Change the nutrition and physical activity environment in your school in small, focused steps.
Wellness Policy Checklist
Wellness Policy Checklist (doc) This checklist guides you through the evaluation of your school wellness policies. Use the checklist to ensure that your policy meets the current USDA minimum standards.
Wellness Policy Planning Tool (doc) After completing the Wellness Policy Checklist, review areas you'd like to improve. Use this planning tool to create an action plan.
After-School Policy Review and Environment Assessment Tool
The After-School Assessment Tool is designed to help after school programs assess their existing wellness policies and environment in order to help better the health and wellness of all participants enrolled. It is an evaluation tool that allows programs to look at what they already have in place regarding nutrition, physical activity and water, as well as spark any interest in creating additional action policies where see fit. Although this tool is available for all programs, in depth technical assistance can only be applied to programs who have 50% or more of their participants enrolled in a supplemental nutrition assistance program.
For more information please contact Wellness Coordinator, Sara Oberle at firstname.lastname@example.org (603) 516-8113
Are you looking for a sample Wellness Policy for your school that meets the latest federal guidelines?
Did you know The Final Rule: Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was passed in July 2016? This double sided handout provides an overview of the requirements.
School Nutrition Environment and Wellness Resources
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) requires all local educational agencies participating in federal Child Nutrition programs to establish and implement, for all schools under its jurisdiction, local school wellness policies that meet minimum standards designed to promote sound nutrition, student health, reduce childhood obesity, and provide transparency to the public on the school nutrition environment.
This Web site is dedicated to helping local educational agencies find the resources they need to meet recommendations in these areas. View the ‘school nutrition environment and wellness resources’ site map here.
Assessment (Needs Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation)
Refer to these resources to conduct your initial needs assessment for monitoring implementation, and measuring the impact of your local school wellness policy.
New CDC Healthy Schools Website
CDC just launched a new Healthy Schools website which provides a host of information and tools for teachers, parents, and students on school nutrition, physical activity, obesity prevention, management of chronic diseases in schools, and more. There is an entire section on School Wellness Policies also.
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Visit the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and see what resources they have available for you to use. Here are some of the things you will find: wellness policies, snacks and beverages, breakfast and lunch, health education, physical education, physical activity, and employee wellness.
Tools for Schools
Tools for Schools is a new online toolkit where you can find all of USDA's best resources on school meal topics (e.g., fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and reducing sodium) and information on implementing Smart Snacks. In the toolkit, you will find policy documents, nutrition education materials, Smarter Lunchroom strategies, kid-friendly recipes, and success stories from other schools. Check it out here.
The School Wellness Works! toolkit from Minnesota Department of Education provides guidance and resources to help schools move from policy to action to ensure student health continues to be a top priority for schools. Many resources and tips are noted to help develop, refine, implement and monitor the wellness policy and related activities.
Bridging the Gap & CDC Briefs Series: Promoting Health through Local School Wellness Policies
We would like to share with you a new set of resources available on our website. Bridging the Gap collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a series of briefs highlighting opportunities to support wellness policies through evidence-based strategies. These briefs provide an assessment of policies across school districts nationwide, related to seven wellness policy components. They also highlight areas of opportunity for state agencies, school districts, and schools to strengthen wellness policy components. See all seven topic area briefs plus a methods document below.
Putting Local School Wellness Policies into Action
Putting Local School Wellness Policies into Action: Stories from School Districts and Schools [PDF - 2.3MB] is a compilation of 11 stories that provide examples of steps and strategies used to implement wellness policies, including activities in key areas such as improving school meals and increasing physical activity levels among students.
When kids are active and fit, they do better in school
Research brief on Active Education: Physical Education, Physical Activity, and Academic Performance - Active Living Research; using evidence to prevent childhood obesity and create active communities.
Infographic on Role of Schools in Promoting Physcial Activity - Highlights a few ways that schools can promote daily physical activity for kids.
The Washington Post article cites several studies - Physical activity may help kids do better in school, studies say.
