School Wellness Policies

These resources can help schools and districts craft their wellness policies, as required by the Child Nutrition Act.

Action for Healthy Kids: Game On Program

Action for Healthy Kids mobilizes school professionals, families and communities to take actions that lead to healthy eating, physical activity and healthier schools where kids thrive. Their USDA-approved free online Game On Program  provides information and resources to host a successful school wellness program in your school.

A Healthy Food and Physical Activity Policy Resource Guide

The California School Boards Association and California Project LEAN have developed Student Wellness: A Healthy Food and Physical Activity Policy Resource Guide for school governance leaders. The guide provides school governance leaders with a step-by-step approach to enhance the school environment so students can develop and practice healthy eating habits. It outlines the link between nutrition, physical activity and learning; highlights school districts that successfully offer healthy foods and beverages; offers recommendations for developing comprehensive nutrition and physical activity policies; and provides sample policies from which schools can draw.

Additional resources from the California School Board Association:

Healthy School Food Policies: A Checklist

The Center for Food and Justice, a division of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, has created Healthy School Food Policies: A Checklist. The Checklist contains 65 policy ideas for improving school food, with legislative language for each idea drawn from policies that have been enacted or proposed at the state or school district levels. This updated version contains dozens of new policies drawn from a much wider range of sources than the original 2002 release. The Center continues to gather examples of healthy school food policies, so if you are aware of a policy or proposal that is not referenced in the checklist, send it to Mark Vallianatos.

Sample School Wellness Policies

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Team Nutrition website serves as a clearinghouse of information on the components that should be considered when establishing a school wellness policy. Examples of policies already developed by schools and state agencies are provided as resources and references. These policies are not endorsed by USDA nor do they represent a comprehensive list; they are simply a set of examples to help schools.

Water Access in Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created this website to help schools ensure that students have access to free drinking water. A requirement of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 is that all schools participating in the National School Lunch Program make free water available to students during mealtimes.

Wellness Policy Tool

The Action for Healthy Kids Wellness Policy Tool is designed to help administrators and other school personnel draft their wellness policies. The tool, a searchable database of state and district policies, has an easy-to-use template, a listing of fundamental elements to consider including in your policy, and access to hundreds of individual policy components that can be cut and paste into the template to create a local wellness policy unique to each district.