Jeremy Olson writes about children and families, and is an overscheduled father of two. His blog tackles the best and worst of parenting, families, health and love. He wants to hear from you - what's going on in your house?

Do MN schools undermine their own efforts to promote healthy eating?

Posted by: Jeremy Olson Updated: November 1, 2012 - 12:31 PM

Minnesota looks good by one measure of a new study in that it has a high rate of secondary schools that offer fruits and vegetables as snacks to their high school students. But apparently you can get it all in Minnesota, because the state also has a high rate of secondary schools that offer candy and other unhealthy options to students.

The report released Thursday by Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation puts Minnesota in a group of 11 states where schools generally offer healthy AND unhealty snack options. For example, Minnesota ranked 6th best among states in 2010 with 39.9 percent of surveyed high schools offering fruits and non-fried vegetables. But it also ranked 47th worst among states for having 47 percent of high schools selling cookies, crackers and related baked goods.

The key question: Does Minnesota have the lesser of two evils in that it at least offers healthy options in addition to the unhealthy ones? Or is it fruitless -- pun intended -- because the side-by-side contest between the donut and the apple is going to be no contest?

I'll be gathering more perspective on this issue for Friday's Star Tribune. PARENTS! Contact me at 612-673-7744 or jeremy.olson@startribune.com and tell me your thoughts on the menus at your kids' high schools and whether your kids are eating healthy during the school days.

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