In 2004 the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act was enacted, mandating that schools districts participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program create local wellness policies no later that the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year. This federal requirement has compelled schools across the nation to work together with parents and communities to develop good nutrition and physical education/activity policies. According to the legislation, school districts were to have established a local “school wellness policy” that, at a minimum:
1. Includes nutrition guidelines for all foods available on the school campus during the school day.
2. Provides an assurance that guidelines for school meals are not less restrictive than those set by the US Secretary of Agriculture.
3. Includes goals for nutrition education, physical activity and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness in a manner that the local education agency determines appropriate.
4. Establishes a plan for measuring implementation of the local wellness policy.
5. Involves parents, students and representatives of the “school food authority” (i.e. school nutrition program), the school board, school administration and the public in the development of the local wellness policy.
Resources and Links
Fruit and Vegetable School Wellness Policies
The Produce for Better Health Foundation offered this publication with great information on how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into the school environment.
How to Implement a School Wellness Policy
This 10-step document is a great basic guide for implementing wellness policies.
From Cupcakes to Carrots – School Wellness Policies One Year Later
This PDF looks at where schools are in the implementation process for Wellness polices (fall 2007)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health (CDC/DASH) offers several resource links from their web site on wellness policies, including a link to the language that created the Wellness Policy mandate – The Child Nutrition and Women Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act of 204. There are also links to Team Nutrition and the Action for Healthy Kids: Wellness Policy Tool. http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/healthtopics/wellness.htm
AASA, the American Association of School Administrators produced an issue of their quarterly publication that focused on school policy and practice in combating childhood obesity and discusses how districts can encourage healthy eating and active living within the school environment. The publication is available for download from AASA's website, http://www.aasa.org/focus/content.cfm?ItemNumber=7970%20
The National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA) put together a set of model wellness policies that can be used by school districts in development of policies. Click on the link below to access their information.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has information on sample policy language. This link will take you to the USDA Team Nutrition web site where you can find examples of local wellness policies as well as implementation tools and resources. USDA Food and Nutrition Service