The new child nutrition law signed by President Obama on December 13th 2010 gives power to the government, particularly the Department of Agriculture, to determine what can and what cannot be served in our schools. First Lady Michelle Obama has been a champion of this legislation as part of her Let’s Move campaign aimed at ending childhood obesity. Putting this new law into effect is the first step in making our kids healthier.
Junk Food Machines Unplugged
New guidelines put in place will limit the amount of unhealthy food available to kids during school hours. The main source of unhealthy food is the school vending machine. Typically packed with candy bars, chips and soda, these machines tempt kids throughout the day and put them on a blood sugar roller coaster ride that makes it impossible for them to concentrate. This new legislation will effectively shut off these vending machines during the most profitable times. The only way a vending machine will be left on during the school day is if it serves healthy snacks and drinks. It’s in the schools’ best interests to swap out old junk food machines for new healthy machines so they can continue to earn this much needed revenue.
Often schools use fundraisers like bake sales to help students afford extra-curriculars like band camp. And kids are always selling candy to teach basic business principles and to earn prizes. One Green Bay area school is taking these new guidelines to heart. The band at Ashwaubenon High School is selling fruit instead of candy to raise money for a trip. Across the country, schools are making changes and reducing the amount of junk food sold on campus in an effort to fight back against increasing childhood obesity rates.
Schools that choose to make healthy vending machines available on campus will not only contribute to the wellness of their students but they will earn hefty profits as well. Healthy food doesn’t mean a drop in revenue, quite the contrary! Sales of organic foods are on the rise and what better place to put them than in front of our youngsters. Healthy food means healthy bodies and healthy brains. The child nutrition law will help make this a reality for our kids.
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