Wellness Policies on Physical Activity and Nutrition
Whereas, children need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive;
Whereas, good health fosters student attendance and education;
Whereas, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are responsible for two-thirds of deaths in the United States, and major risk factors for those diseases, including unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and obesity, are often established in childhood;
Whereas, regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self- esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels;
Whereas, 100% of District High School students must receive 1 full credit in Physical Education in order to complete the requirements for graduation, it is understood that 27% of high school students participate in at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity on all 7 days of the week, and 29% attend physical education classes daily;
Whereas, only 2% of children (2 to 19 years) eat a healthy diet consistent with the five main recommendations from the Food Guide Pyramid;
Whereas, nationally, the items most commonly sold from school vending machines, school stores, and snack bars include low-nutrition foods and beverages, such as soda, sports drinks, imitation fruit juices, chips, candy, cookies, and snack cakes;
Whereas, school districts around the country are facing significant fiscal and scheduling constraints; and, community participation is essential to the development and implementation of successful school wellness policies;
Thus, the Lone Oak Independent School District is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children's health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. Therefore, it is the policy of the Lone Oak Independent School District that:
- The school district will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing district-wide nutrition and physical activity policies.
- All students in grades K-12 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
- Foods and beverages sold or served at school will meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Qualified child nutrition professionals will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; will accommodate the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the student body and meal planning; and will provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.
- To the maximum extent practicable, all schools in our district will participate in available federal school meal programs (including the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program (including after-school snacks), Summer Food Service Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program.
- Schools will provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between health education and school meal programs, and with related community services.
To achieve these policy goals:
I. School Health Councils
The school district and/or individual schools within the district will create, strengthen, or work within existing school health councils to develop, implement, monitor, review, and (as necessary) revise school nutrition and physical activity policies. The councils also will serve as resources for school sites for implementing those policies. (A school health council consists of a group of individuals representing the school and community, and should include parents, students, representatives of the school and community, and should include parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, members of the school board, school administrators, teachers, health professionals, and members of the public.)
II. Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Sold and Served on Campus
Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:
- Be appealing and attractive to children;
- Be served in clean and pleasant settings;
- Meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal statutes and regulations;
- Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;(*1)
- Serve only low-fat (1%) unflavored and fat-free flavored milk (*2) and nutritionally equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA); and
- Ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain. (*3)
Schools should engage students and parents, through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods sold through the school meal programs in order to identify new, healthful, and appealing food choices. In addition, schools should share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students. Such information could be made available on menus, a website, on cafeteria menu boards, placards, or other point-of purchase materials.
Breakfast: To ensure that all children have breakfast, either at home or at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn:
- Schools will, to the extent possible, operate the School Breakfast Program.
- Schools will, to the extent possible, arrange bus schedules and utilize methods to serve school breakfasts that encourage participation, including serving breakfast in the classroom, "grab-and-go" breakfast, or breakfast during morning break or recess.
- Schools that serve breakfast to students will notify parents and students of the availability of the School Breakfast Program.
- Schools will encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials, or other means.
Lunch: To ensure that all children have access to lunch, either a sack lunch provided from home or a meal at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn:
- Schools will, to the extent possible, operate the School Lunch Program.
- Schools will serve lunch to students and will notify parents and students of the availability of the School Lunch Program.
- Schools will encourage parents to provide a healthy lunch for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials, or other means.
- Schools will permit students without funds to purchase up to 2(two) lunch meals, allowing the student's pre-paid meal account to obtain a negative balance of -$5.50.
Free and Reduced-priced Meals: Schools will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals (*4). Toward this end, schools may utilize electronic identification and payment systems; provide meals at no charge to all children, regardless of income; promote the availability of school meals to all students; and/or use nontraditional methods for serving school meals, such as "grab-and-go" or classroom breakfast.
Meal times and Scheduling: Schools:
- Will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch;
- Should try to schedule meal periods at appropriate times, (e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.);
- Should not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities.
