Ontario students looking to satisfy their junk food fix won't be able to look to their school cafeterias any longer, as new legislation goes into effect this week aimed at modelling healthier choices for kids.
The Health Food for Schools Act bans the sale of junk food such as french fries, chips, candy and pop from vending machines and school cafeterias in elementary and secondary schools starting in September.
Jeff Hillman, the superintendent of education for the Greater Essex County District School Board in Windsor says the spirit of the legislation is to make sure schools offer nutritious choices for students, given the larger community health concern around childhood obesity.
"I think it's important for us to model the lessons we want students to learn," Hillman said.
But students will still be able to bring junk food from home and buy it off-site, he said.
'I think it's important for us to model the lessons we want students to learn.'—Jeff Hillman, Greater Essex County District School Board
The new rules generated a mixed reaction from students at Devonshire Mall in Windsor.
"It wouldn't bother me because I can bring my own food and it's probably good for me anyways," said Madison Haller.
"I think that's mean because junk food is pretty good — like not all the time — but ... sometimes it's yummy," said Nadine Cortez.
"If it's there — why not, but since it's gone, I won't miss it that much," said Marlow Downey, a grade 12 student.
The Ministry of Education said catering companies and restaurants like Pizza Pizza have revamped their recipes so that they can continue to have a presence in schools this September.