Healthy foods, healthy kids - The Explorer: News

Healthy foods, healthy kids

State nutrition standards help combat obesity

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Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 3:00 am

Studies have shown that the number of overweight children ages 6-17 has doubled over the last 30 years. More than 25 percent of children ages 6-11 are obese. The problem is common enough that experts are now considering obesity an epidemic.

The Arizona Nutrition Standards were created to combat the problem. A K-8 school follows the Elementary School Standards for students in grades K-5 and the Middle/Junior High School Standards for students in grades 6-8. However, the Standards are not applicable to classroom parties.

The Standards prohibit the following foods and beverages on campus:

• Foods whose final preparation method is deep fat-fried.

• Fruit and vegetable drinks containing less than 100 percent juice for elementary schools and less than 50 percent juice for middle and junior high schools.

• Flavored or regular whole-fat milk (4 percent milk fat).

• Caffeine and energy drinks.

• Sports drinks, electrolyte replacement drinks for elementary schools only.

• Carbonated beverages.

The Standards also require that:

• No more than 35 percent of total calories are from fat.

• No more than 10 percent of total calories are from saturated and trans fatty acids (combined).

• No more than 35 percent total sugar by weight.

• Food must contain at least 1 gram of fiber.

• Entrée items sold as a la carte cannot exceed 400 calories per serving.

• All other food items cannot exceed 300 calories per serving.

• The amount of sodium sold in entrée items sold as a la carte cannot exceed 800 mg per serving.

• The amount of sodium sold in all other snack items cannot exceed 600 mg per serving.

For more information, visit www.ade.az.gov or call The Department of Education – Health and Nutrition Services at 602-542-8700.

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