"I think the heart of the policy is good. We all want our younger generation to learn to make healthy choices, to make healthy choices, in many cases healthier choices than what we have made so that they will have healthy long lives."
Her main concern is that the district does not have enough time to educate students about healthy nutrition choices. Minus that education, she said, students may balk at not having a choice about what to eat. She said she saw this last year when they changed the content of school lunches.
"I just think there needs to be an increased awareness of healthy choices. There just needs to be a lot of learning that needs to take place," she said.
"Nobody likes to be told what to do and specifically nobody likes to be told what they can and cannot eat," Katie McDonald, a clinical dietician at Primary Children's Hospital, said.
It would be nice to provide students with options, she said, but schools face the difficult task of providing quality, bulk, meals on tight budgets.
However, she said, change is needed.
"I think these guidelines are very well intended. I think the epidemic with obesity is undeniable. Nobody can argue with that and we need to do something."
The guidelines have a good start in offering fewer empty calories and smaller portions, and will provide students with positive eating habits, which may in turn influence their families.
"Schools do have an important role in setting a high standard," McDonald said. "Still, it is the family that has the primary responsibility."
Families can supplement the healthy choices that kids are making at schools by learning about nutrition, she said. Some resources she recommends are Kids Eat Right, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Department of Agriculture's My Plate Initiative.
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