U.K. study Kids who exercise more may get better grades - U.K. study looked at math, science and English performance.
The Effects of Fitness, Exercise and Active Classrooms on the Brain and Learning. – A presentation from Healthy Bodies Healthy Minds Conference in 2011.
Are you looking for ways to include physical activity throughout the day. For examples go to:
After-School Energizers [PDF]
Nutrition messages tested for children
USDA has released nutrition messages for educators to use with children. These messages have been tested on children for clarity and resonance. Read the messages on USDA's site.
Many schools want to change what is sold in their vending machines. Change Lab Solutions law and policy innovation for the common good created Developing a Healthy Beverage Vending Agreement. This fact sheet outlines key considerations for schools, including what to look for, best practices, and ways for parents and community members to get involved.
Use this Best Practices for a Healthy Fundraiser brochure to help your school earn extra money for different activities, events, and equipment that keep students excited and engaged. This brochure provides ideas to use healthy choices for fundraising.The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has information here.
Teachers and students enjoy using classroom rewards, often in the form of food. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has suggestions to help change the rewards. In addition Action for Healthy Kids has these suggestions and Pinterest has some great visuals found here.
- Birthday parties and holiday celebrations at school provide a unique opportunity to make healthy eating fun and exciting for children. Schools can take advantage of classroom celebrations to serve nutritious foods that taste good and provide students with an opportunity to learn about healthy eating. Use this Healthy Celebrations Brochure to find out more.
- The Alliance for a Healthier Generation has a flyer called Celebrations that Support Child's Health.
NH DHHS Healthy Schools
Has posted many resources that address nutrition and physical activity to help improve children's health in schools:
The following resources are for school nutrition professionals and anyone wanting to learn more about creating healthier school nutrition environments
- New Hampshire Department of Education/National School Lunch Program
- Team Nutrition Resource Library
Nutrition and wellness policy resources for schools and early care and education programs
- Tools for Schools: Focusing on Smart Snacks
A number of tools and resources are available to help schools identify food items that meet Smart Snacks criteria. See these resources for information about the Smart Snacks requirement, helpful tools, and ways to encourage children to make healthier snack choices that give them the nutrition they need to grow and learn.
Help make the healthy choice the easy choice for kids at school. This colorful booklet provides an overview of Smart Snacks Standards and how to tell if a food/beverage meets the requirements. This is a ready-to-go resource for anyone who oversees the sale of foods/beverages to students on the school campus during the school day. Available in packages of 25 booklets.
- Smarter Lunchrooms Movement
Smarter Lunchrooms are research-based lunchrooms that guide students to make smarter choices. It is a grassroots movement of those concerned with the way children eat and wish to change these behaviors through the application of evidence-based lunchroom focused principles that promote healthful eating.
- HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms Award
The HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms (HUSSC: SL) is a voluntary certification initiative recognizing those schools enrolled in Team Nutrition that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. Learn more about how your school can apply!
- New Hampshire HUSSC Award Winners
Visit here for a list of New Hampshire schools that have achieved HUSSC awards.
Physical Activity Resources
The following resources are for educators of all kinds, as well as anyone wanting to learn more about creating opportunities for physical activity in schools for students of all ages
- Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD), has developed a step-by-step guide for schools to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive school physical activity programs. The guide includes examples of physical education opportunities for students, as well as physical activity opportunities that take place before, during, or after school.
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation: Physical Activity in Schools
Whether free unstructured play or intentional movement, physical activities play a critical role in a child’s cognitive development and academic success. Physical activity improves attention, concentration, and attendance and of course, a child's health.
- Let’s Move! Active Schools
Find out what it takes for teachers, administrators and other school staff to make their school an Active School.
- CDC Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit Tools include fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations, and school-specific examples that will help staff, parents, and administrators create more physically active schools.
Action for Healthy Kids - Tools to Make this the Healthiest School Year Ever
Schools, it has never been easier to host a health and wellness event. We have created event templates, flyers, handouts, step-by-step guides to register your event, and volunteer recruitment materials. You will also find many help tips by visiting the Action for Healthy Kids web site.
