Mesa schools target tasty treats - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Mesa schools target tasty treats

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Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 11:04 am | Updated: 3:52 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Teachers and other adults would be urged to hold the sweets when rewarding students under a wellness policy being considered by the Mesa Unified School District.

The district’s governing board got its first look Tuesday at a proposed wellness policy, which must be in place by July 1 to comply with a federal law that President Bush signed two years ago.

The Mesa proposal also would incorporate new state regulations on junk-food sales at schools.

Board president Elaine Miles said teachers and parents are used to being able to have cookies and cakes in the classroom, and an outright ban could be hard for them to swallow.

“We want to encourage them” to bring healthier snacks into the classroom, if they bring food at all, she said.

Schools also would be encouraged to rethink the number of celebrations they have during the course of the year — another way to cut down on the amount of calories that children ingest during the school day.

“I’m frankly a little disappointed at the number of parties held during the last three weeks of school,” board member Rich Crandall said at this, the final meeting before Mesa’s school year ends on Thursday.

The proposal would ban vending machines on elementary campuses, while machines at junior high and high schools could only offer food that meet state or federal standards for nutritional value. That would eliminate most sodas, chewing gum candy and other goodies. Sales and fundraisers held during school hours also would have to fulfill these standards, but those done after school would be exempt.

The draft policy also says physical education classes will be held in elementary schools, and those schools should offer 20 minutes of recess and discourage sedentary periods lasting longer than two hours.

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