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Wellness Committee » Wellness Policy

Wellness Policy



The Minnesota State Academies are committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children's health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.

Policy Goals:

  • The Academies will engage parents, students, Academies board members, school administrators, dietary staff, school faculty, dorm staff, health professionals, and members of the public in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing nutrition and physical activity policies.


  • Child Nutrition Programs will comply with federal, state and local requirements. Child Nutrition Programs are accessible to all students. 
  • Foods and beverages made available on campus (including vending, concessions, student stores, and parties) will meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.


  • All students in grades Pre-K to12 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
  • The Academies will provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between health education and school meal programs, and with related community services.


To Achieve These Policy Goals: 

I.          Wellness Committee
            The Academies Wellness Committee will develop, implement, monitor, review, and, as necessary, revise school nutrition and physical activity policies. The committee members will serve as resources for implementing these policies. The Academies wellness committee includes parents, students, Academies board members, school administrators, dietary staff, school faculty, dorm staff, health professionals, and members of the public.

II.        Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Served and Sold on Campus

            The following nutritional standards will be the minimal guidelines:
            Portion Sizes will be limited for food and beverages to those listed below:

  • One and one-quarter ounces for chips, crackers, popcorn, cereal, or jerky;
  • Two and one half ounces for trail mix, nuts, seeds, or dried fruits;
  • One ounce for cookies;
  • Two ounces for cereal bars, granola bars, pastries, muffins, doughnuts, bagels, and other bakery items;
  • Four fluid ounces for frozen desserts, including, but not limited to, low-fat or fat-free ice cream;
  • Eight ounces for non-frozen yogurt;
  • Fourteen fluid ounces for beverages, excluding water


  • will have no more than 30 percent of its calories from fat (excluding nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and other nut butters);


  • will have 10 percent or less of its total calories from saturated and trans fat combined;
  • will have no more than 35 percent of its total sugar by weight.


  • 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners;
  • water or seltzer water without added caloric sweeteners;


  • unflavored or flavored low-fat or fat-free fluid milk and nutritionally-equivalent nondairy beverages (to be defined by USDA);
  • limited soft drinks and drinks containing caloric sweeteners; sports drinks; fruit-based drinks that contain less than 100 percent real fruit juice or that contain additional caloric sweeteners;
  • The sale of pop or artificially sweetened drinks will be permitted at some special school events.


            Food Safety

  • Foods brought from home for student consumption during special group events must be purchased ready to eat and be wrapped in the original packaging.


  • Bag Lunches from Home: The MN State Academies strongly encourage families to pack healthy choices for their children if bag lunches are sent to school.  Students that bring a bag lunch will be permitted to take milk from the dining room to have with their meal but will NOT be allowed to have both their bag lunch and a cafeteria lunch at the same time.  Packed lunches must be ready to eat as there will be no refrigeration or heating provided.  Because of various food allergies, students will not be allowed to share what they bring with any other students. 
  • External groups that use the Academies kitchen must do so under the supervision of a food safety certified employee.


  • When external caterers are used, the safety of food served is the responsibility of the caterer and party responsible for serving the food.
  • Staff bringing food or beverages for their own consumption will not be allowed to share these with students, given concerns about allergies and restrictions on some student’s diets.


            School Meals

            The meal program at the Academies will:

  • continue to follow the U.S. Government’s Nutrition Standards;


  • be appealing and attractive to students;
  • be served in clean and pleasant settings;


  • offer a variety of fruits and vegetables; serve only low-fat (1%) and fat-free milk and nutritionally-equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA);
  • insure that half of the served grains are whole grain;


  • schedule meal periods at appropriate times;
  • provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch and supper;


  • not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities;
  • will schedule elementary lunch periods after recess periods;


  • will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks;
  • take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).


            Foods and Beverages Outside Of Reimbursable School Meals - such as Parties, School Activities, Snacks, Fundraisers, and Vending Machines

  • Snacks:  Snacks served during the school day or after school will make a positive contribution to student’s diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage.  The Academies staff will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of school meals, student’s nutritional needs, ages, and other considerations.  A list of healthful snack items will be provided for a reference to teachers, after-school program personnel, and parents.


  • Celebrations:  The Academies will limit celebrations/parties that involve food to special events such as holidays and the last day of school. Each party may include no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for foods and beverages.  A list of healthful snack items will be provided as a reference to teachers, after-school program personnel, and parents.
  • Academies Sponsored Events: Foods served at such events will include no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for foods and beverages.


