MANORVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island school district is setting limits for students some parents don’t like.
It is setting a quota for ketchup and other condiments.
Letters recently went out to parents of students in the Eastport-South Manor Central School District spelling out the new policy.
There will be a cap on ketchup. Gone are the days of uncontrolled pumping. This school year there are limits — one to two packets per child, depending upon the meal they purchase, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported exclusively Wednesday.
Mustard and mayonnaise are now being managed, too.
“The state enforces that we have to limit salt and sugar intake. It is a health issue and the state has these guidelines that we have to obey,” said Tim Laube, the assistant superintendent of the Eastport-South Manor Central School District.
Laube called it a ketchup conundrum, adding his own son is hooked.
“In my house ketchup is a vegetable,” Laube said.
And yet, the old pump method put children in control of their own portion size of what school officials say has little or no nutritional value.
That’s not exactly a school crisis, resident James Forney said.
“I don’t see people abusing ketchup. Maybe it’s the gateway condiment, I don’t know, but I don’t think so,” Forney said.
Another parent called the condiment quota un-American.
“You’re taking their rights away,” the parent said.
“My daughter, for instance, she puts ketchup all over her chicken, so to get her to eat her chicken she has to have the ketchup,” another parents added.
CBS2’s Gusoff asked Christine McDermott, a registered dietitian at East End Nutrition, if the sugar and sodium in ketchup adds up.
“There is 20 calories in the packet, 160 milligrams of sodium, so we’re estimating it’s like 7 percent of your total intake of sodium,” McDermott said.
Yet, she’s in the ketchup camp.
“To put that limit on is a little much. I think there are other places we can work on,” McDermott said.
School officials say its about more than counting calories. They’re counting on state aid, which could be in jeopardy if they don’t follow state and federal sugar and sodium recommendations.
Parents are free to send in extra condiments to feed their child’s cravings, but dietitians are urging parents to exercise moderation.