The province is maintaining the existing food and nutrition policy for public schools. Education Minister Ramona Jennex clarified today, June 6, that the policy is not intended to ban items such as cakes from school and community celebrations. A memo sent from provincial staff to schools last month raised questions about how spring flings are treated under the policy. “The policy hasn’t changed,” said Ms. Jennex. “Childhood obesity is a serious concern and it is crucial for us, as a society, to promote healthy living. “But I know spring flings traditionally have an important role in many communities, and I look to principals, parents and school advisory councils to use common sense and make good choices on what is appropriate at these events.” The Food and Nutrition Policy was introduced in 2006, after the province received feedback from more than 1,000 Nova Scotians, including parents, school staff, education partners and health professionals. The policy is intended to ensure that healthy food choices are the most accessible choices in schools. Section 6.1 makes allowance for less-nutritious food alongside healthy options at special functions, including spring flings. The policy is reviewed every two years and will be reviewed again in the coming school year. “We will continue to consult parents, schools and our partners in health and education, and only make changes based on consultation,” Ms. Jennex said. “We must work together to teach our children that the healthy choice is the best choice.” The province will release a comprehensive plan to tackle childhood obesity later this week. That plan is based on advice from more than 1,100 groups and people who participated in the consultation. The food and nutrition policy is online at www.ednet.ns.ca/healthy_eating .