There's lots of reasons to love Halloween beyond the candy. (Courtesy photo)

There's lots of reasons to love Halloween beyond the candy. (Courtesy photo)

How to enjoy Halloween without all the sugar

Okay, time to admit something to everyone: I love Halloween.

I really do. I love getting into the spirit of the day, the goofy and scary costumes. When my kids were little I loved taking them trick or treating then returning home, passing out treats and seeing whatever was the most popular costume that year.

Oh, and I love all the candy.

But I know better than to go all out on sugar this week.

In fact, we here at SFUSD have high standards for our school food, food sales, and even food served at our celebrations, including Halloween.

Our nutritional Wellness Policy

Our Wellness Policy gives us a framework to promote healthy food choices for students, staff, and families.

Not only are we working to increase healthy eating and physical activity among our students, we are also committed to creating environments that support healthy choices all day long.

What does this look like?

First, our teachers, principals and all school staff are encouraged to promote healthy school environments by eating and drinking things that comply with our Nutrition Guidelines. This means — as many of us know very well in this day and age — foods that are low in saturated fats, sugar, preservatives, etc.

Why do we care what the adults in our schools eat? Because, not only is it a good idea to avoid foods lacking nutrition — we know our students watch the adults in their lives and often pick up the same habits in life.

But we take our kids’ nutrition a step further. We ask that junk food not be used as a reward for students’ academic performance, accomplishments, or even classroom behavior.

And, as you’ve likely heard, we’ve been steadily improving our school meals at the same time.

Good habits make for great learning

And, really, we’re not just trying to be fussy about what our staff and kids eat at school. As an educator I can tell you first-hand that kids who are eating healthy food — by avoiding things like candy and soda and choosing healthy brain foods — are better prepared to learn.

But back to what’s really important

This Halloween I’ll be out at a few school sites to join in the healthy fun. I’ll see kids collecting great stickers at parties, getting exercise during dance parties, and downing some fresh-cut veggies and fruit.

Oh, and I might be in costume … boo!

Learn more about our Wellness Policy.

Vincent Matthews is superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.
education

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Cities including San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley are calling for large grocery and drug store chains to pay employees hazard pay for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Shutterstock)
SF proposes $5 hazard pay law for grocery, drug store workers

San Francisco may soon join the growing number of cities requiring large… Continue reading

Hikers walk along a closed stretch of Twin Peaks Boulevard on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board to vote on future of Twin Peaks Boulevard

The proposal would keep Burnett Avenue gate closed to vehicles, open Portola Drive

Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Klein collects crayons from students in the classroom at Lupine Hill Elementary School on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020 in Calabasas, California. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Newsom, legislators strike deal to reopen California schools

Taryn Luna and John Myers Los Angeles Times Gov. Gavin Newsom and… Continue reading

A sign about proposed development of the bluff at Thornton State Beach in Daly City on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Retreat center proposed at popular state beach

Daly City residents oppose construction on ocean bluffs

City supervisors are calling for an expansion of free summer programs for elementary age kids. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supervisors urge city to provide free summer programs for all SFUSD students

San Francisco supervisors on Monday announced a proposal to expand summer programs… Continue reading

Most Read