Should Iowa ban Junk Food from Schools?

The Iowa Board of Education is thinking about banning junk food from schools in an attempt to teach healthier eating habits. However, opponents say that snack bars are big money makers in cafeterias.

Now, I thought banning junk food was a pretty drastic step. Then I read this…

''I don't think anybody should tell you what you can and can't eat,'' said Megan Brady, 15, a student at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School in West Des Moines. ''That's horrible.''

Brady skips the lunch line nearly every day to buy vanilla ice cream and shortbread cookies from the snack bar.

Sorry, but if you are eating ice cream and cookies for lunch everyday then someone needs to tell you what you can and can't eat.

Ideally, a system could be put into place where a student can buy ice cream sundaes or nachos only after they buy a more healthy main dish.

Students need to learn about a balance diet and it seems schools could get creative and come up with point systems, punch cards, or tickets that could be used for students to earn a trip to the snack bar.

UPDATE from desmoinesdem: They are discussing this proposal over at La Vida Locavore.

Also, the the Des Moines Register has more information about how the public can weigh in on this proposal:

Iowans can comment on the Iowa Healthy Kids Act at a public hearing on Feb. 3. Comments about the nutrition recommendations will be taken from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Comments about physical activity recommendations will be taken from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Iowa Communications Network room on the second floor of the Grimes State Office Building, East 14th Street and Grand Avenue, Des Moines, or at remote ICN sites in Council Bluffs, Creston, Elkader, Johnston, Mason City, Ottumwa, Sioux Center and Sioux City. For more details, call the Iowa Department of Education at (515) 281-5295.
COMMENT IN WRITING: Deadline for written comments is 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 3. E-mail comments about the nutrition recommendations to or by mail: Julia Thorius, Iowa Department of Education, Second Floor, Grimes State Office Building, Des Moines, Ia. 50319-0146. By fax: 515-281-7700. E-mail comments about the physical activity recommendations to or by mail: Kevin Fangman, Iowa Department of Education, Third Floor, Grimes State Office Building, Des Moines, Ia. 50319-0146. By fax: 515-281-7700.


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  • The Parents Job!

    Sorry, but if you are eating ice cream and cookies for lunch everyday then someone needs to tell you what you can and can’t eat.

    The above quote is from DesMoinesDem.  

    I will give you the answer to that: the “SOMEONE” is the PARENTS!!!!

    I agree that kids should eat healthy in schools but why does the government always have to come in and mandate stuff?  

    With the bailouts and everything, I am really getting concerned that we are letting the government have too much say in things.

    We need parental responsibility.  If Obama talks about having parents turn off the television – I agree – but the parents should be taking responsibility for ensuring the student is doing homework or reading instead of watching television or playing those tetris games (or whatever they call them now these days).

    If we let the goverment mandate junk food – what’s next – how much television a kid can watch?  We are esurping power away from parents and ceding it to goverment.

    That is scary, scary, scary.  No Thanks.

    • I don't understand your comment

      No one is talking about government banning junk food from private homes.

      Our tax dollars pay for the food offered to students for lunch at public schools. If some idiot parents allow their children to bring nothing but candy bars, cookies and jelly beans for lunch every day, there’s nothing “the government” can do to stop them.

      But why should public schools be giving kids the option of buying cookies and ice cream every day for lunch? School lunches should have healthy choices, and if kids don’t like it, they can bring lunch from home.

      Looking at it another way, if I as a parent want to limit the amount of sugar my kids eat, why does the public school have to undermine that by allowing kids to eat cookies and ice cream for lunch?

  • Sorry

    Meant that the quote is from NoNeed4thNeed

  • food

    I’m of two minds on this whole thing. I think that the schools could do a MUCH better job with the lunches they provide. But I’m not sure THIS is going to get the job done.

    While I think it’s appropriate for government to decide what is served in government schools, I’m uncomfortable in general with the government deciding what is and what is not healthy. (For example, many people mistakenly believe that margarine is better for you than butter. Margarine = man-made. Butter = from a cow. Same thing with sweetener vs sugar.)

    I don’t personally think that vending machines have any business in schools other than high schools, regardless of what’s in them.

    From a whole-foods perspective, the whole milk would be the best option, particularly if it were not homogenized