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Some parents complain about restrictions on school lunch

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Updated: 10/15/2013 11:44 pm
PONTE VEDRA, Fla. -- Parents tell Action News they're concerned about an email from a local school about limiting their child's calorie intake.

The email sent from a teacher at Ocean Palms Elementary in Ponte Vedra says students will be limited to one slice of pizza and one ice cream if they are in grades K through 3. For children in grades 4 and 5, the email said they will be limited to two slices and an ice cream.

"It was very frustrating to get a message like that and it makes you very angry," said parent Lois Kendall. Kendall said the email also tells parents that this guideline will "help keep our children's caloric intake within healthy boundaries."

"I think that's the parents job first of all, and if they're so worried about the kids taking in too many calories, do more gym classes or let them go outside and run around for recess more," said Kendall.

We brought these concerns right to the principal who told us the pizza and ice cream are offered in addition to school lunch and she was worried about wasted food.

"Children are going through that second line as if it's the meal line and purchasing two or three slices of pizza, two or three ice creams, sometimes eating it all, which concerns me but also throwing a lot of it away," said Principal Betsy Wierda.

Kendall said that should have been made more clear to parents.

"I had my mom mode on. I was concerned and wanted to put those guidelines up but I'll work with any parent individually and service their kids in any way they forsee is good for them," said Wierda.

The principal also tells Action News she's willing to do another survey, to see what parents want. For now, the guidelines are set to go into effect Friday.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Momknowsbest - 10/16/2013 3:00 PM
0 Votes
It should not be the schools job to make sure your child eats what's on his or her plate and that they make healthy choices. Healthy choices of fruits, vegetables and whole grains are provided to the children in St Johns county every day. The school cannot MAKE a child eat something it does not want to eat-it cannot MAKE you pay for items that the child does not choose. There is nothing wrong with the schools offering pizza as an alternative to the school lunch on specific days. It is the PARENTS job to instill the ability to make good choices when it comes to food or snacks. Why should every child be punished from being able to buy 2 slices of pizza because someone else doesn't think it's healthy? If you do not want your child to buy pizza, ice cream or any other snack then you write a letter to the school café manager and he/she will note it on your child's account to keep them from buying it(since you telling them at home obviously isn't enough). I think this is SEVERLY overstepping on the schools part. Teach your children to make good choices,or put limits on their purchases. Every child shouldn't be punished just because some don't make good choices!

kimberlydreams - 10/16/2013 9:43 AM
1 Vote
I don't think there should be pizza or ice cream or any other junk food. How about fruits, veggies, yogurt with fruit or granola... healthy choices.

sewmaximama - 10/16/2013 9:12 AM
1 Vote
I think it a good idea. If they allowed the kids to eat as much pizza, ice cream and junk the parents would complain anyway. Kids are with them most of the day. The schools have improved, serving more nutritional lunches. They are trying to do their part. If your kid needs that much pizza ( which is an addition to the regular lunch) maybe the parent should pack what their child needs.

Truthseeker - 10/16/2013 4:27 AM
1 Vote
This is more about the education system overstepping its authority and trying to control peoples' lives than it is a concern for the students' nutrition. If they were really worried about the childrens health, they wouldn't sell ANY junk food at the school.
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