Washoe County Schools Forbid Unhealthy Snacks

Mar 15, 2016 04:20 AM EDT | By Rhea Penaflor

Following the order of Washoe County School District (WCSD), snack restrictions will be strictly implemented in all Washoe County Schools. Nutritional standards have been set since 2006 by the Washoe County School Board for every food and drink offered during the school day but WCSD admits that it finds it difficult to totally implement eating healthy snacks to Washoe Country School kids.

Washoe County Schools can say goodbye to their vending machines selling soda, candies and junk food. Of course, 100 percent juice or low-calorie flavored water are still allowed.

WCSD administers child nutrition programs in 95 sites throughout Washoe County School District.  The department runs a central Production Facility, and a food warehouse and distribution facility.  It likewise  provides breakfast and/or lunch in all school cafeterias as well as charter schools.

According to information obtained by Reno Gazette-Journal, Washoe is way behind schedule as explained by Catrina Peters, state manager of school nutrition services. Her department gave districts all of the last school year to update their school wellness policies, which include snack standards and exercise provisions. It even offered districts a manual of minimal standards - Nevada's School Wellness Policy.  While all 15 other county school districts have implemented new federal and state snack rules, Washoe and Storey county districts have not, according to state records. Peters said districts were supposed to be done by June 1, 2015. Brian Rothe, on the other hand, Washoe coordinator of student athletics and activities, said the state never made a deadline clear.

District protocols have been seen as a consideration in order to do it right for the Washoe county schools. The standards for the snacks would have to meet sodium, sugar, fat and calories requirements, although limits are often lower. However, school districts can allow two special occasions a month as cheat days for their students.

In the end, school districts only want to provide access to nutritious, appealing, high-quality meals to every student in a healthy and safe environment, while maintaining fiscal responsibility.

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