Steamboat: So long to soda

District implementing new beverage policy at schools



Lindsey Lambek restocks a vending machine at the Steamboat Springs middle school Wednesday afternoon. Lambek said the machine has only had nutritious drinks for the past couple of years.

— The days of Steamboat Springs students cracking open a Mountain Dew in school will soon be over.

Within the next 30 days, bottled water, sports drinks, low-calorie juice drinks, teas and diet soda will be the only available beverages in the Steamboat Springs High School vending machines.

Water and 100-percent juices will be the only for-sale beverages available to elementary and middle school students.

"The goal is not to give the students juice flavored beverages with sugar in them," said Teresa Wise, the nutrition services director for the Steamboat Springs School District. "We are trying to get the most pack for the punch."

Soda and fruit-flavored juices are considered "empty calories" because they lack nutritional value.

Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Cadbury Schweppes and the American Beverage Association are committed to helping students learn the importance of balancing calories consumed with calories burned, Wise said.

The change in direction ties into federal laws prohibiting the sale of carbonated beverages during breakfast and lunch in schools that receive government funding for school meal programs.

Steamboat is a client of Pepsi, so the district will follow the company's initiatives, as well as the direction given in the district's School Wellness Policy.

"We aren't eliminating vending machines," Wise said. "They will only contain items Pepsi is allowed to sell like Gatorade, Aquafina, diet soda and tea."

Wise, who is in her first year with the district, came to Steamboat from Illinois, where similar guidelines already are in place.

"Each state decides what they want to do in addition (to federal regulations)," she said.

- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail


JazzSlave 10 years, 7 months ago

The food police are on the beat, and won't accomplish a thing. This is nothing more than an initiative to make administrators feel good. Meanwhile, the kids will continue to eat & drink what they choose, and spend their money in town instead of on campus.


JustSomeJoe 10 years, 7 months ago

yeah right, so why even bother. Those machines should just stock Coke and Mountain Dew since the kids are just going to go to town to get it anyway. That way the school district can profit from the sugar high too.

Maybe we should stock the high school machines with cold beer because those kids are also going to go out and get it somewhere else.


Magpie 10 years, 7 months ago

"Water and 100-percent juices will be the only for-sale beverages available to elementary and middle school students."

Just want to point out that my children can purchase milk and chocolate milk at lunchtime at the Elemetnary school.


xx 10 years, 7 months ago

justsomejoe is right, what the heck, why not sell marijuana brownies since those too may be available.

personally I'd rather have my kids drink beer than sugared up soda.


JazzSlave 10 years, 7 months ago

JustSomeJoe & xx:

So soda in the vending machine=illegal sale of controlled substances to minors.

Exaggerate much, guys?


Gladys 10 years, 7 months ago

I would rather my kids drank "regular" soda than the chemical sugar substitutes in "diet" soda. Somehow empty calories are more appealing than brain tumors. Overall though, I would say NO soda...and of course no beer or marijuana brownies either...then they will NEVER leave HS.


JustSomeJoe 10 years, 7 months ago

jazzslave - it's called sarcasm, not exaggeration. (also known as wit in some circles) You made the point that the kids are going to do it anyway, so why take it out of the machines? I used sarcasm to demonstrate the fallacy in that argument. In no way do I think we should have beer or MJ brownies in school soda machines, but they are going to drink beer. Ergo - the exaggeration of putting beer in soda machines.

Let me approach it directly, you say that taking out the regular sodas - the empty calories - won't do a thing. Does that mean we shouldn't do it? This program isn't there to only make administrators feel good. Obesity is a nationwide epidemic, although not as prevalent in our outdoor oriented community. Does that mean we shouldn't participate in a nationwide campaign to reduce obesity - particularly in elementary schools where bad eating habits can be cemented for life?

Overall, I found your comment short-sighted. you mainly said, why bother, kids are going to do it anyway. That's not my school of parenting.


corduroy 10 years, 7 months ago

My highschool where I grew up never offered soda. I think its a bad thing to have available at schools. Our vending machines had powerade and juices. You could also get milk from the lunch line. I think if kids want soda and the parents are ok with it, they should just bring it with them And why are they allowing just diet soda? Because there's no sugar? Nevermind all the other things that aren't very healthy in soda to begin with


tropicalmonster 10 years, 7 months ago

I agree with this change, this could have an impact in kids life and future but.... what happens when they out of school? they can look for the "forbidden" sodas, beers, energy drinks, etc. Its not a matter of changing things, its important to explain to the kids the reasons behind this change. There should be nutrition classes in schools so they can learn to balance their diets when they are out of school.


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