Topeka Students Trip To Vending Machines Won't Taste So Sweet

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)_ Auburn Washburn students trip to school vending machines may be bittersweet.

The federal regulations that took effect July 1st require sugary snacks and soda to be taken off vending machines shelves.

"If you look at the food ingredient items, if it says 'sugar' as the first ingredient, you can't sell it. So, basically selling sugar to students- that's over," said USD 437 Food Service Supervisor Stan Vallis.

Vallis says federal regulations require sugary candies and caffeinated drinks to be removed from middle and high school vending machines. School breakfasts will also have a limited amount of sodium.

"The idea is doing the right thing for the student. You know it is right to eliminate sugar and sodium, you know that's good, but how strict you should limit those, that's the debate," says Vallis.

Elementary schools have a limit of 550 mg of sodium for breakfast, while high school students are allowed more sodium. Vallis says at elementary schools a biscuit is 410mg of sodium and milk is 110mg, which makes breakfast food items very limited.

While parents like the idea, some students dislike the changes.

"If there's healthier options, then they are going to eat it rather than eating Snickers. I think its a fantastic idea! I think they should have healthier options everywhere," said Topeka parent, Chelsea Betsworth.

"I think it's the school's responsibility to maybe limit the access and I think that's what they are trying to do," said Topeka parent, Sandra Ward.

"I think it's messed up. You need something to keep you awake," said student, Jacob Goodman.

"Well, I can get it at a store I guess," said student, Reno Groggins.

"I think it's a bad idea, personally. Yeah, I mean I don't really like it because like during passing time I do go get something. They probably shouldn't have got rid of it," said student, Connor Chapman.

Vallis also says the cost of the healthier whole grain food products comes at a higher price.

Tuesday was was the first day of enrollment as well. This is the first time the district switched to centralized enrollment at Washburn Rural High School.