(Adopted August 2006)




We believe that children need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive;

We believe that good health fosters student attendance and education;

We believe that community participation is essential to the development and implementation of successful school wellness policies;

Therefore, St. Mary Cathedral School is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.  Therefore, it is the policy of St. Mary Cathedral School that:


            The school will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing school-wide nutrition and physical activity policies.

            All students in grades K – 8 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.

            Foods and beverages sold or served at school will meet the nutrition recommendations of the U. S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

            Qualified child nutrition professionals will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; will accommodate the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the student body in meal planning; and will provide clean, safe, and pleasant ssettings and adequate time for students to eat.

            To the maximum extent practicable, St. Mary Cathedral School will participate in available federal school meal programs (including the National School Lunch Program).

            The school 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 services.



I.  Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Sold and Served

School Meals

Meals served through the National School Lunch Program will:

be served in clean and pleasant settings;

meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and           federal statutes and regulations;

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); and

ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.


St. Mary Cathedral School will engage students and parents in selecting foods sold through the school meal programs in order to identify new, healthful, and appealing food choices. In addition, the school will share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students.  Such information could be made available on menus, school website, or at Home & School meetings.

 Free and Reduced-priced Meals

St. Mary Cathedral School will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals.  Toward this end, the school utilizes computer identification and payment systems and promotes the availability of school meals to all students.

 Meal Times and Scheduling

St. Mary Cathedral School

            will provide students with 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch;

             will schedule meal periods at appropriate times;

             will not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes unless students may eat during such activities;

             will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks; and

             will take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs.

 Qualifications of School Food Service Staff

Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the school meal programs.  As part of the school district’s responsibility to operate a food service program, we will provide continuing professional development for all nutrition professionals in the school.  Staff development programs will include appropriate certification and/or training programs for the child school nutrition manager and cafeteria workers according to their levels of responsibility.

 Sharing of Foods and Beverages

St. Mary Cathedral School will discourage students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions in some children’s diets.

 Foods and Beverages Sold Individually (i.e., foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, such as through vending machines, fund-raisers, school stores, etc.)

 The school food service program will approve and provide all food and beverage sales to students in elementary schools.  Given young children’s limited nutritional skills, food in elementary schools should be sold as balanced meals,  If available, food and beverages sold individually should be limited to low-fat and non-fat milk, fruits, and non-fried vegetables.


Allowed:  water or seltzer water without added caloric sweeteners; fruit and vegetable juices and fruit-based drinks that contain at least 50% fruit juice and that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners; unflavored or flavored low-fat or fat-free fluid milk; and nutritionally-equivalent nondairy beverages (to be defined by USDA):

 Not allowed:  soft drinks containing caloric sweeteners; sports drinks; iced teas; fruit-based drinks that contain less than 50% real fruit juice or that contain additional caloric sweeteners; beverages containing caffeine, excluding low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk (which contain trivial amounts of caffeine.)


A food item sold:

             will have no more than 35% or its calories from fat (excluding nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and other nut butters) and 10% of its calories from saturated and transfat combined;

             will have no more than 35% of its weight from added sugars;

             will contain no more than 230 mg of sodium per serving for chips, cereals, crackers, French fries, baked goods, and other snack items;  will contain no more than 480 mg of sodium per serving for pastas, meats and soups, and will contain no more than 600 mg of sodium for pizza, sandwiches, and main dishes.

 A choice of another fruit and/or non-fried vegetable will be offered.  Such items could include, but are not limited to, fresh fruits and vegetables; 100% fruit or vegetable juice; fruit-based drinks that are at least 50% fruit juice and that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners; cooked, dried, or canned fruits (canned in fruit juice or light syrup); and cooked, dried, or canned vegetables (that meet the above fat and sodium guidelines.)


 Portion sizes:

 Limit portion sizes of foods and beverages to:

             One and on-quarter ounces for chips, crackers, popcorn, cereal, trail mix, nuts, seeds, dried fruit or jerky;

             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 of non-frozen yogurt;

             Twelve fluid ounces for beverages, excluding water; and

             The portion size of a la carte entrees and side dishes, including potatoes, will not be greater than the size of comparable portions offered as part of school meals.  Fruits and non-fried vegetables are exempt from portion-size limits.


