Schools junking junk food

Feb. 03–Little Debbie is on her way out of schools during the day.

Area schools must soon limit selling food items for fundraisers and through vending machines thanks to a new federal law called the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

The stricter, healthier nutrition requirements that President Barack Obama signed into law begins July 1. Whitfield County Schools officials decided to implement some of the new standards at their Monday night Board of Education meeting.

School officials didn’t give a clear timetable of when they’ll start complying with the law and said the requirements could have some last minute adjustments.

“The goal is to get the kids to eat healthier,” said Angie Brown, school nutrition director for the school system.

The new nutrition standards require drinks sold on school grounds — either at fundraisers or through vending machines — to be plain water, unflavored low fat milk, fat free milk or 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices.

The law only applies during school hours, Brown said. That means students and school officials can still sell what they want as long as the event takes place late in the day, such as Friday night football games, or during the weekends. Fundraising off school grounds isn’t impacted by the law, Brown added.

Food must fall within calorie limits of less than 200 calories for snacks, 350 for meals, and sodium limits of less than 230 milligrams for snacks, 480 milligrams for meals. It also requires fat limits in all food of less than 35 percent total fat, less than 20 percent saturated fat and zero trans fat, along with sugar limits of less than 35 percent of total sugar.

The law also limits food sold to food rich with whole grain, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, proteins or food that is at least one-fourth a fruit or vegetable.

“There will be a downside with (fundraising),” Brown said. “We will have to look at each individual product and make sure (it falls within the law). And that will mean some big changes.”

Students and staff won’t be able to sell snacks such as Goldfish crackers, Little Debbie products or snacks like Cheetos or Oreos, among others. That also means no more bake sales with sugary sweets like cakes or cinnamon rolls.

Whitfield Superintendent Judy Gilreath said any noncompliance with the new law means the school system could lose federal funding. The state Department of Education will review schools this year to make sure all comply, she added.

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

The menu served at Ottawa General Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, is headed for an overhaul after its CEO and management team ate a strict hospital food diet for a week and were unhappy with their options. The foodservice department has been fielding patient complaints for years, but decided to take action after facing the issue head on.

“Getting food managers to eat three meals of hospital food a day for a week brought the point home that much of the food being served was bland, institutional and not what people would normally eat,” Director of Food Services Kevin Peters told Ottawa...

Industry News & Opinion

With overtime pay likely to become a reality for some salaried foodservice employees after Dec. 1, operators are rethinking what they expect managers to do off-site as part of their responsibilities. Answering email or scheduling shifts at home didn’t matter when the employees were exempted from overtime if they earned more than $23,660 per year. But with that threshold more than doubling on Dec. 1 to $47,476, a half hour spent here and there on administrative tasks could push a salaried manager over the 40-hours-per-week threshold and entitle him or her to overtime. And how does the...

Menu Development
frozen raspberries

“As a chef, I pretty much have grown up through the business thinking that fresh was always better—produce, fish and meats, especially,” says Ryan Conklin, executive chef for UNC Rex Healthcare’s culinary and nutrition services. “But the more ‘re-educated’ I get, the more I’m learning that some frozen options may be more appropriate for me to be using on my menus.”

Right now, the perception of frozen foods doesn’t match the reality, especially for high-volume foodservice operators, says Conklin. Often, chefs and operators picture not-great product that’s been sitting in a block of...

Sponsored Content
Roasted Beet Salad Pickled Blueberries
From Blueberry Council.

What’s trending in the culinary world? The basics! According to the NRA, diners today are craving authenticity, simplicity and freshness on menus. But basic ingredients don’t have to lead to boring menu options.

It’s easy to fall into the latest craze to capture consumer attention and drive sales. But we’ve learned it’s not always about novelty. Instilling a feeling of nostalgia and familiarity by using well-known and well-loved ingredients in new, experimental dishes can lead to an increase in adventurous dining decisions, while staying in your customers’...

FSD Resources