- Will schedule lunch periods to follow recess periods (in elementary schools);
- Will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks; and
- Should take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).
Qualifications of School Food Service Staff: Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the school meal programs. As part of the school district's responsibility to operate a food service program, we will provide continuing professional development for all nutrition professionals in school. Staff development programs should include appropriate certification and/or training programs for child nutrition directors, school nutrition managers, and cafeteria workers, according to their levels of responsibility. (*5)
Sharing of Foods and Beverages: Schools should discourage students from sharing their foods and beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some children's diets.
III. Foods and Beverages Sold Individually
Elementary Schools: The school food service program will approve and provide all food and beverage sales to students in elementary schools. Given young children's limited nutrition skills, food in elementary schools should be sold as balanced meals. If available, foods and beverages sold individually should be limited to plain water, low-fat and non-fat milk and dairy products, fruits. 100% fruit or vegetable juice with no added sweeteners, non-fried vegetables, and whole grain bread products. In addition, any food sold on the campus must meet all the specific nutrient standards: calorie limits, sodium limits, fat limits, and sugar limits.
Middle/ Junior High and High Schools: In middle/junior high and high schools, all foods and beverages sold individually outside the reimbursable school meal programs (including those sold through a la carte (snack) lines, vending machines, student stores, or fundraising activities) during the school day, will meet the following nutrition and portion size standards:
- Allowed: plain water or carbonated water without added caloric sweeteners; 100% fruit and vegetable juices (plain or carbonated) 12oz or less; 100% fruit/vegetable based drinks that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners (plain or carbonated) 12oz or less; unflavored low-fat or flavored fat-free fluid milk and nutritionally-equivalent nondairy beverages (to be defined by USDA);
- Not Allowed: soft drinks containing nutritive sweeteners; sports drinks containing nutritive sweeteners; iced teas; fruit-based drinks that contain less than 100% real fruit juice or that contain additional caloric sweeteners; beverages containing caffeine, excluding low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk (which contain trivial amounts of caffeine).
- A food item sold individually:
- Entree items will have no more than 350 calories;
- Snack/side items will have no more than 200 calories;
- All items will have no more than 35% of its calories from fat (excluding reduced fat cheese, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and other nut/seed butters, dried fruit with nuts and/or seeds with no added nutritive sweeteners or fats, seafood with no added fat);
- All items will have less than 10% of its calories from saturated (excluding reduced fat cheese, nuts and seeds and nut/seed butters, dried fruits with nuts and/or seeds with no added nutritive sweeteners or fats;
- All items will contain 0g of trans trans fat;
- All items will have no more than 35% of its weight from total sugars (excluding dried/dehydrated fruits or vegetables with no added nutritive sweeteners, dried fruits with nutritive sweeteners for processing and/or palatability);
- Snack/side items will contain no more than 230mg per serving* (starting July 1, 2016, snack/side items must contain less than 200mg sodium);
- Entree items will contain no more than 480 mg of sodium per serving.
- A choice of at least two fruits and/or non-fried vegetables will be offered for sale at any location on the school site where foods are sold. Such items could include, but are not limited to, fresh fruits and vegetables; 100% fruit or vegetable juice; 100% fruit/vegetable-based drinks that do not contain nutritive sweeteners; cooked, dried, or canned fruits (canned in fruit juice or light syrup); and cooked, dried or canned vegetables (that meet the above fat and sodium guidelines). (*8)
- Limit portion sizes of foods and beverages sold individually to those listed below:
- 1.25oz for chips, crackers, popcorn, cereal, tail mix, nuts, seeds, dried fruit;
- 1.8oz for cookies;
- 2oz for cereal bars, granola bars, pastries, muffins, doughnuts, bagels, and other bakery items;
- 4 fl.oz for frozen desserts, including, but not limited to, fat-free ice cream, sherbet, and fruit juice sorbet;
- 8oz for non-frozen yogurt;
- 12 fl.oz for beverages, excluding water; and
- The portion size of a la carte entrees and side dishes, including potatoes, will not be greater than the size of comparable portions offered as part of school meals. Fruits and non-fried vegetables are exempt from portion-size limits.
