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FILE CODE: 3542.1 reg
Healthy eating and an active lifestyle are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, full physical and mental growth, and lifelong health and well-being. The school district shall help all students, staff members and parents by providing information about nutritious food choices and enjoyable physical activity choices that can last a lifetime. To that end, the entire Warren school community shall be encouraged to model healthy eating and an active lifestyle as a valuable part of one’s daily routine.
1. FMNV: “Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value,” which means those foods contained in the following categories: soda water, water ices, chewing gum, hard candy, jellies and gums, marshmallow candies, fondant, licorice, spun candy and candy coated popcorn.
2. Pleasant Dining Environment: The standard for areas where students eat lunch, and shall include adequately sized tables and chairs/benches, seating that is not overcrowded, a relaxed environment for socializing, reasonable limits on the amount of noise, rules for safe behavior and cleanliness.
3. School Day: The “school day” is defined as the academic school day, which ends when students are officially dismissed for the day.
4. Snack: A snack is considered to be a small portion of food eaten to supplement meals, meal components and entrees.
5. Special Celebrations: This term applies to school-wide events such as spirit day or theme day or times when the entire school at once celebrates a holiday or event such as Halloween, Cinco de Mayo, etc. It also applies to individual classrooms that choose to celebrate something on their own (such as a birthday party).
6. Sugar: “Sugar” is defined as any class of water-soluble crystalline carbohydrates having a sweet taste. Sugar also comes in syrup form. Other words for sugar include, but are not limited to, fructose, sucrose, lactose, maltose, glucose, galactose, honey, dextrin, malt, molasses, maple syrup and corn syrup.
B. Lunch Periods
1. Lunch tables shall be cleaned before each lunch in a way that maximizes the removal of germs and dirt while recognizing the sensitivity of certain students to cleaning agents that are either harsh or toxic.
2. Every effort will be made to provide a pleasant dining environment and at least 25 minutes for student lunch periods, including a minimum (whenever possible) of 20 minutes to eat lunch after it is served. In all cases, adequate time shall be provided to wash hands before lunch, with bottled hand sanitizer or with soap and water.
3. If food distribution takes place in a given lunch period, procedures shall be implemented for maximum efficiency, so as to minimize time wasted on handing out food items and/or on waiting for delivery from a vendor.
C. PTOs and Outside Groups
1. Items sold after school hours as fundraisers are not restricted by this policy or regulation, but groups conducting fundraisers (such as the PTOs) are encouraged to seek other products to sell for fundraising purposes in order to send a consistent message to all students.
2. Food items sold to students by the PTO during lunch shall meet the following guidelines to the greatest extent possible and practical (vendors used by the PTOs to provide items for sale shall comply with these guidelines, and PTO food sale representatives are the individuals who shall make every reasonable effort to comply with the guidelines).
a) All contracted vendors shall be able to provide a nutrition analysis of their prepared dishes to include the following:
- Standard portion sizes
- Grams of protein
- Grams of fat (including saturated fat and trans fat)
- Grams of carbohydrate (including simple sugars and dietary fiber)
- List of ingredients in descending order
If they are unable to provide the above, they must submit a standardized recipe that includes all ingredients and the amounts and the actual yield of the recipe, which can then be analyzed by those who are reviewing the menu options.
b) After reviewing the nutritional content of the menu selections, the PTO reviewers shall use as a general guide (not as a firm restriction) the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, which recommend:
- Keeping total daily fat intake between 25 – 35 percent of calories for children and adolescents 4 – 18 years of age
- Ensuring most fats come from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils
- Establishing an upper limit on daily fat intake
Since the PTO is only providing one meal a day, a practical way to approach the above would be to set a limit of no more than 45% of the calories from fat per lunch item (but, again, this is a guideline and not a firm restriction).
c) The PTO shall recommend that parents supplement their child’s food day lunches with healthy accoutrements such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain baked goods and water.
3. Portion sizes for items sold during PTO “Food Days” shall embrace the guiding philosophy of “moderation is the key.”
4. PTOs are encouraged to pool resources and share ideas to the greatest extent possible when it comes to providing food to students, in order to capture efficiencies, take advantage of lessons learned, etc.
D. Recess and Exercise
1. Every effort will be made to give students in grades K-5 at least 25 minutes of outdoor recess every day (weather permitting).
2. Building principals shall encourage their teachers to provide frequent and creative opportunities for students to move about during the school day, including such things as stretching exercises, instructional strategies that employ movement, etc.
3. Physical activity during indoor recess shall be encouraged to the greatest extent possible (e.g., rotating classes to the gym if space is available).
