Despite many reports to the contrary, the new child nutrition bill signed earlier this month doesn't ban bake sales from our schools. Don't believe the hype.

Despite many reports to the contrary, the new child nutrition bill signed earlier this month doesn't ban bake sales from our schools. Don't believe the hype.


In fact, the controversy over whether or not the Agriculture Department overseeing the bill's implementation is going to make a federal case out of the occasional sale of brownies and Rice Krispies treats during the school day is nothing but a distraction. They've said they have neither the desire nor the intention to mess with that, or with birthday treats in the grade schools for that matter. The real value in this measure is that it will give a generation of students at the epicenter of an obesity epidemic some healthier (or at least less fatty) eats in the cafeteria.


It's hardly being a "nanny state run amok," to quote Sarah Palin, for the government to ensure its school lunches - not to mention breakfasts, after-school snacks and even dinners - are more nutritious, especially given the number of those meals that are provided free or at reduced cost to kids from low-income families. Parents who aren't keen on Uncle Sam setting standards for what gets dished up in the lunch line are perfectly free to pack a lunch for their children (one we'd hope would be equally healthy), but a federal government that sees the cost of obesity nationwide accounting for nearly $150 billion in health costs every year is being irresponsible if it doesn't seek to make healthier the meals it pays to serve our kids.


Journal Star of Peoria, Ill.