Child Nutrition Program
The Child Nutrition Program will comply with federal, state, and local requirements. The Child Nutrition program shall be accessible to all children. School Meals served through the School Lunch and Breakfast programs will:
- Be appealing and attractive to children;
- Be served in clean and pleasant settings;
- Meet, at minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal statutes and regulations aligning with Choose Sensibly Guidelines.
- Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;
- Serve only low-fat (1%) and fat-free milk and nutritionally equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA); and
- Ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.
- Ensure that a peanut-free table is made available when necessary.
The district/school will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced price school meals. Mealtimes and scheduling will adhere to the following guidelines to the greatest extent possible.
- Provide students with a scheduled time for meals (allowing minimally 30 minutes to eat) as determined by the school’s building administration and committees;
- Schedule meal periods at appropriate times;
- Not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities;
- Provide students’ access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks.
At the elementary school level, given young children’s limited nutrition skills, the school food service program will:
- Approve and provide all food and beverage sales to students during the school day;
- Sell only low fat or nonfat milk, 100% juice, and water;
- Sell snacks and vending machine items that meet Choose Sensibly Guidelines.
- Provide a choice of at least two fruits and/or non-fried vegetables where food is sold.
At the High School level, the Lakeland Central School district recognizes the importance of options being available, due to the need to improve decision-making skills, and the importance of creating opportunities for independence in making healthful decisions for our young adults. Through the educational program, health and physical education, including fitness, provision of caloric values on meals, and implementation of our Wellness Policy district wide, the district is committed to improving the healthy choices of our teens and improving their ability to balance their choices in intake with their choices in increased activity. The food service program, in addition to choices, will provide those options listed in the previous section.
The Food Service Department shall be the sole provider of all snacks sold to students during the regular school day. Snacks are defined as foods sold a la carte that are packaged, canned, or bottled. Fruits, vegetables, and breads are exempt from this section.
The School District acknowledges that snacks, as named above, have a significant impact on the overall health of its students. While some snacks are dense in calories with little or no nutritional value, others offer nutrition while curbing hunger. The District will, therefore, educate students regarding the balance of calories in vs. calories out and the role snacks should play in one’s diet. The District also acknowledges how snacks are viewed in different age groups. It is, therefore, necessary to place restrictions on younger students who have demonstrated the inability to make good choices while placing limitations on older students who are beginning adulthood.
Lunch Program Snack restrictions/initiatives for students in grades K-8 are as follows:
- All snacks sold will meet Choose Sensibly guidelines
- Drinks will be limited to low-fat or non-fat milk, at least 50% juice, and water (unflavored)
- Selling snacks to Kindergarten students will be limited to one time weekly.
- Students will be encouraged to finish lunch before consuming snacks
Lunch Program Snack limitations/initiatives for students in grades 9-12 are as follows:
- At least 80% of all snacks offered will meet Choose Sensibly guidelines
- Refrigerated vending machines that offer salads, sandwiches, bagels, etc. will be made available to all students for extended hours
- Promotional material (signs, posters, labels, etc.) will identify snacks with better nutritional value
- Visuals indicating sugar and fat content will be made available for snacks higher in sugar and fat
Snacks served during the school day or in after school care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage. Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on the timing of school meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages, and other considerations. The district will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after school program personnel, and parents that follow Choose Sensibly Guidelines.
Classroom Snacks, Rewards and Celebrations: Schools will not use foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet healthy nutrition standards as rewards for academic performance, and will not withhold food or beverages as a punishment. Schools will limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one party per class per month. Each party should include no more than one food or beverage that does not meet good nutrition standards. The district will disseminate a list of healthy party and classroom snack ideas to parents and teachers that follow Choose Sensibly Guidelines.
Schools will provide lifetime and leisure wellness activity education as an integral part of the curriculum to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between general education, health education, physical education and school meal programs, with related community services. The district will provide nutrition information and engage in nutrition promotion that:
- Is offered at each grade level as part of a sequential, comprehensive, standards-based program designed to provide students with knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;
- Is part of not only health education classes, but also classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences, and elective subjects;
- Includes enjoyable, developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant, participatory activities such as contests, promotions, taste-testing, farm visits, and school gardens;
- Promotes fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health enhancing nutrition practices.
- Emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise);
- Links with school meal programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services;
- Teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing; and
- Includes training for teachers and staff.
School personnel will not use physical activity (e.g., such as running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment.
K-5 Daily recess: All elementary school students will have a supervised recess period, preferably outdoors, during which schools should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through provision of space and equipment.
The School District shall continue to support its Wellness Committee to enable staff/ parents to be better informed and to have more meaningful input in the nutritional choices being offered children.
- The district/school will support staff/parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for children.
- The district/school will offer healthy eating seminars for staff/ parents, send home nutrition information, post nutrition tips on websites, and provide nutrient analysis of school menus.
- The district/school will provide staff/parents a list of foods that meet the district’s snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, and rewards.
- The district will provide opportunities for staff/parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community.
- The district will provide all stakeholders with information about physical education and other school-based physical activity opportunities before, during, and after the school day including sharing information about physical education through a website, newsletter, or other take-home materials, special events, or physical education homework.