Local schools enforcing new school nutrition standards - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau, MO

Local schools enforcing new school nutrition standards

Local schools enforcing new school nutrition standards
By: Crystal Britt

Cape Girardeau, MO - School districts across the country must now meet minimal nutritional guidelines at breakfast and lunch.

"If they do it at school they're going to take it home, and they're going to do it at home." Lisa Elfrink is the Director of Nutrition Services for the Cape Girardeau School District.

She says the new standards effect more than just what goes on your child's tray.

"We start in kindergarten and go al the way up with a nutrition based curriculum all the way up past graduation", said Elfrink.

Plus there's an emphasis on exercise, and the constant battle over what's available in vending machines.

Some of the big changes are being made inside the classroom.

Parents can no longer bring in treats like cupcakes for their children's birthdays.

They have to bring in pre-packaged items from the store.

Clippard Elementary Principal Sydney Herbst says that's perhaps the biggest change. "It's safer that way we know everyone has healthy things and there's not any danger of bringing in something from outside", said Herbst. 

As for what's in and what's out - things like french fries, donuts, oreos and ice cream are okay. What's not okay are soda, jelly beans, licorice, and Cracker Jacks.

Elfrink says, "Some candies are okay, chocolate meets the minimal nutritional standards." Basically anything with too much sugar is gone.

School districts will revise their standards each year. "We'd really like to get away from food as a reward, or as a treat, but that's going to take some time", said Elfrink. Meaning even more changes are coming, perhaps to a lunchroom near you.  

Every school district must follow the new federal requirements, but each school district will write its own policy. So your school's policy might be different from the one down the road.

For the details on the new standards, go to www.schoolnutrition.org

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