New nutrition curriculum law won't have huge impact on Eau Claire students

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – Local school officials say the bill Governor Scott Walker recently signed into law updating nutrition curriculum guidelines won’t change much for Eau Claire students.

The new law updates standards for what Wisconsin students learn about nutrition. It requires nutrition curriculum in schools to be updated every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services.

"What the state of Wisconsin has informed school districts to do is to make sure that the food and nutrition portion of the curriculum that they deliver stays updated with best practices, evidence based practices,” said David Oldenberg, Director of Academic Services for the Eau Claire Area School District.

The district says nutrition inside and outside of the classroom has always been a focus. "We serve a lot of fruits and vegetables. A lot of whole grains, reduced fats and low, fat free milk," says Sue Brown, Food and Nutrition Director.

The district uses USDA’s “My Plate” as a resource to help Health and Family Consumer Science teachers update curriculum annually which means the district is already meeting the guidelines the new law puts in place. The district teaches health education from 7th grade through high school, also offering Family Consumer Science courses that cover nutrition.

"In all of those courses, the curriculum is informed by the USDA'S plan," says Oldenberg. The USDA recommends roughly 50 percent of student's diet in a day come from fruits and vegetables. School officials say the nutrition curriculum taught in Eau Claire schools reflects that recommendation.

"What’s going on in the classroom in the curriculum and what’s being taught in the lunchrooms through what we're offering really reinforce one another," said Brown. While the new law won’t change much for Eau Claire students, officials say they appreciate the effort from lawmakers to improve the health of Wisconsin students.

Officials say the guidelines offer many benefits to students. “A healthier lifestyle, choices on the diet that they make and empowering the students to be mindful of the nutrition that goes into their bodies to be well rounded adults who make great decisions based on evidence,” says Oldenberg.

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