Principals lash out at ‘food police’ diet

NZ Herald June 12, 2007
Principals have reacted angrily to the Government ban on daily sales of unhealthy food at school canteens, some ridiculing it as an intrusion of state “food police”. Under Government guidelines issued yesterday, state and integrated schools must ensure that all foods and drinks sold on the premises are healthy varieties. But the Ministry of Education advice on the guidelines contains a contradiction by indicating unhealthy foods may still be offered, but only occasionally – “about once a term, for example, for particular events”. This suggests Parent Teacher Association sausage sizzles to raise money will be acceptable – four times a year – but if children can buy the likes of pies, sausage rolls and high-fat muffins daily, a school might fall foul of the Education Review Office.The advice states that school barbecues or hangi should continue – and should include a healthy salad. The new rules, contained in the National Administration Guidelines, come into effect next June. They will be based on a food and drink classification system to be produced by the Ministry of Health within weeks.