E. Education Initiatives—Nutrition/Wellness
Each school shall annually educate groups within the school community on the following important aspects of nutrition and wellness:
1. Students: The importance of healthy eating, exercise, washing hands, etc.
2. Staff: Timing of class parties (e.g., no parties right before lunch), value of regular student motion, value of modeling healthy eating and physical activity, etc.
3. Parents: Healthy choices for birthday or class parties, to include:
- A list of healthy foods that could be served (the list of suggested items shall be circulated by school personnel at the beginning of each year)
- Suggestions for a special craft, a special game, a special story, etc. (i.e., center the celebration around a special activity instead of around food)
- Suggestions for how to serve mini-sized treats (if treats are to be served)
- Suggestions for taking the students outside for a special activity, or for reserving the APR for a special game
It is important to note that the district is not banning any foods from entering school premises (with the exception of selling/distributing foods containing peanut products—see below), but rather the district is choosing not to sell or distribute certain foods AND the district is encouraging parents to adjust in other ways (such as class parties) to help send a consistent message school-wide with regard to healthy eating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
1. The following items shall not be served, sold or given out as free promotion anywhere on school property at any time before the end of the school day (see Para F.2 below for certain infrequent exemptions to this otherwise blanket dictate):
a. Foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV) as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture.
b. All food and beverage items listing sugar, in any form, as the first ingredient.
c. All forms of candy.
2. Food and beverages served during special celebrations, including class birthday parties, or served during curriculum-related activities shall be exempt from the restrictions outlined in Paragraph F.1 above, with the exception of foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV).
3. Schools shall make every effort to minimize products containing trans fats. All snack and beverage items sold or served anywhere on school property during the school day, including items sold in a la carte lines, vending machines, snack bars, school stores and fundraisers shall meet the following standards (based on the manufacturer’s nutritional data or the official nutrition facts label):
a. No more than eight grams of total fat per serving, with the exception of nuts and seeds.
b. No more than two grams of saturated fat per serving.
4. The provisions of this policy and regulation do not apply to: medically authorized special needs diets pursuant to federal regulations; school nurses using FMNVs during the course of providing health care to individual students; or special needs students whose Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) indicates their use for behavior modification.
5. Schools shall make available for student purchase during lunch skim (nonfat) milk, 2% milk and whole milk, as well as bottled water and 100% fruit/vegetable juices. Beverage containers shall not exceed twelve (12) fluid ounces, with the exception of containers for water and skim milk and 2% milk. Whole milk containers shall not exceed eight (8) fluid ounces.
6. Students shall be encouraged to drink water throughout the school day. To that end, water bottles (labeled w/ student names) shall be allowed in all school buildings at all times.
7. All school personnel (including PTO Food Day volunteers) shall be cognizant of the various needs of students with food allergies. No foods containing any peanut products shall be sold or distributed at any time during the school day. To ensure compliance with this important safety measure, the school nurse shall inspect all food that is brought into the school for an individual classroom’s party or event, and the parent bringing in the food shall include an ingredient list with the food. This inspection is intended to be a safeguard against unintended exposure of students with allergy concerns to allergens in foods. The nurse shall also coordinate with the classroom teacher and with parents of students with allergy concerns so that alternate food items are available for those students, as needed. School nurses will be on hand for school-wide events/celebrations during school hours that involve food. It is impractical for the nurse to inspect the food at such school-wide events, so that is not required, but the nurse will coordinate with the building principal to ensure prudent safety precautions are followed at all times during these events.
8. School personnel involved in the enforcement of this regulation (as well as in the education of students and parents) include nurses, gym teachers, paraprofessionals and building principals.
9. Food sold or distributed in faculty rooms is exempt from this policy and regulation as long as students do not have access to those rooms at any time during the school day. Organizers of adult events such as Teacher Appreciation Week lunches, Welcome Back breakfasts, etc., shall consider healthy choices of food items offered in order to send a consistent message school-wide.
10. Staff members and all other adults in the school building shall be encouraged to model healthy eating during the school day, especially when in front of students for extended periods of time.
11. These regulations do not apply to items brought from home by students for their own personal use.
12. In interpreting Policy #3542.1 and this accompanying regulation, school officials shall attempt at all times to balance the following four (sometimes competing) priorities, in no particular order. Consistency among schools is to be encouraged, but it is recognized that individual schools may choose, within reason, to give more weight to one or another priority (as long as policy and regulation are not violated):
a. Nutrition: We seek to teach and model healthy eating and lifestyle habits.
b. Allergies: It goes without saying that this is an important safety matter.
c. Education: Balance is imperative, as excessive amounts of time spent on “celebrations” comes with an educational cost in the classroom (as do certain food excesses, such as too much sugar).
d. Climate: It is important for students to like being in school.
Date: March 27, 2006
Revised: July 1, 2009, 4/12/2010