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Southland Schools in Behind Nutrition Guidelines

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Southland Schools Already in Behind Nutrition Guidelines

A new healthy food guideline that took effect for schools on 1 June 2008 is expected to be well supported by Southland schools and early childhood centres, says SDHB's Healthy Eating Co-ordinator, Gemma Milne.

"Southland schools have already been working to embrace nutrition guidelines and support healthy eating in their schools and we expect that the new guideline will only build on that momentum.

"Our DHB has had over 60 applications from schools and early childhood centres in the past year to access Nutrition Funds to support the introduction of their own initiatives which promote healthy eating in the school environment.

"We think that reflects the desire by schools in our region to get in behind the HEHA message as a part of their school culture.”

From 1 June the National Administration Guideline (NAG) 5 which currently requires “Boards of Trustees to provide a safe physical and emotional environment for students”, will also request that Boards of Trustees:

• Promote healthy food and nutrition for all students; and

• Where food and beverages are sold on school premises, make only healthy options available.

“This amendment gives schools a clear policy statement to work from, and the flexibility to make their own decisions in the context of their environment.” said Miss Milne.

“The change requires schools to review their current practise, and offer certain foods and beverages either everyday, sometimes or occasionally”

“It is not about banning particular foods, or doing away with the traditional sausage sizzle or selling chocolate for fundraising. What it means is that schools should look at what they provide and decide whether or not these activities send consistent messages to the students and wider school community.

Local food providers have also been getting in behind schools, creating healthier products including wholemeal buns, more filled rolls and healthier fruit muffins.

“In response to the increasing demand from schools, we have now developed a new healthier product range that is proving popular with the education sector, said Bells Baker owner Brendon McCormack.

Meanwhile SDHB has recently announced the latest successful Southland schools and early childhood centres whose applications for nutrition funding have been approved.

ENDS

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