Fundraising Activities: To support children's health and school nutrition-education efforts, school fundraising activities will not involve food or will use only foods that meet the above nutrition and portion size standards for foods and beverages sold individually, if the intended consumption of the fund-raising activity is on the school campus and during school hours. In addition, schools will encourage fundraising activities that promote physical activity.
Snacks: Snacks served during the school day will make a positive contribution to children's diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage. Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on the timing of school meals, children's nutritional needs, children's ages, and other considerations.
Rewards: Schools will discourage the use of foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (above), as rewards for academic performance or good behavior. However, if a ticket or token is given to a student for good behavior or good grades- i.e., a behavioral or performance award-and no money or other form of payment is exchanged in order to acquire the ticket or token, the exchange of the reward ticket or token is not considered a sale to the student, and therefore is acceptable (*9). Schools will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment.
Celebrations: Each school campus will limit classroom celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than four events per year. When the parents of students in a classroom agree to donate funds toward the purchase of treats to be shared by all children in the classroom for special occasions, food and beverage items served are not subject to the Competitive Food and Beverage Nutrition Standards. If a student is given food and/or beverage items at no charge (no form of payment, donation, or other contribution exchanged for the item), these items are not subject to the Competitive Food and Beverage Nutrition Standards. Food Provided by parents or guardians. Food provided by parents or guardians is considered to be food given to students and is not subject to the Competitive Food and Beverage Nutrition Standards - i.e., a birthday celebration, adoption anniversary celebration, any ethnic or racial celebration at classroom level.
- Elementary schools' designated celebrations will be: Christmas (the last week of school before the end of the year); Valentines (the week including February 14th each calendar year); and two more designated events as determined by campus authorities.
- Middle Schools' designated celebrations will be: BETA Auction and Fundraiser; and three more designated events as determined by the campus authority.
- High Schools' designated celebrations will be: 2 FCCLA Sponsored Events; and two more designated events as determined by the campus authority.
IV. Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion and Food Marketing
Nutrition Education and Promotion: Lone Oak Independent School District aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. Schools should provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:
- Is offered at each grade level as part of a sequential, comprehensive, standards based program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;
- Is part of not only health education classes, but also classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences, and elective subjects;
- Includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens;
- Promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices;
- Emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise);
- Links with school meal programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services;
- Teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing; and
- Includes training for teachers and other staff.
Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting: For students to receive the nationally recommended amount of daily physical activity (i.e., at least 60 minutes per day) and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class. Toward that end:
- Classroom health education will complement physical education by reinforcing the knowledge and self-management skills needed to maintain a physically-active lifestyle and to reduce time spent on sedentary activities, such as watching television;
- Opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into other subject lessons; and
- Classroom teachers will provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.
Communications with Parents: The district/school will support parents' efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. The district/school will offer healthy eating seminars for parents, send home nutrition information, post nutrition tips on school websites, and provide nutrient analyses of school menus. Schools should encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks and to refrain from including beverages and foods that do not meet the above nutrition standards for individual foods and beverages. In addition, the district/school will provide opportunities for parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community.
The district/school will provide information about physical education and other school-based physical activity opportunities before, during, and after the school day; and support parents' efforts to provide their children with opportunities to be physically active outside of school. Such support will include sharing information about physical activity and physical education through a website, newsletter, or other take-home materials, special events, or physical education homework.
Food Marketing in Schools: School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, schools will limit food and beverage marketing to the promotion of foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually (above). (*10) School-based marketing of brands promoting predominantly low-nutrition foods and beverages (*11) is prohibited. The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.
Examples of marketing techniques may include, but are not limited to, the following: logos and brand names on/in vending machines, books or curricula, textbook covers, school supplies, scoreboards, school structures, and sports equipment; educational incentive programs that provide food as a reward; programs that provide schools with supplies when families buy low nutrition food products; in-school television, such as Channel One, and free samples or coupons. Marketing activities that promote healthful behaviors (and are therefore allowable) include: vending machine covers promoting water; pricing structures that promote healthy options in a la carte lines or vending machines; sales of fruit for fundraisers; and coupons for discount gym memberships.