Professional Standards for School Nutrition Professionals- This site allows school nutrition staff to search for training that meets their learning needs. Each listing contains information about the training, including how to access, developer, date, learning objectives covered, and more.
The School Day Just Got Healthier Toolkit is a collection of resources including brochures, fact sheets, FAQs, fliers, school lessons, templates and much more, to help prepare everyone for the changes to school meals this school year. Everyone plays an important and unique role within the changes to the school food environment. Understand the changes and messages, access the tools, and take action in your schools through these pages created just for you.
USDA Foods Toolkit- The USDA Foods Toolkit is a collection of valuable resources to assist School Nutrition Professionals and educate students, school staff, and the community about the healthy and nutritious contributions that USDA Foods provide to school meal programs.
CDC Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit Tools include fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations, and school-specific examples that will help staff, parents, and administrators create more physically active schools.
School Health Index-The School Health Index (SHI): Self-Assessment & Planning Guide 2014 is an online self-assessment and planning tool that schools can use to improve their health and safety policies and programs. It's easy to use and completely confidential.
Safe Routes to School - Addresses ways to make urban walking routes safer for children to walk to school.
Walk New Hampshire - Is designed to promote walking in New Hampshire. The goal is to engage children and adults in walking and raise awareness of walking as a part of a healthy lifestyle.
Billion Mile Race- Find out what the New Balance Foundation and Tufts University Friedman School have created for students that walk or run.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) requires all school districts to establish and implement local school wellness policies that meet minimum standards designed to promote sound nutrition, student health, reduce childhood obesity, and provide transparency to the public on the school nutrition environment.
Team Nutrition just launched a new Web site that consolidates school wellness resources in a way that will make them easier for you to find. Check out the new School Nutrition Environment and Wellness Resources Web site for information and resources.
Healthy Food Choices in Schools, is a community of practice through eXtension which is an interactive learning environment delivering research-based information emerging from America's land-grant university system. In addition to several resources, monthly webinars are offered and made available here.
School Breakfast Programs and Successes - Also from eXtension this content series examines the importance of school breakfast and highlights some successful breakfast programs and initiatives that nourish students and help build healthy habits.
JSI Resource Center - The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition (JSI), the leader in child nutrition training for the state of Massachusetts, serves as a major resource hub for anyone interested in creating a healthy school nutrition environment. To find the latest school nutrition online resources, you can now simply point your browser to the JSI Resource Center. Designed to be the one-stop source for nutrition resources, reports, lesson plans, training tools, and more.
GENYOUth - Empowering students to create a healthy, high achieving future.
Recommendations for Healthier Beverages - Healthy Eating Research A National Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Let's Move - America's move to raise a healthier generation of kids.
ABC for Fitness (Activity Bursts in the Classroom) - Can ensure that children obtain the level of physcial activity that is essential for good health and well being.
Exercise and Your Brain - Learn more about how exercise can positively effect how you and your children learn every day.
Brain Breaks - A physical activity idea book for elementary classroom teachers.
USDA Team Nutrition Fact Sheets For Healthier School Meals - Schools can use these fact sheets to incorporate the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations within the school meal pattern requirements and nutrition standards.
National Institutes of Health research article - Association of school performance indicators with implementation of the Healthy Kids, Smart Kids program: case study.
Visit - Healthy Food Choices in Schools an online resource dedicated to providing easily applicable tools and information including eating behavior insights, interventions, and practical steps for school communities and parents to encourage their kids to make healthy food choices in schools.
Lunch, Recess and Nutrition: Responding to Time Incentives in the Cafeteria -Joseph Price, Brigham Young University -David R. Just, Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, December 9, 2014
Abstract: Objectives: In this study, we evaluate if moving recess before lunch has an effect on the amount of fruits and vegetables elementary school students eat as part of their school-provided lunch.
According the NEA, some schools say changing the traditional lunchtime schedule can decrease food waste and improve student behavior. To find out more about recess before lunch go here.