Vermont Schools Ban Brownies, Replace Them With Kale

Sep 14, 2014 by

It’s a best-seller at bake sales, a king of American confections, even a mandatory munchie of marijuana users. But the iconic chocolate brownie, that perfect blend of cake and cookie, is banned in Vermont schools.

In its place are new hoped-for kid favorites such as fruit shish kabob, kale and even gluten-free paleo lemon bars.

The switch stems from nutrition mandates required under the new Smart-Snacks-in-Schools program in effect for public schools.

“The new school lunch pattern has low fat, leaner proteins, greater variety and larger portions of fruits and vegetables; the grains have to be 100 percent whole-grain rich,” Laurie Colgan, child nutrition program director at the Agency of Education, told Vermont Watchdog.

The new rules, which evolved out of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, spell death to brownies, cupcakes, cookies and other bake sale goodies used to raise money for extracurriculars at money-strapped schools.

Deborah Quackenbush, education division director at the Agency of Education, said Smart Snack standards apply to a la carte lunch items, vending machines and fundraising events between midnight and a half-hour after school.

The standard does not apply to off-campus events or to concessions for sporting events, plays and concerts. Moms who send brownies or cupcakes to celebrate a child’s birthday in the new dessert-averse environment will be permitted to do so.

“These changes are really supporting the types of diets that we as a country should be following to have a healthy diet and lifestyle,” Colgan said.

But some states are beginning to revolt against the federal nutrition standards. In Massachusetts, an uprising over lost bake sale revenue led the state to repeal the standards for fundraisers. Two New York school districts abandoned the national school lunch program altogether after participation dropped precipitously. Other states are struggling with a “plate waste” epidemic estimated to cost more than $1 billion.

via Vermont Schools Ban Brownies, Replace Them With Kale.

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