by Hashem Anabtawi, ’14
Where have all the doughnuts gone and what’s with all this hummus? No more root beer floats, no more brownies and no more foods that don’t contain your daily value of fiber, according to Ohio Senate Bill 210 on school nutrition.
Ohio created a ban on “certain foods unauthorized by the school,” also known as bake sales. But in March 2012, UAHS added an alternative to supply students with snacks ranging from fruit to cookies.
Diana Vernon, a UAHS cook, worked in collaboration with Upper Arlington Nutrition services to develop the after school snack bar at the high school. This council has worked to change the foods distributed during school hours to fit the Ohio nutrition guidelines in the new law. According to the bill, foods sold at the school must contain at least 10 percent of the recommended daily value of fiber, calcium, vitamin A or vitamin C.
“We sell water, gatorade, sodas, hummus, bagels, hot sandwiches and snacks such as fruit, candy and cookies,” Vernon said. “Everything that we serve meets the guidelines for the Alliance for Healthy Generations, the guidelines the FDA has passed down to schools.”
The UAHS cooks serve a large number of students and staff on a daily basis. Vernon believes the snack bar is an advantageous addition to UAHS.
“The after school snack bar is a convenience for kids because they can grab a bagel while waiting to be picked up or just to have a snack for a sporting event,” Vernon said.
This theory applies for junior swimmer Stephen Davies. Since swimming practice takes place directly after school, Davies is glad there’s now a way to tame his hunger.
“I needed a snack before swim practice because I forgot to bring one, so it’s great to know that I can grab a quick cookie or slim jim to fuel my performance,” Davies said.
Although bake sales were banned, the snack bar is managing to sell cookies that meet Ohio’s guidelines for nutrition, as they are made of whole grain ingredients., according to Vernon.
Davies believes the after school snack bar is a great idea to bypass the bake sale ban and still meet the nutritional guidelines.
“It’s a good way to fight the power. This way you can have a snack whenever you need one and get it quickly too,” Davies said.
The necessity for food nutrition guidelines began from Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign as well as Ohio’s standards in the Senate Bill on Ohio’s nutrition, effective since July 2011.
The goal of the “Let’s Move!” campaign is to end childhood obesity nationwide and help kids live an overall healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise. Obama began the program in 2010 and began enforcing provisions including providing healthier food in schools and improving access to healthy, affordable foods.
Although bake sales have become banned during the school day, the after school snack bar gives UAHS students a way to have snacks such as cookies while still meeting Ohio’s healthy nutrition standards.