The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York

 

Bedford Central

Food is healthier, but will kids eat it?

By NATALIA BAAGE-LORD

Lunches in the Bedford Central School District are getting healthier for students as a new state law took effect over the summer.

One of the main mandates in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, whose regulations kicked in at the beginning of July, noted that calories must be slightly reduced. In an effort to increase nutrition, another main component is that more whole grains must be added to the menus.

However, the Bedford Central School District is seemingly one step ahead of the law, according to assistant superintendent Mark Betz, who heads the district’s health council. In 2006, the district implemented a wellness policy and increased the amount of whole grains on the schools’ menus. The six-year-old policy purged the menus of “less than nutritious” fare and opted for more leafy greens and fruits for the students at each meal.

The district’s 2006 wellness policy also reduced the amount of sodium and sugar in the offered foods, as well as completely eliminated high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats from the meals.

Mr. Betz said that the has district already made some of the most significant changes. “Now it is menu planning that becomes challenging here — making a menu that provides the calorie levels and fruits and vegetables and choices for kids,” he said.

As a result of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, the district’s biggest change since the 2011-2012 school year deals with the daily menu’s structure. In the past, students were obligated to take three of the five food groups at each meal, said Mr. Betz.

He noted that students often opted for a grain, protein and dairy, which omitted fruits and vegetables from their midday diet. The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act now makes it mandatory for students to select a form of produce while choosing three of the food groups, ensuring that students eat fruits or vegetables at lunchtime.

“With the way you structure your meals, you really need to make more fruits and vegetables available so that the choices are there for kids to take — and we are doing that,” said Mr. Betz.

“The kids are taught how to make healthy choices,” said Christina Dochtermann, a member of Bedford Central’s health committee. “They learn that they cannot just eat a sandwich or a slice of pizza, but that they also need some carrot sticks or a pear on the side.”

Even though the new structure ensures more nutrients, the district is anticipating a pushback at the high school level, Mr. Betz said. Similar to 2006, when changes were made to make meals more nutritious, there were some secondary students who chose to pack their lunches instead of purchasing the new food. Mr. Betz said that this might happen again within the next month at the high school as students might not want to change their eating habits.

“The goal here was a good goal,” he said. “But part of the problem is that students are not particularly involved in the decision making of this stuff. When you implement something, they see it as a change that is something being taken away.”

While it is important for students to eat a good balance of foods in school, Ms. Dochtermann said that another benefit of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act is that it also relays its effects at home. Because it is now mandatory that students eat a fruit or vegetable with each meal, children are reportedly more open to trying new foods at home.

A West Patent parent told Ms. Dochtermann that her second grade daughter is a very picky eater. After a few weeks of eating fruits and vegetables every day at school, the girl arrived at home asking for different produce for dinner.

“That next step is about increased responsibility,” said Ms. Dochtermann. “If you send Johnny and Suzie with their lunches exactly how they want it, the experience is being taken away from them. They do not get to make the choices and try something different that they may not try otherwise. They learn how to make a choice for a healthy meal.”

To help the Bedford Central School District make the best choices for its menu, the administration has enlisted the assistance of nutritionist Helene Rosenhouse-Romeo. Each month, Ms. Rosenhouse-Romeo reviews the district’s menus, confirming that each one has the proper components and variety while containing new and seasonal foods that are balanced and nutritious for the students.

“She is very much involved in this on an expert level, in terms of looking at this through a nutritionist’s lens,” said Ms. Dochtermann.

For more information about the Bedford Central School District’s health committee, visit bcsdny.org.


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October 5, 2012

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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