Omaha school district encourages healthy eating

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- An Omaha school district has a new food and wellness policy designed to encourage healthier snacks and minimize the risk for children with dangerous food allergies.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that school board members in the Westside School District approved the policy last month, acknowledging it'll be a big shift for parents used to celebrating birthdays by passing out sweets.

Under the policy, any food distributed for birthdays or class events must be commercially packaged.

Snacks in elementary schools must adhere to a list of district-approved treats, including fruit, SkinnyPop popcorn, Goldfish and Oreos. The list's items exclude peanuts or tree nuts, and provide gluten-free options.

School officials say the increase in food allergies and gluten sensitivities make homemade foods without a list of ingredients a threat to some students.