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Brick School District Updates Nutrition Policy

Policy will comply with new federal guidelines

Ahead of a change to the federal guidelines on school nutrition set to take effect July 1, the Brick Board of Education has taken the first step in changing its nutrition and wellness policy to be in line with the national law.

Signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, the new guidelines favor more fruits and vegetables and discourage meats and cheeses from being served in schools. Brick's policy is already in line with the vast majority of the guidelines, with the only required change being in the milk department: milk now must be 1 percent or less, and all flavored milk must be skim milk.

Whole milk has not been served for some time in schools.

The board approved the slight change to the policy on milk at its June 21 meeting.

The policy also encourages school-related organizations to sell foods that are in compliance with the overall wellness policy, though they are not required to follow it.

Some board members, as well as parents, worried that athletic snack stand staples such as hot dogs could be banned, but district Business Administrator James Edwards said that wasn't the case.

"We're not going to police them and tell them that they can't sell a hot dog, but we're going to encourage through our policy that they sell healthy, nutritional items," said Edwards.

Interestingly, one of the farthest-reaching – and potentially overlooked – ramifications of being within nutritional guidelines hits culinary arts classrooms where it hurts: in the sweet tooth.

Students in those classes are allowed to make delicious dishes such as cakes and pastries, but they are not able to share with their classmates.

Edwards confirmed students are allowed to make such foods, but not consume them.

"It's teaching them the right thing to eat, but it's going to make it much more difficult," Edwards said.

Though some of the items listed in the board's wellness policy could surprise some parents, it's nothing new. Besides the change in what type of milk can be served, the wellness policy has been in place for some time.

"It's an existing district policy," Edwards said.

