Schools gravitating toward healthy fundraising

Fun runs are popular these days and bake sales are taking the back seat, partly  thanks to the changes from a “smart snacks” provision in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. In addition, regulations that ban the sale of junk food during school hours went into effect last summer as part of a nationwide push by Michelle Obama.

The result of this push means that schools are gravitating toward healthy fundraising too.

Many parents appreciate this, especially in a society where sugary snacks and sodas seem to plague child-centered social events.

However, some states aren’t taking the news without a fight. South Carolina’s state superintendent of education Molly Spearman points out that fundraisers provide vital income and wants waivers from the smart-snack requirements for fundraisers.

Similarly, Ted Poe of Texas is working to push a bill to keep the “federal food police” from schools. His bill would prevent nutrition standards under the 2010 law from being applied to fundraisers.

I like that the First Lady recognizes the importance of good nutrition in schools and surrounding school events. Teaching and supporting healthy eating from a young age sets children up for healthy eating for the rest of their lives. I think that fundraisers that sell unhealthy, sugary-and calorie-laden snacks do not help students really, even if they do raise money. Selling these treats really doesn’t help anyone.

The last few years have been a period of change in public school meal programs with Michelle Obama in the driver’s seat. She has been instrumental in making changes for the better and I hope we see acceptance of the requirements around the country.

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