Making the healthy choice the easy choice for families is a cornerstone effort for many national organizations including the national Partnership for a Healthier America. One way to support families in their pursuit of health, is to ensure that the schools their children attend create environments where the healthy choice is the easy choice. Thanks to a provision in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, school districts across the nation are now required by law to develop policies designed to create healthy school environments. These policies, called Local Wellness Policies (LWP), must contain certain elements and inform and update the public about its contents. Policies must also contain standards for foods and beverages campus-wide, which include classroom parties and school celebrations. LWPs are the perfect vehicle for school wellness advocates to create environments where students can practice healthy behaviors.
Follow these four steps to start your school’s makeover:
Forming a strong team will help create reasonable policies that will drive students and staff to practice healthier behaviors. Ultimately, this work will move future generations to live healthier, more productive lives.
Nicholas Drzal, RD, MPH, Michigan Department of Education
Whitney Fung, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences