MONTPELIER, Vt. – To Vermont public schools, the brownie is as old fashioned as the powdered wig.
Brownies and other chocolate treats are now officially banned by the state. Vermont Watchdog reports the state is now pushing fruit kebabs, kale and gluten-free paleo lemon bars as school treats.
The ban comes in an attempt to comply with new federal school lunch and snack regulations championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.
“These changes are really supporting the types of diets that we as a country should be following to have a healthy diet and lifestyle,” Laurie Colgan, child nutrition program director at the Agency of Education, tells the news site.
“If you have a food fundraiser and the foods meet the guidelines, then you can have that fundraiser. …Schools have fundraisers that are selling things like grapefruits and oranges from Florida. They’re selling flower bulbs, cards and wrapping paper. There are a lot of non-food fundraisers schools are using.”
Some schools claim they’re ahead of the curve and don’t offer brownies or desserts anyway, so the mandates handed down from Washington, D.C. and implemented by the state don’t mean much to them.
“We haven’t had desserts in our schools. This is my fourth year, and I’ve never seen a dessert served in the school. The kids like kale here, and they eat broccoli. Really, we’ve been ahead of the game,” Shelley Mathias, principal of Burlington’s Edmunds Elementary School, tells Watchdog.
But not all progressive northeastern states are following the dictates from D.C.
The Boston Globe notes Massachusetts has bucked the bake sale rules.
“In 2012, an uprising over lost bake sale revenue led the state to repeal the standards for fundraisers and re-institute the right to consume cupcakes,” the paper reports. They learned their lesson when the state tried to force “healthy foods” on schools and they weren’t going to let the Feds to it to them again.
But the Globe wonders, “Now the question is, which kids out there have actually claimed to like kale?”
If they go to a government school in Vermont, do they have much choice?