Policy 5661 – Health and Wellness

Monroe-Woodbury Central School District Policy Number 5661

HEALTH AND WELLNESS POLICY

Nutrition Education and promotion in the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. The Monroe-Woodbury Central School District will work within the Health and Wellness Committee to develop, implement, monitor, review, and, as necessary revise school nutrition and physical activity policies.  The committee also will serve as a resource to school sites for implementing these policies.  The committee consists of a group of individuals representing the school and community, and includes parents, members of the community, students, food service director, members of the school board, school administrators, teachers, dietitian, and health professionals (including school nurses and school physician).

Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Sold and Served on Campus School Meals

Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:

  • Be appealing and attractive to children
  • Be served in clean, pleasant setting and be environmentally responsible
  • Provide school breakfasts and lunches that should at least meet the nutritional standards required by the USDA School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs found on the website for the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Department: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_05/7cfr210_05.html
  • Serve meals that meet specific standards including, low-fat (1%) and fat-free milk, flavored milk or  nutritionally-equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by the USDA), four (4) fruits and or/non-fried vegetables per day, eliminate trans fats and ensure that half of the offered grains are whole grain
  • At least one fruit and vegetable offering should be fresh, cut up if necessary
  • Purchasing programs and preparation methods will be used to decrease fat, calorie, all types of sugar, and sodium levels in food
  • Based on weekly average a meal should have no more than 28 grams of total fat, 9 grams of saturated, and no more 1100 mg of sodium.  The nutrient standards should at least meet those required by NYSED Child Nutrition Department guidelines for the current meal pattern utilized (currently traditional) found on the website http://portal.nysed.gov/portal/page/pref/CNKC/SMI_pp/Nutrient%20Targets%20Food%20Based.pdf
  • For at least three days a week an individual food should be no more than 16 grams of total fat, 5.5 grams of saturated fat, and sodium no more than 480 mg.  Commercially pre-fried foods will be served no more than two times a week.
  • Every effort will be made to eliminate processed foods from the menu and the food services staff will be encourage to prepare foods on site. Cooking classes and menu planning will be provided by the dietitian and through NYS programs and programs provide by the USDA.

The district will 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, including cultural and ethnic favorites.  In addition, the district will share information about the nutritional content of food items with parents and studentsThis information will be made available through the website and on display in the cafeteria.

Breakfast

To ensure that all children in the District have breakfast, either at home or at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn:

  • The K-12 schools should operate the School Breakfast Program.  If a change needs to be made, Board approval will be required. 
  • Each school should encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials, and other means.
  • Selected cereals will be provided that meet the following standards: cereals must contain at least 3 grams of dietary fiber and no more than 30% of calories from sugars.  For cereals containing raisins and other dried fruits, the percent of sugar can be greater than 30% since the increased sugars come from the fruit.

Free and Reduced-priced Meals

Our schools will continue to make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-priced school meals.  The schools will continue to use electronic identification and payment systems and promote the availability of school meals to all students.  Guidelines for reimbursable school meals will not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the Child Nutrition Act and the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act.

Meal Times and Scheduling

  • After obtaining food, students should have twenty minutes for lunch and ten minutes for breakfast
  • Tutoring, clubs, meetings or activities will not be scheduled during mealtimes unless students may eat during such activities
  • Each school will attempt to schedule lunch periods to follow recess periods (in elementary schools)
  • Each school will provide students with access to hand washing before students eat meals or snacks
  • Each elementary school will provide students with access to tooth-brushing for students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).
  • Vending machines at the middle school will be unplugged during lunch periods so that students will not have access to extra snacks.  The only exceptions will be the water, juice and ice cream machines.

Qualifications of School Food Service Staff

A registered dietitian will be contracted to work with the Director of Food Services to ensure that students will be served breakfast and lunch that not only meets the USDA requirements but is also of the highest nutritional content within the budgetary considerations. The District will hire a registered dietitian as a consultant for at least 80 hours each school year.  School lunch managers will consult with the dietitian in creating new and nutritious selections for students.  Managers and cafeteria workers participate in training programs, according to their levels of responsibility. The dietitian will also help with food taste tests by making suggestions in the preparation and selection of foods.  The Assistant Superintendent for Business will review with the Food Services Director the activities of the dietitian and plan for appropriate utilization of the consultant’s hours.

Sharing of Foods and Beverages

Staff should discourage students from buying and sharing their foods and beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on a significant number of children’s diets.