Staff Wellness: Lone Oak Independent School District highly values the health and well-being of every staff member and will plan and implement activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Each district/school should establish and maintain a staff wellness committee composed of at least one staff member, school health council member, local hospital representative, dietitian or other health professional, recreation program representative, union representative, and employee benefits specialist. (The staff wellness committee could be a subcommittee of the school health council) The committee should develop, promote, and oversee a multifaceted plan to promote staff health and wellness. The plan should be based on input solicited from school staff and should outline ways to encourage healthy eating, physical activity, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle among school staff. The staff wellness committee should distribute its plan to the school health council annually.
V. Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education
Daily Physical Education (P.E.) K-7: All students in grades K-7, including students with disabilities, special health-care needs, and in alternative educational settings, will receive daily physical education (or its equivalent of 150 minutes/week for elementary school students and 225 minutes/week for middle school students} for the entire school year. All physical education will be taught by a certified physical education teacher. Student's involvement in other activities involving physical activity (e.g., interscholastic or intramural sports) will not be substituted for meeting the physical education requirement. Students will spend at least 50 percent of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.
Daily Recess: All elementary school students will have at least 20 minutes a day of supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which schools should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment. Schools should discourage extended periods (i.e., periods of two or more hours) of inactivity. When activities, such as mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, schools should give students periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.
Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School: All middle and high schools will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs or intramural programs. All high schools, and middle schools as appropriate, will offer interscholastic sports programs. Schools will offer a range of activities that meet the needs, interests, and abilities of all students, including boys, girls, students with disabilities, and students with special health-care needs.
Physical Activity and Punishment: Teachers and other school and community personnel will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment.
Safe Routes to School: The school district will assess and, if necessary and to the extent possible, make needed improvements to make it safer and easier for students to walk and bike to school. When appropriate, the district will work together with local public works, public safety, and/or police departments in those efforts. The school district will explore the availability of federal "safe routes to school" funds, administered by the state department of transportation, to finance such improvements. The school district will encourage students to use public transportation when available and appropriate for travel to school, and will work with the local transit agency to provide transit passes for students.
Use of School Facilities Outside of School Hours: The Lone Oak Independent School District will impose reasonable contractual restrictions on the use of school spaces and facilities that will be available to students, staff, and community members before, and after the school day, on weekends, and during school vacations. These spaces and facilities may also be made available to community agencies and organizations offering physical activity and nutrition programs by means of the consent of the School Administration. School policies concerning safety will apply at all times.
VI. Monitoring and Policy Review
Monitoring: The superintendent or designee will ensure compliance with established district wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. In each school, the principal or designee will ensure compliance with those policies in his/her school and will report on the school's compliance to the school district superintendent or designee. School food service staff, at the school or district level, will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the superintendent (or if done at the school level, to the school principal). In addition, the school district will report on the most recent USDA School Meals Initiative (SMI) review findings and any resulting changes. If the district has not received a SMI review from the state agency within the past five years, the district will request from the state agency that a SMI review be scheduled as soon as possible.
The superintendent or designee will develop a summary report every three years on district wide compliance with the district's established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies, based on input from schools within the district. That report will be provided to the school board and also distributed to all school health councils, parent/teacher organizations, school principals, and school health services personnel in the district.
Policy Review: To help with the initial development of the district's wellness policies, each school in the district will conduct a baseline assessment of the school's existing nutrition and physical activity environments and policies. (*12) The results of those school-by-school assessments will be compiled at the district level to identify and prioritize needs.
Assessments will be repeated every three years to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement. As part of that review, the school district will review our nutrition and physical activity policies; provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity; and nutrition and physical education policies and program elements. The district, and individual schools within the district, will, as necessary, revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.(*1)