|Southwest lauded for food program|
|Written by Submitted|
|Tuesday, November 15, 2011 9:29 PM|
Southwest Local School District recently was recognized by Hamilton County Public Health as one of the early adopters of the state’s new nutrition standards for public schools.
When Ohio students returned to school this fall, they found healthier choices in the lunchroom thanks to Senate Bill 210, which sets nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold to students during regular and extended school days.
SB210 was co-sponsored by Sen. Kevin Coughlin, R-Cuyahoga Falls, and Senator Eric H. Kearney, D-Cincinnati.
“SB210 will have a positive impact on the health of our children,” said Tim Ingram, HCPA health commissioner.
“Students consume up to fifty percent of their daily calories at school, so this is a major step forward in increasing opportunities for healthy eating for the 99,930 children in Hamilton County’s twenty-two school districts.”
By placing limits on calories, fat, saturated fat, transfat, sugar, sodium and portion size, the guidelines support a healthier school environment in which only nutritious foods and beverages are sold to students in the cafeteria, vending machines and school stores, he said.
Earlier this year, WeTHRIVE! and the Nutrition Council of Greater Cincinnati collaborated to offer technical assistance and mini-grants to help school districts implement the SB210 nutrition guidelines in advance of the July 1, 2011, deadline.
“Eleven districts were early adopters of the new nutrition standards,” said Stacy Wegley, director of health promotion and education with HCPH. “We applaud the proactive efforts of these districts …”
Beverage guidelines provide standards for calories and portion size for drinks sold to students.
For example, juice must be 100 percent fruit juice, and contain no more than 160 calories per 8 ounces. Portion size is limited to 8 ounces for elementary school students and 12 ounces for high school students.
Food guidelines, based on standards set by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, provide standards for calories and nutrient content.
Nutrient limits per serving are 35 percent of calories from total fat, 10 percent from saturated fat, zero grams of trans fat, 35 percent sugar by weight, and 230 mg of sodium.
School of Promise
The school will receive an official Schools of Promise banner for closing the mathematics or reading achievements gap for students, who represent a range of socioeconomic and ethic backgrounds, said Superintendent of Public Instruction Stan W. Heffner
“You should be especially proud that with 40 percent or more of your students coming from low-income homes, all groups of students in your school are achieving high levels. For children who traditionally have struggled to achieve, Harrison Elementary School truly is a School of Promise,” Heffner wrote Principal Ron Mangus.
As one of the “elite” 122 Schools of Promise in Ohio, Harrison Elementary has set a strong example of what is achievable when students, educators, parents and community members work together to help all students succeed,” said Heffner.
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