Best Practices for the Whole School
School Wellness Policy Best Practices
OSPI’s School Wellness Policy Best Practices for Policy Development, Implementation and Evaluation toolkit is designed to help schools implement the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Throughout the document are examples of the great things schools across Washington are doing to improve nutrition and physical activity.
Samples of Model Wellness Policies
Alliance for a Healthier Generation has been working with districts across the country since 2006 to create and implement strong wellness policies, guided by evidence-based best practices. They have created a Model Wellness Policy template that has been thoroughly reviewed for compliance with federal standards and can make it easy for school districts to easily create a school wellness policy.
Recess Before Lunch
Schools that schedule recess before lunch report that students eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more milk, waste less food, and are better behaved on the playground, in the lunchroom, and in the classroom. The USDA has a list of resources about recess before lunch which includes best practices, barriers and how to address them, and lessons from several districts that have implemented and studied the impacts of recess before lunch.
Breakfast After the Bell
Kids often do not eat a proper breakfast, offered either by the school or by their parents, because of the rush to get to class on time. Breakfast After the Bell ensures that all kids start the day off right. With a healthy breakfast, students can concentrate throughout the day and perform better academically. In fact, many schools can fund free breakfast for all students with the federal “Community Eligibility Provision,” and most schools find that a successful breakfast program improves their whole meal program.
Healthy Lunchroom Design
Healthy Lunchroom Design is a research-based strategy that nudges students toward healthier, more nutritious choices in the cafeteria. The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement provides best practices for creating a cafeteria environment that encourages healthy eating. Check out the Healthy Eating Design Guidelines for School Architecture, and the video Lunch’d to see what happens when researchers go undercover in the cafeteria.