St Francis of Assisi's Wellness Policy on Physical Activity and Nutrition

Preamble

Whereas, children need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive;
Whereas, good health fosters student attendance and education;
Whereas, obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the last two decades, and physical inactivity and excessive calorie intake are the predominant causes of obesity;
Whereas, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are responsible for twothirds of deaths in the United States, and major risk factors for those diseases, including unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and obesity, often are established in childhood;
Whereas, about 30% of Oregon eleventh grade high school students do not participate in sufficient vigorous physical activity and many students in all grade levels do not attend daily physical education classes;
Whereas, only 2% of children (2 to 19 years) eat a healthy diet consistent with the five main recommendations from the Food Guide Pyramid;
Whereas only about 25% of Oregon teens consume the recommended 5 or more fruits and vegetables per day,
Therefore, it is the policy of the St Francis School that:
▪ The school will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing schoolwide nutrition and physical activity policies.
▪ All students in grades K-8 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
▪ Qualified child nutrition professionals will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students (including those required by individualized health plans); will accommodate the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the student body in meal planning; and will provide
clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.
▪ To the maximum extent practicable, St Francis School will participate in available federal school meal programs.

 

TO ACHIEVE THESE POLICY GOALS THE FOLLOWING ARE RECOMMENDED:

I. SCHOOL HEALTH COUNCILS

The school will create, strengthen, or work within existing school health councils to develop, implement, monitor, review, and, as necessary, revise school nutrition and physical activity policies.
A. The councils also will serve as resources to school sites for implementing such policies.
1. This health council consists of a group of individuals representing the school and community and should include:
▪ Parents
▪ Students
▪ Representatives of the school food authority
▪ Members of the school board
▪ School administrators
▪ Teachers
▪ Health professionals
▪ And members of the public.

II. NUTRITIONAL QUALITY OF FOODS AND BEVERAGES SOLD AND SERVED ON CAMPUS

A. School Meals:
1. Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:
a. Be appealing and attractive to children
b. Be served in clean and pleasant settings;
c. Meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal
statutes and regulations;
d. Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables
e. Serve only lowfat (1%) and fat freemilk and nutritionally equivalent nondairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA); and
f. Ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.
g. Schools should engage students and parents, through taste tests of new entrees an surveys, in selecting foods sold through the school meal programs in order to identify new, healthful, and appealing food choices.
In addition, schools should share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students. Such information could be made available on menus, a website, on cafeteria menu boards, placards, or other point of purchase materials.

2. Meal Times and Scheduling. Schools:
a. will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch;
b. should schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 11am and 1pm;
c. should not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities;
d. will schedule lunch periods to follow recess periods (in elementary schools)

3. Sharing of Foods and Beverages:
a. Schools should discourage students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions for some children’s dietary needs.
4. Foods and Beverages Sold Individually (i.e., foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, such as through vending machines, fundraisers, etc.)
a.) Elementary Grades.
The school food service program will approve all food and beverage sales to students in elementary grades. Given young children’s limited nutrition skills, food in elementary schools should be sold as balanced meals. If available, foods and beverages sold individually should be limited to lowfat and nonfat milk, fruits, and nonfried vegetables.
b.) Middle School Grades.
In middle school grades, all foods and beverages sold individually outside the reimbursable school meal programs (including those sold through fundraising activities) during the school day, or through programs for students after the school day, will meet the following nutrition and portion size standards:
c. Beverages
1) Allowed: water or seltzer water without added caloric sweeteners; fruit and vegetable juices and fruit based drinks that contain at least 50% fruit juice and that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners; unflavored or flavored lowfat or fat free fluid milk and nutritionally equivalent nondairy beverages (to be defined by USDA);
2) Not allowed: soft drinks containing caloric sweeteners; sports drinks; iced teas; fruit based drinks that contain less than 50% real fruit juice or that contain additional caloric sweeteners; beverages containing caffeine, excluding lowfat or fat free chocolate milk(which contain trivial amounts of caffeine).
d. Foods
1) A food item sold individually:
▪ will have no more than 35% of its calories from fat (excluding nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and other nut butters) and 10% of its calories from saturated and trans fat combined;
▪ will have no more than 35% of its weight from added sugars;
▪ will contain no more than 250 mg of sodium per serving for chips, cereals, crackers, French fries, baked goods, and other snack items; will contain no more than 500 mg of sodium per serving for pastas, meats, and soups; and will contain no more than 600 mg of sodium for pizza, sandwiches, and main dishes.

5. Portion Sizes:
Limit portion sizes of foods and beverages sold individually to those listed below:
▪ One and onequarter ounces for chips, crackers, popcorn, cereal, trail mix, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, or jerky
▪ One ounce for cookies
▪ Two ounces for cereal bars, granola bars, pastries, muffins, doughnuts, bagels, and other bakery items
▪ Four fluid ounces for frozen desserts, including, but not limited to, lowfat or fat free icecream
Limit portion sizes of foods and beverages sold individually to those listed below:
▪ Eight ounces for nonfrozen yogurt
▪ Twelve fluid ounces for beverages, excluding water
▪ The portion size of a la carte entrees and side dishes, including potatoes, will 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.

6. Snacks
1. Snacks served during the school day or in after school care or enrichment programs will 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.  Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of school meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages, and other considerations. The school will follow the guidelines established by the child care division of the state of Oregon.

7. Rewards.
Schools will not use foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (above), as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment.

8. Celebrations.
Schools are encouraged to limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one party per class per month. Each party should include no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold  individually.

9. School Sponsored Events (such as, but not limited to, athletic events, dances or performances.) Food and beverages offered or sold at school sponsored events outside the school day will offer healthy options for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually.

III. INTEGRATING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Integrating Physical Activity Into the Classroom Setting for students to receive the nationally recommended amount of daily physical activity (i.e., at least 60 minutes per day) and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class. Toward that end:
1. Classroom health education will complement physical education by reinforcing the knowledge and self management skills needed to maintain a physically active lifestyle and to reduce time spent on sedentary activities, such as watching television
2. Opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into other subject lessons; and
3. Classroom teachers will provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.

IV. COMMUNICATING WITH PARENTS

1. The school will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children.
2. Schools should encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks and to refrain from including beverages and foods that do not meet the above nutrition standards for individual foods and beverages.
3. The school will provide parents a list of foods that meet the district’s snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards, and fundraising activities.
4. The school will provide information about physical education and other school based physical activity opportunities before, during, and after the school day; and support parents’ efforts to provide their children with opportunities to be physically active outside of school.
a. Such supports will include sharing information about physical activity and physical education through a website, newsletter, or other take home materials, special events, or physical education homework.

III. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OPPORTUNITIES AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION

A. Physical Education (P.E.) K-8.
1. All students in grades K-8, including students with disabilities, special healthcare needs, and in alternative educational settings, will receive biweekly physical education for the entire school year.
2. Student involvement in other activities involving physical activity e.g., interscholastic or intramural sports) will not be substituted for meeting the physical education requirement.
● Students will spend at least 50 percent of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.
B. Daily Recess.
All elementary school students will have at least 20 minutes a day of supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which schools should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment.
1. Schools should discourage extended periods (i.e., periods of two or more hours) of inactivity.
a. When activities, such as mandatory schoolwide testing, make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, schools should give students periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.
C. Physical Activity and Punishment.
Teachers and other school and community personnel will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical
education) as punishment.

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