USDA’s Team Nutrition and the Healthy Meals Resource System have developed a Web site to help local educational agencies meet the local school wellness policy requirements and establish a healthy school nutrition environment. Check out the new School Nutrition Environment and Wellness Resources Web site for information and resources on:
- Local School Wellness Policy Process steps to put the policy into action
- Required Wellness Policy Elements to meet the federal requirements
- Healthy School Nutrition Environment improvements related to food and physical activity
- Samples, Stories, and Guidance ideas for schools
- Research Reports on school wellness
- Grants/Funding Opportunities related to child nutrition and physical activity
Tools for Schools is a one-stop, back-to-school online resource that helps schools offer healthier and appealing meals and snacks that meet national nutrition standards. It is targeted to the broad school community – administrators, principals, teachers, parents, and school nutrition professionals – to help them build a healthier school environment.
Team Nutrition Resources
Check out the Team Nutrition library for resources, lesson plans, recipes, guidance to improve the quality of school meals, and materials for nutrition education and promotion. Some examples include:
- Fact Sheets for Healthier School Meals help schools implement the major recommendations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans within the school meal pattern requirements and nutrition standards.
- Serving Up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum is a collection of classroom materials that helps elementary school teachers integrate nutrition education into Math, Science, English Language Arts, and Health to introduce the importance of eating from all five food groups using the MyPlate icon and a variety of hands–on activities.
- Healthier Middle Schools: Everyone Can Help is a series of communication tools designed to help you engage teachers, principals, parents, foodservice managers and students in school wellness efforts.
- Making it Happen: School Nutrition Success Stories includes success stories of innovative K-12 schools across the United States that improved their school nutrition environments and the nutritional quality of foods and beverages offered and sold on school campuses.
- Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbooks for Homes, Child Care Centers, and Schools include 30 delicious, kid-approved recipes developed by teams of school nutrition professionals, chefs, students, parents and other community members. Schools can easily incorporate these standardized recipes into their National School Lunch Program menus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has online resources to assist school districts in designing, implementing, and promoting elements of local school wellness policies:
Be sure to take a look at CDC's School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity. This resource presents guidelines for developing, implementing, and evaluating school-based healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices for K-12 students. They also provide useful strategies for facilitating the implementation of the guidelines and cover topics including policy, and school environment recommendations, physical education, school meals, competitive foods, school health eservices, school employee wellness, health education and teacher qualifications and training.
CDC and Bridging the Gap also published a series of research briefs that provide an assessment of policies across school districts nationwide, related to seven wellness policy components. State agencies, school districts, and schools can use these briefs to identify areas of opportunity to strengthen wellness policy components. Check out Promoting Health through Local School Wellness Policies.
Resource to Sustain and Strengthen Local Wellness Initiatives is a guide to help school districts conduct an evaluation of local wellness policies. This guide details step-by-step instructions for conducting an evaluation, deciding what the results mean, and communicating the findings to stakeholders. (Developed by NFSMI and funded, in part, by USDA.)
Model Local School Wellness Policy, developed by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, has been thoroughly reviewed by the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service and is in compliance with the statutory requirements for local school wellness policies, as per the proposed regulation, “Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.” This model wellness policy can be used by local educational agencies to help create their local school wellness policy and meet the minimum Federal standards for local school wellness policy implementation.