With regard to a current post on my blog, “Toying with Nutrition,” I found these current statistics on the choices offered to ELEMENTARY students from a study on elementary school food programs at SchoolNutrition.org, a Kraft Foods-sponsored organization:
“Twenty-three percent of public elementary schools offered vending machine foods for sale, and 35 percent offered foods for sale at school stores or snack bars.
Most public elementary schools (94 percent) offered foods for sale outside of full school meals.”
The survey collected information on the types of food available at vending machines and school stores or snack bars in 2005, and the times when those foods were available. Information on the availability of foods at vending machines and school stores or snack bars was restricted to the following nondairy beverages and snack foods:
Nondairy beverages: 100% fruit or vegetable juice, sports drinks or fruit drinks that are not 100% juice, soft drinks, and bottled water; and
Snack foods: candy; low-fat salty snacks such as pretzels and baked or other low-fat chips; salty snacks that are not low in fat such as regular potato chips and cheese puffs; low-fat cookies, cakes, pastries, and other baked goods; and cookies, cakes, pastries, and other baked goods that are not low in fat.
Students are also offered other food choices instead of the regular meal. While the percentages favored offering healthier choices, one wonders why the junk food items are even offered at all.
Consider this, is your 6-year-old prepared to make good nutritional decisions? Probably not.
“For example, elementary schools were more likely to offer 100% juice (53 percent), bottled water (46 percent), and green salad or fruit (40 percent) than less nutritious items such as soft drinks (12 percent), candy (15 percent), and French-fried potatoes (17 percent).”
Information on this study can be found here: