This Week’s Topic: Wellness Policies
Key to Excellence: Nutrition Education
In 2004, as part of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act, congress passed a law requiring every school district that uses federal funds for school breakfast and lunch to develop a local Wellness Policy by the start of the 2006-2007 school year. Its purpose is to help schools improve the health of students and reduce childhood obesity through promoting nutritious foods and physical activity.
The law required the policy be developed by a team of stakeholders including students, community members, parents, school board members, administrators, and school food service employees. They were to work together to develop goals for nutrition standards for food served in school, nutrition education, physical activity and other school–based activities designed to promote student wellness.
The Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 took the basic plan developed in 2006 and strengthened it by setting rules for implementing and monitoring the policy. A new emphasis was placed on developing broad–based support from community members to assist with the implementation of a successful wellness policy. In addition, the Act added requirements for goals for nutrition promotion, and to permit physical education teachers and school health professionals to collaborate in the development of the policies. The purpose of the wellness team was also expanded to include implementation, periodic review, and policy updates. These updates and reviews must be made available to the public and must include: extent of compliance, how local policy compares to model local wellness policies and progress made in reaching goals set by local policy.
As a result, creating a successful wellness policy is a team effort that fosters a collaboration of the entire school district. It brings together the ideas and thoughts of those who play important roles in school nutrition, physical education, health, and academics. Schools have the opportunity to positively influence the greatest population of students in a county. Wellness policies, created by the district, are an important key to preventing and reducing childhood obesity and giving students the tools for a lifetime of healthy choices.
Pulaski County Schools’ Wellness Team last met on November 1, 2013 and suggested some revisions to our Wellness Plan. You may view these proposed changes by clicking here. If you would like to be involved with our Wellness Team, please contact the Pulaski County School Nutrition Director by calling (478) 783-7256 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Students with food allergies
Many students with food allergies will bring more than a bookbag when they return to school. Students with life-threatening allergies also often carry EpiPens and Benadryl.
To help keep students safe, Pulaski County School Nutrition Director recommends parents discuss any student allergy with school personnel BEFORE the start of the school year so everyone is prepared.
Special forms are also required to be completed by the student’s pediatrician for ALL special nutrition needs. Please see your student’s teacher, school nurse or call the Nutrition office at
(478) 783-7256 to request the Special Nutrition Needs Disability Form.
FOOD RECALL INFORMATION FROM USDA
We have received information from USDA concerning a central website that is updated with food recall information. The best way for anyone to get email notifications of all food recalls is by signing up for free email updates fromwww.recalls.gov. This is a one-stop shop for U.S. Government recalls. We encourage everyone who needs recall information to sign up today! It’s easy. Follow these few steps and you will receive an instant acknowledgement of your subscription from the Dept. of Health and Human Services:
1. Log on to www.recalls.gov
2. Click on the Food tab at the top.
3. Click on “Sign Up for Free Recall Updates by E-Mail” (in red toward top of page)
4. This takes you to the Dept. of Health and Human Services signup page, where
a. Enter your email address and confirm same; and
b. Check the box titled FoodSafety.gov Recalls and Alerts under the FoodSafety.gov Updates section.