VoiceofReason June 28, 2012 at 03:03 PM
And yet, somehow, we survived pork chopette!
GM June 28, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I agree with healthy foods, which should include protein and with childhood obesity, how about getting them out and exercising in gym more!
JAY June 28, 2012 at 05:14 PM
seriously, look at the meals, could someone PLEASE tell me how mozzerella sticks and nacho's are healthy???? pizza almost everyday. i looked at the schools lunch menu its by no means healthy. milk is not the problem. another lame attempt of our president to run things he shouldnt. there are other problems with our country that needs his total concentration.
lifelonginbrick June 28, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Here is a link to the new lunch guildlines: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/legislation/comparison.pdf It seems sane and reasonable.
lifelonginbrick June 28, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Agreed about the exercise, it seems that some programs like recess are being cut in some schools which is troubling. Here is a link to the new guidlines, it includes protein and whole grains: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/legislation/comparison.pdf
Joseph Woolston Brick June 28, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Oh brother, how many of you have seen a thin kid come into high school and four years later leave a blobbed out mess? I would say nobody. Overweight kids come into the school system that way and they leave that way, they are a product of their home not the school. I've never seen an overweight kid lose weight either with school lunch being the reason why. While the kids do need good safe nutritious food, this is going way overboard.
lifelonginbrick June 28, 2012 at 05:59 PM
So your point is what? No kid EVER gains weight while in school? Remember is isn't just high school but grades K-12. Taxpayers should continue to see their dollars wasted on fatty sugary crap? Have you even looked at the guildlines? Here they are - nothing radical just includes more veggies, whole grains and low fat milk. http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/legislation/comparison.pdf
rainbow87t June 28, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Does this mean no more funnel cakes and churros for sale on the lunch line? Nor Doritos? I have to admit I was surprised to see these when they were added to the offerings for elem. school students. Tasty, but not healthful, I'd say.
rainbow87t June 28, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Hahaha! I haven't thought of "pork chopette" in years! Yep, that was a staple back in the 70s hot lunches here in Brick, along with "whipped potatoes"! :)
lifelonginbrick June 28, 2012 at 07:59 PM
I remember pork chopette, it wasn't that bad as I remember. I loved the macaroni and beef (beefy tomato sauce on top of elbow macaroni) and the "chopped Italian salad (shredded iceberg lettus, red cabbage & carrots tossed in Italian dressing with extra oregano). Those were the days when the lunch lady actually cooked stuff rather than just slice open boxes of frozen stuff and reheat.
T June 28, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Perhaps start an organic garden club......
Sal Petoia June 28, 2012 at 11:08 PM
What's next... a ban on home made lunches being brought into the schools? Too much government intervention in our lives! Parents should be more resonsponsible for caring what their kids eat and not relegate that responsibility to the school system.
Sal Petoia June 28, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Sorry for the typo. Word is "responsible".
HappyBrickMommy June 29, 2012 at 02:33 AM
As a former staff member, I can honestly say the lunches are appalling. I was disgusted to see the students being served a hot pretzel and tortilla chips with cheese sauce as a meal. The sad thing is many children that buy are on free and reduced lunch, and in some cases this is the only hot meal they receive all day. A lot of it is frozen, sodium-laden garbage. Though a good deli and salad selection were offered, I'm almost positive the students on the assisted lunch program were not allowed those as an option. Most hot lunches were no better than serving them McDonalds or Domino's pizza, in my opinion. I'm far from a health nut, but I do not allow my school-age child to eat the school meals more than 1x/week as a "treat".
lifelonginbrick June 29, 2012 at 11:24 AM
OMG! Have we become so hysterical and nuts in this country that updating school lunch guidlines (which hasn't been done in decades) is seen as some communist plot? Really? As tax payers we subsidize the school lunch program what is wrong with making sure that what we are paying for isn't unhealthy crap??? God freaking forbid we ever touch the school lunch program - it's carved in stone - and we should never NEVER do anything to improve the quality of food kids are being served right? How dare this administration do ANYTHING to improve nutrition for kids! American kids today are the fattest they have EVER BEEN and are the first generation not expected to live as long as their parents due to obesity but hey no big deal. Obviously a lot of parents DON'T know much about nutrition. Here is the guildlines - it's nothing radical just having kids each more veggies, whole grains and leaner meats and dairy. http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/legislation/comparison.pdf
lisa June 29, 2012 at 01:33 PM
bothers me too! i thought i was the parent.
1atatyme June 29, 2012 at 03:19 PM
wondering how many kids families get food stamps & ALSO get free lunch?? Its that kind of double dipping?? If your already getting free food pack lunch for your kids like many of us do.
Sal Petoia June 29, 2012 at 04:27 PM
llib: If you're so concerned about the quality of food your kids get in school, then why not be a GOOD parent and take the time to make them a DECENT lunch! Why do you need to depend on government to feed your kids decently? Part of the problem today is that too many people don't want to accept responsibility and want others (e.g. government) to do things for them. What are you going to do for your kid(s) over the summer? Who's going to feed them then? And WHAT are you going to feed them?
lifelonginbrick June 29, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Sal: Are you being dense on purpose? Really do you have some kind of learning disablility that prevents you from understanding the concept of improving school lunches? Maybe if it was explained to you using a sock puppet you might get it. Schools...ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS...sell lunches. WE taxpayers help to subsidize the partial cost of these lunches through our tax dollars. Do you enjoy paying good money for crap??? I don't have any f'ing kids but yet I still pay school taxes and I have no problem with that but I would still like to know that if my tax dollars are funding school lunches then those lunches consist of quality healthy food and not crap. What is wrong with your brain that you seem to resist any attempt to make a program better??? Why the hell shouldn't people expect that the school lunches that they PAY FOR are healthy? Is that a F'ing crime? I swear people like you just love to bitch and bitch about ANYTHING the government does. New flash WE ARE THE GOVENMENT. There is nothing wrong with trying to improve the way the govenment works as citizens it's kinda of our job.
Sal Petoia June 29, 2012 at 08:15 PM
llib: Your language speaks volumes about who and what you are. I went through the public school system 65 years ago when there were no lunch programs at the elementary level. My mother, bless her soul, took care of making my lunch, in addition to holding down a job. In high school we had a school cafeteria, but most students brought their lunch from home.... brown bagged it as it were. We didn't need the government to dictate what we could eat or not eat. Trouble nowadays is that people have become so dependent on having someone else care for them that we are rapidly becoming a country of dependent drones. And no, I don't have a learning disability, but I will admit to being a little dense or stubborn on certain issues, especially when confronted by people who do not choose to take care of their kids and expect others to do it for them. If that upsets you, tough!
Abrickmom June 30, 2012 at 12:58 AM
So you can make the food in Culinary arts, but you cannot taste what you have made. Now does that really make sense?
rainbow87t June 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM
I totally agree with Abrickmom! Not TASTING what you've cooked or baked is assinine. Any chef worth his/her salt knows that you have to TASTE the product to see if it's been executed CORRECTLY. So, I guess the culinary arts instructor will have that task, while the students clean up. Poor kids. 'Glad my son had home economics in high school LAST year---at least the kids got to sample what they had made! I have a feeling that enrollment in this elective course is going to drop, bigtime, and may eventually go by the wayside as a class from a bygone era.
rainbow87t June 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Possibly they can revise the culinary arts curriculum to only include "healthy" recipes, but whose definition of healthy would they be using?
lifelonginbrick June 30, 2012 at 01:45 PM
65 YEARS AGO! WOW THAT EXPAINS IT. Sal 65 years ago few women worked outside the home. These days you would be hard pressed to find a household where BOTH parents don't have to work FULL TIME. NO IS DICTATING TO YOU WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN'T EAT!!! If anyone wants to send their kid to school with a bag full of ring-dings they can, really who cares? The school lunch program is not a charity. The majority of kids (or parents) buy their school lunch. We taxpayers subsidze the PART OF THE COST. I really don't know what weird objection you have to making sure that the school lunches served are healthy. Maybe your just a little senile and you think the world is the same as it was in 1947! It's not I can assure you. The bottom line is the school lunch system was way overdue for a overhaul it hasn't been updated since Reagan declared that ketchup was a veggie. Taxpayers have been partially funding school lunches that for the last few years were not very healthy - we were getting ripped off. Finallly someone looked at it and made some changes to make them a little more healthy. No INTELLIGENT person can possibly have a problem with that. If YOU want to shovel unhealthy crap down your throught NO ONE is stopping you please enllighten us where they are.
lifelonginbrick June 30, 2012 at 01:49 PM
After re-reading your post I now realize that your real objection is that kids are allowed to buy or have provided to them (if poor) any school lunches. Sorry but the world is not going to stay frozen as it was in 1947. The economy will never go back to the simple days where only one person could support a household. Get over it.
Sal Petoia June 30, 2012 at 04:15 PM
LLIB: First, I am certainly not senile… at least not yet. Why do you feel a need to insult those whose opinions differ from yours? By the way, why is it you don't use your real name? Afraid of something? Second, in one of your posts you suggested that people "get hysterical" about a communist plot. Don't think I ever used the word "communist" in any of my comments. I do get concerned about having too much government intervention in our lives, attempting to control every aspect of what we do. Do you know (or care) that in Brick there is an ordinance that makes it against the law to feed the squirrels? This in a community dominated by oak trees which produce nuts, not all of which grow on trees. Third, you mention about both parents having to work nowadays, but you apparently failed to note that I said my mom worked (as did my father), but she still found time to make lunches for my sister and me. Fourth, I never said I was against kids eating nutritious meals, only that it should be a parental responsibility… you know (maybe not) where mothers or fathers, hopefully both, take care of their kids??? Sure, there are circumstances where the truly needy deserve help, but I have witnessed many abuses to the system where people collecting food stamps go to the store in high priced SUVs, or some on disability working on the side in construction milking the system for which we all pay. More to follow.
Sal Petoia June 30, 2012 at 04:17 PM
For LLIB, continued from above: Maybe these things don't bother many, but they bother me, especially when taxes continue to soar and the government keeps giving handouts just so that politicians can be re-elected to office. Maybe I won't see it in what's left of my lifetime, but maybe you will be around to see and suffer the collapse of our entire economic system. We can't keep giving money away and expect others to pay the bill. THINK, LLIB, what happens when those who are forced to provide the money to those who are on the receiving end finally throw their hands up in despair! Some of you think the money source is inexhaustible, but it isn't. The country is already 16 trillion in debt, mostly to China. What happens when they call in the mark? Hope you can read and speak Chinese! And what of your kids' nutrition then? Hope they can survive on rice!
sara olson July 02, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Not sure where the author got his info, but there are NO federal restrictions on specific foods like meat and cheese. Same amount as always- but there are fat and calorie targets. So watch the deep fried and limit the pepperoni. These are GOOD things.
Pamela Schoenfeld RD July 02, 2012 at 06:53 PM
So we don't want our children to eat meat and full-fat dairy, but this is exactly what one of the major children's international aid organizations say that they are trying to provide children in impoverished countries to improve their nutrition and health. I wish I could remember the name of the organization, but it will come to me. What a travesty for American children. Government - get out of our cafeterias!
A Polymath July 07, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Perhaps they should be permitted to taste their creations, but not swallow them.... That's what wine, tea and coffee tasters do.

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