Ketchup and fries

Scott Patterson |

Long Island School District Cracks Down On Ketchup

November 16, 2018 - 2:44 pm

MANORVILLE, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- Some people put ketchup on everything, from eggs to even soup. But one Long Island school district is cutting the amount of ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise packets it gives to students.

The Eastport-South Manor Central School District is putting a limit on condiments at its schools, allowing only one or two packets per student -- depending the meal.

Assistant Superintendent Tim Laube in a letter to parents says ketchup and other condiments "have little or no nutritional value.''

"We're just adhering to the USDA guidelines set by the feds, everything follows certain criteria that are set by the state and the federal government," Laube said.

Dietitian Christa Tschernkowitsch applauds the school district's efforts.

"I want to applaud the effort of the school. I think they are trying their best to make it a healthier environment," she said. "Ketchup is an empty calorie meaning it has little or no nutritional value. 

But she says there's further steps that can be taken.

"What's more important is what they are putting the ketchup on cause let's face it kids aren't putting ketchup on salad. They're putting them on French fries and chicken fingers and burgers," Tschernkowitsch said. "Those are the items more so that need to be limited but in moderation ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard it's not that big of a deal."

While some may feel organic ketchup could be a healthier alternative, Tschernkowitsch explains it has the same amount of sugar and calories as the regular ketchup.

She says there are other natural condiments that can be used such as guacamole, hummus or a fresh tomato.