BAGUIO CITY, June (PIA) - - In a bid to promote healthy eating among students and teachers, the Department of Education has banned the selling of softdrinks and junk foods in public schools. However, the cooperation of parents is needed in this campaign.
“We appeal to all parents to prepare nutritious food and monitor beverage intake of children as we, in DepEd, will strictly ban the marketing of soft drinks and junk foods in public schools,” said now Department of Education- Baguio Schools Division Assistant Superintendent Soraya Faculo.
For School Year 2016-2017, 7,013 learners in the elementary and secondary levels combined in the Cordillera region were found overweight, with 1,962 them registered in this city.
Eating too much and increase of fast food facilities, and insufficient knowledge on health and nutrition among parents are among the factors contributing to over nutrition among learners, Faculo noted.
Consumption of unhealthy foods outside the school premises are at the discretion of the parents, she added.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones issued DepEd Order No. 13 last March 14 providing the policy and guidelines on healthy food and beverage choices in schools and all education department offices.
Food classified under the “Green” category should always be available in school canteens. This include drinks such as milk, fresh buko juice and safe and clean water; go(energy giving), grow(body building) and glow(body regulating) foods such as milled or brown rice, boiled camote or saba, suman, puto, lean meat, fish and fresh fruits and leafy vegetables.
On the other hand, foods that are classified under Yellow category should be served carefully as they contain nutrients but large amount of saturate or trans fats, sugar or salt such as fruit juices, fried rice, bread using refined flour, biscuits, pancakes, sandwiches, processed food, and stir-fried vegetables.
Food and beverages under the Red category are prohibited in school canteens because they contain high amounts of saturated fat or sugar or salt and may provide excess calories or energy. These include soft drinks, sports water, and products containing caffeine, ice cream, cakes, donuts, French fries, instant noodles, chicken skin, bacon, junk foods and canned fruits in heavy syrup.
Faculo said each school should develop its own menu to ensure that the food and drinks offered to students are healthy and nutritious. (JDP/JBZ- PIA CAR)