LEXINGTON CITY SCHOOL SYSTEM
The Lexington City School System is committed to providing a school environment that enhances learning and development of lifelong wellness practices. To accomplish these goals:
Will the students of today be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents?
Does the face of a child suffering from malnutrition resemble the face of a child adversely affected by over-nutrition?
Will academic success become more and more difficult for students to attain as lifestyle choices diminish a child’s ability to learn?
If you know the answers to these questions, you are one of millions who are aware that discouraging statistics emerge every day regarding the general health of America’s school aged population. The School Nutrition Association (formerly American School Food Service Association) was established in 1946, shortly after lawmakers passed the National School Lunch Act, allowing healthy, affordable meals for America’s school children. Leaders in 1946 were not content with the level of malnutrition in America.
Today, school foodservice professionals continue to build on the record of healthy, safe, and nutritious meals – as well as nutrition education.
A healthy school environment goes beyond school meals in the cafeteria. A healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight requires a combination of healthy food choices and appropriate amounts of physical activity. All foods made available on school campuses should offer children nutritious choices, and physical activity should be incorporated into the school day as often as possible. The healthy, physically active child is more likely to be academically successful.
With the recent passage of the Act (Public Law 108: Section 204) requiring each Local Education Authority (LEA) to have a local wellness policy in place, the federal government recognizes that a coordinated effort by the entire community including child nutrition professionals, school board members, parents, students, school administrators, and teachers is warranted. These efforts involve adults serving as role models and community members being informed of the policies that improve the long-term health and wellbeing of students. The LEA has a strategic role to play and now is the time to take action.
Materials provided by the School Nutrition Association are intended to assist in the development of a local wellness policy as required by law. Our challenge now is to educate our communities on choices that will ensure a lifetime of good health.
The Lexington City School System’s coordinated health advisor will initiate SHAC ( School Health Advisory Council) consisting of educators, school administrators, parents, students, health care providers, nutrition director, and community leaders to advise, review, evaluate and communicate the school’s participation in this Wellness Policy.
• Nutrition education information will be reviewed by a qualified, credentialed nutrition professional (e.g. School Food and Nutrition Specialist, (SFNS), a Registered Dietitian (R.D), who is specialized in school-based nutrition)
• The school cafeteria serves as a “learning laboratory” to allow students to apply critical thinking skills taught in the classroom.
• Nutrition education will involve sharing information with families and the broader community to positively impact students and the health of the community.
• School district(s) will provide information to families that encourage them to teach their children about health and nutrition and to provide nutritious meals for their families.
• Students will be encouraged to start each day with a healthy breakfast.
• Physical activity will be integrated across curricula and throughout the school day. Movement can be made a part of science, math, and social studies and language arts.
• Physical education courses will be the environment where students learn, practice and are assessed on developmentally appropriate motor skills, social skills and knowledge.
• Policies ensure that state-certified physical education instructors teach all physical education classes.
• Policies ensure that state physical education classes have student/teacher ratio similar to other classes.
• Time allotted for physical activity for children ages K-8th grade is a minimum of 90 minutes or more per week.
• Provide a daily recess period, which is not used as a punishment or a reward. Consider planning recess before lunch since research indicates that physical activity prior to lunch can increase the nutrient intake and reduce food waste.
• Physical activity participation will take into consideration the “balancing equation” of food intake and physical activity.
• Physical education includes the instruction of individual activities as well as competitive and non-competitive team sports to encourage life-long physical activity.
• Adequate equipment is available for all students to participate in physical education. Physical activity facilities on school grounds will be safe.
• The school provides a physical and social environment that encourage safe and enjoyable activity for all students, including those who are not athletically gifted.
• Information will be provided to families to help them incorporate physical activity into their student’s lives.
• Schools are encouraged to provide community access to and encourage students and community members to use the school’s physical activity facilities outside of the normal school day.
• Schools encourage families and community members to institute programs that support physical activity, such as a walking programs.
Other School Based Activities
• After-school programs will encourage physical activity and healthy habit formation.
• Local wellness policy goals are considered in planning all school-based activities (such as school events, field trips and assemblies).
