Op/Ed 9/18/09

WELLNESS A PRIORITY FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT

 Cough. Cough. Cough.

       Concerned about students’ health or lack of it, the school district put a wellness policy into place this year and several new rules were related to students at the morning assembly on the first day of school.No more snacks!!

      School administration and the school board want, according to the written policy, “to promote healthy eating and physical activity for all district students and staff, as well as a safe and healthy school environment.”

      Accordingly, the district will be providing nutrition education and engaging in nutrition promotion that:

•  Is offered to all grades.

•  Engages family participation.

• Is part of classroom instruction across curricular areas.

• Educates food staff, so those people provide nutritional menus.

• Uses 2005 U.S. dietary guidelines and California Education Code guidelines in regard to beverage and food standards.

       The first changes became immediatelyapparent on the LHS campus. Soft drinks will not be sold later than a half hour before school or before a half hour after school. Energy drinks will not be allowed on campus. Snacks are no longer being sold during breaks. Clubs won’t be able to hold bake sales that offer high content of fat and/or sugar. And teachers are supposed to avoid non-nutritious foods as rewards for academic performance or classroom behavior. And so it seems the party’s over, LHS students and staff.

                 But maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s possible to find and even sell foods that are good to eat—within the required nutritional guidelines. What could those things be? Nuts. Fruit. Whole-grained snacks, such as Sun Chips. Pizza. Sandwiches. Burritos. Sandwich wraps. Cereal party mixes. Fruit drinks. Low-fat milk. Yogurt. String Cheese.

        Many of you grab a bag of chips and a soda at White’s for lunch. There’s ZERO nutritional fuel value in that soda, and you’ll be crashing during sixth period because of all the vacuous sugar content. Have you recently looked at the nutritional box on your last bag of chips? A four-ounce bag of Cool Ranch Doritos provides 600 calories, 32 grams of fat, 72 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein.

  What SHOULD you be eating daily? Try these instead:

•   Four to five servings of fruit a day

•   Four to five servings of vegetables a day

• Seven to eight servings of healthy carbohydrates (pasta, bread, cereal)

•   Six ounces of meat or beans

•   Two to three cups of low-fat milk

•   Eight to 12 grams of healthy fats

       With that bag of chips you’ve had three times the amount of fat you need, a negligible amount of protein, and a few carbs that certainly won’t get you through football practice after school.

       The flu season has already hit us, LHS. Perhaps it has struck early, because your lousy diet has lowered your resistance. It’s time to get healthy. Pack a lunch or eat at the cafeteria—it’s a good deal, really. See you next week….hopefully…and don’t bring that…

  Cough. Cough. Cough.

                                                                –Roar Staff

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  1. It’s really great that Booster Club is now selling healthy snacks at break.

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