According to the Washoe County School District, elementary and middle school cafeterias do not distribute soft drinks during lunch... although there are vending machines that sell the fizzy drinks at some middle schools.
But, as of July 2006, the district says no public schools in the state will be allowed to serve or sell soft drinks a half hour before and after school.
This shift in the school system is exactly why soft drink makers like Coca-Cola and Pepsi are shifting as well... offering more diet soda, water and fruit drinks.
Lynice Anderson, Washoe Medical Center, Dietician, says "It's kind of a catch-22. You can take it out of high school and middle school, but I think they're going to drink it anyway, just walk across the street to 7-11."
Even though elementary schools already banned soft drink machines, Lynice Anderson points out, they know how to get around the banned machines by bringing their own.
She says drinking high calorie drinks is an acquired taste, she recommends limiting your child's soft drinks and switching to diet, if you haven't already.
"You could look at the ratio of obesity in our kids and when you're having a 64 ounce big gulp, that's 4-5-600 calories and you're not eating anything. So, it's really empty calories."
Anderson says it should not come down to choosing between carrots and candy bars. The more healthy, good tasting choices available, the more likely your child will make a better choice. And, if your child is beyond sack lunches and hot meals...she says relax, you still have a chance to change their habits. "I say focus on breakfast and focus on dinner. It's only one meal out of all three. Choose your battles."
Anderson actually helps families fight the healthy eating battles through group or individual nutrition programs at Washoe Medical Center.