Did you know there is a direct link between healthy eating, physical activity and academic achievement for students? And this doesn’t just mean “good grades.” The health/academic connections relate to attendance, drop-out rates, graduation rates, behavior, concentration, memory and mood! It’s no wonder our schools’ wellness teams are working hard to review, strengthen, and update their school wellness policy.
The USDA wants to see all updates made by June 2017. They’ve put in a few sound requirements, too. Here’s a summary of the details. So if you start hearing about your school wellness policy it could be because it’s getting better all the time!
Some of the USDA requirements will apply to all of the schools in the Healthy Northland area. Things like guidelines for all foods and beverages sold to students during the school day. School meals must be consistent with Federal regulations for school meal nutrition standards. Snacks sold on campus must meet Smart Snacks standards.
There is also room for unique additions that fit each school district.
For example, some schools may want to incorporate non-food related ways to celebrate birthday parties and other fun events. (click on image to the right) Wellness committees will also be creating health goals so that improvements are always in the works.
No matter what changes or improvements you see at your school, they were put in place to strengthen the health of students and staff.
Schools continue to be an important place for students to learn and practice healthy eating and physical activity. The focus on the school setting is also part of a larger effort by the Minnesota Department of Health through the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) to improve the health of all Minnesotans by making the places where we study, work, live and play more conducive to healthy lifestyles.