  • Fundraising Activities.  To support student’s health and school nutrition-education efforts, fundraising activities that involve food items bought and consumed primarily by students will use only foods that meet the nutrition and portion size standards for foods and beverages sold individually. Nonfood fundraising activities are encouraged.
  • Vending Machines.  Milk, water, and 100 percent fruit juices may be sold in vending machines. Vending sales of pop or artificially sweetened drinks will be limited. To the extent possible, vending machines that contain food items will mark the healthier choices with a red heart and the healthier choices will be placed in the center of the vending machines at eye level.



  • The use of foods or beverages as rewards for academic performance or good behavior is discouraged.


  • The withholding of foods or beverages as a punishment is prohibited.

            The Academies will encourage parents to provide healthy meals and snacks for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials, or other means.   

III.       Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion and Food Marketing
            Nutrition Education and Promotion

            The Academies aim to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. Schools should provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:

  • is offered at each grade level as part of a sequential, comprehensive, standards-based program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;


  • is part of not only health education classes, but also classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences, and elective subjects;


  • includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens;
  • promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices;


  • emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise);
  • links with Academies meal programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services;


  • teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing; and
  • includes training for teachers and other staff.


            Integrating Physical Activity into Daily Activities
            For students to receive the nationally-recommended amount of daily physical activity (i.e., at least 60 minutes per day) and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class. Toward that end:

  • classroom health education will complement physical education by reinforcing the knowledge and self-management skills needed to maintain a physically-active lifestyle and to reduce time spent on sedentary activities, such as watching television;


  • opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into other subject lessons and after school activities;
  • classroom teachers will provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.

Communications with Parents

The Academies will support parents' efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. The Academies will send home nutrition information and post nutrition tips on school websites. The Academies will encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks and to refrain from including beverages and foods that do not meet the above nutrition standards for individual foods and beverages. The Academies will provide parents a list of foods that meet the snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards, and fundraising activities.

The Academies will provide information about physical education and other physical activity opportunities before, during, and after the school day; and support parents' efforts to provide their children with opportunities to be physically active outside of school. Such supports will include sharing information about physical activity and physical education through a website, newsletter, or other take-home materials, special events, or physical education homework.

Food Marketing

School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, the Academies will limit food and beverage marketing to the promotion of foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually. Marketing of brands promoting predominantly low-nutrition foods and beverages is discouraged. The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.
Examples of marketing techniques include the following: logos and brand names on/in vending machines, books or curricula, textbook covers, school supplies, scoreboards, school structures, and sports equipment; educational incentive programs that provide food as a reward; programs that provide schools with supplies when families buy low-nutrition food products; in-school television, free samples or coupons; and food sales through fundraising activities. Marketing activities that promote healthful behaviors (and are therefore allowable) include: vending machine covers promoting water; pricing structures that promote healthy options in vending machines; and sales of fruit for fundraisers.

Staff Wellness

The Academies highly value the health and well-being of every staff member and will plan and implement activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The Academies will maintain a wellness committee. The committee will develop, promote, and oversee a multifaceted plan to promote staff health and wellness. The plan will include input solicited from staff and will outline ways to encourage healthy eating, physical activity, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle among staff.

IV.       Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education

            Daily Physical Education / Recess
            All students in grades K-8 will engage in daily physical activity during the school day in the form of physical education class and/or recess to total 225 minutes/week. Students in grades 9 – 12 will have a minimum of one semester of P.E. class during their high school years. Students will spend at least 50 percent of physical education class time participating in Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity.
            Periods of Activity
            Periods of inactivity (one or more hours) is discouraged. When activities, such as mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, students should be given periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.
            Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School
            The dormitory recreation staff will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs or intramural programs. The high schools, and middle schools as appropriate, will offer interscholastic sports programs. The Academies will offer a range of activities that meet the needs, interests, and abilities of all students. After-school programs will provide and encourage daily periods of moderate to vigorous physical activity for all participants.
            Physical Activity and Punishment. Staff will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment.

V.        Monitoring and Policy Review

            The wellness committee designees will be responsible for monitoring and evaluation of this policy with input from all staff members.

            Assessment will be ongoing and the policy may be amended with Academies board approval as necessary.

Linda Mitchell, Administrator
Minnesota State Academies


Reviewer:                    Administrator
Date Originated:         06-23-2006
Board Approval:         06-23-2006
Date Revised:             03-04-2010