21 Edmonton schools are making the choice to say no to treats. They’re called Apple Schools and the theory is that proper balanced nutrition and cutting out sugary treats makes for better learning and healthier kids.
St. Kateri is an Apple School, and Kindergarten teacher Nicole Carignan tells Global News the results speak for themselves.
Those kids that are coming in with a full breakfast and water to drink, they’re coming in ready to get started. We avoid that silliness, their mind is clear rather than being hyped up on sugar or something like that.”
She says they simply made a change.
“We encourage parents to bring in healthy snacks, rather than those cupcakes and sugars and cake and things like that, because there are so many allergies to nuts and things like that, fruits and vegetables are the healthy choice.”
Birthdays and holidays are celebrated with healthy selections like fruits and vegetables, and very often, a book to share with the class.
Parents seem to agree, Jimmy Phul has kids in St. Kateri.
“That is the way it should be. The alternates that we have, veggies and apples and fruit, that’s best way to go.”
Laura Anderson agrees.
“I love being part of an Apple school because I think there’s too much sugar in our diets anyway.”
Dietitians agree as well, for the most part. Nutritionist Christa Sczebel says the science backs up the claim.
“Refined sugars and carbohydrates release very quickly into the bloodstream and so that can cause hyperactivity and also, it’s a big immune suppressor.”
But she cautions toward moderation too.
“I don’t think deprivation or restriction is good at all, because that can create a poor relationship with food. It can cause poor eating behaviors like overeating or binge eating later on.”
Of the 21 participating schools in Edmonton, 15 are Public and 6 are Catholic.