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School officials told to observe food restrictions inside campus

The Department of Education (DepEd) 11 has reminded school heads to implement the department order mandating only certain foods in school canteens.

In a guideline issued by Education Sec. Leonor Briones in 2017, DepEd is not recommending red-classified foods that include softdrinks, processed and sweetened fruits, all products with caffeine, all types of candies and jellies, instant noodles, sweet bakery products, heavily salted snacks and deep-fried foods.

“The Department of Education has issued the list of foods that are allowed to be sold on canteens. Outside of that list are already prohibited,” DepEd 11 Spokesperson Jenielito Atillo said.

Foods categorized as green are the best choices for a healthy school canteen as “they contain a wide range of nutrients and are generally low in saturated and trans fat, sugar and salt.”

These include water (nothing added), milk (unsweetened), fresh buko water (unsweetened), milled rice, brown rice or iron-fortified rice, corn, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, Cassava (kamoteng kahoy), boiled sweet potato (kamote), boiled saging na saba, boiled peanuts, suman, puto, fish, shellfish, small shrimps, lean meats, chicken without skin, nuts, egg, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

Those in yellow category are foods that must be served carefully (once or twice a week only) as they contribute to excess calories if eaten in large amounts.

These include 100% fresh fruit juices, fried rice, bread (using white refined flour), biscuits, banana cue, camote cue, turon, maruya, Pancakes, waffles, champorado, pancit, arroz caldo, sandwiches (cheese, egg, chicken filling, etc), butter, margarine, mayonnaise (use sparingly), stir-fried vegetables and processed food such as meat/fish, hotdog, sausage, burger patties, chicken nuggets, tocino, tapa, etc (still subject to evaluation of saturated or trans fat and sodium as reflected in their Nutrition Facts).

Other foods in the red category that should not be served in school canteens include alcoholic drinks, sports waters, sports drinks, flavored mineral water, energy drinks, sweetened waters, powdered juice drinks, slushies, coffee, ice cream, ice drops, ice candies,
any processed fruit/vegetable juice with added sugar of more than 20 grams or 4 teaspoons per serving, cakes and slices, donuts, sweet biscuits and pastries, candies, chocolates, hard/chewy candies, chewing gums, marshmallows, lollipops, yema, french fries, bicho-bicho, french fries, chips, chicharon, chicken skin, bacon, fish balls, kikiams, fruits canned in heavy syrup, sweetened fruits or vegetables, among others.

As stated in the guidelines, the consumption of these foods and drinks outside school premises is at the discretion of their parents.

Thus, Atillo also reminded parents to be watchful on what their children are eating especially from outside the schools to prevent any occurrence of food-borne illnesses. He said they have no control over the regulation of food sold by vendors outside the school premises that is why the role of parents is very important.

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