A Federal (Public Law 108-268) and State (TCA 49-6-2307) mandate requires every school system to implement a Wellness Policy. The minimum policy requirements are to set goals for nutrition education, physical activity, provide nutrition guidelines for all foods available in school, provide guideline for school meals (which is different than other items that are offered in bake sales, treats or parties), and a plan for measuring implementation/evaluation.
The education and physical activity are already being provided as is the evaluation. The Federal Government determines the guidelines for actual meals that are served. Under this policy, the nutritional guidelines for all foods available in school have been listed below as well as a list of allowable treats/snacks. These items must meet minimum nutritional guidelines.According to Tennessee Code Annotated – TCA 49-6-2307 of Tennessee State law:Item portions shall meet the following standards (of which the wellness policy mandates for all foods available to students passed in 2005 to be fully in place 2006-07):
- Calories from total fat must be at or below 35%, excluding nuts, seeds, and nut butters. This is determined by dividing the calories from the total fat by the total calories and multiplying by 100. If calories from saturated fat are not available, multiply the grams of saturated fat by 9 to equal calories from saturated fat.
- Calories from saturated fat must be at or below 10%. This is determined by dividing the calories from saturated fat by the total calories and multiplying by 100. If calories from saturated fat are not available, multiply the grams of saturated fat by 9 to equal calories from saturated fat.
- Total sugar must be at or below 35% by weight. This is determined by dividing the grams of sugar by the gram weight of the product and multiplying by 100. This includes both naturally occurring and added sugars. This limit does not include any fruits and vegetables as defined above.
- 230mg sodium or less
(Fat 35%, saturated fat 10%, sugar 35%, sodium 230mg)
If you find a food item that meets the guideline that is creative please share it with us as this is a work in progress. There has been the following allowance for students and schools:
It is allowable for Parents to bring in a treat (such as cupcakes) for a child’s birthday and for each school to have a maximum of two (2) celebrations a year that would include foods of minimum nutritional value (for example: Christmas and Valentines). This would teach celebrations and not being rewarded with food. Each celebration will be under the direction of the parents. Teachers will be allowed to utilize food items in educational experiences that have applicable associations with the curriculum that gain prior documented approval from the principal.
Snacks, Parties, and School
Snacks are important for providing children with nutrients to support growth and learning. Parties are a fun opportunity to celebrate. However, school snacks and parties are not required to be cupcakes, ice cream, potato chips, and soda pop. With a little imagination, snacks and parties can be fun and still provide healthy, nutrient-rich foods.
However, if each student brings in cake for his/her birthday, eating cake becomes a regular occurrence. All students with birthdays in the same month should celebrate on one day. Try to limit parties with cake and other sugary or high fat foods to less than once per month.
Examples of Healthy Snacks
Baked Cheetos, Baked Doritos, Baked Lay’s, Baked Ruffles, Munchies, Goldfish, graham crackers, Nabisco 100 Calorie packs, fruit snacks, pretzels, Ritz chips, Teddy Grahams, crunchy granola bars, string cheese, fresh fruit, 100% fruit snacks, fresh veggies, sandwiches (ham, turkey, low-fat cheese, and low-fat condiments), low-fat puddings, low-fat yogurt, trail mix, low-fat fudge bar, Mayfield sherbet Push-Ups, applesauce, Jell-O cups, sunflower seeds, angel food cake, Pop Tart (one strawberry, frosted brown-sugar cinnamon, or frosted blueberry), low-fat muffins, and most any low-fat ice cream.
Please note: Snack time will be observed by CSH/School Nurse.
Classroom party ideas are available from the University of California Cooperative Extension office in Ventura County and their California Children’s 5 Day Power Play! Campaign.