• Support for the health of all students is demonstrated by hosting health clinics, health screenings, and helping to enroll eligible children in Medicaid and other state children’s health insurance programs.
• Schools organize local wellness committees comprised of families, teachers, administrators, and students to plan, implement and improve nutrition and physical activity in the school environment.
Nutrition Guidelines for All Foods on Campus
• Nutrition information for products offered a la carte is readily available in the Nutrition Director’s Office.
• Families, teachers, students and school officials, under the guidance provided by the Smart Snacks in Schools Program concerning the sales of competitive foods, have a voice in choosing the competitive food selections for their local schools. This is initiated through the SHAC program and also through voluntary student surveys and taste tests.
• Promotional activities will be limited to programs that are requested by school officials to support teaching and learning. All promotional activities in schools will be connected to activities that encourage physical activity, academic achievement or positive youth development and are in compliance with local guidelines.
• Food providers will be sensitive to the school environment in displaying their logos and trademarks on school grounds, as is set forth the Smart Snacks in School guidelines.
• Classroom snacks and/or parent sponsored parties feature healthy choices.
• Nutrition education is incorporated during classroom snack times, not just during meals. Any food or beverage sold during the school day will be in compliance with the Smart Snacks in School Program. Any foods and beverages sold at fundraisers will be encouraged to include healthy choices and provide age appropriate selections for elementary and middle schools.
• Advertising messages are consistent with and reinforce the objectives of the education and nutrition environment goals of the school.
• Advertising of foods or beverages in the areas accessible to students during meal times must be consistent with established nutrition environment standards.
Child Nutrition Operations
• The child nutrition program will aim to be financially self-supporting. However, the program is an essential educational support activity. Budget neutrality or profit generation will not take precedence over the nutritional needs of the students. If subsidy of the child nutrition fund is needed, it will not be from the sale of foods that have minimal nutritional value and/or compete nutritionally with program meals.
• The child nutrition program will ensure that all students have affordable access to the varied and nutritious foods they need to stay healthy and learn well.
• The school will strive to increase participation in the available federal Child Nutrition Programs (e.g. school lunch, school breakfast, after-school snack and summer foodservice programs).
• Employ a food service director, who is properly qualified, certified and/or credentialed according to current professional standards, to administer the school food service program and satisfy reporting requirements.
• All food service personnel shall have adequate pre-service training in food service operations and will receive educational training as mandates by USDA, Federal, State and Local Policies are updated.
• Students are encouraged to start each day with a healthy breakfast. Breakfast that follows the guidelines set aside by USDA under the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will be offered daily.
Food Safety/Food Security
A la Carte –
Any food items sold from the school’s cafeteria that are not a part of a reimbursable meal items sold separately or in addition to a reimbursable meal.
Food Security –
Having adequate resources to access enough food to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
State of having the food supply safe from harm.
Food made available on campus –
Foods available to students, staff, or visitors for purchase or consumption on campus includes:
USDA considers a fundraiser to be an event that includes any activity during which currency/tokens/tickets/etc. are exchanged for the sale/purchase of a product in support of the school or school-related activities.
Smart Snacks in School –
National standards set forth by USDA to insure that all foods and beverages sold to students in schools during the school day meet nutritional guidelines. Program designed to assist schools to make the healthy choice the easy choice by offering students more of the foods and beverages we should be encouraging - whole grains, fruits and vegetables, leaner protein, lower-fat dairy – while limiting foods with too much sugar, fat and sodium.
Keys to Excellence: http://www.schoolnutrition.org/KEYS.aspx?ID=1158
Nutrition Integrity: http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Index.aspx?id=1107
Action for Healthy Kids: http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/
National Association for Sport and Physical Education: http://www.aahperd.org
National Association of State Boards of Education: http://www.nasbe.org
United States Department of Agriculture-Team Nutrition: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/
Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/
Food and Research Action Center:www.frac.org
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, February 2005: Nutrition and the School Environment.
Alabama Action for Healthy Kids:
Texas Department of Agriculture: Square Meals http://www.squaremeals.org/