Chocolate milk back on the menu: N.B. ends ban on flavoured milk and juice in schools

Chocolate milk can begin flowing in New Brunswick schools again.

The previous Liberal government introduced a new nutrition policy earlier this year that banned the sale of chocolate milk and juice at the province’s schools.

The policy required that foods have higher nutritional value and be low in saturated fat, sugar and sodium.

Premier Blaine Higgs vowed to roll back the controversial ban during the election campaign.

Wednesday, the new Conservative government issued a release to say it had updated the school nutrition policy.

Flavoured milk and 100 per cent fruit juice will now be sold again in schools.

“We have heard from New Brunswickers who have expressed concerns about the level of restrictions included in the previous nutrition policy,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy, in a news release.

“These changes will provide flexibility and empower local school communities to make informed decisions about the health and well-being of their students.”

The province says school districts will also be allowed “some flexibility” in providing “the healthiest food options possible” for breakfast programs. Schools and districts will also be “empowered to organize fundraisers and special events that respond to their unique needs.”

“I am pleased that we have found a way to protect the integrity of the nutrition policy and will continue to promote and model healthy choices for our students while allowing for some flexibility where it makes sense,” said Robert Fowler, chair of the Anglophone South school district education council.

“It is especially important that we have ensured our breakfast and lunch programs will continue to provide a much-needed service in our schools,” he said.

Some parent groups said the ban extended to what could be sold during fundraisers that generated revenues for such things as school supplies and a lunch program for students who had no meals. As a result, some fundraisers were put on hold.

At the time, Higgs said the Liberal government hadn’t read the policy closely enough before it was approved.

— With a file from The Canadian Press

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