Wednesday, January 17, 2007

SSUSD New Food Policy

The Sierra Sands Unified School District has a new food policy that they are implementing. Food items with a high fat and sugar content will not be provided to students.

When I first saw this article in the Daily Independent I scanned it thinking that this was just one more attempt by the school district to try and force us parents to raise our kids the way they want them raised. But I was surprised to find out that high fat and sugar content foods are not being banned from the campuses. They just will not be available from the school. If I want to send my daughter to school with a lunch of Snickers bars with Cheese Whiz and soda I can still do that. She just won’t be able to buy that stuff from the school cafeteria.

I have to applaud this decision. Back in the dark ages, about 13 years ago I went to 6th grade with my niece for bring a parent to school day. Her Mom and Dad had unavoidable commitments that day so I filled in. I had a blast that day, right up to the point where we went to lunch. We filed into the cafeteria, grabbed out tray with our food on it and sat down to eat. Lunch that day was nachos. Lunch was a handful of corn chips with some half congealed artificial cheese-like substance dumped on top of it, a small bag with a couple dry hard cookies in it and a cup of juice.

Now I am not a picky eater. I will eat almost anything and if it doesn’t kill me I’ll try seconds. I love nachos, I love cookies and I like to have a small glass of juice with my bowl of cereal in the morning. But this lunch was awful. I could feel my arteries harden as I ate it. The feeling of my blood thickening at the same time that my heart rate was jacked up due to a raging sugar high was very distressing.

After lunch we went back to the class room where the teacher was smart enough not to expect the kids to be sitting in their seats. She had lessons planned that allowed the kids to get up and move from table to table around the room. I don’t know if this was planned or just a survival measure because every kid in that room was bouncing off the walls.

So after that experience I’m all for the schools supplying a healthier lunch option. If the kids want sugar and fat they can bring it from home. They just won’t be able to buy it at school.

This policy will not affect snacks that are sold at athletic events and fund raisers as most of them take place before or after school hours. The district is working on trying to get parents to support the new policy for class parties. I hope they don’t get too carried away trying to enforce this new policy for parties. Parties are supposed to be parties. I just can’t see a bunch of kids having a birthday party with celery sticks instead of cupcakes.

No comments: