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Penn. Board Of Education Ponders Nutritional Guidelines

Posted On: 4/15/2010

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HARRISBURG, PA -- Pennsylvania's state Board of Education is considering new regulations that would bring all foods sold or served by schools into compliance with nutritional standards for government-funded school breakfast and lunch programs that have been in force for years.

Under the proposed rules, which apply to cafeteria menus, vending machines and school fundraisers, schools could serve only 100% juice, 1% milk or skim milk with no artificial sweeteners and beverages with fewer than 67 calories per 8 fl.oz. Caffeinated beverages would be banned.

Foods with more than 35% of their total calories from sugar could not be sold or served, with the exception of yogurt. All foods would have to contain less than 35% of calories from fat and less than 10% from saturated fats, and no more than 0.5g. of trans fat. Nuts, seeds and cheeses would be exempt. Foods made from whole grains would also be mandatory.

The rules also would require that all students engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

The proposal will be discussed at three public roundtables this month sponsored by the Board of Education. The board will reportedly consider input from the three sessions before it votes on a first draft of the new regulations next month.