Wellness Tools and Programs for Schools

Kids running

Change the nutrition and physical activity environment in your school in small, focused steps.

Wellness Policy Checklist

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.

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.
  • 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.

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.
  • 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.

Tools for Schools

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • USDA -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.
  • 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!
  • Action for Healthy Kids –Tools for Schools
  • 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