School Nutrition Wellness Resources
 

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School Wellness

students and foodDid you know:

  • Food and physical activity is linked to students’ academic success. Both physical activity and healthy eating may help improve academic achievement and classroom behavior.
  • Healthy eating and regular physical activity play a powerful role in preventing obesity and chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and stroke — the three leading causes of death among adults aged 18 years or older.
  • Schools play an important role in teaching and reinforcing healthy habits in school-aged children by the creation of environment that allow them to make healthful choices on a daily basis.

Local School Wellness Policy
Background:

In 2004, recognizing the important role schools play in ensuring children’s wellness,  Congress passed a school wellness policy law (Public Law 108-265, Section 204). This law required each local educational agency (LEA) participating in a school nutrition program (like the National School Lunch Program) to establish, for all schools under its jurisdiction, a local school wellness policy.   In 2010, with the passage of the Healthy Hunger Free Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-296, Section 2004), new provisions for the local wellness policy include a greater emphasis on implementation, evaluation, and public reporting on the progress of the school wellness policy goals.   This comparison chart of the 2006 and 2010 local wellness policy requirements lists the new provisions. 

School Nutrition Program and Montana Team Nutrition Program staff are available to provide training and technical assistance to school districts in striving to meet the school wellness policy requirements.  Contact Chris Emerson, 406.444.2502 or Katie Bark, R.D., 406.994.5641 for assistance. You can also obtain the contact information for School Nutrition Program staff by clicking on Contact at the top left hand side of this website.

eat smart to play hardWhat are the Requirements of the School Wellness Policy?

 Each local education agency must designate one or more school official to ensure that each school within the agency complies with the local wellness policy.
At a minimum, a local school wellness policy must:

  • Include goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness
  • Include nutrition guidelines to promote student health and reduce childhood obesity for all foods available in each school district
  • Permit parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators, and the general public to participate in the development, implementation, and review and update of the local wellness policy
  • Inform and update the public (including parents, students, and others in the community) about the content and implementation of local wellness policies
  • Be measured periodically on the extent to which schools are in compliance with the local wellness policy, the extent to which the local education agency’s local wellness policy compares.

Use this School Wellness Checklist to ensure your policy is meeting the requirements Word Version

School Nutrition Program and Montana Team Nutrition Program staff are available to provide training and technical assistance to school districts in striving to meet the school wellness policy requirements. Obtain the contact information for School Nutrition Program staff by clicking on Contact at the top left hand side of this website.

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Montana Made Tools for Meeting the Policy RequirementsWellness in Action

Montana School Wellness in Action:  A Step-By-Step Guide to School Wellness Policy Implementation
Follow the six steps outlined in this guide to develop district wide process in implementing your school district’s wellness policy.

Montana Model Policies
Montana School Boards Association Model School Wellness Policy (2006)
Montana Small Schools Alliance Model School Policy for schools with a National School Meals Program (2006)
Montana Small Schools Alliance Model School Policy for schools without a National School Lunch Program (2006)

Farm to School is a coordinated approach to helping connect students to their food.  It can help by teaching them how to grow their own food through gardening; allowing them to enjoy locally grown foods in their school meals; and connect them with local ranchers and farmers.  Check out our Farm to School website for a variety of resources to help you implement a farm to school program at this link:  www.opi.mt.gov/Farm2School 

Interested in hosting a healthy school fundraiser? Check out the Harvest Montana Healthy School Fundraiser: How to Kit

Do you want your students to waste less food, drink more milk and behave better?  Then you may want to explore the strategy of implementing a Recess Before Lunch schedule.  Check out the Recess Before Lunch: A  Guide for Success     www.opi.mt.gov/recessbeforelunch

Are you interested in providing healthful snacks to your students? Then check out the following links:

Tools for Montana Schools

2013-2014 Healthy Habits Challenge For Students

A New Approach to School Fundraising

School Nutrition Program and Montana Team Nutrition Program staff are available to provide training and technical assistance to school districts in striving to meet the school wellness policy requirements. Obtain the contact information for School Nutrition Program staff by clicking on Contact at the top left hand side of this website. clearclear

Helpful Resources for Implementation, Evaluation and Monitoring Progress

How can your school support healthy eating & physical activity. Find out more! http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/npao/strategies.htm

School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity: 
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity are a great foundation for implementing and evaluating school-based healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices for K-12 grade students. Each of the nine guidelines is accompanied by a set of implementation strategies. Check them out HERE.

HealthierUS School Challenge Award Program
Take this challenge as an effective way to implement your school wellness policy.
Use this checklist to meet the award program criteria but also as setting goals for nutrition standards for all meals, nutrition education, and physical activity.

Resource to Sustain and Strengthen Local Wellness Initiatives This resource was developed for schools districts and school sites that are starting to evaluate components of their local wellness policies. The basic principle of this resource is that effective evaluation is an important tool for improving school environments to achieve student wellness. It is targeted to school personnel that aren’t trained in evaluation and who do not have evaluation a core job components.

Action for Healthy Kids Wellness Policy Tool
Action for Healthy Kids’ tool designed to help local education agencies identify policy options and write their own local wellness policies

Policy in Action: A Guide to Implementing Your Local School Wellness Policy
California Project Lean’s roadmap for implementing local wellness policies

Do you want to engage your students in the school wellness process? Check out Fuel Up to Play 60
which is a fun and effective tool for empowering students to take charge by making small changes in their own habits and the school environment.

South Dakota Model Wellness Policy

School Nutrition Program and Montana Team Nutrition Program staff are available to provide training and technical assistance to school districts in striving to meet the school wellness policy requirements.

Obtain the contact information for School Nutrition Program staff by clicking on Contact at the top left hand side of this website.

Get 60 Minutes
Did you know that less than half of youth get the recommended 60 minutes of daily vigorous to moderate-level physical activity? A new interactive infographic from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) shows how students can meet those requirements, based on recommendations from the 2013 IOM report Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School.

Get 60 Minutes

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Wellness Committee and Community Involvement

School Wellness Committee Worksheet

Sharing your School Wellness Success with the Media

Sample Yearly Action Plan (Bozeman)

School Nutrition Program and Montana Team Nutrition Program staff are available to provide training and technical assistance to school districts in striving to meet the school wellness policy requirements. Obtain the contact information for School Nutrition Program staff by clicking on Contact at the top left hand side of this website.

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Sharing Your District’s School Wellness Policy Plan and Progress

Five easy ways to communicate your school wellness policy to the school community

  1. Have an open invitation for parents and the community to the District or School Wellness Committees
  2. Post the Minutes of the Meetings on the district website or Social Media sites (i.e. Facebook, etc).
  3. Post the School Wellness Work Plan and Progress Report on the district website
  4. Write a quarterly or biannual School Wellness Article for the school newsletter or local paper
  5. Provide an annual report to the School Board of Trustees on the school wellness policy plan to review the progress made on meeting the goals. Support the school day just got healthier!

For additional ideas, resources and sample messages to use in getting the word out on School Wellness, go to the website The School Day Just Got Healthier

School Nutrition Program and Montana Team Nutrition Program staff are available to provide training and technical assistance to school districts in striving to meet the school wellness policy requirements. Obtain the contact information for School Nutrition Program staff by clicking on Contact at the top left hand side of this website.

 

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girl with tray

Recess Before Lunch

The Montana Team Nutrition Program and School Nutrition Program staff can assist schools in the implementation of a Recess Before Lunch (RBL) policy. We hope the information found in the guide in helpful to you.

Why do it?

Reports from Montana schools indicated it helps:

  • Improve student behavior on the playground, in the cafeteria and classroom.
  • students waste less food and drink more milk. This leads to increased nutrient intake.
  • Improve the cafeteria atmosphere.
  • Children are more settled and ready to learn upon returning to the classroom.

Recess Before Lunch Guidance

What's in the Recess Before Lunch Guidebook?

Please note: the following sections comprise the entire guidebook. Print off just the sections that you need, or print all sections for the entire guidebook.

Additional Resources

Acknowledgements:

Special thanks to the Montana pilot school staff and students for their cooperation and willingness to share their experiences and advice on the implementation of a Recess Before Lunch policy. Pilot schools were Highland Park School in Lewistown, Meadowlark School in Conrad, Valier Elementary in Valier and Central Middle School in Whitefish.recess before lunch

For More information Contact:

Montana Team Nutrition Program
Montana State University
PO Box 173360
Bozeman, MT 59717
406.994.5541
Molly Stenberg, RD
stenberg@montana.edu
Katie Bark, RD
kbark@mt.gov

or

School Nutrition Programs
Office of Public Instruction
PO Box 202501
Helena, MT 59620
406.444.2501
Chris Emerson, MS, RD
cemerson@mt.gov

Nutritious SEN$E

fruit bowl

All it Takes is Nutritious SEN$E: Students Encouraging Nutritious Snacks Everyday!

Are you interested in providing and promoting healthful foods and beverages at your student store, but are not sure how to make this change so that business success will follow? If so, you have arrived at the right place. This toolkit will guide you through key concepts and considerations necessary to make these positive changes. In the end, your school store will not only continue to be profitable, it will contribute to student health and well being in your school.

Why make changes that encourage nutritious snacking?

  • Healthy eating optimizes growth.
  • Healthy eating helps prevent chronic disease.
  • Healthy eating betters academic achievement.
  • Some Montana schools have found out that students will choose healthful items if they are readily accessible and affordable at student stores.

What’s in this toolkit?