April 29, 2007

The children will lead us

It starts with the children.

The nation is starting to realize what we eat away from the home is important; so important that it needs to be managed for the benefit of society.

And it can't be left up to even the schools, and definitely not left up to the food industry. In the past 10 years, we have seen what Coke and Pepsi will do. They'll serve up to 5th graders the most sugary, most calorie-laden drinks in the biggest, baddest portions possible.

Now it might stop. Congress is demanding the Institute of Medicine to set food standards in schools. And surprise, surprise, the Institute is recommending more fruit, vegetables and whole grains. What they can't do is provide the money to make it happen.

Local school boards must treat the cafeterias as a place of learning. In that "classroom" we are teaching food nutrition for the rest of our childrens' lives.

What lessons are you demanding from your schools?
Nutrition Standards Urged For School Food: "(AP) WASHINGTON Millions of children soon could be saying goodbye to regular colas, candy and salty snacks during school hours.

Concerned about the rise of obesity in young people, Congress asked the Institute of Medicine to develop a set of standards for foods that would be available in schools.

The Institute responded Wednesday with a two-tier system designed to encourage youngsters to eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains and to avoid added sugars, salt and saturated fats.

'The alarming increase in childhood obesity rates has galvanized parents and schools across the nation to find ways to improve children's diets and health, and we hope our report will assist that effort,' said Virginia A. Stallings, chair of the committee that prepared the report.

'Making sure that all foods and drinks available in schools meet nutrition standards is one more way schools can help children establish lifelong healthy eating habits,' said Stallings, director of the nutrition center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

And don't think their recommendation applies only to children. The committee also urged that Parent Teacher Associations adhere to the same standards, as should food items sold at school fund raisers.