 Fund-raising Activities

To support children’s health and school nutrition education efforts, school fund-raising activities will not involve food or will use only foods that meet the above nutrition and portion size standards for foods and beverages sold individually.  St. Mary Cathedral School will encourage fund-raising activities that promote physical activity.  The school will make available a list of ideas for acceptable fund-raising activities.


Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage.  Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of school meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages, and other considerations.  The school will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel, and parents.


St. Mary Cathedral School will not use foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment.


St. Mary Cathedral School will limit celebrations that involve food during the school day.  Each party should include no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for foods and beverages.  The school will disseminate a list of healthy party ideas to parents and teachers.

School-sponsored Events (such as, but not limited to, athletic events or performances.)

Foods and beverages offered or sold at school-sponsored events outside the school day will meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually.


II.  Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion and Food Marketing

Nutrition Education and Promotion

St. Mary Cathedral School aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students.  The school 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);

            teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing; and

            includes training for teachers and other staff.

Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting

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 TV and playing video games;

            opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into other subject lessons; and

            classroom teachers will provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes as appropriate.

Communication with Parents

St. Mary Cathedral School will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children.  The school will offer healthy eating seminars for parents, send home nutrition information, post nutrition tips in school newsletters, and provide nutrient analysis of school menus.  St. Mary Cathedral School 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 school will provide parents a list of foods that meet the school’s snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards, and fund-raising activities.  In addition, the school will provide opportunities for parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community.

The school will provide information about physical education and other school-based 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 the school website, newsletter, or other take-home materials, special events, or physical education homework.

Food Marketing in Schools

School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion.  As such, St. Mary Cathedral School 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.  School-based marketing of brands promoting predominantly low-nutrition foods and beverages is prohibited.  The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.

Staff Wellness

St. Mary Cathedral School highly values 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.


III. Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education

Physical Education K – 8

All students in Grades K – 8, including students with special health-care needs, will receive physical education (or its equivalent of 60 minutes per week) for the entire school year.  Student involvement in other activities involving physical activities (e.g., interscholastic or intramural sports) will not be substituted for meeting the physical education requirement.  Students will spend at least 50 per cent of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

Daily Recess

All K – 6 school students will have at least 30 minutes a day of supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which teachers should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment.

St. Mary Cathedral School discourages extended periods (i.e., periods of two or more hours) of inactivity.  When activities, such as mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, teachers should give students periodic breaks during which they are encourage to stand and be moderately active.

Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School

St. Mary Cathedral School offers extracurricular basketball for boys in grades 2 – 8 and for girls in grades 3 – 8; volleyball for girls in grades 6 – 8; and cheerleading for girls in grade 8.

Physical Activity and Punishment

Teachers and other school and community personnel will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, push-ups) as punishment.  Opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) will be withheld only when deemed absolutely necessary by the teachers to promote academic progress.

Safe Routes to School

The school will assess and, if necessary and to the extent possible, make needed improvements to make it safer and easier for students to walk and bike to school.  When appropriate, the district will work together with local public works, public safety, and/or police departments in those efforts.  The school will explore the availability of federal “safe routes to school” funds, administered by the state department of transportation, to finance such improvements.


IV. Monitoring and Policy Review


The principal or designee will ensure compliance with established district-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. 

School food service staff at St. Mary Cathedral School will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the principal.  In addition, the school will report on the most recent USDA School Meals Initiative (SMI) review findings and any resulting changes.

The principal or designee will develop a summary report every three years on compliance with the district’s established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies based on input from the school.  The report will be provided to the local School Board, the Home & School Association, and school health services personnel.

Policy Review

To help with the initial development of the school’s wellness policy, St. Mary Cathedral School will conduct a baseline assessment of the school’s existing nutrition and physical activity environments and policies.  The results of those assessments will be compiled to identify and prioritize needs.

Assessments will be repeated every three years to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement.  As part of that review, the school will review current nutrition and physical activity policies. The school will revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.