Public school board revising nutrition policy

Red Deer Public School’s nutrition policy on encouraging healthy eating habits will soon meet Alberta guidelines instead of British Columbia’s.

Red Deer Public School’s nutrition policy on encouraging healthy eating habits will soon meet Alberta guidelines instead of British Columbia’s.

The school board is expected to approve the revision today to the policy that came into effect in November 2007.

Deputy Superintendent Stu Henry said the shift will help to alleviate some of the issues our schools had encountered with vendors and fundraising bodies who comply with Alberta guidelines.

One of the Alberta guidelines says that school principals are responsible to ensure that no more than 50 per cent of food and beverage items sold in district schools are in the “choose sometimes” category.

Henry said the district was one of the very first districts in Alberta to do such a nutrition policy. It was very restrictive as far as saying what kinds of foods it didn’t want in schools, such as fries, pizza and pop.

“There was some pretty radical changes made,” said Henry. “At the time, Alberta Health was in the midst of changing its guidelines to schools so we didn’t have a policy we could link up to, so we linked to the B.C. guidelines.”

Based on feedback from various stakeholders, including trustees, the policy was amended in the fall of 2012.

“But we found some of the old language when we were referring to the B.C. document just don’t fit anymore,” said Henry.