I want to be the change I need to see in my world!
For the last couple of years I am been thinking on how sadly parents feed their kids with high levels of sugar and as mother of 3 boys I want to motivate other parents to take action on our kids nutrition at school.
I live in Cabo Rojo Puerto Rico and I understand that our public schools work with the USDA to promote healthy meals, however that does not apply to the classroom or school areas and that's where my concern came from.
I have a 4 years old preschooler (special needs classroom) whom every time is a party celebration at his classroom he does not participate because of the high level of sugar on the non nutritional menu teacher and parents allow. Even after I talked to his teacher , I still haven't seen any empathy that allows my son to enjoy as his classmates do.
For that reason I want to be part of a healthy movement to motivates other parents and teachers to understand how vital is healthy nutrition at school for our kids. Could a parent whom lives Puerto Rico able to participate in these programs ?
Cabo Rojo County Puerto Rico
Thank you for your interest in the health and wellness of our children. I understand your frustration as I am a mother myself and work in schools. Schools who participate in USDA Child Nutrition Programs must adhere to regulations governing foods that are served at breakfast, lunch and afterschool snacks.
Starting in school year 2014-15, all foods sold at school during the school day had to meet nutrition standards. The Smart Snacks in School regulation applies to foods sold a la carte, in the school store, and vending machines. USDA does not regulate food brought in from home or food NOT sold to students; this is local decision.
My suggestion for you as a parent is review your school's Local Wellness Policy (LWP) and to contact your diistrict and ask to be a part of LWP committee. For information regarding the requirements of the LWP and it's benefits, please visit the following link: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/local-school-wellness-policy. There are many ways to allow our kids to celebrate without having food as the center of the party. I know some schools only do birthday celebrations once a month or a few times a year and other schools, through a board approved LWP, only allow a parent or teacher to bring in non-food items for celebrations or rewards. You can find a list of non-food rewards to share with your school at the following link: http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/storage/documents/parent-toolkit/rewardsf3a.pdf
Again, I applaud your effort and wish you luck in being the voice for your child and all kids and hope that you are able to work collaboratively with your local school staff and community to foster a healthy environment for all students.