Pennsylvania Schools Weigh Parental Fast-Food Ban

Parents who visit their children at lunch would be required to eat school food rather than bring the children fast-food lunches under a proposed wellness policy in the Palmyra Area School District.

That doesn't set well with some parents. Lori Swisher, who has three children at Forge Road Elementary School, agreed the schools don't need soda machines or daily doughnuts, but bristled at "one more government restriction."

Swisher said she occasionally has brought pizza or a sub to her kids at school. "I like to think I serve mostly healthy meals, but when all three have sports, sometimes fast food is the option," she said.

The school board will vote June 15 on the guidelines, which Collene Van Noord, director of curriculum and instruction, said is part of a nationwide effort to combat childhood obesity by teaching healthy eating and exercise habits.

Proposed changes include limiting the selection of a la carte treats in the cafeterias and encouraging healthier treats for classroom holiday parties for Valentine's Day and Halloween. "We're not saying no cupcakes and birthday treats," Van Noord said, but veggies and fruit will be encouraged.