Board OK’s guidelines for healthy foods
by Daniel Gaddy
Nov 22, 2010 | 1139 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Jasper City Board of Education on Monday approved the school district’s Wellness Policy, which serves as a checklist to ensure the system is meeting state and federal standards for providing nutritious food to children.

“This is not a new policy: This is actually something we’ve been doing for several years,” Superintendent Robert Sparkman said during the board’s monthly meeting.

Sparkman said principals and Child Nutrition Program staff members are responsible for making sure each school follows the policy. The measure also requires a summary report of district-wide compliance to be compiled every three years, and the district wellness committee must also review the policy on an annual basis.

The Wellness Policy of the Jasper City Schools district is a result of federal and state measures aimed at combating high rates of childhood obesity.

The Alabama State Board of Education implemented stricter standards for child nutrition in 2005. Primarily, the state policy reduced portion sizes, unhealthy cooking techniques and levels of fat and sugar in school foods.

Sugary sodas were banned from elementary schools and phased out through middle and high schools.

These standards also reduced the portion sizes of fries or tater tots to three ounces, and prevented deep fat fryers from being purchased through the state’s Child Nutrition Program funds.

The measure also required school meals not to exceed 30 percent of a child’s calories through fat and 10 percent through saturated fat. It also mandated that only low-fat milk (1 percent or fat-free milk) will be served in school cafeterias, and school lunches must provide one third of recommended daily protein, calcium and vitamins A and C.

Sparkman said the guidelines for food do not apply to venders at sports games, after school activities or the occasional cupcakes brought from home on a student’s birthday.

In other business, the board approved:

•The disposal of surplus items such as the sale of a panel truck used by the Walker High School marching band. Sparkman said the truck is in need of replacement.

•Overnight field trip requests for the Future Business Leaders of America and the Walker High School Competitive Cheerleaders. Both groups are attending national conferences.

•Last month’s financial reports with a general fund balance of $4,865,427 and a capital projects fund balance of $6,203,259.