Saints Simon and Jude Catholic School is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects children’s health, well-being and the ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activities. The link between nutrition and learning is well documented. Healthy eating patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, physical and mental growth and lifelong health and well-being. The purpose of this policy is to offer students the tools and knowledge necessary to make healthy choices for their body.
Component A: Nutritional Guidelines
- Our school meals will follow good menu planning principles, which feature a variety of healthy choices that are tasty, attractive and of excellent quality.
- Our school will consider students needs in planning for a healthy school nutrition environment.
Pleasant Eating Experiences
- Our school personnel will assist all students in developing the healthy practice of washing hands before eating.
- A minimum 30-minute uninterrupted lunch period (including recess) will be scheduled.
- Our school will attempt to provide club/organization meetings, tutoring, and other activities outside of the scheduled lunch period.
- Withholding food as punishment for students is prohibited.
Component B: Nutrition Education
- Nutritional education is addressed in the K-8 Health Curriculum standards of the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools is integrated across the curricula.
- Students will receive nutrition education that teaches the skills needed to adopt healthy eating behaviors.
- Our school will provide nutritional information to the parents that will encourage parents to provide safe and nutritious food for their children.
- Our school will promote advertising of healthy food choices.
Component C: Physical Activity
- The Physical Education curriculum will be consistent with Diocesan curriculum standards.
- Physical Education classes will not exceed the 1:35 teacher/student ratio.
- A physical and social environment that is safe and enjoyable for all students will be provided.
- All students must participate in physical education classes.
- Physical education classes may not be withheld as punishment or for completion of assignments.
- Students will be moderately to vigorously active at least 50% of the time while in PE class.
- Our school will provide daily recess of at least 20 minutes per day. Transition between classes for grades 5-8 is considered recess time.
- Classroom teachers will give students simple physical activity breaks during classroom hours.
- Intramural programs and/or physical activity clubs that meet all students’ needs, especially those who are not athletically gifted, will be offered and made available.
- Our after-care program will provide developmentally appropriate physical activity for participating children and reduce watching TV or videos.
Component D: Other School-Based Activities
- Food and beverages sold or served on school grounds or at school-sponsored events during the normal school day (first bell to last bell of the school day) shall meet the Dietary Guidelines for American and other nutrition standard guidelines as set forth by the Arizona Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs. This includes:
- Ala Carte offerings in the food service program.
- Food and beverage choices in vending machines and snack bars.
- Food and beverages sold as part of school-sponsored fundraising activities.
- Food and beverages served at student parties, celebrations, meetings and school snacks.
- Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value as defined by 7 CFR 210.11(2) are prohibited from being served during the school day. Foods of minimal nutritional value as defined by USDA include carbonated beverages, water ices, chewing gum, hard candies, jellies and gums, marshmallow candies, fondant, licorice, spun candy, and candy coated popcorn.
- Celebrations will be limited to 3 per year (Christmas, Last day of School and one of the school’s choice) where Minimal Nutritional Value foods may be served.
- Birthdays should be celebrated with healthy snack alternatives or non-food items (pencils, notepads, etc.)
Component E: Parents and Staff Involvement
- Students will receive positive, motivating messages, both verbal and non-verbal about healthy eating and physical activity from all school personnel.
- Our school staff is encouraged to use non-food rewards. Food as a reward for students’ accomplishments is to be used sparingly.
- Parental involvement in the child’s nutrition education is encouraged and welcomed.
- Parents in the community are encouraged to institute and support physical activity programs.
Component F: Implementation and Evaluation
- The Wellness Policy will be distributed to students, parents, and staff and will be published annually.
- The principal or designee will ensure compliance with these guidelines within our school.
- A Baseline Assessment of our school’s existing nutrition and physical activity environment was turned into the Catholic Schools office by October 1, 2006.
- An assessment and report on our school’s compliance is submitted to the Catholic Schools at the conclusion of each school year.
A Commitment to Nutrition and Physical Activity
- The Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools Office will appoint a School Health Advisory Committee to address nutrition and physical activity issues. The Committee will develop and evaluate guidelines that support a healthy school and shall offer revisions to these guidelines as needed.
- The Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools Office encourages school fundraisers to offer non-food items or healthy food choices.
Additional Information and References
- ARS 15-242
- The Arizona Nutrition Standards
- Arizona Healthy School Environment Model Policy
- Action for Healthy Kids Coalition
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- United States Department of Agriculture Food Pyramid
- School Nutrition Association and School Wellness Policies
- National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity