Wellness Policy


SCHOOL NUTRITION – WELLNESS

This policy supports the mission of St. Mary Parish School: Celebrating Spiritual Growth While Providing Academic Excellence in a Christ Centered Environment. Nutrition influences a child’s development, health, well-being, and potential for learning. To afford students the opportunity to fully participate in the educational process, students must attend school with minds and bodies ready to take advantage of their learning environment. The St. Mary Parish School nutrition policy encourages all members of the school community to create an environment that supports lifelong healthy eating habits. Decisions made in all school programming need to reflect and encourage positive nutritional messages and healthy food choices.

The policy of St. Mary Parish School is to:

  1. Provide a positive environment and appropriate knowledge regarding nutrition.
    • Ensure that all students have access to healthy food choices during the school day and at school functions.
    • Provide a pleasant eating environment for students and staff.
    • Allow a minimum of 20 minutes for students to eat lunch and socialize in the cafeteria.
    • Enable all students, through a comprehensive curriculum, to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to make healthy food choices for a lifetime.
  1. Encourage staff and students to use healthy, nutritious food choices, when using food as a part of class or student incentive programs.
  1. Encourage staff and students to seek out good nutrition choices whenever appropriate, when curricular-based food experiences are planned.
  1. Reduce student access to foods of minimal nutritional value.
    • Reduce access to non-nutritional foods.
    • Educate students about healthy foods.
  1. Ensure the integrity of the school lunch program, and follow the contractual obligation to the National School Lunch program, by prohibiting food and beverage sales that are in direct conflict with the lunch program.

 FUNDRAISING

  1. All fundraising projects are encouraged to follow St. Mary Nutrition Standards.
  1. All fundraising projects for sale and consumption within and prior to the instructional day will be expected to make every effort to follow St. Mary Nutrition Standards when determining the items being sold.
    • Items being sold that do not meet the St. Mary Nutrition Standards may be acceptable for student consumption within moderation (ie. limit quantity sold to an individual student), as approved by the principal.

TEACHER-TO-STUDENT INCENTIVE:
Strong consideration should be given to nonfood items as part of any teacher- to-student incentive program. Should teachers feel compelled to use food items as an incentive, they are encouraged to adhere to the St. Mary Nutrition Standards.

PARENT NUTRITION PROGRAM:

  1. Nutrition education will be provided to parents beginning at the elementary level. The goal will be to continue to educate parents throughout the middle school levels.
  1. Nutrition education may be provided in the form of handouts, postings on the website, or presentations that focus on nutritional value and healthy lifestyles.

ST. MARY PARISH SCHOOL POLICY

St. Mary Parish School strongly encourages the sale or distribution of nutrient dense foods for all school functions and activities. Nutrient dense foods are those foods that provide students with calories rich in the nutrient content needed to be healthy. In an effort to support the consumption of nutrient dense foods in the school setting St. Mary’s has adopted the following nutrition standards as minimal guidelines.

Food:

  1. Any given food item for sale prior to the start of the day and throughout the instructional day will have no more than 30% of calories from fat per serving.
  1. Any given food item for sale prior to the start of the day and throughout the instructional day will have no more than 10% of its total calories derived from saturated fat.
  1. It is recognized that there may be rare special occasions when the principal may allow a school group to deviate from these guidelines.
  1. Encourage the consumption of nutrient dense foods, i.e. whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

Beverages:

  1. Vending sales of soda or artificially sweetened drinks will not be permitted to students.
  1. The sale of beverages with less than 10% fruit juice may begin at the conclusion of the instructional day.
  1. Milk, water, and fruit juices may be sold on school grounds before and after the instructional day.