School administrative units participating in federal child nutrition programs such as the USDA National School Lunch Program are required to have updated wellness policies that comply with newly issued regulations. School wellness policies guide efforts to establish a school environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn.
The newly issued Local School Wellness Policy Final Rule expanded the required provisions to include food and beverage marketing, stakeholder engagement, nutrition guidelines, public notification, triennial assessments and timeline for implementation.
Local school districts must use a team comprised of representatives from physical education, school health, school nutrition, administration, students, parents and the school board when developing a revised school wellness policy. Policies must comply with the requirements of the final rule by June 30, 2017. Existing district wellness teams are encouraged to participate in the revisions as well.