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Whole wheat pizza days at school!


October 29, 2008
By ANDREA HOUSTONEXAMINER EDUCATION WRITER

NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Whole wheat pizza days at school
For the first time ever, the local Catholic school board has drafted a
healthy eating and nutrition policy for all board schools, said
education director John Mackle.

At the Peterborough
Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board
meeting last night, Mackle said the new policy follows the provincial
guidelines for healthy schools.

Over the summer, Mackle met with local health units to brainstorm suggestions for the policy.

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The draft policy is now being circulated among parents, principals, teachers and school staff for their feedback, he said.

Included in the package to parents are healthy recipe
suggestions, ideal brown bag lunches and lists of foods with "maximum
nutritional value."

"We will work with school councils who run several special food
days at schools to offer healthy options," Mackle said. "For example,
on pizza days, they should opt for whole wheat crust."

There is even a section of the policy advising parents and
schools never to use food as a means to reward students for good
behaviour.

Mackle said the policy will return to the board for approval around January.

"We will be slowly implementing it this year," he said. "It will
be phased into schools in the early spring with the help of school
councils, cafeterias and school nutritionists, who will make
presentations in class."

Part of the policy recommends all school vending machines be
stocked with juice, milk, water and healthy snacks, as opposed to pop,
potato chips and candy, he said.

"All our elementary school vending machines already offer juice and milk products," Mackle said.  The
local policy was created following the provincial legislation Healthy
Foods for Healthy Schools, which was created this year to amend the
Education Act.

While it complies with provincial guidelines, Mackle said, the
local policy goes even further to keep foods containing high levels of
trans fat out of schools completely.

"We have been phasing out chocolate bar sales for fundraisers,"
he said. "Instead we would like to see fundraising come from sales of
books, magazines or flowers."

By involving schools in the process, students and parents will embrace the changes, Mackle said.

"Kids' awareness level is very high and they recognize the
importance of wise nutrition," he said. "In some schools already, there
are bins with free apples or vegetable sticks that students can grab
for a snack as they walk through the halls."

NOTES:Five local pupils who joined 8,000 young people from
across Canada for the National Me to We Day at Toronto's Ricoh Coliseum
on Oct. 17 made a heartfelt presentation to last night's Catholic
school board meeting. The pupils, who showed a slideshow of pictures
from the event, put on by activistsCraig and Marc Kielburger, said they
felt empowered by what they heard and inspired by the message of social
justice…. For more information on the Me to We movement go to www.metowe.org.

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Nutrition

Some proposed Catholic school board nutrition policy guidelines:

* The board will encourage schools and parents to provide an environment that promotes healthy eating on a regular basis.

* Food and beverages served and sold in schools shall reinforce
the good nutritional practices emphasized in the Ontario curriculum,
the Canada Food Guide and through school educational programs.

* The new policy covers all cafeterias, canteens, vending
machines, lunch, breakfast and snack programs and all fundraising
events.

* Food and beverages shall be served and sold primarily for the
purposes of providing nutrition rather than for revenue generation.

* Students will engage in physical activity.