be progessive. Simple-Basic concept to apply especially with kids!

  3. Rebecca7:36 am

    I want to know when pizza and soda became an everyday "meal." When I was growing up, pizza was a rare Friday night treat and we only got soda when we were sick. Granted, I'm old...53....LOL!

    1. @Rebecca -- I'm 23, and fondly remember pizza night as a Friday night treat! We had pizza, and later burger, days at my school when we were growing up, but so few kids even then were overweight, let alone obese.

  4. Anonymous2:02 pm

    I'd rather kids eat actually unhealthy but know it's unhealthy. Otherwise they'll grow up like people who eat endless cereal bars under the impression that it's nutritionally no worse than an apple.

    At least if you know you're doing something wrong, and you know what it is, you can change it.

  5. Catia Borges6:21 pm

    Kids can have those foods at home.Schools should have an environment that promote health and learning and for sure those food don't promote anything.

  6. Anonymous3:41 pm

    Any diet pop over normal pop is not an improvement - it is worse, because diet pops use artificial sweeteners to lower the calories. Granola bar's aren't too much better than candy - yes, if you had to choose the healthier, then granola bars are better; but hardly. The pizza is only better if it's homemade - chances are, though, that it's frozen. So, no, not much of an improvement - but there's no need to rant.