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 healthier school nutrition environment. Check out the recently updated School Nutrition Environment and Wellness Resources Web site for information and resources on:
- Local School Wellness Policy Process steps to build, implement, and monitor your policy
- Wellness Policy Elements to meet the federal requirements
- Success Stories
- 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 Team Nutrition's Resource Library, technical assistance tools and materials, recipes, and guidance to improve the quality of school meals, as well as materials for nutrition education and promotion, such as curricula, lesson plans, and posters. Some examples include:
- Popular Events Idea Booklet provides fun ways to promote nutrition and physical activity at elementary and middle schools. It includes ideas for 20 themed events, both large and small and handouts, templates, and other free resources to support events.
- 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.
- 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.
- Elementary School Posters help you promote healthy food choices throughout the school. Use them with taste tests, special events, or to add some fun to your breakfast program.
- 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.
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:
- Putting Local School Wellness Policies into Action: Stories from School Districts and Schools
- School Health Index
- Local School Wellness Policy
Be sure to take a look at CDC's School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity. This resource presents evidence-based guidelines for developing, implementing, and evaluating school-based healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices for K-12 students. This resource also provides useful strategies to implement the guidelines including policy development, the school environment, physical activity and physical education, school meals, competitive foods, school health services, school employee wellness, health education and teacher and staff qualifications and training.
CDC and Bridging the Gap research program also published a series of research briefs and a PowerPoint presentation that provides an assessment of policies across school districts nationwide, related to seven wellness policy components. State agencies, school districts, and schools can use these resources to identify areas of opportunity to strengthen wellness policy components. Check out Promoting Health through Local School Wellness Policies.
CDC also developed a set of resources called Parents for Healthy Schools to help schools and school groups (e.g., parent teacher associations (PTA), parent teacher organizations (PTO), school wellness committees) engage parents to create healthy school environments. Use these tools to educate and engage parents and learn about all of the ways parents can support your wellness efforts.
Model Local School Wellness Policy, developed by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, was thoroughly reviewed by the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, and was compliant 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. The model policy is currently being updated to reflect the requirements in the final rule and is anticipated to be released before September 2016.
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 Institute for Child Nutrition and funded, in part, by USDA.)