Foods and Beverages Sold Individually (i.e., foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, such as through vending machines, cafeteria a la carte and snack lines, fundraisers, school stores, etc.)  All foods available on campus during the school day will have as their main objective to promote student health.  It is the responsibility of the food managers to monitor the vending machines and snack lines to ensure that the foods offered follow the guideline.  It is the responsibility of the staff in charge of the school stores and fundraisers to ensure that this policy is being followed.

Elementary Schools

The school food service program in collaboration with the dietitian and the elementary principals should approve and provide all food and beverage sales to students in elementary schools.  Given young children’s limited nutritional skills and the need to model good nutrition taught through the educational programs, food in elementary schools should primarily be sold as balanced meals.   Food and beverages sold individually should be limited to low-fat and non-fat milk, flavored milks, fruits, non-fried vegetables, water, 50% fruit juice/ 50% water combination, water/juice/vegetable combinations and 100% fruit juices, frozen yogurt, frozen puddings, low-fat ice cream and a limited selection of other snacks that follow the guidelines for foods, beverages and portion sizes and are approved by a member of the Committee.  It is the goal of this policy writing committee to evaluate the selections on a yearly basis and over time, with continued nutrition education, further review the selections based on their nutritional content

Middle School/High School

In the middle school, all foods and beverages sold individually outside the reimbursable school meal program (including those sold through a la carte and snack lines, vending machines, student stores, after school-sponsored programs or provided by teachers) during the school day, or through programs for students after the school day, should meet the following nutrition and portion size standards:

Beverages

  • Allowed: water, seltzer water and flavored waters; 100 % fruit and vegetable juices and fruit/ water drinks that contain 50% fruit juice; unflavored or flavored low-fat or fat-free fluid milk, and nutritionally-equivalent nondairy beverages (to be defined by the USDA)
  • Not allowed: beverages containing any additional sweeteners, artificial or natural, soft drinks; fruit-based drinks that contain less than 50% real fruit juice; beverages containing caffeine, taurine, guanana, including iced tea drinks, energy drinks
  • High School ONLY: Beverages containing additional sweeteners, both natural and artificial will be allowed.  Iced-tea and tea/juice combinations will be allowed.  No beverages containing taurine or guanana will be allowed.  Energy drinks will not be allowed.

Foods

  • A food item sold individually in vending machines and snack lines:
    • Should have no more than 30% of its calories from fat, 9 grams of fat maximum (excluding nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and other nut butters) and 10% of its calories from saturated fats.  It will have no trans fats
    • Should have no more than 35% of its weight from added sugars
    • Should contain no more than 300 mg of sodium per serving for chips, cereals, crackers, French fries, baked goods, and other snack items
    • Items other than fruit juices and nuts sold in vending machine should contain no more than 150 calories
    • At least 50% of the items sold in the ice cream machine should be low fat or reduced fat ice cream, or low fat frozen yogurt, or no sugar added products, or frozen 100% juice bars or 100% fruit bars.
  • A choice of at least two fruits and/or non-fried vegetables should 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; fruit/water and /or vegetable-based drinks that are at least 50% fruit juice and that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners; cooked, dried, or canned fruits (canned in fruit juice); and cooked, dried, or canned vegetables (that meet the above fat and sodium guidelines).
  • For the a la carte line, Middle School students will be limited to one a la carte beverage and one other item.  Exception will be made if the student is buying a la carte fruit, water, salad, or yogurt.

Portion Sizes

Limit portion sizes of foods and beverages sold individually to those listed below:

  • One and one-quarter ounces for chips, crackers, popcorn, cereal
  • Two and one-half ounces for trail mix, nuts, seeds, dried fruit
  • Two ounces for cereal bars, granola bars
  • No more than four ounces for bagels
  • No more than two ounces for pastries, muffins, cookies, and other bakery items at the elementary schools and middle school
  • No more than three ounces for pastries, muffins, cookies, and other bakery items at the high schools
  • Five fluid ounces for frozen desserts, including but not limited to, low-fat or fat-free ice cream
  • Eight ounces for non-frozen yogurt
  • No more than twelve fluid ounces for beverages, excluding water and water/fruit/vegetable/juice combinations
  • The portion size of a la carte entrees and side dishes, including potatoes should 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, only 50% of school fundraising activities should involve food.  The foods sold must follow the nutritional guidelines outlined above.  Candy sales are prohibited. The remaining 50% of current school fundraising activities will not involve food.  The District encourages and supports fundraising activities that promote physical activity.  A list of acceptable ideas for fundraising will be available to clubs, teams and other groups involved in fundraising.

School Store

The school stores will only sell food that is within the guidelines outlined above.  No candy will be sold.

