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Guidelines spell end of Ohio schools' pink cookie

ELYRIA, Ohio — A favorite — and locally famous — cafeteria treat is off the menu forever in one northeast Ohio school system because of new federal nutritional guidelines.

The government's edict to provide healthier foods and cut fats and cholesterol will put an end to the sale of the traditional Elyria pink cookie — a buttery sweet treat with pink icing that has been a favorite of city school kids for four decades.

The cookie, which a former district food services director developed from her grandmother's recipe, had gained a cult following through the years and was once named the "Best Cafeteria Cookie" by Cleveland magazine, according to The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram (http://bit.ly/1s8WrUs ).

Scott Teaman, food services director with Sodexo Inc., the district's contracted food provider, said the federal guidelines for school snacks are strict, and the pink cookie just can't make the cut.

"We could modify the recipe by changing the size, using whole-grain flour or putting on less icing, but in doing that you are not making the same cookies," Teaman said. "There is only one way to do the pink cookie, and to do it any other way would not do it justice."

The pink cookies will not disappear completely. Teaman said district bakers will fire up the ovens for special orders at $5 a dozen. Orders will be taken during the week and available for pickup on Fridays.

The district west of Cleveland, like school districts around the county, is changing up cafeteria menus to include more fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains along with fewer calories, less fat and less cholesterol.

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