Alberta Schools to Eliminate Junk Food

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EDMONTON, ALTA. — Starting September 1, food vendors in Alberta public schools will not be able to sell foods listed in the “choose-less-often” category outlined in the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines (food high in calories, fat or sugar), says a story published in The Edmonton Journal.

Alberta public schools worked with foodservice operators by renegotiating contracts for vending machines and making deals to supply healthier items, such as cheese strings, bottled water, fruits, plain popcorn and healthier version of chips to comply with guidelines.

School cafeterias have adjusted menu offerings to include baked fries, whole grain pizzas and sandwiches along with selection of fruits and fruit based slushies, juices and milk as opposed to offering pop and other sugary drinks, candies, cookies and doughnuts.

“We had a whole transformation of what we allow in our vending machines,” says Bob Zukerman, assistant principal of Ottewell Junior High School, quoted in the story. “There’s no more chocolate bars. At first, the students said, ‘Where’s the chips?’ but they’ll go for what’s there over the long run. It’s been a good transition and I think parents really appreciate it.”

The policy on banning junk food from schools came into effect March 2008 and included a timeline to phase out unhealthy food and drinks sold in cafeterias, vending machines and school stores.

For more on the story, visit The Edmonton Journal Banning Junk Food in Alberta Schools.

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