DepEd Ilocos Norte: No soft drinks, junk food in schools, offices

LAOAG CITY — Public school canteens and offices in the province are back to basics in preparations for meals and snacks of learners, teachers and other personnel.

At the Ilocos Norte Division Office for example, boiled lemon grass with calamansi and honey is being served as refreshment. This goes along with freshly baked cookies and other locally available fruits.

In support of Department Order No. 13, series of 2017, Audrey Diane Albano, a registered nurse at the Schools Division of Ilocos Norte, said carbonated drinks and junk foods were already banned in all schools and DepEd offices here.

Food and snack brought by students from their homes, and ambulant vendors near the school premises are also enjoined to support this move in an effort to promote healthy and positive eating behavior.

Under the food guidelines released by DepEd, Albano said school canteen managers were advised to make available healthier food and beverage choices. This shall be categorized as green, yellow and red.

The “green” category refers to vegetables, fruits and root crops which can be sold every day. The “yellow” category which include processed foods like “tocino” and “longganisa” and those with high sugar content like banana cue and ice cream shall be made available at least once or twice a week.

The “red” category must never be sold in schools. These are the “highly processed” and are high in sugar and fat. These include sugar sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, tetra pack juice and powdered juice.

Superintendent Vilma Eda called on everyone to become extra creative in the food preparation especially for school children as she reiterated to the Division Office personnel and all school heads to be committed in imposing the DepEd order. LGA/