For students in the public schools of Portland, Maine, the next year — and the foreseeable future — will be devoid of in-class pizza or cupcake parties, and all the high-calorie snacks and beverages sold at sporting events and dances will be replaced with healthier options. Even the teachers have to bring their own sugary sodas to work.
This is all the result of an initiative by Portland Public Schools to replace the less-healthy food items that kids enjoy with things that could be better for them — but don’t sound as appetizing.
So rather than hot dogs or hot wings at the football game on a Friday night, it’s baked potato chips, sunflower seeds and hummus.
This flow chart [PDF] pretty much explains when and where the new regulations kick in, but it basically boils down to: If you are a parent providing food for just your child — or an employee bringing food for yourself alone — then you’re free to do what you want. But if you’re selling food or providing it to more than one child, then you’ve got to follow the district’s strict nutrition guidelines.
These regulations are in place whether the event is on school grounds or not. So this includes things like field trips and school group outings.
Events that happen after school hours are slightly less strict. At those times, all packaged food must meed the standards, but only half of the un-packaged items must meet minimum requirements.
Looking back at my own education, this would have really spoiled my German class’s annual trip for sausages, cheese and kraut at the local Bavarian social club.
By implementing these standards, the Portland school district qualified to receive $90,000 from Portland Public Health under its federal obesity prevention grant.
“We are not making any restrictions on personal choice,” a rep for the schools told Fox News. “The only thing we are affecting is – what are we as a school system going to sell or provide.”