Bus Rewards

Bus drivers are encouraged to provide special treats for students that do not involve food.  For those bus drivers who choose, an individually wrapped piece of candy, not exceeding 30 calories, can be given to students as they exit the bus.  This candy is limited to jolly ranchers, lollypops, candy canes, and lifesavers.  These items have been chosen because of their low caloric content and they do not contain substances that cause allergic reactions.  Bus drivers should only give these snacks prior to winter and spring breaks, end of the year, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day.  The elementary bus of the month program will continue with a certificate for low fat ice-cream, low fat frozen yogurt or frozen 100% juice bars.

Snacks

Snacks served during the school day should 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.  Individual schools should determine if and when to allow snacks based on timing of school meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages and other considerations.  The District will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, staff and parents through the Health Services Newsletter, the web site and the principal’s letters.

Rewards

Teachers and staff should not use foods or beverages for rewards except for those that meet the nutrition standards for food and beverages sold individually (above), and should not withhold food or beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment.

Celebrations/ Class Parties/ Food brought from home for the whole class

Based on recommendations from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatricians, principals, teachers and staff shall limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one per class per month.  Each party should include no more than one snack and beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for food and beverages sold individually (above).  Take home bags of candy are not permitted.

The District will disseminate a list of healthy party ideas to parents and teachers.

Advisories

Teachers and staff shall limit food in advisories to once a month.  Only  foods and beverages that meet the above standards should be included. 

School-sponsored Events/Dances/Athletic Events

Every attempt should be made to have foods and beverages offered or sold at school-sponsored events outside the school day meet the standards for food and beverages sold individually during the school day.  At the middle school beverages will meet the standards outlined above and 100% of snacks will meet the standards for foods.

NUTRITION EDUCATION

Nutrition Education and Promotion, Monroe-Woodbury Central 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 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 family and consumer science, 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, and 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 the new food pyramid guidelines;
  • Includes training for teachers and other staff, such as workshops during Superintendent Conference days and at other staff development opportunities.
  •  The nutritional part of each curriculum will be reviewed on a regular basis, such as summer curriculum work and the five-year curriculum review.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

All students in the district will have support, opportunities, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.

Formal Instruction in Physical Education (PE)

ALL K-12 students in the district will receive instruction in PE on a regular basis, taught by certified physical education teachers.  The District is aligned with state and federal guidelines to provide instruction in a safe school setting.  Due to time requirements and instructional constraints, it is highly recommended that “pull-outs” from elementary PE be eliminated.

Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting

Research links physical activity to academic success by improving concentration, memory and classroom behavior, therefore, promoting increased learning.  Opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into the academic curriculum.  Teachers and staff will be offered staff development opportunities in how to integrate short, structured physical activities during the school day.

Physical Activity and Punishment

Recognizing the importance of periodic activity breaks during the school day, school personnel will not use loss of recess as punishment (unless serious safety issues to self or others exists or at the discretion of the building administrator based upon individual situations).  Conversely, physical activity (running laps, push-ups) will not be used for punishment.

Medical Excuses from Physical Education

A parent or guardian note to excuse a student from PE due to minor illness or injury will be accepted for 1-2 days.  At the discretion of the school nurse, participation may be modified to “as tolerated”.  A doctor note must be presented to excuse a student from PE for 3 days or longer.  The school nurse has the right to discuss the injury or illness with the student, parent and/or doctor for further clarification.  Extended medical releases may be modified to “as tolerated” by the school nurse after approval from the doctor.  A student who is excused from PE may not participate in recess, intramurals, or interscholastic sports.

Staff Wellness

The Monroe-Woodbury School District highly values the health and well-being of every staff member.  Implementation of activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle will benefit each member in a positive manner.  Each building’s Healthy Schools Committee should develop, promote and oversee a multifaceted plan to promote staff health and wellness.  The plan should be based on the input solicited from the school staff and outline ways to encourage healthy eating, physical activity, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle among school staff.

Future Considerations

Frozen desserts include only low-fat and fat free ice-cream, frozen yogurt and frozen 100% juice bar
Beverages containing added caloric sweeteners, especially high fructose syrup be eliminated from beverages at the high school
The district will contract with local farmers to provide fresh fruits and vegetables
Continue to decrease the amount of processed food and begin cooking foods on site such as soups and main courses
Encourage all clubs, sports teams, other outside groups using school facilities to follow the nutritional guidelines
Eliminate snack lines at elementary except for Fridays as a treat
Sodium content of meals and food items be reduced

 

Section 5000: Non-Instructional/Business Operations
Title: Health and Wellness Policy
Policy Number: 5661
Status: Active
Adopted: July 12, 2006
Last Revised: October 10, 2012